At the start of this year I joined Dublin headquartered alternative legal services business, Johnson Hana.

We are a technology led company which offers two types of services to the legal marketplace so that it works better for everyone. That is; On Demand Lawyers and Managed Legal Services.

What underpins the business is an empowered community of smart-working lawyers who work in flexible ways to meet the needs of our corporate client base.

Having spent the last 5 years’ working in the legal recruitment industry focusing on the placement of lawyers in mainly permanent positions within the Irish market, I noticed some recurring frustrations among the many people I spoke to within the industry. The biggest drawback to the profession was this; practicing law can involve long hours and generally provides very little flexibility.

I remember reading an article in the Legal Gazette some time ago entitled “Life’s A Beach” which boldly stated that firms are now dealing with employees who “would rather have a Fiat at the beach than a BMW in the car park”. The writers had conducted a study where its findings suggested that the structures within many day to day aspects of practicing law in firms or at the bar were disadvantageous to not only women starting a family, but people who were involved in sport, travel or other commitments outside of work. The modern professional!

I believe that throughout our lives, the ideal work situation is where you can have a career which fits your lifestyle and that your career can adjust and change to still suit you, regardless of what life choices you make.

For lawyers – who are naturally hard working and ambitious individuals – I found that very little was on offer for those who wanted a better work/life balance while still taking on well-paid work. Whilst legal culture has changed recently and flexible working has become a significant part of the industry, there is no real flexibility for those who might want to practice their profession on their own terms.

I would like to point out that I am not referring to everyone within the legal industry, but to a distinct number who would like to know about an alternative as opposed to leaving the law altogether.

To me, sustaining the future of the legal profession in Ireland requires fresh thinking.

Johnson Hana was established to address the issue lawyers & flexible working while also offering an appealing service for our clients.

Our ‘on-demand’ lawyer solution means that corporate legal departments can bring in lawyers to support and assist their in-house team when needed, allowing the in-house counsel to focus on their core duties. Johnson Hana lawyers work on flexible and variable length contractswhich can range from a couple of weeks to recurring engagements that run over the course of years! This makes life better for both sides; better pay for the lawyers, less hours and lower legal costs.

Our managed services model offers legal departments an alternative for completing legal and compliance work that sits beneath advisory. A lot of this work can be outsourced and can lessen the burden on the core legal team. To maximise the value of this service to our clients, we use cutting edge technology to reduce manual effort and repetitive tasks and provide clear reporting on our progress to ensure everyone remains on the same page.

We partner mainly with global tech companies, government bodies, smaller corporates, law firms and even start-ups, all of which have differing needs – be it plug in support requirements or large data outsourcing needs. As a result, we have constant options for lawyers who would like to practice law in a more flexible manner ; freeing up their time and energy to focus on other things in life as well as the law.

Johnson Hana lawyers will work with these departments either onsite or remotely for a fixed length of time and agreed amount of hours. Therefore, aside from the advantages of a better work-life balance, consultant lawyers can also benefit from a greater variety of work and a larger range of clients since you are in control of what work you take on, when and for whom.

To get information on upcoming projects, potential consultants can either contact me directly or sign up to our online portal. You will then receive information on possible options, tailored to you, while not having to leave your current job.

This is simply a way to get ahead of the curve in terms of how you would like your future to look. After all, life is full of surprises! There may come a day when you will want your work to suit your life and not the other way around.

If you would like to know more about what we offer, feel free to contact us at [email protected].