Going Solo: is your role financially rewarding?
January 30, 2018
“What’s the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?”
It’s a question we’ve all asked and been asked ourselves. As much as answers may vary between which car we’d buy and which holiday we’d book for our next adventure, one of the most common is “I’d quit my job.” Work is not something we’re often willing to do for free.
Work gives us a purpose. We derive pride and satisfaction from a job well done. However, it’s safe to say that there are two important factors we take into account when choosing our career; passion and financial rewards. It’s almost impossible to deny that earning money is an important aspect of life. It gives us the opportunity to live out of our comfort zone, whether it be to try new experiences or visit new places, it helps create the life-style we aspire to. So, what if you had the option to continue with the career you love along with the ability to control your income and enjoy financial rewards?
Hey, big spender…
The lawyers that are freeing themselves from the constraints of office-bound work not only achieve a more agreeable work / life balance and are able to focus on certain specialisms, there are also financial rewards to be won. In our final chapter of the ‘Going Solo’ series, we look at how those lawyers that make the decision to work for themselves, are achieving these rewards.
Freedom to choose
Salaries for lawyers working within firms can be very good. They can be. They can also be quite ordinary, particularly when the number of hours worked is factored in. It’s generally the case that when a lawyer agrees a salary with a firm, then it’s set in stone. There may be bonuses for unusually big wins, but it’s standard that a busy month will pay no more than a quiet one. Not to mention that the more lucrative cases are rarely distributed evenly.
Self-employed consultants are not bound by the ‘get what you’re given’ nature of office lawyering. They are free to chase the clients that provide the big cases, and their fees are such that a busy period is remunerated much more satisfactorily than for their office-bound peers.
Specialists don’t come cheap
Many self-employed consultants choose this path because it allows them to focus on specific areas of law. By directing their energies in this way, they develop expertise, and expertise is something people pay good money for.
Obviously, it is incumbent upon the consultant to put in the hours building a client-base that can provide the case type that develops their expertise. However, once these hours have been accumulated, and a certain degree of service has been consistently provided by the consultant, their expertise grows at a rate congruent with their reputation. It is then that the rewards become compelling.
Avoiding the obsolete
The legal profession is subject to the same vagaries of the modern world as any service industry. As business evolves, technology develops, and consumer demands change, certain areas of law become superfluous, and some, obsolete. Those lawyers working within firms that deliver on areas of law in decline can find that their careers suffer.
By taking the self-employed option, lawyers are much more able to move with the times. This means they have the freedom to move away from legal services facing redundancy. Equally, it means they can work towards concentrating on areas of law where demand is growing. Either way, the ability to respond to change rests with you.
The power of negotiation
Negotiation is an art-form. Good negotiators defuse hostile confrontations, save lives, and unify nations. They can also talk themselves into lucrative relationships. Being self-employed, consultants are in charge of their own fees, and how many numbers those fees comprise of. Over time, as fees are agreed with different clients, negotiation skills are enhanced. Techniques and methodologies are developed and perfected.
The beauty of improved negotiation, is that it is a transferable skill. Successful self-employed consultants not only negotiate eyebrow-raising financial remunerations for themselves, but deploy these skills in a work capacity, thereby increasing their chances of success.
And that brings to an end our ‘Going Solo’ series. We hope you’ve enjoyed this insight, and that if you’ve been toying with the idea of ‘going solo’ yourself, you feel a little more confident about shaking off the shackles and seeing just how far you could go.
If you have any further questions on this topic or other recruitment matters, please do get in touch.
Laura Fisher, Recruitment Director at gunnercooke
DD: +44 (0)7979 144 697