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Life now as a flexible working Consultant Solicitor

Enjoying the change

I could probably wax lyrical for pages about how happy I am that I have made the break away from traditional legal practice. In case you’re about to check out my employment history on LinkedIn, I’m always at pains to say there was absolutely nothing wrong with the firms I practiced at previously. Each of them gave me invaluable experience. It just wasn’t for me in the end.

For quite a while after I started Cognitive, it felt like I was skiving if I wasn’t working between the hours of 9am and 6pm. I felt really naughty. It took me longer than it should have really, for a supposedly intelligent person, to realise that as I was working in the evenings & at the weekends, it was absolutely fine to take some time out for other things during the standard working weekday.

Finding time for the things you love is one of the most important parts of life. We all know that there is more than enough stress in the legal profession, and self-care is the most overlooked aspect of most lawyers’ lives. Whether that’s your family, your dog, exercise, friendships, travel (the list is endless), it’s just as important if not more so than your work. We all know that no one lies on their death bed wishing they spent more time in the office; and as a very wise man once told me “graveyards are full of indispensable people”.

We are more than our careers, and I am now seeing how my career fits into my life rather than the other way round. Another of my long-held beliefs is that your children only need you. They want to spend time with their parents, that’s all. And that is something I treasure, being around for my daughter, because she won’t be living at home with me forever and I never want to regret being in the office whilst she is.

I’ve rekindled my love of Pilates and introduced myself to yoga – because I’m not glib enough to pretend there is no stress in my life. But one of the best bits about working the way I do is that I now have a dog. I’ve never had one before, I’ve always been a cat person because of their delicious self-sufficiency, which always suited long days out of the house. However I am now a convert, and revel in the fact that I can take her for a walk whenever I choose depending on the day. In fact I have had many a client call whilst on a dog walk, and similar to when I admitted that I was actually in the play park with my daughter, the reception from clients has been really warm. At the end of the day, few clients mind when, where or even how you get their work done, just as long as you do. And pretty much all of my clients have been extremely positive when hearing how one of the oldest most traditional professions is being practiced a different way.

Lucy Tarrant