Legal Cheek

Team of four students from UCL, LSE, Leicester and Portsmouth crowned the most commercially aware wannabe lawyers in Britain

Quartet snatch win in prestigious competition

A pair of non-law students from UCL and LSE teamed up yesterday with law graduates from the universities of Leicester and Portsmouth to win a top national commercial awareness challenge.

The wannabe lawyers emerged from a field of 774 entrants to bag first place at the UK Commercial Awareness Competition, run by diversity network Aspiring Solicitors.

In the final yesterday at Barclays’ headquarters in Canary Wharf, London, the hotshot quartet narrowly edged four other teams from universities across the nation in various law firm assessment centre-style tasks.

The solicitors-to-be were assessed by leading lawyers from Mayer Brown, King & Wood Mallesons, Clyde & Co, Nabarro, LexisNexis and Barclays in a gruelling day-long series of commercial awareness exercises.

To get to this point, the students successfully navigated four previous rounds, which began back in the autumn with 774 University Challenge-style phone interviews and included quarter finals held at the aforementioned City firms.

Clyde & Co head of graduate recruitment head Caroline Walsh described the final as “harder than an assessment centre”, while the firm’s graduate recruitment partner, Ed Mills-Webb, said that the best participants’ combination of black letter legal skills and wider engagement with the commercial world “is what we are looking for in trainees”.

In the wake of his team’s win, Portsmouth University law graduate James England told Legal Cheek how the competition had given him an edge in a tough graduate recruitment market. England, who is currently doing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Kaplan Law School and has a vac scheme at Nabarro lined up for the summer, added:

The parallels to assessment centres make this invaluable experience and has had a significant impact in helping me secure invaluable legal work experience.

The other members of the winning team were Leicester law graduate Natalie Batra, UCL French graduate Roxanna Sarkar-Patel and LSE economics graduate Rhys Morgan.

Entry information about next year’s competition can be found here.