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10 Years on, Things have Changed for me as a Private Client Lawyer

I was flicking through the local newspaper’s property pages last week and noticed that Lanyon Bowdler’s old Shrewsbury town centre office had been turned into flats (isn’t everything eventually?!).  This led me to reminisce about my first day at that office – and first day with the firm – just over ten years ago.  I was a young keen Trainee Solicitor, raring to start work, and was shown up to my shared garret room and the tools of my trade.  Real files to work on, at my own desk…my own tape dictation machine and notepad!  

Fast forward ten years and I am typing this on my laptop at home at about 10pm on a Sunday night, having just finished work for the evening.  Back then I couldn’t have imagined being in this situation, with just a laptop and an internet connection replacing that dictation machine and notepad. 

I was asked to write a blog about my work as, since the birth of my first child three years ago, I have been working primarily from home.  I am a Solicitor in our Shrewsbury office’s Private Client department - I work a set number of hours spread over the seven-day week, mainly on ‘behind the scenes’ Private Client work such as Inheritance Tax papers, estate accounts and Court of Protection matters. 

The bulk of my work is done outside of traditional working hours.  I may check my emails throughout the day from about 6am (it’s hard to get up before an 18 month old but sometimes possible!) but do most of my work in the evening.  Thanks to ‘remote access’, I am logged onto the work computer system in the same way as my colleagues and usually don’t even need to see a physical file of papers to be able to work on it. 

Of course I miss the traditional work environment – meeting clients, talking to my colleagues face to face rather than by email - and find that there aren’t many hours left in the day, but who can say that with young children anyway? Showing my face once or twice a week to liaise with colleagues (or doing a blog…) hopefully shows that I still exist! Although my work patterns are different, my hugely supportive colleagues and the benefits of the latest workplace technology both make sure that I still feel part of the team.