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I have been feeling decidedly ancient of late which is rather depressing. I put this down to a number of reasons but several standout. The first being that I was recently shown a hideous close up photo of the side of my face. Ordinarily, the sight of a side profile shot of my face provokes an immediate feeling of revulsion towards my nose. But on this occasion I was horrified to see some pretty established crow’s feet on the side of my eye. The nose revulsion came next.
The other factor is well, I guess my actual age. I am in the ‘older generation now.’ I’m not generation Y that’s for sure, I’m not sure if I’d even squeeze into X, more generation dinosaur. I read the recent article in the Lawyer Magazine about Generation Y and the factors that attract future trainees and junior lawyers to law firms. Apparently, factors that attract these people include CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility for any fellow dinosaurs reading this), ethical standards, environmental sustainability, pro bono efforts and international travel. In my day the focus was on whether the firm had a subsidised canteen and free parking. Apparently, at recent law fairs, Linklaters asked students to vote for the charity to which the firm should donate instead of giving them a free pen which went down well with students. Really? I used to love shovelling up all the freebies I could get my hands on at law fairs. Things have very definitely moved on.
Then there’s technology. I hate it because I haven’t kept up with its development. In my last job I was asked to run an assessment centre for twenty or so students who’d applied for a training contract with the firm for which I worked. Out of the 800 odd applicants, this lot had made it through to the last 50 – well done them. Part of the assessment involved an hour’s session discussing whether the firm’s twitter campaign was effective and captured the interest of law students who may be interested in applying to the firm in the future. I wrote a lot of notes and kept my head down. I don’t get Twitter. What’s the point? I thought I was quite modern being on Facebook but apparently the ‘youth’ of today are turning their backs on it because old people (like me) are now using it. I’ve read they’ve turned to instagram, snapchat and Tinder, or is it Grinder?
But I have made a third of a year’s resolution to get up to speed with technology and social media in particular because I have realised it’s necessary for me to be good at my job. If politicians can use YouTube channels to get their message across to the younger voters in readiness for the election (I’m thinking of the Miliband/Brand interview), I must find new ways to communicate with lawyers aside from telegrams!
Similarly, whilst law firms are trying to change their ways to attract the best talent, job seekers should work on improving areas that might impress or be useful to future employers, technology being a case in point, particularly if they have their sights set on a technology focused firm like Bird and Bird, Olswang or Osborne Clarke. Similarly, any ambitious commercial lawyer should regularly read the business pages of the broadsheets. Understanding the business concept in which law firms operate will improve commercial instinct and make for a better lawyer.
For more information about roles in Bristol with firms that have an amazing CSR record or roles with firms in Bristol with a canteen selling cheap tuna sandwiches, I’m your granny. Please contact Georgina Inson or visit our website BCL Legal.