As the Director of Orbit Legal Resourcing, I’ve been a close observer of the careers of contract lawyers for some time. Based on what I’ve seen – and what I’ve heard from our clients – I’ve put together my list of the top 10 things contracting lawyers can do to fast track their careers.
At the end of an Orbit assignment, we ask our lawyers what the top three things they will be looking for in their next contract are. The results of the FY19 surveys highlight many of the benefits offered though a career as a contract lawyer.
For lawyers in firms or in-house roles, working flexibly usually involves flexible hours or days, remote working or job-sharing. You can do all of that working as a contract lawyer, but you also have the opportunity to carve out a flexible year and a flexible career.
Ten hours, or ten points. That’s how much continuing legal education lawyers are required to reach each year. But if you’re working as a contract lawyer, rather than as part of an in-house team or in private practice, how do you make sure that you have the opportunity to continue to learn, to meet your formal professional obligations and to help build your practice?
We’re all pretty comfortable with the concept of job-sharing. It involves two people working on a part-time or reduced-time basis and sharing the workload and responsibilities that would normally be performed by one, full-time person. It’s a form of working that gives employees flexibility together with the comfort of actually having time off knowing that the workload is being covered when they’re not there. It also provides an organisation and co-workers with confidence that someone in that role can assist when needed.
But how does that job-sharing translate when the job itself is a flexible one? Is it possible to layer job-sharing on top of a contract legal position? How would it work? And what are the benefits of doing so?
As we approach International Women’s Day, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the workplace practices that have helped us move closer to gender parity and enabled women to fully thrive in their careers.
We spoke to many in-house counsel at the Association of Corporate Counsel’s national conference in Brisbane last month. From our conversations it was clear in-house teams face a variety of challenges and the conference was a great opportunity to share knowledge about new technologies, best practices for internal collaboration, and using flexible lawyers to augment in-house teams and help them achieve better results.
To quantify the real pressure-points, we surveyed attendees about the challenges they face. The results confirmed that there are a wide variety of challenges confronting in-house counsel. In this survey report, we clustered those issues into 16 distinct groups. While this diversity of issues reflects the variety in size and shape of in-house communities, some challenges were common.
Most clients we speak with understand the commercial benefits of bringing in flexible lawyers to cover resource and skill gaps in their teams. But there are wider benefits of augmenting your legal team with flexible lawyers – and in this article we look at the best way to integrate Orbit lawyers alongside your in-house lawyers to produce a truly high-performing team.
We talk to lawyers every day about whether they’re ready to fly from the private practice or in-house nest and become a contract lawyer. In our latest thought piece, we examine the key skills which make modern lawyers successful.
The good news is your learning doesn’t stop when you walk out of your employer’s door. Through a broad range of flexible lawyering experiences, Orbit lawyers rapidly develop critical technical and relationship skills.
From 14-16 November 2018, we’ll be co-hosting the 2018 ACC Australia National Conference Mentoring Lounge at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
While there, we’re inviting delegates to tell us the top 3 challenges faced by their legal team and join our mailing list to go into the draw to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5” tablet.
In April, the Diversity Council of Australia highlighted some of the myths and misconceptions about flexible working, noting that flexible working “increases teamwork, reciprocity and ownership of the solution, reduces management time, and speeds decision-making”. With the experience of working in a variety of environments, we find Orbit lawyers are able to quickly build on these skills and more to make them highly sought after assets.
There is no doubt that demand for quality resources in Australia’s legal market is very high at the moment, and there is a lot of speculation as to why. Perhaps it is a result of the Royal Commission sucking up a plethora of resources. Or it might be because there was a lack of investment in young talent during the GFC that is now playing out in the market. Whatever the reason it is clear that in order to secure quality resources employers need to consider alternatives to the traditional employment model.
As a legal resourcing firm, we often find ourselves talking about the benefits of using contract lawyers rather than the traditional employment model. Contractors, especially those pre-vetted, present many advantages to business.
We’ve spoken to hundreds of lawyers about flexible working and whether it’s right for them. The “flexibility” part we all understand – but there are a lot of misconceptions about the “work”. We’ve wrapped up some of the common concerns about how legal contracting works at Orbit to dispel some myths.