DESPITE HAVING more than 600 lawyers across our 10 LOD offices, we still encounter discussions about the perils of having an alternative legal career, whether that be jumping out of a permanent job to become a ‘lawyer on
demand’ or re-entering the profession.
However, when we ask any one of our lawyers and consultants why they chose to work this way, we get a variety of responses (they aren’t coerced - we promise - just honest!). These range from the desire to have more career fulfillment, freedom or variety, through to having the ability to concentrate and focus on the work they love, without the need to hit targets and the pressure of developing a pipeline.
Whatever the reason, what they all have in common is a renewed passion for being a lawyer and a desire to live a good, happy and satisfying life.
So, what is an alternative legal career? We believe it is a career where there is a true balance of work and life. It allows you to create and adapt to a career which incorporates both legal and non-legal components, and one you can simply steer in the direction you want. LOD Lawyers shape a career around their strengths and what they are passionate about, but at the same time they create experiences of learning and challenges, bringing about a sense of satisfaction and happiness.
Working in this way does not place you at the bottom of the career ladder. On the contrary, you will work in stimulating roles, you will have the ability to work in organisations and industries you may never have thought possible, and you will work with like-minded individuals that inspire you and make it feel great to be a lawyer. In fact, we have a number of lawyers and consultants who, after their LOD journey, have gone on to become General Counsels of ASXlisted companies, start-ups, banks and financial institutions.
Life With Law
So how do we ensure that we help and support our LOD lawyers in their new career? When we started LOD, we wanted to try to make a difference and help our lawyers and consultants develop skills in areas outside of law. Most law firms at the time would shy away from the concept of learning skills that didn’t necessarily relate directly to law, or discourage anything non-billing related. We didn’t like this so we launched our Life With Law series, which we are now bringing to Australia.
Life With Law is a forum for lawyers to find inspiration and ideas about life and work. Without promoting any particular agenda or path, we invite some of the best speakers, writers, journalists and experts to talk in an informal session, leaving you to reflect and make things happen in your own way. Following the success of our Sydney event, we will be hosting other Life With Law Australia events in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth in the coming months.
We like working with lawyers because they are thoughtful, intelligent, hardworking, and great at helping clients find solutions. But, like many of us, regardless of what profession we are in, sometimes we aren’t so good at managing our own lives or helping our team manage theirs. We believe lawyers can adapt non-lawyer skills to help them in all aspects of work and life, and the Life With Law series aims to support this process. The success of the series across other regions now means that we regularly see a great collection of both clients and LOD lawyers coming together to engage with both the topic and each other.
Carving out an alternative legal career
Taking the leap into an alternative legal career can seem daunting, however LOD have teams around the globe helping people do this on a daily basis.
This type of career isn’t for everyone, but it is certainly a valid option to continue your legal career path journey and most definitely not career suicide. We hope that reading about this career option and our Life With Law series will intrigue and inspire you to pursue your dreams in the same way we did when we created Lawyers On Demand.