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Solicitors - flexible working/alternatives to private practice

(35 Posts)
teamB2011 Wed 06-May-15 13:27:40

Does anyone have any experience/ideas?
I would like 3/4 day week with fixed hours as I can't bear not to see my child during the week which will be the reality if I return to private practice in big City firm. I am a litigator by trade so looking for alternatives.
I have registered for GLS job alerts and trying in-house ... happy to move out of law entirely to something compatible with my skill set and amendable to flexible working/home working.

Heels99 Wed 06-May-15 13:29:33

Tutor or lecturer in law.

Suzietwo Wed 06-May-15 13:32:42

what about freelance/consutlancy?

chocoshopoholic Wed 06-May-15 13:35:55

Local authority / local university legal team?

Elysianfields Wed 06-May-15 13:40:49

professional regulation - so SRB, ARB, Accountancy bodies such as ICAEW etc etc - all have solicitors employed with very amenable hours!

happygirl87 Wed 06-May-15 13:40:53

In house? I work in the legal team for a bank, lots of 3-4 days per week, 1 day from home etc.

ErinBlockerBitch Wed 06-May-15 13:46:41

NHS or Council

teamB2011 Wed 06-May-15 18:13:21

thanks everyone
re professional bodies- do they just advertise on their websites? Just looked at a few but no legal jobs advertised.

Elysianfields Thu 07-May-15 08:33:31

I think mainly on their own websites, but some use the Law Soc Gazette so worth keeping an eye there. Think of all the professions though - nurses, vets, dentists, surveyors, insolvency practitioners, acca etc. Lots of these bodies also have caseworkers and are keen to have solicitors fill these roles too so long as your salary expectations arent unrealistic.

PrimroseEverdeen Thu 07-May-15 08:45:58

I'm a solicitor for a large nationwide firm and work 3 days a week.

Outside of the London firms it's not all that unusual. Have you tried looking at some of those firms?

prepperpig Thu 07-May-15 08:51:44

I left a large national firm where I was a partner and set up on my own. I now work from home/my garden in my PJs and am there to pick up the DC's from school every day. There's a start up cost and some regulatory/compliance hassle but if you have a strong client following it's well worth considering. Not easy at all though if you don't have a following.

I am currently looking for consultants to work from home but in employment law rather than general litigation unfortunately.

Elysianfields Thu 07-May-15 09:48:37

OP I have PM'd you

teamB2011 Fri 08-May-15 19:06:51

that sounds prepperpig - that sounds great set-up. I am only 5 PQE so too junior to do the same.
Thanks Elysianfields - that is very kind. I see the sort of roles you were talking about. Great, thanks again x

babyfedleaning Fri 08-May-15 19:08:58

I have a solicitor friend considering training to be a PI! I imagine her dressed as inspector gadget but she assures me that quite a few solicitors have done this.

teamB2011 Fri 08-May-15 22:33:32

interesting re PI role. what is involved in training for PI?

Emmylooagain Tue 12-May-15 09:02:20

I would look out for inhouse roles. I moved inhouse 4.5 years ago after 10 years or so in private practice and have found the hours to be manageable. I am not in London (I am in Oz) but I think it would be similar? I am now leaving my current company for a more senior in-house role so a little nervous but I still think inhouse generally allows you to leave by 5.30 each day. Private practice is generally incompatible with that. I have never looked back to be honest.

SherryRB Tue 12-May-15 10:57:01

have you thought about a role as a PSL?

mandy214 Tue 12-May-15 23:04:29

I have worked in litigation for the last 8 years on a P/t basis - mostly 3 days per week and more recently 4 days a week. I am not in London though but a large top 50 firm in the regions. It is not generally "fixed" hours, but I have seen the children most evenings (although not in the mornings). You have to be flexible so when there are deadlines you stay, if you have Court hearings / trials you might have to juggle for a few weeks, but it is do-able.

I think in-house is extremely difficult to get into if you are a litigation specialist - positions are like gold dust. A PSL position might be an option, lecturing, etc.

Chchchchanging Tue 12-May-15 23:06:52

In house lawyer for any large retailer- commercial, litigation, property etc

teamB2011 Sat 16-May-15 20:28:39

good ideas.
Good luck with new in-house role Emmylooagain.
I would consider PSL role but not seen any come up at the moment.
I have had an interview for a non contentious role (I do construction so can do the non con side) so await to hear on that.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Mon 18-May-15 20:27:51

A colleague of mine's DW is a litigator at an MC firm. She is about to go back after DC2. Since she went back after DC1 she's been on a deal whereby she is full time but has a fixed time to leave the office - she usually then does an hour or two from home once DC are in bed/her DH is home.

So it can be done - sort of...

Law school lecturing could work although a friend of mine does it and it seems more sporadic than I'd imagined. She's a tax specialist though which might be more concentrated within the courses than litigation.

csla Sun 24-May-15 07:38:30

Hi I'm an 8 pqe com prop lawyer in national practice. In my experience firms are becoming increasingly flexible in what they offer to keep up with competitors . I've just been offered 4 days one from home in an international firm. Having said that, I've accepted a job in government legal service as overall flexibility, hours etc are better for me with two little ones. Private practice will always require long hours I think.

teamB2011 Wed 27-May-15 19:08:59

Really interesting to hear further comments. GSL seems great option but no vacancies at the moment.

StepfauxWife Wed 27-May-15 19:20:03

I am 5 years PQE and work for a large city firm (mix of contentious and non) and work full time but "core" hours in the office of 8:30 - 4:30. DH does the morning drop off and I do the evening pick up. I then log on for a couple of hours once DD is asleep - if I need to. On days I have evening commitments, DH picks DD up.

I did consider working 4 days a week but I've seen too many women squeeze five days worth of work into four and get paid 20% less!

Could another option be working from home one day a week? Cutting out the travel time really helps. I suppose it would depend on the nature of litigation that you do as to whether this is feasible.

There's a real drive at my firm to retain working mums, people are starting to get used to the idea - apart from the odd partner every now and then. I think it's all about setting the expectation when you go back. If you are continuously being too flexible and leaving later than planned or working on your day off, that will become the expectation.

teamB2011 Sun 31-May-15 22:03:51

great to hear it StepfauxWife - I am concerned that doing 4 days will end up with the issues you describe. I am still interviewing so will keep you updated as to where i get to.

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