Flexible Careers, Inspirational, Vario Stories

Nicola Allan

Picture Perfect

Posted 17 June 2019

Nicola always had a passion for illustration, but her professional career steered her towards law.  Working as a Vario, she can now enjoy both.

After finishing her studies at university, Nicola Allan progressed to a firm based in Edinburgh and later qualified to their commercial property team.  During this time, she became dual qualified in Scottish and English law. She later moved to a smaller firm as their first commercial property lawyer and worked there both full-time and part-time for a few years.

It was during a sabbatical that Nicola took after she became qualified that she started to live her passions for art and illustration.  A few years in her firm, she decided that freelancing would be the best way for her to follow her true passions for creating art but still enjoy the intellectual work of a lawyer, “The traditional and very structured nature of working as a lawyer never really suited me and although I’ve always really enjoyed the practice and intellectual stimulation of the job, I found the way in which I was expected work to very stifling – I’m an artist! After realising there was alternative and totally viable way of earning a living as a freelance lawyer, I couldn’t let the idea go. It took a little while to make the jump into freelance, but I most definitely haven’t looked back” Nicola explains.

Soon after applying and being accepted into Vario including its robust personality assessment, Nicola was able to assist Pinsent Masons’ real estates team providing legal support as and when required. “The experience so far has been excellent. The team is so well organised, professional and friendly and everyone ensures you are well cared for on assignment“ Nicola adds.

Since becoming a freelancing lawyer, Nicola has been able to find much more time for honing her artistic skills and now works as a freelance illustrator too, “Becoming a Vario has really allowed me to build up my illustration practice and work on projects that I would never have previously had time for or have been able to work on whilst employed by a traditional firm” says Nicola.

nicola allan

Unrestricted by the rigid model of traditional employment, Nicola has really taken advantage of flexible working.  In addition to developing her art, Nicola is able to travel the world and still work remotely on Vario assignments, providing her with much more flexibility than traditional annual leave would allow.

At time of writing, Nicola is currently living and working out of Mexico, and gives the following advice for others considering the same freelance lifestyle; “I’d advise speaking to as many other freelance lawyers in your field as possible, just to glean as much as you can about how they have made it work for them – it’s definitely not for everyone but could be the best decision you ever make if its the right one for you!”

If you would like to balance your career as a lawyer with your other passions, why not see if you could do both with Vario?  Get in touch with us now.

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