Aspiring to Partner in a time of socio-political and economic change

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Yes things are interesting out there and we are potentially staring out towards the eye of an economic storm. But big picture? There are some tectonic shifts happening that will affect the way in which lawyers engage with clients and, in turn, who will fundamentally make up a coveted client base for an aspiring or accomplished partner. Looking optimistically; what an exciting time to carve out your own practice geared towards a new order in business? Regardless of how you look at it though, no senior associate or special counsel in the current economic climate should feel discouraged from attaining their partnership goals.

Gone are the days of relying on the firm structure only and sustained loyalty to a firm to trigger a partnership promotion. Instead, foster your own approach and strategy that responds to the needs of contemporary civil society.

Once you have clearly defined your sector specialisations and have developed strongly under at least two solid mentors, start to create your own plan. This means creating a targeted business plan on how to get there earlier in your career.

Essentially, prepare a business plan that will act as a career map for you, rather than prepared for a specific firm.

As a global legal industry there is no doubt that we have undergone a transition, moving away from the apathetic consumer driven times of the early 2000’s through economic crisis and beyond. Taking the time to reflect on these pivotal shifts in society help us to better understand the new consumer (and employee) found in generation Z. This will be key in developing a contemporary game plan to best build a client following that will deliver outcomes over the next decade.

What types of companies will thrive over the next ten years?

What we know is that environmental responsibility and activism will continue to intensify. The last decade has shown consumer confidence has increased substantially in products considered sustainable Marketing has pivoted towards amplifying this. The next ten years and the impact of generation Z will see a need for this to be far better defined for the consumer.

Companies that deliver a sustainable product or footprint from extraction to final disposal across the whole life cycle of their product or transaction will be in greater demand. There will be a greater emphasis on qualifying this to the consumer.

Next what we understand is that new consumer was born amidst a deep global economic crisis. They bring an awareness of savings and spend that starkly contrasts the proceeding generations. Companies that value deep investment into their marketing function in order to clearly communicate the strengths and value of their offering against a competitor will win.

Australian lawyers have long recognised the importance of the Asian market and the expansion of China; however this is an ever moving playing field. Clients that innovate in terms of developing a contemporary strategy that accounts for micro and macro socio-economic shifts in the way we do business with China will be important to identify.

Of rising importance are companies that clearly respect the voice of their employees and notion of individuality. The new consumer is seeking to engage with companies that are transparent around their employee treatment and value systems overall. This will be more valuable to generation Z in choosing where to allocate their resources.

Most importantly identify client targets that you aspire to yourself. The best client relationships are fostered between people that have a genuine respect for each and a value alignment. We are all far more passionate and engaged about the work we do when we ourselves believe in our client. This leads to delivering a better quality of service which will feed into referral business and overall profile and reputation in the market.

Top Tips to carve out client targets in the current climate:

  • Authentically environmentally sustainable
  • Rich in employee satisfaction
  • Asia ‘ready’
  • Clearly defined value proposition and market strategy
  • Genuine belief in the client’s offering

For any business plan or career planning queries or advice please call me directly on 0405537153. This carries no obligation, I am always happy to discuss a personalized way forward with aspiring partners in the Australian legal market.