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The Fear of Change


This post is short.

You know what you have to do: something different.

Life is truly what me make it, and given how much of it is spent inside one firm after another, you cannot afford, if you value your time on this earth, to wake up today and copy what you did yesterday.

More of the same – same thinking, talking and doing – will move you precisely … nowhere.

The barriers that stop you changing are (largely) self-imposed. I should know because they dictated my behaviour. I was disposed to billing, doing what others did, and assumed that my sail was set on the way to partnership.

How wrong I was.

Instead, I should have followed my heart, practised the law that made me happy and stopped listening to all those people who told me just to keep my head down (shut up in other words).

I can’t change you.

Only you can do that.

But next time you find yourself on the end of lousy day, ask yourself: “Is this all there is to the practice of law?”

By stretching the canvass you might risk censure, ridicule and people may even despise you, but you know in your heart that you can’t keep up the pretence for ever. Sooner or later something has to give – at home, work or with your friends.

If you are contemplating a career in law, then you need to keep the widest possible eyes open to the seismic changes. If you are not entrepreneurial in spirit then you will struggle. Where once a automaton sat and plied their trade, nowadays that won’t cut the mustard. You have to be practically Bransonian in your purview or certainly you have to be prepared to break the mould, adopt a business development mindset and be prepared to get much closer to your clients.

If all this sounds familiar, it won’t be half as bad as when someone tells you that the work is being offshored, given to a paralegal or two (good for them) or even a machine.

Change is never easy, particularly when there is no strong commercial imperative.

But the market will finally catch up with you, and now is the time to drive a stake through yesterday’s modus operandi and re-imagine a new and vibrant future where you will be centre stage.

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