The Legal Epiphany –
Is now the moment for a change in your legal career?

EVERYONE IS ON A DIET. Travel agents are giving summer holidays a big push. And sofa showrooms are awash with offers.

All of which proves it must be January. Even before Covid, the start of a new year has always been a time to consider new beginnings. This year, many lawyers are even more keen than usual for a fresh start. Here’s why…

The pandemic changed everything

Pre-pandemic, working in a law firm was a rigid affair. Lawyers rose at a regular hour. They commuted at regular times. They sat at the same desks. They took on ever-mounting workloads and aimed for ever-increasing targets. And rarely, if ever, did lawyers even bother to consider a routine that would better suit their lifestyles.

Lockdown proved that work that had apparently been impossible to do from home became work that could very easily be done from home. Many could enjoy the fact that the three hours that had been spent commuting were now spent in bed. Or doing a gym session. Or having breakfast with their children.

Many lawyers experienced epiphanies during the long lockdown about their workload, feeling undervalued or overworked with many re-evaluating what they want from their lives. Even those with enviable ‘dream’ roles as partners are now seeing their work — and themselves — through a very different lens.

Bye-bye traditional firms

Life in traditional law firms hasn’t fundamentally changed post-pandemic, despite the introduction of ‘hybrid working’ arrangements. Earlier this month the FT reported that heavy workloads and long hours have led a growing number of associates to quit, despite very high salaries. The legal industry is cited as one of the worst professions for mental health with frequent reports of lawyer burnout.

Now, lawyers aren’t just looking for higher pay, more time off, or more days at home. Many are actually questioning the whole meaning of the daily grind. They are asking themselves – Why do we put so much of ourselves into our legal careers? And are we getting a fair deal from our firm in return for all this stress and heartache?

Many lawyers simply want to find a firm to work at where they are actually cared about as human beings.

Little wonder then that so many lawyers are thought to be thinking of saying bye-bye to bosses who try to impose pre-pandemic, rigid routines and heavy caseloads. Which is why this January is crunch time for many lawyers who are now saying ‘enough is enough’.

What are lawyers looking for in 2022?

Every year we see a huge rise in applications from lawyers who want to make the move to the Setfords. Our consultancy model allows lawyers the freedom to work remotely, have flexible working hours to accommodate a better work-life balance, and ultimately enjoy a happier working environment.

We asked some of our consultant lawyers why they decided to make the move to Setfords:

“Time has a huge value as you get older, because it’s diminishing. The flexibility at Setfords has given me time back,” says Tom Mitchell, who has expertise in the travel and leisure sectors.

“I realised that having a balance is what brings happiness in life. Having commuted for 35 years up to London, not getting home until late at night, I now really appreciate being able to work from home around clients’ requirements,” adds Tim Westhead, a commercial property lawyer with 30 years’ experience.

“I was surprised when I looked at Setfords – I’d never met such a happy bunch of lawyers! Now, when I reflect on conversations I’ve had with other lawyers in private practice, hardly any of them seemed happy, even those who had achieved promotion just to realise the extra hours and targets weren’t worth the extra pay at the end of the month,” reflects David Miers, a leading stress and psychiatric injury lawyer.

“I wanted to have more control over my career. At Setfords I’ve gone from being concerned about having enough money to being completely relaxed. Now, I know there’s always enough coming in because I’m working in an environment that lets me get on with it,” adds Sarah Gillbe, a senior consultant legal executive with over 100 5-star Trustpilot reviews to her name.

New years have always meant fresh starts and new beginnings. Which is why the effects of the pandemic may make this January THE MOMENT for a change of career.

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.

Fill in the form below, call us on 0330 058 4012 or email

Thinking about consultancy?

Lawyers who become consultants at Setfords earn more money, experience less office politics, and enjoy a better-work life balance. The next consultant could be you. So get in touch today and take the next step towards a happier life.

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        This allows us to send you the information you need to know about consultancy

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        Currently, we can only work with lawyers qualified under one of these regulatory bodies