Winning the inaugural Law Society Sole Practitioner of the Year Award in 2018.
“Rachel truly gives us a glimpse into the future of sole practice. By using technology to provide new ways of doing things, she manages to both address a legal need and provide a valuable and accessible service to clients. By providing invaluable free advice through self-published booklets she de-mystifies the law and attracts and maintains clients.”
I look up to other lawyers who have set up their own firms and take inspiration from their journeys. I wouldn’t like to name anyone here but there are some really inspirational lawyers and business owners I’ve come across along the way. Sometimes, I might see if I can contact them for their advice or top tips on the things they have learnt over the years. I, too, enjoy sharing my experiences with other sole practitioners and owners of small firms/businesses as we can really help each other.
We are a niche firm specialising in private client work. I think our clients come to us because we aren’t a full-service law firm, and they want bespoke advice from specialists. We are routinely recommended to new clients, by other niche law firms. We spend a lot of time thinking about the ways in which our clients instruct and stay in touch with us. I think we are good at putting ourselves in the clients shoes and trying to make their experience as stress free and seamless as possible.
The answer to this is top secret!
It’s no secret that the law still has a stuffy and old-fashioned reputation in many circles. It’s hard to get the message out to the public that not all lawyers are like this. That said, we have a responsibility as solicitors to work to overcome this reputation together. It is unhelpful, for example, when the marketing strategy of a supposedly forward-thinking lawyer is to criticise the small percentage of the profession who aren’t forward thinking and who are stuck in their ways. I think these solicitors would do well to think about the profession as a whole rather than taking an inward-looking approach.
Keep an open mind about what career options are available. The variety of jobs in legal is changing and evolving rapidly. Take note of what you’re good at and what you do and don’t like to do and use this to help guide you into the role that’s right for you.
I think ‘team’ here is the operative word! I like to see candidates who can provide genuine examples of how they have worked effectively with others in the past, and candidates who can show a good level of general resourcefulness. I also think it’s important to me to have people on my team who are alive to suggestions as to how to improve things - not just for their own role or themselves, but for the team as a whole and our clients.
Ah, there are a few thoughts on this in my new book: How to Start a Law Firm