You’re probably reading this article because you hate being a lawyer.
It’s just not what you thought it would be. You feel exhausted, perhaps even completely burnt out. You have very little free time to spend with your loved ones. If you’ve already started a family, you feel guilty for not seeing them enough. If you haven’t, you wonder how you’d ever be able to fit it in.
Initially, you were sucked into the profession by the promise of high earnings, but now you’re simply not paid your worth. Then there’s the office politics, long commute, impossible targets, and fighting for promotion. Perhaps you feel that you’ve lost yourself and don’t even know where your passions lie anymore. You’re trudging through each day, hoping things will be better tomorrow. They never are.
Does this sound familiar? Then you’re not alone. It is a common problem in the legal profession. LawCare’s Life In The Law survey revealed that 69% of respondents had suffered from mental ill-health in the previous twelve months. It’s not surprising, given everything that modern lawyers are up against.
But is there a solution?
We believe so. You probably don’t hate being a lawyer itself. After all, there must be some reason for choosing it in the first place. It can be an interesting, exciting, and rewarding career. But traditional law firms are broken. They don’t serve their lawyers or their clients in the way that they should.
Think about what you actually hate about your job. Is it the work itself, or just everything that comes with working for a traditional firm? Would you be happier with your work if there was less of it for the same salary? If you had more free time to pursue your passions outside of work, would you feel relaxed and recharged for each working day? Perhaps if you could take more holidays without worrying about falling behind, work would be more manageable?
If you want to be a lawyer but don’t want the disadvantages, the consultancy model offers all this and more, leading to happier lawyers who enjoy what they do.
Consultant lawyers work for themselves with the support of a firm like Setfords behind them. So, our lawyers can set their own hours, targets, and clients whilst we take care of the admin. On top of this, they can keep a larger percentage of their billings compared to working at a traditional firm – up to 80%.
If you’re currently stuck in a traditional law firm, you may think this sounds too good to be true. But it is certainly manageable. At Setfords, our consultants are encouraged to create a work-life balance that suits them and the lifestyle that they want to live.
A career that’s up to you
Many lawyers turn to consultancy because they want more freedom and less career stress. Indeed, this is the basis of the consultancy model. Lawyers can choose when, where, and how much they work. They’re not tied down to billings targets, so they can create a role that works for them.
At Setfords, we have lawyers who work part-time to fit around their commitments or just simply because they want to! But, we also have lawyers who take on a busy full-time caseload, just without pressure from the firm to work certain hours. Others choose to take on more work at certain times of the year or work from around the world and travel simultaneously. The main draw of the consultancy model is that it is totally up to you.
Life outside of law
Aside from the benefits of flexibility and freedom, consultancy also offers lawyers the chance to earn a larger percentage of their billings than they would at a traditional firm. This winning combination allows some of our lawyers to pursue the passions that they’ve always wanted to. Some have even set up second careers alongside their work at Setfords!
One such lawyer is Debjani Mukherjee. Alongside being a well-respected consultant solicitor, she also has a second career and time to dedicate to her interests outside of work. Debjani says:
“Because I’ve been a consultant, I’ve actually created a second career and qualified as a personal trainer. I’ve been a Zumba instructor for 11 years now. And I’m currently studying nutrition coaching. So I’ve been able to forge that purely because I’m a consultant; I would never have been able to do it as an employed person. It’s been wonderful. I’ve also studied things that I love studying, such as Egyptology. I’ve got a diploma in that from Birkbeck. So all of this has been possible because of the flexibility in the manner that I’ve been working.“
Another lawyer who, through Setfords, has found the freedom to pursue other passions alongside the law is Carol Lee. Carol has been a Setfords consultant for over ten years. During this time, she moved from the Midlands to the Isle of Arran, where she runs a successful vegan B&B alongside her practice. She says:
“Being a consultant has enabled my husband and me to fulfil a long-time dream of being able to move to the beautiful Scottish island of Arran and to open our vegan B&B here while continuing my Setfords practice. This works very well with the fantastic IT support and structures set up by Setfords and enables me to continue to act for and serve my many existing and new clients in the Rutland and Stamford area (where we lived previously and where I practised law for over 25 years before moving to Arran) as well as clients throughout England and Wales.”
The natural choice for parents
Consultancy as a model is designed to suit lawyers at all stages of life. This includes parents, who often struggle with juggling a successful legal career and being a parent. Lawyers can take on different amounts of work at different times of their life, which is ideal for working parents who want to be more involved in family life without giving up on their careers.
Consultant commercial property lawyer Lauren Dimmack joined Setfords after her second maternity leave precisely because of the flexibility we offer. She says:
“I worked part-time previously in a traditional law firm. But, I was working all hours on my job. Then I also felt like I was failing at being a mum as well. Setfords just gave me the flexibility to be able to put my work down and say right now I’m being a mum, and then I could pick it up again when it suited me.”
If you’re a lawyer who hates being a lawyer, consultancy might just be what you need. Reignite your passion for the profession and embrace the life you were always meant to live- whatever that may look like to you.
Is consultancy for me?
If you are interested in becoming a consultant with us, get in touch. We are happy to conduct interviews remotely for suitable, UK-qualified candidates with five or more years’ experience. If you’re a good fit, you’ll be joining a team that was created for lawyers to do their best work.
The next step towards a better way of working…