How do law students develop commercial awareness? Listening to the student voice on the roles of the law school and the law student in developing commercial awareness

Siobhan McConnell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article provides an authentic, student-centred account of how law students develop their commercial awareness on their journey to graduate employment. Drawing on data collected from a two year research study involving law students going through the graduate interview process, this article presents the first detailed empirical findings on how, when and why law students develop their commercial awareness. This data is important because law students have a wide range of available career options and commercial awareness is required across a range of graduate professions, including the legal sector. The findings of this study indicate that the law school played a part in developing law students’ commercial awareness but that its role was limited due to a lack of explicit guidance on what commercial awareness meant and how teaching and learning activities supported development. Students identified development much more frequently and explicitly through their own independent developmental activities. As well as providing valuable insight into law student perceptions of the role of the law school and the law student in developing commercial awareness, this article makes recommendations for legal educators on how to support students in developing their commercial awareness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLiverpool Law Review
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Jan 2023

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