find the latest legal job
Senior Lawyer - Planning and Environment
Category: Environment and Planning Law | Location: Leichhardt NSW 2040
· Permanent, full time position · Attractive TRP reflective of the size of the role
View details
Senior Lawyer - Commercial
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Leichhardt NSW 2040
· Permanent, full time position · Attractive TRP reflective of the size of the role
View details
Insurance Lawyer (2-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Exceptional Career Opportunity · Brisbane Based
View details
Associate Litigator
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: East Perth WA 6004
· access to Directors · advancement for talented lawyers
View details
Acciona Energy | In-House | Property | Legal Counsel
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Renewables focus · Use your property law skills to make a difference
View details
It's possible to share one job between two, even in law

It's possible to share one job between two, even in law

lisa.croxford

There is growing recognition in the profession that splitting a full-time role between two lawyers is a way to achieve flexibility without the drawbacks of working part-time.

Speaking with Lawyers Weekly, CEO of Jobs Shared Simone McLaughlin said it is not true that client-facing, fee-earning professionals cannot share the same role.

“There is still a common misconception that job sharing won't work – not true,” she said.

“Job sharing is not an easy solution. It's not necessarily the golden ticket to anyone wanting to work part-time in law as it takes a lot of hard work,” she continued.

“But it does allow for a fulfilling challenging role, allowing the company and client full-time coverage.”

Ms McLaughlin said that, unlike part-time work, job sharing does not leave staff working full-time hours over a part-time week.

“It allows both employees to have actual time away from the office as someone else is there filling that role when you're not.”

Supporting flexible working arrangements such as job sharing pays off for law firms in the long run, according to Ms McLaughlin.

“[Firms] are rewarded with more engaged employees, reduced absenteeism and lower staff turnover,” she said.

“As for clients, there's less turnover and more consistency,” she added.

Ms McLaughlin is the founder and CEO of website Jobs Shared, which aims to connect professionals who are seeking job sharing partners in their field.

“In the past, job share arrangements seem to come about by knowing someone else in the same company that is also looking for part-time work,” said Ms McLaughlin.

This new virtual platform will make this task easier by allowing professionals to search for other people looking to join a job share team.

Two is better than one

Job sharing is not a new concept but it generally only occurs where employees push for it, according to Ms McLaughlin.

“There doesn't seem to be a lot of resistance to it if the employees drive it,” she said. “If they come to their boss with a solution, it's often well received, but HR is not going to actively seek a job share team if they don't have to.”

Former Herbert Smith Freehills lawyer Lisa Croxford (pictured) said the greatest challenge in job sharing is finding a partner, particularly when you are encouraged to specialise.

Ms Croxford job shared for three years as a lawyer before becoming HSF’s capability development manager.

Between 2011 and 2014 she paired up with a fellow discrimination law specialist to perform a single full-time role.

“My job share partner and I collectively worked over four days a week,” she said.

“Over that period of time actually we had a terrific experience of working together and we are still really great friends.”

For Ms Croxford, job sharing reduced the stress often associated with part-time work. Having a second pair of hands meant that she did not have to scramble to respond to clients while she was caring for young children.

“From a stress perspective, it was fantastic,” she said.

Another benefit to working closely with another lawyer was the opportunity to learn from a colleague, according to Ms Croxford.

“And also, we could play to each other's strengths,” she added.

The major drawback to job sharing is that performing overlapping tasks requires effective communication.

“You've got to communicate with each other really well to make sure things don't fall within the gaps,” said Ms Croxford.


Like this story? Read more:

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Vic Bar commends funds to back victims of crime

Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Budget allocation
07:04
SA Law Society says budget allocation for courts a ‘stopgap solution’
The South Australian government has kicked in over $30 million for upgrades to the state’s courts ...
Promotion, corporate ladder, Macpherson Kelley, Australian firm, principal, special counsel, senior associate and associate roles
07:00
Australian firm promotes 15
An Australian firm has announced it has promoted 15 to principal, special counsel, senior associate ...
Vinnies CEO Sleepout, Clarence Kunnel
07:00
Lawyers out in the cold for a cause
Leaders of the legal profession have spent a rough night on the streets to help raise funds for serv...
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 & ...