Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a ‘virtual’ or ‘remote’ lawyer? It can all sound a bit high tech and strange so here’s an exclusive Q&A with Lauren Moroney, Senior Lawyer at LegalVision, an innovative Australian firm and brainchild of former corporate lawyer, Lachlan McKnight, that offers access to cost-effective and easy-to-use online legal services.
A lawyer who likes to think and work differently and has a whole host of passions and interests outside the law, Lauren offers clients legal and business advice on a range of commercial matters, including online law, contracts, insolvency, litigation and loans. We chatted to Lauren about what it is like to spend a day in the life of a remote lawyer at LegalVision.
Q: Hi Lauren and welcome to Legaler. Can you tell us why become a lawyer and where you began your career?
A: I guess it was just something I fell into. I was quite an argumentative child and everyone used to say that I should become a lawyer so I did! And plus, I wanted to change the world! I started off studying fulltime and then realised after a year that it wasn’t enough to keep me busy so I landed a job working in marketing at the international law firm, Baker & McKenzie, in its Sydney office. Some ten odd years later, here I am!
Q: What was it about LegalVision that attracted you to its business?
A: It made law fun and fresh. Law firms can tend to get a bit stale – to work in a tech-driven business with passionate, bright and inspiring minds is very exciting for me. LegalVision is a very positive workplace that is always open to change and I think that can be quite hard to come by, particularly in a conservative industry such as law.
Q: You work remotely from your home in Newcastle. Describe a typical day in the life of a ‘remote’ lawyer.
A: The LegalVision office is gorgeous but to have the flexibility to work where and when I want is amazing.
On an ideal day, I start work at 6:00am until about 10:00am when I get all of my emails done and do a lot of my drafting work. I then go for a walk with my dog and might head to the beach for a swim or run some errands.
At about 3:00pm, I will do the rest of my work and attend any meetings I have scheduled (usually by telephone conference or Skype) and I sometimes break that up until the evening depending upon what I have on. I always have my mobile on me and am available anytime to check emails and take calls, etc. If I have Newcastle clients, I also meet with them either at their business or our Newcastle office. Sometimes I also travel to the mid north coast and work from there so working remotely has really given me a lot of flexibility which I just love. All I need is Wi-Fi and mobile reception! I also tend to be the kind of person who shuns routine so I really enjoy what working remotely provides. I am very lucky!
Q: Do you find it easy to connect with colleagues in the Sydney head office? What systems help the most in connecting with peers or clients in different offices or locations?
A: Absolutely! LegalVision is a tech-driven firm so everyone is only a second away. We have an amazing IT Team. I have access to our private cloud, a vast and comprehensive library of legal precedents and great streamlined and organised systems and templates so it is just like working in the Sydney HQ. We also have weekly meetings and fortnightly CLEs (which I dial in for) along with our LegalVision staff newsletter and email updates that keeps everyone up to date. There are also plenty of firm events if I ever feel like heading down to Sydney!
Q: What do you love most about being able to work from a home office?
A: The freedom! I don’t even really have an office space in my home as I like to work outside or from different parts of the house depending on how I am feeling. I am an interiors nut so I love to create relaxing spaces that I can float through during the day if I am working from home.
Q: Describe your dream home or work office? Whose workspaces and homes do you find the most inspiring?
A: I would love to work on acreage near the beach in a large open plan house with plenty of windows, a pool and great deck or have a gorgeous white house with ocean views. I love modern coastal architecture, clean lines and a relaxed coastal vibe. I am a bit of a fan of the Japanese-Australian architect, Koichi Takada, who designed Jennifer Hawkins’ North Curl Curl home – absolutely stunning. And I love the work of interior designer, Darren Palmer. I grew up on an island in Tonga so I find that I am constantly drawn to that simple, relaxed coastal lifestyle.
Q: When you’re not practicing law, what do you like to do with your down time?
A: Everything! I love adventure and adrenalin sports, travelling, interior design, event styling, cooking, hanging at the beach, paddle boarding, photography, gardening and spending time with good company. I am also quite a creative person so it’s really important that I get the chance to express that creative side as well!
Q: Name 3 inspiring books that you have read that you would recommend to others.
A: Oh, there is too many to choose from but I’ll say The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L Hay. I love reading and I love spiritual self-help books!
Q: What advice would you give to lawyers looking to practice law in a flexible way?
A: Just do it! If you are looking for a change in life and want to have that flexibility and freedom, law can actually provide it. You just have to look in the right places. Life is too short not to truly live!
To find out more about Legal Vision and work opportunities, visit the their website here or email [email protected]
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