Woman office worker on the phone

Working as a private client interim lawyer

“I earn more, work fewer hours, I am my own boss, and I have huge flexibility and in turn job satisfaction”

 

Having spent 15 years with a full service, private practice law firm in Dorset and progressing from Trainee Solicitor to Director and Head of Private Client, I asked my candidate Lisa why 2022 was the right time for her to venture into the locum market.

 

Bianca: During your training did you always expect to qualify into private client?

 

Lisa: Absolutely not! I started off as a litigator. 


Bianca:
What were the main reasons for you choosing this area of law?


Lisa:
It is one area of practice where there is a lot of work available, the work is often good quality, and the fees are easily attainable. I also find it generally a low stress area of practice. 

 

Bianca: What do you think are the biggest challenges for a private client lawyer?  


Lisa:
IT and the changes/reforms, the ability to sell your services to clients who think that they can do the work themselves. Being price competitive but knowing your worth. 


Bianca:
What advice would you give to aspiring lawyers considering qualifying into private client?


Lisa:
Get plenty of experience at a high level, work for a good, well-respected firm/lawyer. Embark on the STEP diploma.


Bianca: What benefits do you see from working as an interim lawyer?

 

Lisa: Flexibility, increase in earnings, the ability to see how other firms work. A change is absolutely as good as a rest! 

Bianca: What difference does this way of working make to your lifestyle?

 

Lisa: I earn more, work fewer hours, I am my own boss, and I have huge flexibility and in turn job satisfaction! 


Bianca: What has been your best experience working as an interim lawyer?

 

Lisa: The opportunity to work for an amazing firm to gain experience of high-level work working alongside an excellent, very experienced and well-respected lawyer. 

Bianca: What challenges have you faced?

 

Lisa: Making the decision to leave a long-standing permanent role that I was happy in. 

Bianca: What advice would you give to friends or colleagues who are considering becoming an interim lawyer?

 

Lisa: Speak to Bianca! See what is on offer, what experience is required, and do the maths. Do you want to have guaranteed paid holiday/sickness and a fixed sum at the end of the month or do you want to see a bit of the world and potentially earn a lot more?! 

Bianca: What have been the benefits of working with Chadwick Nott?

 

Lisa: They are a well-respected agency which made the process of finding an interim role easier. They are efficient with their systems and super friendly! 

Bianca: The last 2 years have been challenging and extremely busy for most lawyers including all private client solicitors - what do you think the future has in store for your profession?

 

Lisa: We are not just lawyers but salespeople; gone are the days when people would put lawyers on a pedestal. We must demonstrate our worth to our clients and communicate with them well.  You need to invest in yourself - be up to speed with CPD, ensure your communication skills are excellent. Overall, solicitors are focusing on more specialist areas of practice, so we need to ensure we are the experts.

 

I have been working with interim/locum lawyers across the South West and South East regions at Chadwick Nott for eight years. Throughout this time, I have worked with and placed a variety of candidates, from paralegals through to partners, but I can honestly say that private client lawyers have never been more in demand!

 

Each interim lawyer that I speak to has their own reasons for why they choose to work on an interim basis but work/life balance is so frequently cited as the main one.

It’s great to see that working on an interim basis is not only a choice made by those wanting a career break or for those who have retired from permanent positions, but also for a large proportion of people who see interim work as a genuine and sustainable career option.

 

If you, like Lisa, would like a change, flexibility to choose your own work schedule (full time, part time, remote working or consultancy/fee-sharing), an opportunity to travel and stay in different locations, extended periods of time off, and ultimate job satisfaction, then please do contact me for a confidential discussion.

 

Likewise, if you are a temporary/interim lawyer with availability and would like to add additional assignments to your diary, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

 

Please do contact Bianca Gibbs at Chadwick Nott to discuss further: 0776 9241 524 / biancagibbs@chadwicknott.co.uk