find the latest legal job
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
Insurance Lawyer (1 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Great Career Opportunity ·
View details
Insurance and Health Lawyer (1-4 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· New position to support Growth ·
View details
How to have it all

How to have it all

Matthew Kay

In moving away from the traditional law firm model, more legal professionals are turning freelance, writes Matthew Kay.

It is not uncommon to see a model try their hand at acting, or a pop singer do some TV presenting gigs. In the celebrity world, this isn’t new. Famous faces are often diversifying their careers, building on their profile in one area to make waves in another – model/actor, actor/singer – and in the age of social media, more and more celebrities are becoming ‘slashies’ and taking on a number of different jobs.

Now we’re also starting to see a growing number of professionals looking to diversify their careers, building on their skills in their work life to breathe life into a passion project. We’re even seeing it in the world of law – at Vario we recently carried out a survey that revealed a quarter of our freelance lawyers also run a business on the side.

These entrepreneurs/lawyers are increasing in number and this trend further illustrates just how the legal sector is changing. By moving away from the traditional law firm model, more legal professionals are turning freelance through a hub like Vario and finding time to devote to their own businesses. Often these businesses are rooted in personal passions such as wine or sailing, to take examples from our own freelancers.

Freelance lawyers find they have more time to devote to setting up a business, and working flexibly on assignments means that, if needed, they can take months at a time off to focus on their business.

Of course, legal minds are often some of the best entrepreneurs too – they’re all too used to analysing risks and they can deal with the legal side of setting up a business. We’ve also heard from our contract lawyers that the salary they earn through their legal assignments helps support their entrepreneurial endeavours.

Case study – lawyer/world explorer/entrepreneur

One of our Vario contractors, Henry Burkitt, juggles his career as a lawyer with his adventure sailing and ecotourism business Kraken Travel.

Henry found that the flexibility afforded to him by working as a freelancer not only gave him more time to devote to his business and sail around the world, but also gave him more free time to see friends and family.

Of course, being able to embark on a ‘slashie’ career does require the right sort of day job, which gives more flexibility and the time needed to start a new business.

In addition to having more time to devote to another business, freelancing also provides a greater variety of work, which we found in our survey was one of the key drivers for lawyers wanting to go freelance, and one of the biggest benefits (alongside work-life balance) for contract lawyers.

As the workplace modernises and individuals want more varied and flexible careers, the rise of the professional ‘slashie’ will continue.

With the right day job, a ‘slashie’ career can be a hugely rewarding way to indulge passions and make money from something that was previously only seen as a hobby.

Matthew Kay is the director of Vario at 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

How to have it all
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Quentin Bryce
06:05
DV has worsened in a generation: Quentin Bryce
Former governor-general of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO has spoken of her deep distress about...
Lawyers
06:00
Academics entertain the idea of law without lawyers
Researchers from Queensland will explore some of the most disruptive trends tipped to transform the ...
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
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 & ...