Traditional law: Is it time to jump ship?

Reports of an uncertain economic climate and pressure on law firm profit margins are all over the news at the moment. Rumours of redundancies are rife. Pressure on lawyers within law firms is steadily mounting, with already impossibly high targets climbing higher still.

Should you just stay where you are and ride the wave? Or is there something better out there for you and your legal career? Will caution or fear stop you from making that move – or will you jump and discover it was well worth the risk?

Should you jump before you are pushed?

Earlier this month, Legal Futures reported that there has been a sudden spike in the number of law firms of all sizes reporting to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) that they are facing financial problems. The removal of government Covid support, high insurance costs and the cost of living crisis have put significant pressure on the finances of small and large firms alike. Sadly, this means that many firms are now facing pressure to merge with other firms or to make redundancies.

It is not only the law firms feeling the squeeze, but the lawyers themselves. Those working within traditional firms are looking at heightened pressure to meet increasingly high billing targets as firms seek to justify the soaring salaries that have been handed out in previous years. Unfortunately, many reports also show that many lawyers are finding themselves considering resignation or even leaving law completely due to issues with their mental health, burnout, and exhaustion.

Finding a new path

Despite the growing level of discomfort about what is going on in their working lives, many lawyers stay in the ‘safety’ of their respective firms. Fear of the unknown and imposter syndrome hold many lawyers back from seeing the benefits of different paths, and the rewards that await them there.

Indeed, those lawyers who don’t assess the alternatives to staying put are risking being pushed by others. The decision to jump won’t have been made on their own terms, but it may be sudden and unexpected, leaving lawyers scrambling to find their next move, rather than planning it in advance.

Every cloud…

It’s a cliché phrase, but it is true. At Setfords, we know that consultancy offers the silver lining that lawyers leaving traditional firms need. With total flexibility, lawyers have the freedom to build their own practices without answering to anyone.

What if you make the leap and it is a huge success? This is what many lawyers have found as consultants at Setfords, despite their initial concerns.

One such lawyer is Sarah Edwards, who says:

“I have always been a hard worker and, now I am unencumbered by all the tasks associated with being a partner, I’ve had the time to concentrate on generating more work and providing my clients with the best service. It was the best decision I have ever made during my career, and I only wish I’d done it sooner!”

Property solicitor Sonal Rabheru adds:

“Setfords seemed to offer a nice compromise between working in a traditional firm and running a small practice. I have built up a decent client base who consistently instruct me on new matters so that I can support myself without needing work from other solicitors. Repeat business is a satisfying aspect of success. I’ve been more successful than I could possibly have imagined.”

A new model

At Setfords, our model means that we are focused on giving lawyers all the support they need to do their best work. So, they don’t miss out on anything that they would receive at a traditional firm. Indeed, many lawyers find that they actually receive more support than they expected.

Jeremy Asher, a consultant regulatory solicitor, says:

“I wanted to maintain a flexible working style without having to pay into a partnership. Consultancy became an obvious route to take. I chose to join Setfords because of the incredible support it offered. Since joining Setfords, I quickly built up a substantial workload. Marketing have been hugely supportive and worked closely with me to help me build up my caseload via website leads. Now, I am working harder than I have for years!”

What are you waiting for?

The anxiety associated with change can be crippling, but the cost and consequences of inaction can be far worse. Perhaps it is time to listen to the entrepreneur inside you and let them win?

Jane Lockyer, a consultant who has been with Setfords for over ten years, says:

“To anyone thinking of making the leap. Don’t be scared to make a change. Although it may be daunting at first, and you may feel scared that it won’t work out, change is important for us to grow and progress. My only regret is not making the change sooner!”

It is now the time to create a new future for yourself. Or are you content to settle for the status quo and not choose to explore the opportunities in front of you?


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.

The next step towards a better way of working…

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

        This enables us to get in touch and discuss life as a Setfords consultant

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