I write this blog with some trepidation, for two reasons.
Firstly – there is so much focus in the media (both traditional and social) on the role of women in business. Particularly regarding pay equality and gender representation in senior, executive and board positions.
Secondly, and being totally open, I’m quite nervous I’ll say something which may be misconstrued. After all, as a man, how am I qualified to talk about this subject? I’ve never had the challenge of being a mother whilst trying to develop and manage a career.
So, let’s get things cleared up straight away – I’m not qualified and I don’t pretend to be. However, I can speak from the heart and share my own experience.
Hybrid Legal have a different model to most traditional law firms. We have a team of self-employed qualified Associates, several of whom are solicitors, who we contract to undertake legal work on behalf of our business clients.
Most of these Associates work from home – fitting our work into their busy schedules and busy personal lives. The advantage to our clients is that we keep our overheads low and flexible, thus allowing us to offer a service equivalent to a regional law firm, but at a significantly reduced cost.
What’s more interesting is that two thirds of these highly experienced and expert legal Associates are women and working mothers.
Most of them have worked for either regional or London law firms previously. However, when they’ve taken a career break to have children, they haven’t wanted or been able to return to the time demands of full-time employment within these firms. Disappointingly they often describe the culture within traditional law firms as unsupportive to working mothers.
These traditional law firms’ loss is our gain. In addition to our Associates’ high levels of expertise, our clients benefit from their passionate commitment and reliability.
So, in summary, I am proud to be working alongside these women delivering a fantastic service to our clients and even more proud to have helped create a business model which supports flexible working for law professionals.
Moreover, when are traditional law firms going to modernise? Whether it’s embracing flexible working or disruption from competition and regulatory change – they seem so painfully slow to react.
But then again, those three hackneyed words spring to mind;
Old. Boys. Club.
Hopefully in the next few years we will be able add three additional words;
Rest. In. Peace.
Author: Women in Law v Boys Club Alan Reid – Hybrid Legal