Our successful Kent Young lawyers event at the start of the month saw 35 of The Regions bright young things attending the welcome event in Tunbridge wells. As well as providing a great networking opportunity, the purpose of the event was to discuss the nuances of working in The Regions rather than the pressures of the fast-paced City.
Three keynote speakers contributed their views; Vanda James as an experienced lawyer and President of the Kent Law Society, Leilani Reader MD of LR Legal Recruitment and ex In-house counsel and Rich Rosini Associate at Riks & Kay and former city firm Private Client solicitor.
Vanda James opened by placing emphasis on a decent work life balance and not getting burnt out early in your law career by the notoriously long city hours. She also discussed the type of work available in The Regions and experience to be gained in terms of exposure to cases and ability to work on something from start to finish.
“Those born and bred in the regional firms tend to be around 2 years ahead in terms of experience than their city counterparts. They are also less burnt out by notoriously long city hours and therefore able to maintain a steady progression in their area of expertise”
Leilani Reader highlighted that working in The Regions needs to be seen not just as a viable option but a genuine option. Her comments reiterated those of Vanda where she described four very strong reasons to stay in the regions.
- The opportunity to develop a strong career path with no hidden agenda, you know exactly where you are going.
- Training, structure and support from regional clients is second to none.
- Genuine quality of work with technical abilities tested and used daily.
- An actual real work life balance with benefits that outweigh anything a City law firm might offer
Finally, Rich Rosini gave us an insightful five minutes on his personal experience of moving from City to Regional firm. With a varied background, having trained in Paisley he moved to London to work for a Private Family dealing with their assets & trusts. He then went to a well-known US firm dealing with high wealth families before making the change to associate at Riks & Kay earlier this year.
Rich’s main professional motivation for the move has been for the quality of the work. Fed up working for a firm where individual clients were not as important as corporate clients he wanted to be somewhere where working for individuals was just as important. He noted that in his new role he has frequently observed young lawyers experiencing much more exposure to caseloads, meetings and managing projects from start to finish.
“Encouraging the ability to manage a process, take on a client, think about how much it’s going to cost, make sure the compliance is accurate, deliver the advice, take on problems, finish the advice, close the file down and finish the relationship provides invaluable experiences for career development.”
In conclusion, quality of work and more specifically the level of involvement available in Regional firms at an earlier date provides the opportunity to get to know the firm much better and have exposure to more senior team members daily. This provides more confident and all-round better lawyers who can develop their career by saying “I would like to be a part of this, I’d like to do this.”
By Rowan Hughes