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March 8

International Women's Day: Q&A with Flex's female interim lawyers

Case Studies

Mary Bonsor

Mary Bonsor

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For International Women's Day 2022, we took the time to have a chat with some of the fabulous female interim lawyers on our platform to ask them why law, why interim and what advice they'd give to any aspiring female legal professionals who wish to progress in the industry. Here’s what they had to say…

Bhavina - Flex Lawyer

Bhavina, Senior Legal Counsel

What do you enjoy most about working in law?

As a lawyer, the skills you gain within one industry are often transferable to others and this gives you an immense amount of freedom and flexibility to work in several industries. For example, I’ve worked as a lawyer in media, then supported a mining company and now find myself supporting the legal team of a reputable car company!

What, in your experience, are the benefits of working as an interim lawyer?

As an interim lawyer, you have the chance to be influential from very early on as you need to hit the ground running. You have been brought on to support an immediate business need and this puts you in a prime position to deliver results quickly and efficiently. You are also introduced to work with very interesting projects and teams which is really exciting; and you can choose your own timeline. Do you want to work 6 months of the year? A whole year? Do you need a break in between? It’s all down to what works for you best.

What advice would you give to any female legal professionals looking to progress in the industry?

It’s all to do with getting out of your comfort zone, knowing that you are placing yourself as an expert in your field. Know your value and use that value to obtain the work that you want. For me, being bilingual in French and English and having experience as a cross-border lawyer was what helped my career to advance within the different industries.

Last thing - don’t settle, if your work is no longer enjoyable, move on! As a woman, we are often juggling several hats at the same time and I have come to appreciate that my time is precious and needs to be spent wisely. I am still learning how to do this - if anyone has a magic potion let me know! However, little changes I made have worked, such as saying weekends are now for family. I have a 3 year old daughter who I love spending time with, we love baking on a weekend, going for walks. During the week, it’s sometimes hard to juggle when we are constantly on calls or trying to get work done and your toddler also wants your attention. So the time spent doing legal work in the week must be enjoyable!

Charlotte T - Flex Lawyer

Charlotte, Commercial Media Lawyer

What do you enjoy most about working in law?

The mix between technical skills (like drafting, negotiating and keeping up to date with legal developments) and softer skills (such as adapting your advisory approach to your client, being commercially pragmatic and honing negotiation strategies). This required varied skill set keeps things dynamic and means there’s always lots to keep learning!

What, in your experience, are the benefits of working as an interim lawyer?

The flexibility that it gives - being able to work when, where and the number of days/hours that are compatible with your other commitments - is invaluable. Also, interim work opens up opportunities to work in industries or on projects you may not otherwise have been exposed to.

What advice would you give to any female legal professionals looking to progress in the industry?

I’d encourage them to find the area(s) of law, industries and ways of working which suit them. The route of progression is smoother when you enjoy what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis. Be yourself and know your worth. Also, progression doesn’t have to be linear. It’s okay if you have to take detours or breaks along the way!

Rebecca - Flex Lawyer

Rebecca, Senior Legal Counsel

What do you enjoy most about working in law?

I enjoy the variety that comes with working in law, and the opportunity to constantly use my brain and learn new skills. No two days are the same!

What, in your experience, are the benefits of working as an interim lawyer?

There are innumerable benefits to working as an interim lawyer, but for me it’s definitely the variety and flexibility that allow me to do challenging roles that I can fit around our family and lifestyle.

What advice would you give to any female legal professionals looking to progress in the industry?

Don’t give up! I think there was a trend for so many talented female lawyers to leave the profession when they had children as it was traditionally difficult to continue your career flexibly. It’s fantastic that there are now so many options that allow you to work flexibly and continue to grow your skills and progress in a different working model.

Lillian, Employment Lawyer

What do you enjoy most about working in law?

The stories. When I was at law school, tort was my favourite subject because of the stories. Now, doing employment law, I am never bored by the stories my clients tell me. When I think I've heard it all, something new comes up. Unfortunately, I often can't share them!

What, in your experience, are the benefits of working as an interim lawyer?

Flexibility is so important. It is great to be able to pick up work when you want it, and decline opportunities when you have other commitments. Having that control over your career and your earnings is a real driver. Interim work also gives you a broad range of experiences - I've never had an assignment where I haven't learnt something new. Also, when you are doing interim work, you are focussed on specific tasks and just don't get a chance to get bored.

What advice would you give to any female legal professionals looking to progress in the industry?

Make sure that you are doing what you love. I would struggle with motivation if I didn't enjoy my work as much as I do.

Additional Resources:

  • Hire interim lawyer(s) - want to take on some top quality interim lawyers like Bhavina, Charlotte, Lillian or Rebecca? Check out our hire page today to find the talented lawyers you need to ease your team’s workload.
  • Apply to become a Flex lawyer - are you a lawyer on the lookout for a more flexible career, with a better work/life balance? Click here to read more about the benefits of interim legal work.
  • How we've supported Emerald Publishing with interim lawyers - still unsure how interim legal professionals could help your team? Check out this case study to find out how we supported Emerald with two interim commercial lawyers.
  • How Nathalie works as a remote lawyer from Mauritius - working abroad is something we all dream about from time to time, but working through Flex as an interim lawyer has allowed this to become a reality for Nathalie.