Tell us a bit more about your journey into legal consulting.
I started looking into legal consulting in 2021, following a year of lockdowns, maternity leave, and a desire for more flexibility as a senior legal practitioner. After engaging with Peerpoint I felt comfortable that legal consulting offered me a way to do more of the work I enjoyed, with greater flexibility and autonomy than had been on offer to me as a permanent employee. Shortly after, I became part of what’s become known as the “Great Resignation” and made the move to become a legal consultant.
I was very keen to take on an international role. Moving overseas was wrought with challenges and uncertainty during the pandemic so Peerpoint had particular appeal for me given their international network and their openness to exploring the option of working remotely for an overseas client. I also had the privilege of being able to lay out my terms (of which I had quite a few: flexibility; part time; international; start-up or technology focus), and the team took active steps to meet them.
What did you find most interesting about your role?
The role I took on was so unique; I was involved in the launch of a ground-breaking cultural project in the Middle East so it was unlike anything I’d done before. It was also my first experience working with an Emirati organisation. Navigating the cultural nuances, and learning rapidly about a new market was both challenging and rewarding as I gradually found my footing.
This role was also the first time I’ve worked on something so tangible. To see the concepts brought to life so beautifully and to be part of something so iconic has been great, especially when I finally got to travel to see it in person having worked with the team remotely for over ten months!
Tell us more about supporting the client in the Middle East, while working remotely from Australia.
The opportunity to work remotely for an overseas organisation was one of the key drivers for pursuing legal consulting as a career path. As Peerpoint has offices in several major jurisdictions, so the team is able to leverage their network to offer up opportunities with clients regardless of location.
The six to seven hour time difference meant I worked a hybrid day, starting around midday, which allowed at least four hours of cross over with the local team. This personally worked for me as I got to start my work day later, fit in exercise, manage less frantic school drop offs and work on other projects each morning. I was also guaranteed some meeting-free time before my colleagues woke up which was super productive. I think it worked well for the client as the team could send work requests at the end of their day and I’d be able to turn quite a lot around before their morning. This kind of arrangement is a great way of giving clients the option to secure the best talent they can and I’m fully behind borderless work!
What would you say to someone considering legal consulting as part of their career?
I would really encourage legal consulting as a way to broaden horizons, experience working in a wide variety of environments and teams whilst continuing to develop your skills. As someone who practices in the diversity and inclusion space, I think legal consulting is a great way to increase flexibility and more inclusive options for those who love what they do, but feel limited by a traditional law firm model, or have plateaued in their in-house legal role.
It also provides such valuable experience and doesn’t have to be forever. That’s something that Peerpoint has always been supportive of, and I think it’s important to note for those who fear that moving into consulting will limit their future career options. To the contrary I believe it allows us to take control of our career trajectory. As someone who oscillates between being entrepreneurial and falling back to “type” as a more risk averse lawyer, legal consulting has been a great stepping-stone into working more independently.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not being a lawyer?
I am passionate about both diversity and inclusion, and the future of data and technology. I consult for start-ups in the data space, and am continuing to develop new offerings combining the two, such as developing diversity surveys for organisations committed to embarking on a meaningful D&I journey.
I’m a mum to two young girls, and when the kids are either at school or daycare, or in bed I indulge in trail running, learning to play tennis, podcasting and eating out.
Dharshi was a Peerpoint consultant from 2021-2023 and has now moved from Australia to Singapore and gone on to become Head of Media and Technology at a legal services provider. She also hosts the UNBiased podcast. Through guest interviews Dharshi explores the way bias affects the lives of others and the ways that they address it: https://www.dharshiharindra.com