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Embracing Autonomy: Our Consultant Kirsty Drain’s Journey to Success

Many lawyers only dream of starting their own business. At Setfords, we make that possible. You can still practice as a lawyer but do things your way with the support of our expert team. It’s an opportunity that our 500+ consultants have turned into success, working when, where and how they want, building their own networks, and reaping the rewards.

Meet one of them: Kirsty Drain. Kirsty is a Licensed Conveyancer specialising in residential property who joined Setfords in January 2023. In this article, she discusses her experience as a Setfords consultant so far and how it’s transformed her experience as a lawyer, allowing her to build her own business but still find time for family and other passions. She says:

I decided to take the leap as I have worked my way up to Management over the years within other firms and felt I am in the right time of my career to be my own boss! A friend of mine had mentioned Setfords to me and knew someone that already worked here, who explained everything in relation to the way it all works, the support you have, and how life-changing it was (for the better).

Since joining us, Kirsty hasn’t looked back. She’s embracing the flexibility of consultancy, which simply can’t be found in a traditional firm. Our consultants use this flexibility to achieve all sorts of things outside of their legal work. For Kirsty, a typical day looks something like this:

I normally start my day around 8:45, starting off by going through any emails that have come in overnight. Then I will work through the tasks I have set myself for the day, usually work that has come in the day before.  My day normally has a mix of technical work, admin, dealing with exchanges and completions and communicating with clients, agents, and other solicitors to maintain a high level of service. I do the school run in between; being at home allows me to do this. I do work some evenings if I need to or have arranged to discuss matters with clients – they really appreciate this flexibility.

However, Kirsty also spends some of her free time volunteering for a dog rescue charity based in Romania, something that she wouldn’t have had as much time for if she worked for a traditional firm. About her work with the rescue, she says:

We rescue and rehome those unwanted dogs on the streets of Romania, adopting them out to homes over in Romania and also England and Scotland.

Not only trying to help those on the streets, we are getting to the root of the problem by carrying out regular spay campaigns to reduce the number of dogs and cats breeding.

Since working at Setfords, it has given me the opportunity to spend time with the rescue that I wouldn’t have had before, visiting our kennels in Nantwich, trips over to Romania, and also running stalls to raise much-needed funds.

Kirsty has found that working at Setfords gives her a lot more autonomy. This enables her to fit her work around family life and her time with the dog rescue, as well as become more independent in her career and build her own business without someone constantly looking over her shoulder. She says:

Working here allows me to build my own relations with contacts and work flexibly to suit myself and my clients.  It has allowed me to go to my daughter’s school performances and worships, whereas before, I was hardly ever able to get a couple of hours spare to go to them. I am able to work from wherever I like, which is another advantage.

While the flexibility to be there for her clients and her family is a big positive for Kirsty, she also enjoys the way that consultancy allows her to form strong relationships with brokers, agents, and others who can help her to build her business with Setfords. At first, this was something that she found challenging:

My biggest challenge has been building my confidence with regards to putting myself out there to agents and brokers to build up my base – but having no option but to do this if I want to be successful has really helped. My efforts have paid off greatly, and this has made me feel much more confident in myself.

However, she soon overcame the challenges, and it is now the thing she enjoys most about her role:

The best thing about consultancy at Setfords for me is not just the flexibility but also taking full ownership of your matters and being in control of them. I enjoy maintaining communication throughout with clients/agents etc., and ensuring they are all satisfied with the progress and service received.

At Setfords, we provide a home for entrepreneurial lawyers like Kirsty who enjoy their legal work but have become disillusioned with traditional firms, Our model enables them to be their own boss, but still have the support of our industry-leading internal team behind them.

For any lawyers considering consultancy with Setfords, Kirsty has some final words of advice:

If you have the passion, enthusiasm and dedication to do well, then you will. It will be the best decision you make in your law career.

I was quite anxious about taking such a huge leap, but life is about taking risks. Provided you have the right mindset and determination, you will succeed.  No job is ever ‘safe’. You just need to go for it! The support you get from Setfords is just brilliant, and I have never worked with so many kind, helpful and supportive people.

Is consultancy for me?

If you want to find out more about becoming a consultant with us, get in touch. We are happy to conduct interviews remotely for suitable, UK-qualified candidates with five or more years’ experience. If you’re a good fit, you’ll be joining a team that was created for lawyers to do their best work.

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