Relatively new to Vario, Lisa Akinrele decided that the flexible life as a legal freelancer was the one for her, allowing her to chase her passions for travel, fashion and foreign languages.
“I studied Law with German at Nottingham University before moving to London to complete my LPC. I completed my training contract at Wedlake Bell LLP, which included a six month secondment at Diageo, and qualified into the Intellectual Property and Commercial Team in September 2012. After two years as a qualified solicitor at Wedlake Bell I moved to my first in-house role at Pentland Brands. I was at Pentland for 3 years before I took the leap to become a freelancer.
I found the concept of freelance legal services attractive; it’s a forward thinking way of providing services in an industry that isn’t always known for being forward thinking! It suits the way that businesses work today and the challenges that they face. On a personal level, I was drawn to the variety of work that freelancing involves – I enjoy a challenge and freelancing presents you with an invaluable opportunity to learn new skills in different industries. The flexibility was also another big draw. I wanted to travel more and spend more time on my different skills and passions outside of law – I’m re-learning German and am planning to take a course in fashion writing – which I believed that freelancing offered the freedom to do.
I’m a new Vario, having started my first placement only six weeks ago, however everything so far has been great! The application process was swift yet thorough and everyone I spoke to and met along the way was approachable and open. The switch from permanent roles to freelancing is a big one – especially in law where it’s not so common – so the support I have received from Vario is invaluable.
Even at under two months into my first assignment I’ve been able to start re-learning German in my spare time, and I plan to take a fashion writing course in the summer. I work full time at my current assignment but the hours can be flexible and I have the option to work some days at home. I’ve also found the freelancing can free up some headspace – it removes some of the stresses that can come with permanent roles – which has the benefit of allowing you to invest this headspace in other passions.
I also took some time out before I started my first assignment and travelled to Japan which was incredible! I’ve also negotiated a two week break before the extension of my assignment takes effect, during which I plan to travel with my husband and take part in a yoga retreat, which I’ve been wanting to do for years.”
Lisa’s advice for others planning to become a Vario? “Go for it! It is a big leap, and it does require a change in mindset, so you need to be sure that freelancing is what you want. But if it is, then from my experience so far the leap is 100% worth it.”
If you’d like to discover your work life balance without sacrificing your legal career development, get in touch with the Vario team and start your journey today.
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