After several years in a traditional firm, commercial property solicitor Lauren Dimmack knew that it just wasn’t working for her and her family. Instead of cramming a full-time workload into part-time hours, she needed something that would give her greater flexibility to fit work around family life. So, she became a Setfords consultant solicitor and since then hasn’t looked back!
Lauren first realised that she didn’t relish the prospect of going back to a traditional firm when she was on maternity leave with her second child:
“I worked part-time previously in a traditional law firm. But, I was working all hours on my job. Then I also felt like I was failing at being a mum as well. Setfords just gave me the flexibility to be able to put my work down and say right now I’m being a mum, and then I could pick it up again when it suited me.”
Now, Lauren has the freedom she needs to be with her family without having to put her career on the back burner. Here, she talks about what becoming a Setfords consultant has meant for her:
A warm welcome
When coming from more traditional firms, many lawyers worry about what working at a consultancy-based firm might be like. However, at Setfords, we pride ourselves on offering every lawyer a warm welcome and equipping them with the things they need to build a career that works for them. This is something that Lauren benefitted from immediately, saying:
“As soon as I started, Setfords was a really welcoming company. And they did everything that I wanted them to do. But they also took a complete step back whenever I didn’t need them. So when my children were really young, I was able just to have a few clients and not feel like I’d completely left my career behind.
But now that my kids are at school, I can up my client base and get more involved in my work. So it’s definitely worked for me, and it’s meant that my home life has dictated my work life rather than the other way around.”
Lauren knew that having a strong support team behind her was important for her line of work as a commercial property lawyer. This is another one of the reasons why she chose Setfords to become a consultant.
“The support is brilliant. They’re always there if you want to pick up the phone and ask a silly question. And they turn around the dictation very quickly. I’m a property lawyer, so it’s imperative that I have the post-completion team and the accounts team, and they’re absolutely superb. I really cannot fault it.”
Freedom for lawyers
The way we encourage our lawyers to work goes beyond our support offering. Many lawyers in traditional firms crave more freedom. After all, high billing targets and a culture of presenteeism don’t exactly go hand in hand with any commitments you may have outside of work.
Some lawyers want more time to pursue existing hobbies, find a new passion, or travel. For Lauren, it was all about spending more quality time with her family, at home and on holiday, without having to worry about meeting high targets or taking on a set amount of clients:
“The flexibility is the best thing about Setfords; it means that not only can I go to all the things that my children are doing, and I’m around for my family. But it also means that I don’t have to tie myself down to a certain amount of clients. Because if I’ve got a holiday coming up, I can pull back and say, right, I’m not taking on any more clients, and I’ve got that flexibility, I’m not tied to a target that I need to meet monthly or annually.”
The ultimate work-life balance
There are many reasons why lawyers choose to become consultant solicitors. Some do it for the higher earning potential. Others do it to have more control over their choice of clients and targets. But, one thing that most incoming consultants have in common is the desire for a better lifestyle.
While the opportunity for earnings and keeping her career as a solicitor is important to Lauren, the work-life balance at Setfords is what tops her list. It allows her to be there for her family in a way that she couldn’t have done working at a traditional firm. She says:
“It means I can do the school run, which I’ve always wanted to be able to do. My parents did that for me, so I wanted to do the same. I can get as much work done as I can during those hours when they’re at school and after-school clubs. And it also means that I can be there when they’ve got nativity shows and sports days and things like that.”
Overall, Lauren has found the success that she craved in her career with Setfords and is pleased that she made the jump almost five years ago:
“I think success to me is finding the ultimate work-life balance. Because as much as I want to keep my career, I also want to be there for my family. And that’s what Setfords has given me.”
Is consultancy for me?
If you are interested in 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.
The next step towards a better way of working…