There was a spring in our step at the Women in Wills second meet up of 2021

It is always a pleasure to see all the friendly faces at the Women in Wills meet up and as we get closer to Spring, things feel that little bit brighter. It was great to catch up and hear everyone’s news.

Heidi Jenkins from Lawyer Checker hosted, and she started off by saying ‘goodbye for now’ to Sheryl Hodgson, Key Relationship Manager at Lawyer Checker. Sheryl is off to have her first baby and we wish her all the luck in welcoming her little boy into the world!

Kelly Reid from Realm kicked off for us this week, as one of our guest speakers. Kelly works as Principal Consultant at Realm, which specialise in the recruitment of private client, contentious probate, and Court of Protection lawyers.

Kelly started her career working in a law firm before making the move into legal recruitment, exclusively within the private client market. Since 2018 she has worked solely with private clients, and as a working mum herself she identifies with the struggles candidates can face when trying to juggle work and home life.

She talked about the legal consultant model, which positions lawyers as self-employed consultants will become dominant in the market and grow in popularity over the coming years. The pandemic has really caused a shake-up in the way we work, and this has affected law firms. She discussed how mid-market and high street law firms have responded successfully to remote working, and how many firms have adopted a consultancy-based business model. The model offers lawyers a central service for brand management and infrastructure in return for a percentage of their takings.

Kelly championed this notion, as she identifies with clients who need that home / life balance, and this model can offer the best of both worlds to her clients.

We delved in to life and work balance further with Simona Hamblet, our second guest speaker as she seeks to build confidence and tackle the fears that can face law firms and those looking for a career in the legal sector, to empower and enable them to create profitable firms.

Simona’s discussion was quite fascinating as she explored the aspects that can hold us back when thinking about making that career change, fulfilling our goals or simply tackling tasks on a day-to-day basis in the workplace. She focused on mindset and how our psychology can stop us from making a change.

An interesting point was made around ‘excuse hurdles’, a notion that occurs when people pull out excuses that stop them from completing a certain goal or task. For simple understanding she likened the ‘excuse hurdle’ to exercise, which is something we can all register with. The excuse being ‘I haven’t got time’, one day we may feel we can complete that run for instance, and the next use the excuse of time, nothing has changed it is just our mindset. Other hurdles that relate to the workplace, can be fear of failure or imposter syndrome, these can all affect our performance negatively.

Simona works to break down these barriers and understand why we feel like this to rebuild self-confidence, thus creating stronger firms.

She shared with the group a few hacks to overcome these fears one being ‘flipping it over’, whereby you flip the fears over around a certain situation and write down all the reasons why you would not want to go forward with it, this helps you to pinpoint your fears and pain points around a certain situation. For example, you may be particularly worried about applying for that promotion at work, in flipping it over you may learn you are worried because you don’t feel you are good enough for the position, giving you a deeper understanding of why you feel so nervous.

To conclude Simona briefly discussed practical hacks such as ‘visualisation tools’, if you visualise a certain situation you are fearful of and play it through in your mind, it has been proven that you have a higher chance of succeeding.

The conversation also touched on gender bias and how women can feel unconfident applying for certain roles, which tied in with Kelly’s discussion around juggling work and homelife. As a group we discussed how masculinising the wording around roles would be key in helping women to feel like they had as much opportunity to succeed as their male counterpart.

Following our insightful guest speakers, many of you had asked questions around the OPG which we talked through. Please follow this link to the questions and answers around this, in case you ned a recap on this.

We closed by mentioning another new arrival that is on the way! Grace Beech our Events Manager is due her second baby in the summer which again is super exciting for the team as we welcome another little baby in to the world. As Grace will be going off within the next couple of months, we welcome our newest team member Allie Jones who has joined us as Events and Marketing Executive, she will step in for Grace when she goes off but will however remain as a permanent team member going forward – welcome Allie!

Our next meeting will be Thursday 22nd April, we look forward to welcoming you all along. Please feel free to share with your colleagues, the more the merrier.

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