find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Entrepreneurs in the legal industry

Entrepreneurs in the legal industry

The role that lawyers with entrepreneurial skills have to play in legal practice has been debated by leaders in the industry who spoke to Lawyers Weekly last week.Tony O'Malley, a managing…

The role that lawyers with entrepreneurial skills have to play in legal practice has been debated by leaders in the industry who spoke to Lawyers Weekly last week.

Tony O'Malley, a managing partner at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, said that for lawyers working in the top tier, entrepreneurial skills can be applied in certain circumstances.

"I think it's good to have people with entrepreneurial abilities, because we have to continually change our business model to adapt to the market so the visionaries amongst us can help plan and set the strategy for that," he said.

"In terms of pure entrepreneurial skills [and] risk-taking - I think that is not the role of the lawyer with the clients. I think we can assess risk and advise on levels of risk for clients but, ultimately, they have to form the view as to where their comfort levels are and what they want to do with that advice. So with law firms you will get some entrepreneurial types, but I would say [they are] probably in the minority."

Co-founder of Optim Legal Nick James said that for boutique firms there was more scope for lawyers to act as entrepreneurs.

"Entrepreneurs have a drive to make things happen and they have a drive towards thinking creatively to solve solutions - and that's pretty much the genesis of our organisation," he said.

"We see ourselves as an organisation that's solving a lot of issues and problems that we found with legal service providers and so ... like attracts like ... our lawyers are really encouraged and rewarded for thinking creatively and entrepreneurially."

But for managing director of recently launched firm Financial Redress, James Middleweek, overcoming the conservative nature of lawyers has been a challenge to expansion of his firm. Financial Redress is the first law firm in Australia to specialise in recovering compensation for consumers and businesses over unfair charging by institutions.

"That [conservatism] has been the only frustration - we would like, in terms of our expansion ... to recruit more lawyers. We think the whole area of financial consumer business compensation for mis-selling and unfair charging is an unexploited [and] unlooked at area. I think it all depends on the type of lawyer you want to be, if you want to work at a sausage factory firm [where] the work is handed to you on a plate and you earn a good salary and maybe a bonus, then great," he said.

"But, at the end of the day, the law is a business. What I look for is people who want to go out and actually find new areas, have a bit of sympathy for the underdog and give it a good go - and sometimes those aren't always characteristics you find in the current generation. But a lawyer who is an entrepreneur is a very powerful weapon."

- Sarah Sharples

Check out this week's issue 447 of Lawyers Weekly for an in-depth look at lawyers reinventing their skills and the role of entrepreneurs in the industry.

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

Entrepreneurs in the legal industry
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
06:04
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Diversity
06:00
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
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 & ...