Working at southgate solicitors – the view three years on
It’s a dream come true! Or at least it would be if my dreams included ongoing witness statements; last-minute FHDRA’s and flurries of emails apropos very little. That however is simply the nature of the game and there’s only so much that any law firm can do about that.
What does make working at southgate solicitors, even three years on and in the (hopefully waning) midst of a global pandemic – or ‘unprecedented times’ for those of you used to seeing that on the end of every email signature – is the modernity of it all. By way of a very strange example, at previous firms, the water cooler was the traditional giant plastic container of water on a dispensary unit. If it didn’t work, giving it a surreptitious kick usually did the trick. Here it’s a nifty sleek Virgin Water machine. It wasn’t working and I didn’t think I was allowed to kick it, so I had to go and stand in front of Hasan’s (our Managing Director) office until he took pity on me and fixed it.
Where am I going with this, I hear you ask? Simple. It’s nice working somewhere where it’s not the same old story and that is trying and succeeding in being a new type of law firm. From our new premises which we’ve sadly seen too little of; to the flexible working arrangements; to the hands-off management style and trusting your employees to get the job done; to welcoming opinions and differing views on how to do things; to not clock watching (I was here for two years before I found out that we don’t have daily time recording targets which I was actually annoyed about it as I’d been doing quite well on that score – billing generally is another story) it really is a place that you actually want to work at. Which is no mean feat given the nature of our jobs though it does have its drawbacks such as when you realise it’s nearly 7pm and you’re still playing ping pong and finishing your beer. Whoops.
It is that atmosphere of collaborative, relaxed but focused working that keeps me at southgate solicitors and will do until Hasan gets sick of me and boots me out the door. Our jobs are difficult, time-consuming and stressful – the modern equivalent of Hobbes’ well-known quote. Luckily, we were already largely able to work remotely so the actual process of working hasn’t been too badly impacted by the various lockdowns though of course, that doesn’t make up for the lack of face-to-face time with colleagues you actually have fun with, can bounce ideas off and enjoy seeing.
In a very longwinded way what I’m trying to say is that I am glad I made the change and joined southgate solicitors. I specialise in primarily private law children matters and domestic abuse cases so you can imagine that kind of pressure cooker. Here though I have support; I have understanding; I have great colleagues to bounce ideas off and, for me, I’m able to put ideas for changes in the firm to Hasan and know we can have a discussion about it and he won’t reject the idea out of hand.
It’s not a dream come true as I don’t have my own rideable dragon. But it’s very close.
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