— BOWD —
How are you different from the secondment companies or the law firm placement ‘satellites’?
We are different because:
- Our business was created to solve key problems in the profession for both law firms and lawyers which no other service was addressing.
- Most of our clients are law firms (we support in-house teams when our model fits).
- We don’t pay as little as we could or charge as much as we can get away with. We pay our lawyers well and we charge our firms a fee which preserves their profitability.
- We attract lawyers who want more from their careers, who are not hanging up their boots but trying on a new pair instead. This means we have top notch lawyers who can bring value in a law firm environment.
- Every decision we make about our business is tested to ensure that our law firms benefit, our lawyers benefit, and the profession benefits.
- We have made a policy decision to focus on lawyers SA level and above so that nothing we do disrupts the training of junior lawyers within firms.
- Our CEO put her name on the door because she wanted our clients to know that she is prepared to stake her reputation on this business and in all things, the buck stops with her.
Can you help corporate (in-house) legal teams?
Of course! Our lawyers are top tier quality lawyers and most have excellent in-house experience and are well suited to work in-house.
Usually the best time for corporate counsel to call us is when you have something that is really difficult or particularly specialised and none of your usual service providers can help you, or you need a senior lawyer to fill in for your GC or other senior member of the team. (Another good time to call us is if your CFO has written you a blank cheque and it’s burning a hole in your pocket – definitely call us then.)
We are perfect for:
- Specialist expertise that is not available elsewhere in the market (perhaps while you recruit) or that you only need for a fixed period.
- Complex matters that require ‘more’ than a lawyer – a lot of political understanding (internal or external), challenging commercial clients, or additional skills such as negotiation or project management.
- Senior lawyer coverage, for a GC or senior manager.
- A specialist skill that lawyers usually have that you need as a stand-alone skill – to lead a negotiation or manage a large legal-heavy project, for example.
- A task that you would consider using a barrister or partner for, if only one would agree to help you out for the time commitment you need (for example a General Counsel sabbatical or negotiations with a Government entity or regulator).
Are you all really so gorgeous or did you actually use models for your photos?
We can’t claim any connection to the brooding bloke on the home page, but as for the rest of us, yep, we really are that gorgeous.
Law Firm Questions
We are a law firm and have tried lawyers from a secondment firm before – and we weren’t happy. How do we know your lawyers are really better?
Can’t you just take our word for it? Didn’t the pretty website convince you how special we are?
Ok fine (gee, lawyers – marketing is just wasted on you lot).
The truth is we get the best lawyers because we pay well, we genuinely make them part of our team, and we look after them as well as we look after you.
We have strict screening processes and do a lot of research on each person before we meet them, and then we send out our most EQ-high team members to get a feel for personal fit.
Once a lawyer makes the cut, we pay close attention to their career goals and their personal drivers, we hunt high and low to find them the perfect placements, and we never try to talk them into a role they don’t want.
We consider each lawyer who works with us to be a long term investment, and we spend a lot of time finding them and then keeping them happy.
Beyond the lawyers themselves we also offer a completely different service to clients like you. This includes giving you our absolutely honest assessment about the candidates we put forward. We will tell you both their strengths and their weaknesses so that you can make the most informed choice about how best to use them and how best to manage them while they are with you.
We might be matchmakers but we know this is a short term relationship - the perfect date for the dance, so to speak. Sometimes all you need is someone who dances beautifully, entertains your friends and knows not to talk about money or politics with your parents. It’s our job to find the right person for you, for the task you have at hand.
We know most lawyers love being lawyers, and we know law firms offer exciting work that can’t be found elsewhere. Our model is designed to tempt the best lawyers back into firms by increasing the financial incentives and removing the key blockers that prevent most lawyers from coming back, or staying, in firms.
Our lawyers love working for us, and they tell their friends.
Believe us now?
Just how much will it hurt our balance sheet if we hire you?
Ever heard the saying ‘no pain, no gain’? Just kidding. Our model is designed not to hurt, at least no more than it hurts every time you pay for anything...
