Hong Kong

By Estefania Altuve and Matthew Roberts of KorumLegal

With the rise of NewLaw outfits revolutionising the legal services industry, much of the conversation is dominated by the value of alternative legal solutions (ALS) providers from a client perspective — and rightly so! Yes, the legal landscape and the way businesses approach legal services is certainly changing but the people are changing with it. We take a better look at the type of lawyers and consultants we work with and the appeal of NewLaw.

What is it that attracts ‘talent’ to NewLaw?

There are a number of appealing factors that attract talent to NewLaw; frustrations born from the demands of traditional firms, the exciting nature of project-based work, exposure to a wider range of sectors / industries and the flexibility and self-direction of being a freelance consultant.

Another very important element we’ve identified in people who join KorumLegal is that they are looking for something different! More than flexible work arrangements, Consultants want to have a sense of belonging and a great number share our passion for shaping the new reality in legal solutions.

What types of legal consultants does KorumLegal attract?

Originally, our consultant base held a high percentage of senior lawyers with in-house experience interested in more flexible working arrangements, autonomy and the opportunity to choose work that truly picks their interest. As technology continues to change the way businesses operate, some senior lawyers have identified that in order to remain competitive they must get exposure to “newer” companies and industries — NewLaw provides that opportunity.

Demographics are certainly changing and we’re seeing more and more junior lawyers attracted to our model. We believe the rise in tech start-ups, crypto businesses and legal tech has been a big factor in this change. These businesses are often smaller outfits without the budget for the traditional legal service providers or permanent legal counsel so the opportunity to collaborate with ALS providers is massive. There really has never been a better time for junior lawyers to become an expert and define a skillset in these emerging tech industries.

Who’s suited?

Freedom, flexibility and autonomy at work may sound dreamy, as well as the concept of “working from home” and for those who haven’t had the opportunity to do so, this may sound like a beach holiday with your laptop (maybe even sipping a Margarita by the pool), but is it really for everyone? Are you really suitable for the NewLaw model? If so, what do you really need to jump into it?

Being a consultant to different companies you have to be agile, organised and adaptable. You’ll be exposed to different working environments, different business processes and different ways of working. This is definitely an exciting prospect, but you must be open to change! Lawyers with commercial awareness will also thrive. Clients now look for consultants who can think laterally and provide advice that takes into account the overall business needs.

Now, if you’re working remotely and leveraging on technology solutions to deliver value to your clients, you also need to develop a varied skill set. Lawyers on our bench model share that they need to be a lot more disciplined; time management is key when working remotely and communication skills are extremely important when you’re not in front of your client. This one might sound a bit obvious but as a lawyer working remotely you will need to get up to speed with technology! You now will have to leverage on several tech tools to make your job efficient but also to communicate effectively.

Finally, you need to stay self-motivated. Working remotely can sometimes feel like a lonely place and this is something we are working hard to address through our KorumLegal Community.

Alternative legal services are not an escape. It is now a genuine alternative for bold and innovative lawyers keen to take more control of their careers, work with exciting and ever-changing clients, develop a better commercial skillset and, most of all, break the mould from traditional law!

Estefania-profile-greyscale Matt-Roberts
Estefania Altuve Matthew Roberts

W: https://www.korumlegal.com/

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