find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Gen Y and the rise of freelance lawyers

Gen Y and the rise of freelance lawyers

Typing, laptop, freelance lawyer, business

Not long ago scoring a job at a law firm would be considered a career home run for a young professional; however, a shift in how millennials perceive success is driving a new breed of lawyers, writes Matt Kay.

The rise of the ‘gig economy’ is shining a light on the flexibility offered through freelancing and while there’s no denying the dream of becoming a partner at a firm is still a career path many young lawyers strive towards, there is a growing pool of lawyers who are breaking the mould and carving a new definition of what success means to them.

Although ‘going freelance’ was once perceived as a lonely path to pursue, flexible freelancing services such as Vario help connect, empower and support young professionals to balance a diversified career, as well as other interests and passions that create stability in their lives.

Research done on behalf of Vario found that there are a number of reasons Gen Y lawyers are drawn towards freelancing.

1. Increased flexibility

Freelancing gives flexibility to those that are looking for different work/life balance. They use freelancing to have the freedom to spend more time pursuing other lines of interest, such as establishing a start-up, climbing the Himalayas for six months or spending time overseas learning a new language with friends.

My idea of the perfect work/life balance would be different to yours, but with more freedom and options it is easier to mix and match to find something the suits you.

2. Greater breadth of experience

Junior lawyers are beginning to get off the corporate treadmill and forge their own path by seeking out a variety of legal work over a number of different industries and teams.

This breadth of experience is not always easy to achieve in a traditional law firm.

3. Freelancing allows lawyers to fund their entrepreneurial projects

At Vario, we recently carried out a survey that found that one quarter of our lawyers ran a separate business on the side. We often see these entrepreneurs building businesses rooted in their own personal passions and hobbies, such as wine making or sailing. Having a second career based around passion can significantly increase work satisfaction and permanently cure Monday blues.

The flexibility Vario brings means it is easy to split their time between work and minding their own business. These entrepreneurs/lawyers are increasing in number and it is only possible due to changes in the legal sector.

We also see a number of lawyers using freelancing to pursue a career in another industry. These multi-potentialities are so driven they are not content excelling in only one field. These entrepreneurs and multi-potentialities are keen to share their skills between two complementing careers, and employers are seeing this as a big advantage given the breadth of knowledge and different point of views they are able to bring.

Making the jump to freelance

Making the jump to freelancing can seem a bit daunting, particularly as it’s a big change from the tried and tested law firm structure, but the rewards can be great. A Vario survey found that after switching to freelancing work, 89 per cent of respondents said their quality of life has improved.

Further, our research showed that before freelance work external factors such as working patterns, flexibility and non-legal interests were priorities. However, after experiencing freelance work there was a greater focus on relationships, building confidence and learning.

Matt Kay is the director of Vario, Pinsent Masons. 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Gen Y and the rise of freelance lawyers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, even how we take a...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...