Hi, I'm Jake, the founder of Commercial Law Academy.

I went to a state secondary school, I was the first generation in my family to go to university, and I became the first lawyer in my family. 

I didn’t have family members that worked in City careers (my parents both ran their own small businesses) or a relevant network, so needed to figure this stuff out for myself. As a result, I have always been passionate about democratising access to the legal profession.

This is why I have worked so hard to give aspiring lawyers the opportunity to access the same high quality technical knowledge, insider insights, and employability guidance. 

If everyone has access, this levels the playing field, meaning candidates can be assessed on how well they apply the information, rather than whether they’ve had access to it. 

This is why I founded Commercial Law Academy with the mission to equip all aspiring lawyers with the expert guidance, insider insights and confidence needed to secure their dream career.

From musician to law student 

Prior to joining university back in 2011, I had been a full-time musician for years, having slacked off my original university place in 2008. Ultimately, we had little success and made even less money, so when our singer called it quits, we (reluctantly) accepted that we would never be playing stadiums in front of adoring fans across the world.

I then took the natural step from drummer to Law & Business undergraduate, where I opted for a four year degree to put off real life for as long as possible. 

Learning through mentoring

At university, I had attended dozens of open days, participated in countless interviews and case studies, and was lucky enough to have secured six internship offers from City firms. I took detailed notes throughout all the workshops I attended, and carried out further research into all of the topics that came up during my interviews. This left me with hundreds of pages of insights and definitions by my final year. 

At this point, I started running a mentoring scheme where myself and others with training contracts offered free one-on-one application and interview support to other students during weekly employability clinics, and this ended up giving me a first-hand insight into students’ key concerns. 

Our degrees didn’t teach us most of the technical stuff that came up during interviews, and we didn’t have a huge amount of support with the recruitment process more generally. So I decided to collate my notes into one document, worked a little on the structure, pleaded with firms to sponsor me so that I could print the book, then distributed copies for free to members of a society I had co-founded. And this essentially evolved into the first ever edition of my Commercial Law Handbook. 

Based on the feedback I received, I quickly realised there was a gap in the market for law-specific  commercial awareness and employability advice. And so, out of my university bedroom, City Career Series was born.

The shift from student-led advice to expert led-advice

I then progressed through the LPC, completed my training contract at Freshfields, qualified and continued practising as a freelance lawyer, and started training and mentoring thousands of aspiring lawyers. 

I drew on these experiences when rewriting my books and adding new titles to the series, with the most recent being my Training Contract Handbook. Although we started with a focus on advice from students for students, now it’s very much expert-led. In other words, we now give you access to advice and insights from some of the most qualified professionals across the City.

Building a world class legal careers academy 

During the 2020 lockdown, I started developing and delivering virtual events to support students who could no longer attend in-person events or access my physical books. I recorded these events at the time, and subsequently wanted to find a way to make the content available on demand. Ultimately, this is where the idea of online courses was born. 

I also realised that by building online courses, I could take the content from my books to a whole new level, bringing it all to life through supplementing the text with hundreds of videos, commercial awareness quizzes, practice psychometric test questions, animations, downloadable PDFs, and more.

I really enjoyed this process, and have since spent – literally – thousands of hours improving the content, developing new courses, bringing in expert speakers, animating the most popular lessons, and building a community of thousands of aspiring lawyers across various social platforms. 

By bringing everything online, this also meant people could access the content instantly, including international students (who often had to wait weeks and pay a small fortune in delivery fees). Digital content is also cheaper to make available than books, as there are no printing and postage fees. This meant I could keep prices low, which was great, given my passion for inclusivity and accessibility.

All in all, I love how much more interactive and flexible the e-learning platform is. Plus, I rarely have the opportunity to engage with my readers, but can regularly engage with my subscribers. For example, I run monthly seminars for subscribers during which I review subscribers’ CVs and applications live on air (for no extra charge), plus I answer questions in the forum, and get to regularly read reviews and feedback.

So with all this in mind, I wanted to finish by saying that I truly hope our courses have a significant role to play in your future successes. It brings me so much joy when I receive messages from users telling me about their experiences finally cracking the recruitment cycle and securing their dream roles, and I hope to impact many thousands more aspiring lawyers over the coming years.


Access all of our courses with a single, affordable subscription