How did you become an LOD?
I spent most of my career to-date in-house at an investment bank as a commercial contracts lawyer. When I was on my first maternity leave my husband got a job opportunity in Hong Kong so we moved there and after a few years we moved again, this time to Singapore where I had my second baby. I felt very privileged to be able to focus on being a mummy and stepping out of work but by the time we came back to England, I’d been out for over 5 years and felt ready to start working again. It was crucial to me and my family that I went back to work on a flexible basis. You can find numerous jobs that allow you to work flexibly but I was determined to do good work and to work with good clients, honouring the skills and qualifications that I have. I spoke to a handful of legal resourcing businesses but LOD stood out for me, primarily because they had faith in me. LOD gave me the confidence to believe that my years away from work should not, and would not, disadvantage me.
What’s the type of work you do now as an LOD and what has your experience been so far?
I hit the ground running and haven’t stopped. I’m currently on my third assignment and I like to have a mixture of on-site and remote working. My first two assignments were with banks and my current one is with a global tech and IP company. When you’re an experienced commercial contracts lawyer your skills are interchangeable so regardless of the sector, all my assignments have been fantastic.
What does the future look like for you?
For the short to medium term I plan on going nowhere. I’m a happy LOD lawyer and I have the complete confidence that LOD will keep delivering for me, and me for them.
What’s your advice for other lawyers who are considering working flexibly?
Believing in yourself is important. If you’re taking this career path for similar reasons to me, be confident and believe in yourself. I only have positive things to say about working in this way but it’s important to be aware that there are differences to working in a traditional way. Clients are still good at welcoming you but it’s not the same as being an employee and a bit of extra effort may be required to get embedded in a team. So, it’s important for you to be independent and to never be afraid to ask questions. You’re expected to have knowledge and experience, of course, but when you’re working for a new organisation there will be questions so be forthright. Never be afraid to ask for what you need to do your job well. Be amiable, stay calm and be patient. Remember that you, as an LOD lawyer, are there to provide a much-needed service to a client. You’re getting great career experience and enriching your CV, but you also have a role to play in representing LOD and delivering to the client.