“I’m an NQ lawyer suffering a minor spiritual crisis. I am quite enjoying the work so far, but my problem is that I look around the office at the partners, all of whom are perfectly pleasant, but rather dull and grey, and think: ‘That’s me in 15-20 years’.
No, I have not set up in business as an ‘Agony Uncle’. This came from a wonderful article in Legal Week where the writer asked the perfectly reasonable question:
Do big personalities exist at law firms?
The comments are marvellous as well… here is a taster…well worth a read.
The drive to institutionalise clients has also contributed to this, which is why a lot of partners are really just senior account managers. It’s only odd that lawyers then scratch their heads and ask why clients struggle to differentiate them. But the upside is that there are less loony, racist, bullying, sexual harassing, alcoholics kicking around the Square Mile, so it’s swings and roundabouts really.
Your post reminds me of my in-house colleagues’ horror story about a boozy dinner with her husband’s (big, corporate) firm. She was sat between one partner who kept saying “see, what you’ve got to understand about me is, I’m really, REALLY clever!” while the partner on the other side slurred “you know, when I draft a perfect clause in a contract, it’s just the most beautiful feeling in the world!”
I am sure there are some very amusing lawyers out there – but I suspect they can be forgiven, in their daily lives at the coal face, for not exhibiting their more ‘eccentric’ side. There are, of course, crashingly dull ones as well. But have you ever attended a conference of greedy business people? Now… therein lies boredom. There are still some ‘unusual’ characters at the Bar though.
My online magazine doesn’t write itself and I am always grateful to those who (a) sponsor the free student materials and (b) who contribute. Kevin Beare & Co are doing both and hopefully lawyers and other will find their articles linked on Insite Law from their own blog useful to their work and lives. Kevin Beare & Co are Chartered Accountants to overseas companies operating in the UK. They focus their marketing activities solely on companies wishing to enter the UK, or who are already here with overseas parents. Kevin Beare has operated as Finance Director/CFO for subsidiaries of multinationals, and in 1992 started his own practice. For over 20 years Kevin’s aim has been to provide cost-effective CFO resources to overseas companies operating in the UK.
What particularly interested me, talking to Paul Beare, Kevin’s son, is that Kevin’s business model is structured around local, qualified part-time employees working child friendly hours. Indeed written into the contracts of the team are child friendly clauses including specifically allowing time off to attend Nativity shows. This must be a sensible option for some smaller law firms? I don’t know – I don’t practice, but I do know that when I was running a law school I was very much the beneficiary of very bright women solicitors and barristers who were able to teach part-time and bring up their children with hours which were convenient to them.
Here are a few links to give you a taste. Insite Law will be covering information provided through Kevin Beare & Co’s blog where it will be of value to lawyers and others who read my blog.