‘I’ve always enjoyed legal work, but private practice wasn’t for me. I wasn’t prepared to put my life on hold to get to the top. The opportunity of freelance work presented itself when a friend told me about Vario. I’ve got seven years of PQE, and working in this way allows me to dip in and out of well-paid contracts as I’ve been building up my business. Sailing has always been my absolute passion, and now I can pursue this whilst maintaining the level of financial stability my young family needs. A four-month contract provides a cushion that allows me to focus on the business for six months.
For me, it’s a fair exchange of time and expertise, for money. The expectations that people have of you as a freelance lawyer are much more balanced — you’re not locked in and you retain control of your working life.
I’ve experimented with different freelance work patterns — working full-time for several months versus ongoing part-time work — to see which is the best balance. Currently, I’ve just started a contract two days a week with a regulatory agency, which is really interesting as I’m learning new skills.
It can be difficult to switch from complete immersion in my venture, to complete immersion in a legal contract (and back again), so I’m hoping the current arrangement will allow me to stay on top of both!
The support I receive from Vario is invaluable in ensuring each assignment is the right fit for my situation. The team is consistently available and helpful, and the clout of Pinsent Masons adds to the confidence I feel walking into new environments.
A great freelance lawyer needs to be personable, embrace change and be happy outside of their comfort zone. You need to go into contracts with an open mind, reacting quickly to situations and doing the right thing without putting people’s noses out of joint. The success of a contract is determined as much by how you behave, as by what you know.
“The support I receive from Vario is invaluable in ensuring each assignment is the right fit for my situation. The team is consistently available and helpful, and the clout of Pinsent Masons adds to the confidence I feel walking into new environments.”
Obviously, you have to plan ahead for this type of lifestyle and make sure you have the funds to support yourself if the market is slow or if your business needs your full-time attention. But I honestly don’t think I’d have been able to make my dream a reality without working as a Vario. It’s been a transformational experience for me, facilitating my entrepreneurial spirit and giving me the right work-life balance.’
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Stanley applied to Vario to pursue a more flexible legal career than his full time lawyer position allowing him to work on his fishing business in the summer months.
Although Stanley finds his legal assignments with Vario challenging at times, he prefers his current work-life balance overall.
Vario and founder of The Conscious Lawyer
Elaine joined Vario in 2013 and has experience of both in-house and Pinsent Masons’ internal assignments. Alongside her three-day week as a lawyer, she has launched theconsciouslawyer.co.uk, a publication exploring a more mindful approach to law.
Vario within Banking and Finance
Having been a Vario for four years, Kate enjoys the flexibility that comes with being a freelance lawyer. In her current full-time role, she works from home one day a week, allowing her to stay involved in family life and achieve the balance that matters to her.
Vario specialising in IP law
After graduating with a degree in computer science, Doris began working in the IT sector. A colleague then suggested one day that she should consider pursuing a career within IP Law as she would be best placed for it with her existing technical knowledge.
Vario and founder of Dancing Vine
A natural-born multipotentialite with a true portfolio career, Meg continues to work in-house for leading international companies whilst completing a Psychotherapy degree, establishing a private therapy practice, and running a ‘mindful wine’ company, www.dancingvine.co.uk.
Based in Belfast, Rose joined the Vario community early on in her career, and has already worked on a variety of assignments. Rose shares with us her philosophy on life and work, and how Vario has given her the independence and control she desires.
From practising solicitor to project management. Rachel found a permanent position through Vario.
Rachel originally qualified as a solicitor in corporate law, moving from a fee earning solicitor role at 5 PQE into a PSL position at McGrigors LLP in their corporate team as one of the firm’s first PSL lawyers.
Growing up, Michael actually dreamed of studying architecture and design, but it was his traditionally-minded father that persuaded him to become a lawyer.
After working 8 years at a firm, Michael decided it was time to make a new start and launch his own firm in October 2017, he then discovered Vario.
Nicola always had a passion for illustration, but her professional career steered her towards law. Working as a Vario, she can now enjoy both
Nicola enjoys seeing more of the world and her lifestyle needs a flexible career to support it. Working as a freelance lawyer through Vario allows her to do just that.