Teams of future lawyers from The College of Law in Birmingham battled it out to prove their commercial acumen this week during the final of the College’s annual business game.
More than 170 legal practice and bar vocational students, divided into 24 teams, took part in the competition, which involved managing a fictitious office furniture business and was sponsored by accountancy and business advisory firm Baker Tilly.
After weeks of making crucial decisions to boost market share and profitability the three teams with the highest share price took their place in the final. The winning team, called ‘Points to Note’, clinched first place after presenting a board report to a panel of judges.
The winning team in The College of Law’s business game. Centre: Karan Ahluwalia; L-R: Caroline Frost, Lindsay Hammond, Chirag Rao, Paul McConnell (Senior Lecturer at The College of Law), Rob Bridgman, Gary Grewal (Partner with Baker Tilly), Dale Roberts, Hannah Rees and Chris Knight. (Photograph location courtesy of House of Fraser, Birmingham)
Team member, Rob Bridgman said: “The business game afforded me an opportunity to increase my commercial awareness and helped me to understand a little more about the way businesses work, which is an invaluable experience for any would-be lawyer.”
The business game helps students to become familiar with the way businesses operate in a competitive world. They play for three sessions, encountering different business situations and challenges as the game develops, and each team is mentored by volunteers from the local business community.
Judges for the final were Gary Grewal, Partner with Baker Tilly, Peter Shearer, Director of the Business Partnership Unit at Aston University, and the game’s inventor Christine Elgood of Elgood Effective Learning.
Bernardette Griffin, Regional Director of The College of Law, said: “Law firms increasingly tell us that they are looking for trainees with strong commercial awareness and the game helps students to develop these skills. It gives them the opportunity to learn about the law in a corporate context and provides an insight into the business issues facing law firms.”
Gary Grewal of Baker Tilly said: “I was very impressed by the commercial acumen of those taking part in the game. In the current economic environment, strong business skills are absolutely crucial and it is encouraging to see these being exhibited at such an early stage in these students’ careers.”