Make some space for lockdown

Interlink Recruitment11 January 2021

Yes, it’s time to clear every available table or desk and make some space for lockdown as we adhere to the latest government rules. If you were used to having your home to yourself to work in, there’s now the added challenge of partners, house mates, or children to contend with. Lockdown’s back, but what difference does it make to solicitors? We take a look…

Not a lot you might say…
When it comes to legal services, most practice areas are busy, and staff have been working from home pretty much since the first lockdown back in March. Routines were quickly established, and we embraced the unusual circumstances we all found ourselves in. Since then, some solicitors might have eased back into a working week split between the office and home. But now, working from home permanently is once again essential and even more so if your children are home from school, learning remotely. For some, it’s an added pressure on top of a busy workload as work resumes after the Christmas period.

The impact on legal careers
Over the last few months and since the first lockdown, our team here at Interlink have had regular conversations with legal professionals. And what do you think has emerged as the biggest hurdle faced by remote-working lawyers? We can tell you that it’s career progression. Especially towards the more junior end of the spectrum. Of course, last year and at the start of the pandemic, most law firms put a pause on promotions as they scaled back and remained cautious.
This year we are seeing a little more resilience and at the Partner end there have already been plenty of promotions making the legal news headlines. But if you’re a more junior lawyer who is already feeling the strain of isolation while working from home, the latest lockdown might leave you feeling lacklustre about your career. The main thing is to not be too hard on yourself – completing daily tasks can be an achievement in themselves during these difficult times.

Is career progression possible when working remotely?
There are ways in which your hard work as a solicitor can still be seen and recognised, without you being in the office. If you are a practising lawyer who is entrepreneurial by nature, with a determination to succeed no matter what, you will adapt to a new way of doing things.
But first it makes sense to understand what solicitors need to do for law firms to consider promotion or career progression. And that is three things: bringing in new clients, mentoring junior solicitors, and consistently giving excellent client service whereby the job is done quickly and to the highest standard. It might mean juggling a few more plates to get it all done during a strict lockdown such the one we are experiencing, but it is possible.

Adjusted working methods
If you are a solicitor looking to advance your career this year and it’s highly likely you will be working remotely throughout this time, here’s what you can do to make a difference.
Use social media to pursue new clients and develop existing relationships. Social media enables you to get involved in conversations and showcase your knowledge to a relevant audience.
If you have extra time because you’re not working at the office, give some of it to junior members to check in on them and mentor them. A commitment to sharing knowledge and investing in the professional wellbeing of junior team members will only pay dividends from a career perspective.
Maintain great service for all your clients by keeping on top of files and responding quickly to enquiries. If you show you can still deliver while working from home, it will help set you apart, as an individual as much as the whole law firm.

Are you a solicitor who is worried or unhappy about your position with your current law firm during this latest lockdown? Contact our team to discuss your concerns or circumstances and find out what new options are available to you. Contact us here.

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