Before you start
Ways of working
Congratulations on securing a role through Flex Legal! We look forward to working with you and really hope that you enjoy the experience of working through us.
Becoming a “Flexer” means that you represent us when working with our clients in the legal market, so it is crucial to us that you succeed in your role and that we do everything we can to support you in doing so.
You will be placed in a professional environment, whether the role is office-based or remote, and all of our clients have high expectations of both you and us. Throughout your time with Flex, we will help you to manage your placement successfully and ensure that it gives you the invaluable experience you need to progress your legal career.
Central to a successful placement is good communication. Most situations can be managed by honesty and transparency in communication, but nothing annoys a client more than being left in the lurch or misled. Furthermore, as a future lawyer working in fast-paced legal teams, high standards of conduct will always be expected of you.
Follow these simple 'Ways of Working' rules throughout and we hope any sticky situations can be completely avoided!
You are employed by Flex Legal
Please note that you are employed by Flex Legal and not by our clients. This means:
- If you need a reference for the work you completed through Flex Legal, we will happily provide you with one. Please provide the reference company with email@example.com as our contact. Please note that our clients are unable to provide references.
- You must reflect your work through us appropriately on LinkedIn (and any similar social media channels). You are welcome to put “Paralegal (on placement with [Client]) through Flex Legal”.
- You cannot apply for internal job opportunities or internal training contract opportunities with clients.
- If you have any issues or grievances in the workplace, these must be raised with Flex Legal.
The Client Services team is always here to answer any questions and we ask that you speak to us immediately if you have any work or personal queries or concerns, at any stage in your placement. You can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3887 6706.
If your availability changes, tell us as soon as possible
Other than your fantastic profile, you are likely to have been selected for the role due to your availability!
However, we do understand that sometimes things come up that are out of your control. If the availability that you gave us on the initial availability form changes for any reason, please email email@example.com as soon as you can.
Whilst on placement, you should work the hours and days set out in your Assignment Confirmation. It is not acceptable to work alternative hours or days to “make up” time, without prior agreement from the client and us.
Holiday must be approved first
Similarly, please let us and your supervisor know if you need to book any holiday days off. Please wait to get this approved before you book any travel etc. If you have any holiday already booked or you are unavailable for any of the days before you start the project, please make sure you let us know on the availability form.
Sickness must be reported ASAP
We really hope you don't get sick, but if you do please let your supervisor and us know before 9am so we don't worry about where you are! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0203 887 6706.
Please complete your Flex Legal timesheets accurately and on time
We will send you a timesheet every Tuesday afternoon. Please make sure you complete your hours each Friday so that you are paid on time. If you are working on the weekend (pre-agreed with Client) then you can submit on Sunday evening. You are sent an email with instructions, read this carefully before you fill in the timesheet. We want to avoid any confusion over accuracy of timesheets that can cause delays to your pay while we investigate, so again, if you have any doubts over your hours or tasks please contact us immediately. If you make a mistake in your timesheet please email email@example.com ASAP. You must not work beyond the hours set out in your Assignment Confirmation without prior client approval.
Accurately record your billable hours
Law Firms will ask you to add your billable hours to their time recording system. Billable hours are hours you charge a law firm’s client for work done directly on their cases. Never misrepresent your billable hours.
Your Flex timesheet hours are your total actual hours worked and are not split into billable and non-billable hours.
Please ensure your Flex timesheet and your Law firm time-recorded hours match up.
Ask your supervisor how to manage time for tech issues
If you have any tech issues, please get in touch with your supervisor or a relevant contact at the client workplace immediately. If you cannot reach them, contact us. Please also check with your supervisor if you should stay at your desk whilst the issues are ongoing, or log off and reflect this accordingly on your timesheet.
You will be paid fortnightly
You will be paid fortnightly (one week in arrears) at the rate outlined on your Assignment Details Form. Further FAQs can be read below. For any other payroll queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please dress appropriately
Always overdress on your very first day in the office. Looking smart will help you make a good first impression, so on your first day put on your best work clothes and then gauge what the dress code is. Going forward you can be more casual if that is the culture of the workplace!