We have built our pricing around the law firm financial model. When you use one of our lawyers, you don’t need to allocate any (or many) overheads to that resource. We then split the overhead savings between us (ok most of it goes to us) so that you should earn roughly the same profitability from one of our lawyers as from one of your own (per hour worked and billed).
You will be shocked to know that our financial model has made it through every law firm CFO without a hitch so far. I know. Those guys argue over the price of the sandwiches. I think we probably aren’t charging enough actually….
Ok but why the focus on senior lawyers? Don’t you know we really like mid-levels the most?
Yes we know you do, but here is where I remind you that all the major law firms ‘forgot’ to put many graduates through their usual graduate programme between 2008 and 2013. There is anywhere between 500 and 3000 lawyers missing who would normally have been qualified through those programmes but who never made it into the big firms. That means that lawyers from 6-11PQE are as rare as hen’s teeth and there is only a small pool of 3-6PQE lawyers, as it took most firms a while to ramp back up to anything like their pre-GFC numbers.
Your unicorn mid-level lawyers don’t exist. It’s actually not your HR’s fault that they can’t find any. But amazing, talented, skilled, blooded senior lawyers do. Give them a go.
Do you only have part time lawyers?
Nope. We have heaps of lawyers who want to work full time. But our focus is always first on fit for you so we may offer you someone part time, or even two people part time, if we think that is the best fit.
Aren’t you all a bit young to be so clever and successful?
Yes, we are. We were all child prodigies and are even younger than we look. Don’t worry though. We graduated university at 12. We have been doing this a long time despite our trophy wife appearance.
I have heard you pay really well – is that true?
Yep. We add a significant loading on top of a standard salary so that you get compensated both for the casual nature of the work and the additional risk factors of contract and temporary work.
Ok that’s a bit vague – exactly how well do you pay?
Didn’t your mother teach you not to talk politics or money? Oh alright then. Our goal is to secure around 150% of a full time equivalent standard market salary for a lawyer.
What do you consider a standard market salary?
You don’t let up do you? I think you’d better give us a call for more details. But rest assured, by anyone’s standards, we do pay really well.
Is it exclusive or a commitment or a fixed period of time?
You don’t commit to us beyond what we agree we will commit to our client on a given placement. We promise them, you promise us. Aside from that, you can do anything you like – work for yourself, work for someone else, jump between secondment companies looking for the best deal – that’s all fine with us. Think of it like an open marriage.
What if I want to do ‘legal aligned’ work? (ie project management, legal ops)
Lovely. Just make it clear to our Matchmakers and we can flag you for that kind of work as well as or instead of traditional legal work.
Can I work from home or do I need to be in the firm office?
We don’t mind where you work but it’s a case by case thing. You tell us what you want and we will talk to the firm for you. Usually the firm will want some face time, particularly at the beginning of a placement but the rest we can usually work out.
I’m nervous about doing law firm work again as it’s been a while – can you help me?
We sure can. We actually do a DiSC profile with you to help you understand your strengths at work, and you get a specialist coaching session before you start your first placement. We will also talk to the firm about getting you into some of their training sessions if you feel like you need to brush up on some practical skills.
Do you have any really casual work, like a few hours a week?
Sometimes we do and our hope is to build more of this kind of ‘gig’ work for those who want it. Register with us and we will keep you in mind.
Do you guarantee to find me a new placement after one finishes?
We’d love to but unfortunately we can’t promise. We will do our best for you though.
I live overseas but I am Australian qualified – can I still apply?
Yes, please do. We are building a database of people just like you and we will put you forward if you are the right fit for the role and we think it could be done remotely or with limited travel.
Do you have any use for my qualifications in overseas jurisdictions?
Yes – we want to know when you are dual qualified as sometimes we get opportunities with overseas firms that we can put you forward for (usually with no need to travel).
I think you seem amazing - are you hiring?
Yes we are. Get in touch if you feel inspired by us and tell us how you think you could help.
Do you do non-corporate law - plaintiff law, family law, criminal?
No, not at this stage. We try to stick to our knitting so we can really understand your career history and our clients and we are all corporate lawyers so that’s what we know best.