Law and a life - fact or fantasy?

Tags: The Lawyer, Renew Legal, Energy, Wind, Trainee Solicitor, Legal 500, Christie Skudder, Rob Laddle

A recent headline in The Lawyer[1] proclaims “Senior Associates Regret Legal Career the Most”.  Sobering, but hardly a surprise to those in the profession.  Law has a perennial problem; what to do with their mid-senior level lawyers when there are nowhere near enough partnership positions.

Law firms compete fiercely to recruit the brightest and the best trainee solicitors.  We call them ‘trainees’, but these are typically people in their mid-twenties who have excelled academically, completed undergraduate and post-graduate courses, survived the rigours of competitive selection and risen to the top even amongst their similarly able and driven peers.  The lucky ones (yes, this is another pinch point) are hired as a trainee to complete two years on the job before finally being signed off as a qualified solicitor.

Zip forward a few years’ post-qualification and the solicitor has developed into a useful fee-earner, grown in confidence and expertise in their specialist field, and the firm is busy profiting from its investment.  So far so good then.

Looking forward, however, the career path doesn’t seem so clear or rapid.  Competition on amassing billable hours is rife, pay rises are inflationary only, there is an ever-present risk of a redundancy cull and, yes, the love of law is gradually being lost.  Worse, not only are the firm’s partners relatively youthful and sitting pretty, but promotion prospects are hit hard by the lateral hiring of talent and client bases.  Those one-time trainees are now experienced, talented and ambitious solicitors…with nowhere to go. 

Enter a new breed of law firm.  In contrast to full service behemoths, Renew Legal is light on its feet, proactive and loaded with energy sector specialist and ambitious talent.  Only the commitment to client needs and excellence in law remains, and is even being taken to new heights.  Renew Legal co-founder Christie Skudder was ranked in the 2016 Legal Power List of the Top 100 Lawyers working in wind power globally, issued by industry intelligence specialist A Word About Wind, trumping various national and regional heavyweight firms.  Authorised in just 2013, the firm was rated by the independent Legal 500 as a “Leading Firm” for Energy in 2015 and 2016, with co-founder Rob Laddle named as a Leading Individual and Christie a Recommended Lawyer.

For the restless solicitor, such a firm offers both financial reward and career self-determination.  Quality, sector expertise and commercial judgment are the focus; the long-accepted yet deeply flawed law office principles of office presenteeism and billable hours targets are unceremoniously booted out of the door.  Instead, lawyers are given the respect and personal responsibility that their expertise and experience deserves. The result?  Without the heavy traditional hierarchical firm structure to support, individuals are better rewarded and clients (remember them?) receive a service that is relevant to their needs and a charging structure that reflects the value of that service to them and not the firm’s internal structure. 

As innovative as its clients, and just as full of good energy, the Renew Legal model is the way forward for clients and solicitors alike.  Whether client or lawyer, if you’d like to work with us and see what we can do for you contact Christie Skudder on 0770 2345 293/ or Rob Laddle on 0779 5418 602/