All industries are innovating. Not least, arguably the most conservative profession of them all; Law.
Since the development of high-speed internet, it is arguable that the books we are so used to seeing decorating the offices of law firms, have in fact, been reduced to just that; decoration. Upon studying my LPC in 2014 I was surprised to learn just how reliant corporate lawyers have become on legal-tech such as ‘Practical Law Company’, which effectively provides templates for contracts and summarises the legal position for a specific area of law. Reducing the need to trail through hundreds of articles and books. It really is a thing of beauty.
Of course, this isn’t to say that a layperson could now do the job of a lawyer, but it has resulted in significant time-cost savings, and to a large degree a level of standardisation across the industry. The art of drafting has arguably become the art of clever amending.
Furthermore, seeing as all we need is a computer and an internet connection. The days of living at the office are, thankfully, numbered.
Structure of law firms
The very structure of law firms has been fundamentally changing over recent years too.
The area that surprised us the most in establishing our company, was the emergence of ‘consultancy legal practices’. The new-age model which slims down fixed costs, such as sitting at a fixed desk in an expensive office and simply allows a lawyer to work directly for their clients rather than the law firm itself.
Building out their individual reputations and effectively taking home a large percentage of what they bill, as opposed to a set salary + bonus.
This clever model of law firm provides for maximum flexibility. Allowing lawyers to carry out the majority of their business from home / the beach / wherever they feel happiest.
The model also separates those who are business-builders from those who are not. It goes without saying that for a lawyer to thrive under this ‘eat-what-you-kill’ model of law firm, you need to build up a client base and keep them coming back / referring you, to make your career successful.
The fruits of this model cannot be emphasised enough. For example, if you are a commercial solicitor with a good reputation (say, 4 years PQE). Billing for 8 hours of client work would leave you with a take-home of £1894*.
Where the commercial opportunity lies here for the rest of the industry is in client referrals, and the support infrastructure around this web of independent solicitors. Which is where we come in.
Thus there is an incentive not to turn away clients, but naturally there simply are not enough hours in one day for a lawyer to handle every piece of work that comes his or her way.
We have had lawyers come to us complaining that they are afraid to take a holiday.
That the very freedom they gained by signing up to this model has come full circle.
If you are going to build out your practice under the new-age model, you will absolutely need the support of other lawyers. It goes without saying that it is expensive to employ other lawyers to work alongside you. Particularly those with the right expertise.
This is where we can help you.
We have a large network of qualified support solicitors and quality paralegals, who can work for a contract period of weeks or months to assist with casework.
Effectively making the consultant lawyer the ‘law firm’ itself, the contract solicitors provided by ourselves work underneath you to maintain your portfolio of clients.
The competitive rates we offer for support lawyers allow you to maintain healthy margins, whilst keeping the end-client happy that their work is being overseen by their trusted lawyer who they are accustomed to appointing.
*Based on London Grade 1, Pay Band B, SRA Guidelines and the firm offering an 80% take-home on casework.