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The challenges that lie ahead for law firm leaders

Leaders must remain agile if they’re to have success in the evolving legal market, according to a law firm director.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 28 December 2023 Big Law
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Speaking on a recent episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Madison Marcus director Benoir Bayssari shared how consistent learning and development can ensure you remain well placed despite challenging conditions.

While this advice is often targeted at junior lawyers, Mr Bayssari noted it’s equally as important for those in leadership positions.

“My advice is always going to be that you got to keep learning and you’ve got to broaden your skill set so that if one area that you normally focus on isn’t as lucrative or isn’t as busy as what it was before, you’ve got the ability to jump into something else,” he said.


“That’s what we’ve been trying to do. We’ve been trying to broaden and do different types of transactions, different types of matters at work generally, and just try to keep a broad skill set.

“This obviously has its own challenges because you don’t want to be doing too many little things and not really specialising in one specific area, but I think you have to be able to be flexible and go where the market goes, to keep busy.”

Mr Bayssari said lawyers aren’t short on learning opportunities, pointing to his own experience of the COVID-19 pandemic as being a period where he invested a lot of time into building his own knowledge and skill development.

“When there were quiet times, I spent a lot of time just reading about different things that I wouldn’t normally read about, broadening my skill set in different areas. For example, reading updated cases at the time or reading articles published regarding changes in the law,” he said.

“[Before the COVID-19 pandemic,] I was doing solely corporate and commercial transactions, but then we delved into property matters, a bit of leasing matters at the time, and then learned a lot about those as a team. And then from there, we ended up doing a lot of work for other clients in the property space, different types of transactions I wouldn’t have done pre-pandemic, but because we had the time to learn and expand our knowledge, we reaped the rewards once the lockdown finished and everything came back to normal.”

Also key to responding to challenges in law is ensuring you look after yourself, Mr Bayssari said, noting that it’s easy for leaders, in particular, to get consumed with their role and responsibilities at work.

“It’s making sure that you’ve got your priorities right. Obviously, family comes first, and you better make sure that you’re prioritising time with your family and doing things that you like,” he said.

“That’s one side of flexible working that really benefits everyone, but I think you do need to make it an active step as much as you can to try to do something for yourself and keep busy doing personal things.

“Before I had kids, a few colleagues and I used to always go to the gym after work and make a habit out of it. That’s obviously a bit harder once you start to have kids, but I think there just needs to be something that you’re always doing personally to avoid burnout.

“Take an active approach to doing stuff that actually works for you and that keeps you motivated and keeps you interested.”

NB: This transcript has been edited slightly for publishing purposes. You can listen to the full episode here:

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is the editor of Lawyers Weekly. A former lawyer, he has worked at Momentum Media as a journalist on Lawyers Weekly since February 2018, and has served as editor since March 2022. He is also the host of all five shows under The Lawyers Weekly Podcast Network, and has overseen the brand's audio medium growth from 4,000 downloads per month to over 60,000 downloads per month, making The Lawyers Weekly Show the most popular industry-specific podcast in Australia. Jerome is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines book series, an admitted solicitor in NSW, and a board director of Minds Count.

You can email Jerome at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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