Commercial awareness is almost always cited as one of the essential qualities in aspiring lawyers. As developments in the commercial and business world will often influence the cases requiring legal assistance, it is important to stay up to date. There are lots of ways that you can improve your commercial awareness. We recommend reading as much as you can in the form of newspapers, relevant books, and business newsletters. It is also important to keep up to date on how this news impacts the legal world, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite legal blogs to help you do this. There is a thriving community of legal bloggers and checking their sites regularly can be one of the easiest ways to stay in the loop.
Baby Barista is the creation of Tim Kevan and is the fictional but hilarious account of a junior barrister. The stories were featured heavily on both The Times and The Guardian websites and have been featured in two books. The tales include characters such as ScandalMonger, PanicStricken and OldSmoothie which are pictured as beautiful cartoons by Alex Williams. The author practiced as a barrister in London for ten years and is the co-founder of Law Brief Publishing. His writing can also be found at The Barrister Blog.
Charon QC is a character created by Mike Semple Piggot, founder of the BPP Law School. According to the About page, Charon QC ‘awarded himself the title QC when the Lord Chancellor suspended the award for real lawyers. Now, as no-one can instruct him in any matter, or would wish to, he is free to comment as he wishes on matters which catch his attention.’ The result is one of the longest-running and respectable law blogs out there. Articles range from serious and in-depth commentary on issues in the legal industry to amusing things found on Twitter.
Head of legal is a blog that covers a wide range of legal issues. The man behind it is Carl Gardner, a barrister and former government lawyer. Although he no longer practices, his vast experience shows in his detailed and balanced comment. He writes on a wide range of topics but will be particularly useful for those interested in criminal law and human rights. In the past, the blog has been updated regularly, though only a handful of articles have been published in 2017. It’s still a good one to keep an eye on and Gardner tweets regularly too.
Jack of Kent tops most lists of best UK law blogs. It is written by David Allen Green who is a Senior Consultant at Preiskel & Co and focuses on ‘news and comment on law and policy, from a liberal and critical perspective’. As well as blogging on Jack of Kent, Green also writes for the Financial Times on law and policy. The articles are entertaining while still managing to be informative and insightful. The blog is updated regularly with new, in depth articles appearing a couple of times a month. Many of the recent posts have been about Brexit.
Lawyer Watch is the blog of Richard Moorhead, Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at UCL Faculty of Laws. The blog is usually updated a couple of times a month. The articles tend to go into quite a lot of detail, but do so in a very readable way. Moorhead is also a prolific Twitter user and his feed is a good place to discover interesting articles. While we’ve put this in the ‘general’ blogs section, this is also the place to go if you want some expert commentary on issues related to legal ethics.
This site offers “Legal news, cheeky commentary and careers advice”. Founded by Alex Aldridge, a former journalist for The Guardian, Times Online and The Guardian, it also offers law students useful information on law schools and firms. The careers section is particularly useful with a calendar of key deadlines which includes details on pupillages, vacation schemes and open days. They produce several articles a day and their morning round-ups are a great place to catch up quickly on the top news stories in the legal industry. They are also very active on social media with over 35K Twitter followers.
Legal Futures is the place to go for ‘anyone interested in keeping pace with the transformation of the legal market’. The site was created by Neil Rose, an experienced legal journalist and qualified solicitor. The content is written by professional journalists and their news is updated daily.
No one is quite sure who is behind the Obiter J Law and Lawyers blog but it is one of the top places to find comment on current legal issues. The blog is updated regularly and many of the recent posts have focussed on Brexit. The writing does a great job of explaining more complex legal matters in a clear and readable way.
Roll on Friday aims to deliver ‘news, views and gossip on the legal profession’. Their news section is regularly updated and you can also sign up to get a weekly email update. They also provide some useful data in their Inside Info section. They provide an overview of UK City Firms by salary, training contracts, and benefits.
If you want to keep up with the judgements happening at the very top, there is no better place than the UK Supreme Court Blog. The content is produced by practicing solicitors and barristers and they post updates on judgements, case previews, and case comments.