Lawyers accustomed to long working days might consider it a ‘good day’ if they made that 7pm dinner appointment they tentatively arranged three weeks prior. Thoughts of week-life being any other way could only mean one thing – a new career – a daunting prospect when you have come so far down the road of study and hard work.
Sarah Bartholomeusz tells Dynamic Business how she has turned this arguably cliché yet accurate vision of what it means to be a lawyer on it’s head with nothing more than a bit of observation, innovation and courage.
After having been made redundant from her in-house position, Sarah was given a unique opportunity to work as an independent contractor. It didn’t take long before Sarah realised how well this worked, not just for her, but for her clients also. Sarah sought to turn this into a permanent reality for herself and others seeking to remove the anchor of firm culture.
“So I wanted to give the opportunity to other people to work this way!” said Sarah.
Founded in 2013, You Legal injects a modern influence into the legal service. Responding to advances in modern technology, You Legal provides tailored legal support to businesses across a range of industries while providing great lawyers a better work-life balance.
“After working in the legal services industry for a number of years, I saw the issues facing both clients and lawyers. I wanted to create a firm that offered value to clients, as well as a firm that lawyers enjoyed working for.”
With many services provided through online platforms, overheads are low making services more cost effective compared to traditional law firms. Sarah told Dynamic Business that clients have become increasingly concerned with the value they are receiving when engaging professional services.
“The increased competition in both the Australian and global legal services industry means clients can choose to be more picky. The implications for firms means tailoring their service to fit the client.”
You Legal boasts a varied client base from ASX listed companies, medium sized businesses and franchisors, who Sarah believes are all attracted to You Legal’s “responsive service and fresh approach.
“Our values are important to our business and resonate with our clients.”
Having experienced 400 per cent growth last year, Sarah has high hopes for future expansion of the business and is already in the process of rolling out nationally. Having lawyers already in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne – recruitment is currently underway in Sydney and Perth.
Sarah admits that there has been plenty of stress and strife associated with ‘going it alone.’ “Making decisions as an entrepreneur can be difficult,” said Sarah but it would be fair to say that her objectives have been achieved.
“This year I spent 3 weeks working from Italy, with my husband and 2 children. Working remotely, without having to be in a set location or time zone, has created an enormous amount of freedom around my time. Even though I work long hours – I feel like there is a better balance.”
Flexible working arrangements enables You Legal’s top tier lawyers to have better control over their commitments and work-life balance. With ‘love your life’ a core value of the business, an enthusiastic and motivated Sarah said:
“We are ready and willing to take instructions!”