April 8 2022
Flex Legal's Midlands In-house Community
On the back of the success of our monthly Junior Lawyer Lunches and Senior In-house Counsel Events, alongside our Northern In-house Event last November, this brand new forum was designed to bring together legal professionals from all levels across the vibrant Midlands in-house community, from paralegals to GC's.
Building a legal team of the futureOur very first session focussed on the topic of 'building a legal team of the future'; from how an in-house legal department can support an apprentice and the potential benefits it offers, to Flex Legal's brand new in-house social mobility training scheme.
Thank you to everyone who attended - we hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did, and we'd like to offer an extra special thank you to all of our incredible speakers:
- Ceri Evans, Director of Apprenticeships at The University of Law
- Gillian Geeson, Commercial Lawyer at E.ON
- Dan Kayne, GC at Network Rail and Founder of the O Shaped Lawyer
- Harry Mellor, Client Development Manager at Flex Legal and VC of the O Shaped Futures Board
- Teagan Williams, Apprentice Solicitor at Severn Trent Water
- And Mary Bonsor, CEO of Flex Legal
For those of you who couldn't make it, make sure to keep an eye out on our social channels for more info on our next event! Until then, here are a few key takeaways from the day…
Why have we launched a Midlands In-house Legal Forum?At Flex Legal, we're passionate about bringing legal professionals together to create supportive, thriving communities. We strongly believe in the value and importance of peer-to-peer networking and collaboration, especially during a time when many in the legal industry feel isolated, frustrated and unsupported.
The Midlands In-house Forum has been designed to provide legal professionals with:
- A space for common issues to be discussed
- The opportunity to look at areas not covered by law firm events e.g. compliance
- Options for mentoring and peer review
- Benchmarking and best-practice opportunities
- Access to in-house trainee consortiums and groups
So what are you waiting for? Come along to our next event and become a part of our in-house community.
What are the benefits of the new SQE route for in-house teams?Mary Bonsor, CEO of Flex Legal, joined by Parisha, a Flex Trainee currently working at Vodafone, delivered their insights on the benefits of the brand new SQE route for in-house teams. Here’s a handy summary of their top five points:
- The SQE gives trainees the opportunity to work and study at the same time, with the SQE1 exam covering core legal knowledge, and the SQE2 covering legal practice skills; both to be undertaken alongside two years of Qualifying Work Experience.
- The introduction of the SQE means that paralegals do not have to leave their in-house teams to pursue a training contract meaning talent can be retained.
- This option to train in-house increases commercial awareness and gives trainees a broader skill-set to take forward in the rest of their legal career.
- Aspiring lawyers do not require a law degree to go down the SQE route, as opposed to the traditional training contract avenue.
- The overall cost of the SQE route is cheaper than pursuing the LPC - currently at around £12,000, or if organisations use the apprenticeship levy, this then drops even further to around £8,000.
How can you become a more rounded lawyer?Dan Kayne, Founder of the O Shaped Lawyer, and Harry Mellor, VC of the O Shaped Futures Board, then introduced their innovative programme which aims to promote positive cultural change in the legal industry. One which places people and human behaviours at the heart of a more modern, progressive, ‘rounded’ legal profession.
Their framework encompasses 5 O’s, which represent the mindset of an O shaped legal professional:
- Have an open mind
- Be optimistic
- Make and take opportunities
- Be original
- Take ownership
This framework has been designed to lead a shift not just in skills, but in mindsets and behaviours too. In this way, they believe that long-lasting change can be achieved through both the formation of new lawyers and the ongoing development of existing lawyers.
The need for lawyers to have legal knowledge and skills is a given, however the most effective legal professionals are those who understand the business they work in and, as a result, can add real value. Ultimately, we need to be people first, then lawyers.
Thank you again to those of you who joined our first Midlands In-house Event, and watch this space for more news on our next session!
Missed it but enjoyed this quick taster? Then make sure to check out the rest of our Flex Connects Events here and gain exclusive access to top legal insights and news.
- Hire through Flex Legal - get in touch today to find out more about our fantastic pool of interim paralegals and lawyers, and how they can help to ease your legal team’s workload.
- Apply to be a Flex Lawyer - interested in what the world of flexible, interim legal work could look like for you? Then head here to find out more!
- Humans of Law podcast - Humans of Law is our podcast which explores what it means to be human in the legal industry - a perfect listen for your morning commute!