How to be an Agile Lawyer

There are many reasons why Lawyers need to approach their work and careers with a flexible, open mind. In this blog we explore why it is important to do so and share advice on how best to be resilient and broad-minded when it comes to your legal future. 

A Changing Legal World

Nobody can predict exactly what the future holds for law firms and Lawyers across the country but what is certain is that the law is changing. And it is changing fast. Experts predict this trend shall continue, even without circumstances outcomes, such as the economy and the political landscape. Many of the changes in legal services have come about to make the provision of them more accessible and affordable to all, not just the wealthy elite. Clients have and will continue to demand change.

As legal talent specialists, we are already seeing employers keen to hire legal staff with more flexible attitudes; Lawyers who aren’t opposed to moving department or team or changing their working methods for the good of the firm’s client service offering. Those who are willing to embrace innovation and technology are also very employable. Likewise, those who think creatively when dealing with challenges or opportunities. The less rigid you are in your approach to your legal work, the better you will fare as the legal industry continues to change.

Stepping on the Legal Ladder

Those who need to be the most flexible are undoubtedly those just entering or thinking of entering the profession. You may have in your mind an idea of what your legal career looks like and where you will end up but there is little certainty that will happen. And what if being a Lawyer is not all you thought it would be? Lawyers of tomorrow need to be open-minded and consider all the legal career options available.

Different regions of the country offer different opportunities, so it is important to do your research and choose where you will study wisely. University law groups and societies are an invaluable tool for finding out more about life inside a law firm. You get to meet representatives from law firms at events as well as learn new skills. This offers the chance to understand everyday issues law firms experience and the direction law is heading in any given region. Ultimately, they help you make informed decisions, at an early stage in your career.

Project Management

A few years back, there was much talk around Lawyers of the future needing to be able to code and delve into the world of programming. Instead, what we have seen is the rise of new departments within law firms, where tech teams lead the way with everything from AI and document management to internal communications through intranets, bringing global offices together. For this reason, firms are instead seeking flexible Lawyers with an appreciation for technology, to work alongside such teams.

Project management is another sought-after skill that can massively boost a firm’s client service offering. Aided by the use of project management tools, firms can better manage hourly billings, providing transparency. As well as having excellent academics and commerciality, Lawyers need to be able to demonstrate core project management principles. That or they certainly need to be open-minded about learning them.

Keep Your Options Open

Thinking personally about your own legal journey, it pays to be flexible when considering your career path. It is a long old road and sometimes it takes a bad experience or a realisation something is not going to work for you to kickstart a career change. This does not necessarily mean a radical change (although it has been known). It could be a move from private practice to in-house, or a choice to do something that does not involve billing such as teaching law or even to set up your own legal business or become a self-employed Lawyer.

The key thing which applies to all professions, is that you enjoy what you do and get the best from it, for you. If you push for partnership but struggle to get to grips with being a manager or a leader, then it might be time to re-evaluate what the alternatives could be based on your skill set. If your firm can not offer the training and development you need to help you get where you want to be, then perhaps the time is right for a change. Whatever the situation, it pays to be flexible whether you are sticking to a career in law, or not.


Thomas Crea specialises in helping legal professionals at all levels find new roles within law firms in the London and Yorkshire area. If you are interested in finding out more about the opportunities available to you, contact Thomas Crea.

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