Legal consulting presents opportunities for forward-thinking lawyers who want to diversify their experience and access a variety of work. But what kind of career change does legal consulting represent?
Deciding to consult may be right for you now, but it doesn’t need to be thought of as a permanent move. At Peerpoint, we encourage lawyers to be upfront about what they’re looking for from consulting, including the type of work they want to do, the days they want to work and the skills they want to learn. By having a clear vision about what you want to achieve, you can get the most out of legal consulting.
So, choosing to go down the legal consulting path needn’t affect a lawyer’s ability to obtain permanent roles?
Certainly not. On the contrary, time in consulting can be especially beneficial for lawyers who have set their sights on a certain type of permanent role in the future, and want to gain new skills as a way of moving closer towards that goal.
How does Peerpoint support that?
Our lawyers are fully supported on their career journey by a highly experienced and qualified team. Initially, we invest time to understand their skills, motivations and professional goals, including what they hope to achieve now and in the future.
Then, we look for roles that can help get them closer to those career goals, where they can build up the expertise they may need to make a move into another contract role or full-time position further down the line.
Our support doesn’t end there. Throughout their assignments, our consultants have access to Allen & Overy (A&O) partners and resources such as our own training and development programmes, regular networking events and one-to-one career coaching and support. We are passionate about our people’s careers and want to enable them to continue to develop, flourish and succeed.
Does it matter how advanced I am in my career?
Not at all. Consulting is an option for lawyers at any stage of their career. Many people mistakenly believe that consulting requires a certain level of seniority before it becomes an option, but that is no longer the case.
We’re seeing more and more clients seeking lawyers with two to eight years’ post-qualification experience (PQE) on short to medium term contracts, bringing the benefits of consulting to a new generation of progressive lawyers. In turn, these lawyers are attracted to consulting because it offers more variety, a way to build skills and gain exposure to new industries or types of work that they might otherwise not be able to experience. This can stand them in good stead for their future legal consulting or permanent career.
In much the same way, moving into consulting can allow experienced lawyers who are feeling stymied by a lack of variety or career progression in a big firm to get exposure to new areas before deciding which way they would like to take their career.
Right now, we’re also seeing legal consultancy offer an exciting temporary alternative for lawyers who may have been working overseas, but who have returned home with their plans stifled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving into consultancy for a period of time can give them the breathing room to understand their home market again, figure out next moves and diversify their experience before deciding what is next.
Can you share any examples of what this looks like in practice?
One Peerpoint consultant recently joined us from an Australian domestic bank and was looking for opportunities to expand her grasp of legal technology through consulting. She’s based in Canberra and we’ve just placed her with one of our Middle Eastern clients, where she is working remotely on a major technology-focused deal. As she works a specific number of hours per month, she works internationally on a shifted day where she has mornings off.
She’s delighted that joining Peerpoint is giving her access to larger businesses on a global scale – valuable experience that she can leverage for future contract or permanent engagements – during hours that work for her. Her experience also indicates the kind of opportunities that are now emerging as remote work becomes more of a norm.
In another example, an Australian lawyer who was working with A&O in London recently relocated back to Melbourne and joined us as a Peerpoint consultant. Working remotely, he is now supporting his former team back in London on exciting deals. He too likes having mornings off and enjoys the flexibility to start work at 1pm. Consulting through Peerpoint allows him access to market-leading and global deals, thereby continuing his learning, developing his skills and expanding his expertise.
Or take the example of a consultant we have in the UK who was interested in applying for more senior permanent roles based slightly outside her specialist area. We supported her in that career journey, finding placements that would give her the relevant experience she needed to edge closer towards achieving her goal. As a result, she was recently offered a permanent senior role in a major bank. As she told us, “I would never have had the confidence to apply for this role beforehand, but thanks to Peerpoint, I knew I would be coming in with a wealth of experience”.
Where can I go to find out more?
Learn more about becoming a Peerpoint legal consultant here. If you’d like to speak directly to one of our teams, get in touch with:
Nikki Pantges in Australia
Georgeanna Mok in Asia
Louise Catton in the UK
Azara Digan in the UAE
Amie Davidson in the U.S.