Teaching Matters

Commercial Awareness: Giving students a head start for their legal traineeships

Edinburgh Law School students have received training on commercial awareness.

An inaugural Commercial Awareness Workshop was held in January 2016, by the Edinburgh Centre for Professional Legal Studies (ECPLS) for students on the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DipPLP), the first stage of training for all intending solicitors and advocates wishing to practise in Scotland.

The workshop was organised in response to the growing need for students to demonstrate "commercial awareness" as trainees in law firms (and in the traineeship application process). Speakers, invited from the legal profession gave a series of stimulating and challenging talks to students on a range of topics including; "what clients want and how to deliver it", and "the challenges of being an in-house lawyer". Students were then invite to question and challenge the speakers, putting their legal skills and knowledge ion the context of clients' commercial environments.

The workshop also provided the students with the opportunity to network with members of the profession, which included Catherine Loughran, Senior Legal Counsel at Skyscanner; Sam Price, Head of Legal at Scotrail; and Morton Fraser Chief Executive, Chris Harte, and Director of Key Client & Tenders, Ruth McCallister.

Feedback from both students and invited speakers has been extremely positive and as such this workshop will now become an integral part of the DipPLP at Edinburgh in future years.