Opinion Can I work flexibly? By The Lawyer 1 October 2007 11:57 13 December 2015 21:50 Sign in or register to continue reading. It's FREE Sign in Email Password Keep me logged in Forgot your password? Not registered? It's FREE! Register now Register with The Lawyer HR manager, Silver Circle firm 16 October 2007 at 17:50 Flexible working If you have the statutory right to request flexible working then the firm must consider your request (they don’t have to acceded to it). If you don’t have that right then the firm can disregard your request. I am surprised that the firm does not have a policy outlining their approach (we do) to such matters and some would argue that having a talented lawyer working at the firm 4/5ths of the time is better then 0/5ths of the time. However, the key thing to consider is the impact on your clients and your colleagues of you not being full time. You would have considered any impact on your career and would not have made the choice you made without serious consideration. The firm, if it takes its employee relations seriously, should consider a well made case that has answered the questions of impact on clients and colleagues and as long as you are willing to be flexible too when the client / deal needs then there is little to be lost by having a grown up conversation. If they refuse then you can always move to a firm with a more enlightened approach, such as ours. (HR manager, Silver Circle firm) Reply Link Tina Dobbs, The Council of the Borough of Broxbourne 30 November 2007 at 13:26 Lawyers working part-time Part time work should not be difficult to manage either for an employer or employee. I have done it for many years both for BLP (formerly Berwin Leighton) and now for the Local Authority. The secret, for an employee, is not to have two days off together nor be off on a Monday or Friday. That way client’s and colleagues don’t miss you and no-one is inconvenienced – which is the perception when it comes to part-time working. I don’t think job share is the answer because there will always be one party who thinks they are doing more than the other etc. Both employer and employee should be flexible and swap days around on occasion when necessary. As long as the employee is talented, organised and works smart on the days in the office then it should be a win win situation. I suspect many an employer pays a lot of money to full time employees for hours spent chatting by the coffee machine and smoking outside the building – at the same time it is impossible to expect employees to be productive for what is often in excess of 10 hours a day, 5 days a week for 48 weeks of the year. Not everyone wants to be a Partner but nor do they want to have to take a part-time job in Tesco’s! Reply Link Monique Bachner 3 December 2007 at 17:01 Flexible working Yes it is possible. I work part-time in the corporate department of a Magic Circle firm (A&O). Flexibility is the key – both by the firm, your colleagues and you. Equally important are support from junior lawyers and staff (who you will probably still need to supervise to keep things moving even when you are out of the office) and good technology to allow access to current matters if urgent items arise. Yes I do spend time on my days off on Blackberry and occasionally also logging in or attending conference calls, but this flexibility allows me to spend more time on other interests whilst also meeting client and firm needs. I am working on “proper” corporate deals, which means I also do not always take my fixed days off, especially if a transaction is at a critical stage. On the other hand as we assess my working time over an annual period, I also take extra days of annual leave to make up for days lost. I do not feel I am losing out and am happy with how it works. Lawyers working fixed hours (e.g. 9 to 5) tend to have a pay cut beyond the pro-rata, however those working flexibly like this tend to get straight pro rata (if you work 80% you get 80% of the full-time salary). P.S. I also know a Senior Associate in a top US law firm in London who worked 50% over the year (in blocks or transactions) and both parties were happy. Reply Link Name Email Cancel reply Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.