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Advice for lawyers wanting to change their work week

In the traditional world of legal work, the idea of having a more flexible work schedule is often seen as unusual. Here, Maddi Thimont offers valuable insights for people who want to change how they approach their work week.

user iconGrace Robbie 14 June 2024 Corporate Counsel
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Speaking on a recent episode of The Corporate Counsel Show, Maddi Thimont, who leads the legal team at Sagacity, a London-based IT service and consulting company specialising in customer-centric solutions, shared valuable insights and words of wisdom for lawyers aiming to reshape their working weeks within the traditional confines of the legal profession.

Thimont acknowledged the apprehension many legal professionals, especially young ones, may feel when approaching their superiors to negotiate alternative work arrangements and hours.

She stressed the importance of phrasing the request to emphasise the benefits to the business. It’s crucial to show that these changes will benefit the individual lawyer and contribute to the firm’s overall success.


“You need to make a strong business case. But managers and bosses in the company will want to know how that’s going to impact the business as well successfully,” she said.

Thimont highlighted that one of the central benefits employees should demonstrate to their employers is increased employee engagement. Additionally, she points out that flexible work arrangements can significantly aid employee retention, particularly among women who may be balancing career aspirations with family responsibilities or other personal interests.

“So how it can successfully impact the business is you will be a more engaged employee. I believe it also helps with retention, particularly if it’s women who want to continue their careers while also having children, or not even having children, but another kind of outside interest in their lives,” she said.

Thimont also believes that firms willing to offer flexible working conditions gain a competitive edge in the industry. As more companies start to adopt such policies, you may pose yourself at a disadvantage.

“I feel like it is a competitive edge as well. If more companies are going to be able to do this and offer this, you need to be able to offer these opportunities to employees,” she said.

Reflecting on her own experience, Thimont shared that her journey towards securing a flexible role was fueled by a deep sense of gratitude and a desire to pave the way for others.

“I think it was after the initial interview that I went for a run, and I thought, if I get this and I want this job, I want to make it my mission to open it up to other individuals to have these types of roles because I just feel incredibly lucky and incredibly grateful that I am able to do this,” she said.

She highlighted the role of confidence in presenting oneself as capable of excelling in a position while working reduced hours.

“I think it does come with confidence as well to be able to show to your employer, look, I can do this role, and some people ask to do that 100 per cent role on shorter hours,” she said.

Thimont cautioned against the dangers of overcommitting on shorter schedules, stressing the importance of maintaining a sustainable workload to avoid burnout.

“I think that’s quite a difficult case to make and could actually lead to a lot of, like, overwhelm and burnout. But that ability to show I’m going to do a good job. I’m engaged, I will stick around, I’m committed to the company, I’m dedicated, you know that I’m going to go above and beyond.

“Realistically, we all know that as lawyers and type-A personalities and diligent lawyers, I do more than I’m contracted to do. Obviously, I do because that’s the type of person that I am and I love my job. So actually, I feel like businesses will get more out of you,” she said.