Please remember that you are working in a professional environment, and ensure that you are wearing appropriate clothing at all times, even if the placement is remote/virtual.
Be early and punctual
This might sound very obvious but being prompt is really important. If you are meant to be at work at 9am, then you should really be there before 9am. When it comes to an interview or a meeting, then being too early can actually be inconvenient for the person you are meeting, so stick to arriving 5-10 minutes early for everything and if you are really early - go and reward yourself with a coffee!
Everything should be treated as highly confidential
In no circumstances should you ever send any work materials or emails to your personal email, or print them to work on at home. If you do so, your placement will be terminated immediately. If you are sent a laptop by the client do not treat this as a personal laptop, it is for client work purposes only. Anything you do at work should be treated as highly confidential and any breaches of confidentiality will result in termination of your employment with Flex Legal and potential further consequences.
Always be positive
When you are starting out in a new career you are going to have to do some slightly tedious and administrative jobs. That is just what happens in every industry and so even if you are a bit bored, try to be positive and proactive. Often admin tasks are treated as a trust-building exercise. If you prove you are competent doing the less glamorous jobs, you will then be given more responsibility as a result, so take every small opportunity to show your employer that you are great!
Follow the client's remote working rules
Some clients allow Flex paralegals to work from home on a full-time or hybrid basis. If this applies to your placement, please discuss the remote working policy and culture directly with the client as this differs from organisation to organisation.
If you are using video calls (Teams, Skype, Zoom etc.) for meetings, then please turn on your camera, stay on mute when you are not talking to avoid background noise, and ensure that you have a professional background.
Sometimes, clients will allow you to use your own laptop or phone. Usually, you will be asked to download software or access their systems through a Virtual Desktop or VPN. When you leave your placement, always remove software from your laptop.
On very rare occasions, you may be allowed to work from abroad. This must always be checked and confirmed with clients first.
Remember, remote working is not the same as flexible working. You must work the agreed hours set out in your Assignment Details Form.
Treat client technology with care
Sometimes you will be asked to use a client’s laptop or phone. This technology can be accessed from a client’s office or sometimes the equipment will be sent to your house.
Remember this equipment is the property of the client. Please look after it and only use it for work, not for personal use.
Never send anything to your home email address to print, or for any other reason.
Be available and responsive during work hours
One of our Flex values is responsiveness! Please always try to answer the phone and reply to emails as soon as possible, and provide a helpful response. This helps to build trust between you and the client.
Poor feedback may lead to your removal from the Flex Legal platform
Our clients trust Flex Legal to supply quality paralegals who have unquestionable integrity and judgement, even whilst they are still developing their legal knowledge. Please be aware that poor feedback from a client may mean we are no longer able to recommend you to other clients and we may even have to remove you from the Flex Legal platform.
Hand in your notice to the client and Flex Legal
If you need to leave your placement before the agreed end date, please notify Flex of your intention to submit your notice, and we will inform the client.
Whilst we understand that you cannot always anticipate a change in circumstances, both Flex and our clients would appreciate you providing us both with as much notice as possible.
Handover your project before you finish
Please write and circulate comprehensive notes before you leave to assist your team members. Include details on the status of all your work, any background information that may be useful and consider any future issues (and solutions) which may occur when you leave. Consider a handover meeting before you leave to allow time for queries.
Ensure that everyone who you are actively working with is emailed to inform them that you will be finishing and who will take over the role. No one you’re actively working with should email you and get an unexpected OOO reply! Check your calendar and make sure anyone you are meant to be having meetings with knows you’ll be away. Rearrange or assign to another colleague, as appropriate.
Add an Out of Office message to your email and mark you leave in your calendar. For example: "Thank you very much for your email. I have now left the organisation. Please email [email] and one of my colleagues will assist you."