Why are so many turning their back on a traditional career path?

June 4, 2021
Darryl Cooke

Executive Chairman

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I am often asked the reason for the success of the revenue share model. Simply put, it’s down to the demand. Attitudes have changed and people want more in their career path, that is why these models are seeing so much growth.

Since we started our fee share law firm 11 years ago, the demand for this type of model has significantly increased, not just from lawyers but with demand from clients too. And this has only accelerated with the pandemic when the whole nation began remote working and became aware of the benefits.

So why are so many professionals (both lawyers and those in other industries) turning their back on the traditional career path?

Breaking away from the constraints of a typical business allows you to focus on what you do best and what you love. Many are choosing to leave behind strict targets set by others and being judged by the time spent in the office or on fees billed. Many want to take control of their life and their career. Most lawyers who make this move will find that they earn more money than they did previously. Many earning far more than they would in a Magic Circle firm. In fact with our guidance I would argue that anyone can.

When you join a model like this you become a businessperson. You set your own goals and you work how, when and where you want to. Taking control of your own life leads to a happier life every day. Earning more money is a pleasant bonus.

A huge number of lawyers are recognising the benefits of this path from junior lawyers with an entrepreneurial mindset who are put off by the inadequacies of large law partnerships to senior partners who don’t want to look back at the end of their careers and wish that they had been brave enough to design their own lives.

The revenue share model is set to take a large slice of the market over the next five years, and not just on the high street. The upper mid-market is already seeing substantial growth. Independent commentators believe that this model will become dominant over the coming years.

These structures are set up to benefit the lawyer. But clients also love the model. They get a lawyer who is more passionate about his or her work, whose earnings are more directly associated to the service she delivers, who develops very quickly a stronger business understanding and key business skills. Most clients find it very easy to follow their lawyer.

Of course, the model is a threat to the traditional firm, but this is why they need to react. There will still be a place for traditional structures, but these businesses need to take some of the benefits of the new model, such as flexible working and personal goal setting. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can trust our workforce to do their jobs from home. I hope that in the future, changes are made in all types of firms that make careers more enjoyable and satisfactory for lawyers. This is what young professionals want and need. It is the future.

Don’t get me wrong, this model isn’t for everyone. Of course, you need the drive, the dedication and the ambition to run your own practice. But with more and more firms adopting this model and more support becoming available, I can see why so many are choosing a new career path.

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