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Travers Smith Sponsors the Aspiring Solicitors Commercial Awareness Competition 2017/2018


Travers Smith LLP is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the Aspiring Solicitors Commercial Awareness Competition 2017/2018. The registration for this prestigious national competition closed on 10 October 2017, with 1,100 students registered to compete this year.

Set up in March 2014 by Chris White, Aspiring Solicitors is an organisation committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession. It does so by providing increased access, opportunities and assistance to students from all underrepresented groups in the profession who want to enter it.

The organisation strives to represent all aspiring solicitors, including those who are black or from ethnic minority backgrounds; state school educated, belonging to the first generation to attend university or coming from low income families; those with disabilities or long-term health conditions, and all others who are entering the profession from a non-traditional route.

The Aspiring Solicitors Commercial Awareness Competition is open to undergraduates, graduates and career changers, and is one of the biggest competitions of its kind in the UK. In 2016/2017, it had over 340 team entries from over 60 universities. The Competition is designed to develop and refine each participant’s awareness of political, economic and current affairs and how each of these impact the commercial world. It will run from October 2017 to March 2018 and comprise of five rounds consisting of a mix of individual and team based questions and presentations, judged by an expert panel of partners and senior lawyers. Most topics will be unseen and test the depth of each team member’s knowledge of several different business sectors.

As the Competition sponsor Travers Smith is joining ranks with Barclays Legal, Clifford Chance, Dechert, Mayer Brown and TLT to support the student teams throughout the Competition and beyond. The firm will host and judge a semi-final in its office. Travers Smith Graduate Recruitment Partners Emily Clark and Dan Reavill are spearheading the initiative and the growing relationship with Aspiring Solicitors and one of them will sit on the judging panel for the final. There will be opportunities for the most talented participants of the Competition to secure places on Travers Smith's summer vacation schemes.

Dan Reavill commented: "Travers Smith has been a firm supporter of Aspiring Solicitors from its inception and we are pleased that this year we have the opportunity to be one of the sponsors of this remarkable competition. As a firm we are deeply committed to promoting diversity in the legal profession and creating opportunities for students from diverse and underrepresented groups to enter the profession. We are delighted to be working in partnership Aspiring Solicitors to achieve this goal."

Emily Clark commented: "The Aspiring Solicitors Commercial Awareness Competition has demonstrated that there is a huge pool of talent amongst students from all backgrounds. Its significance in creating real opportunities for those from underrepresented backgrounds to enter the legal profession cannot be underestimated. When we attended the final as guests last year, we were very impressed by the quality of participants and their ability to articulate thoughts and arguments and showcase commercial awareness when put through tough assessments. We look forward to welcoming this year's teams to the Competition and supporting them throughout the process."

The Aspiring Solicitors founder Chris White said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Travers Smith on the Commercial Awareness Competition. It is an amazing competition with only brightest, most commercially aware aspiring solicitors in the UK and Ireland getting to the later stages. Everyone involved in previous finals has been blown away by the quality of talent on display and we are confident that the Competition will repeat/exceed these levels again moving forward.

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