The Legal Services Continuum (LSC) is a 3-5 year programme designed with the vision to help the legal and related professions work together as easily as they can talk together on the telephone today.
As the programme approaches its first year anniversary, it can now offer something for everyone–from senior solicitors looking to retire with better pension pots, to graduates looking to break into the profession with training contracts, and qualified solicitors (and established legal practices) with a thirst for growth.
Improving personal pension plans
The first phase of the LSC programme was all about helping seasoned professionals looking to retire in the next 2-5 years. It promised, amongst other things, help to boost the profitability of their practice while at the same time reducing the time spent working on matters. It also ensured the legacy of their hard-earned practicing name to live-on beyond their retirement, and of course the obvious benefit of not having to buy run-off insurance.
Additional hidden benefits have also emerged from having a ‘virtual head office’ that takes care of their ‘actual’ practice.
Through an expanding network of fellow members, paralegals and support staff, practice owners participating in the programme are essentially increasing their capacity to meet client demands without the usual costs or risks of expansion. Work that was once having to be turned away, can now be dealt with ‘in house’ by people from across any of the expanding network of practice offices involved in the programme, the programme’s own centralised shared services centre in Stockley Park, or indeed by solicitors who prefer to work remotely from home or private office spaces up and down the UK (and some even abroad).
Client matters and files are handled within a single virtual workplace, and governed under a common quality management system, regardless of the physical location of the people handling the case, or which branded practice name they work under.
This means that in the lead-up to retirement, practice owners can maintain (or even ramp-up) the number of cases they handle, rather than to have to dwindle it down, knowing that the workload can be spread across the collaborative so as not to be a strain on their immediately available resources.
Primal need for expansion and growth
While seasoned solicitors will be looking to wind-down, younger qualified solicitors who want to make their mark are hungry for more work and greater responsibilities. Solicitor practices owned by young ‘hunter gatherers’ are also seeking opportunities for growth, but lack the appetite for acquiring established firms because of the risks of becoming a successor practice for PII purposes, don’t have the expertise in dealing with costly IT integration work, nor the complexities of merging potentially conflicting cultures.
The LSC programme provides truly unique opportunities for qualified solicitors, perhaps held back within a overcrowded corporate structure, and freelance solicitors with no prospect of becoming partner in any of the firms they work for, and who lack the capital or following to setup practice for themselves. Entrepreneurially minded solicitors can participate in the LSC programme with several advantages, each innovative and very different to what has been available in the market before. Of these, perhaps the most attractive aspects for qualified solicitors include:-
- A shared client list brimming with opportunities to work on
For example, a high volume of non-litigious conveyancing work has inevitably led to demand for solicitors who can deal with landlord-tenant disputes under Lexia Law brand. Similarly, there is now a sizable Wills bank which has opened up opportunities for more probate work.
- Operational, peer and paralegal support
Qualified solicitors entering the programme can work within and across any of the member brands, and by default work on assignments under the name of Lexia Law. This means as well as having access to the people, offices and facilities of a growing network of branch offices, the programme aims to offer every qualified solicitor the support of paralegals and graduates on formal training contracts.
Breaking into the profession
The Coplexia Graduate Intake Programme (GIP) runs in parallel with the LSC programme, not only to help law graduates into the profession but also to provide trainee opportunities for graduates from a multitude of backgrounds to work across the five core capability areas of the Coplexia Shared Services Centre.
For law graduates in particular, the LSC programme fosters a ‘buddying up’ culture and system whereby each trainee is assigned to a “Staff Manager” for general career advice, training and mentoring. Trainees then work on a variety of fee-earning assignments under the supervision of a principal fee earner, with the Principal Trainer maintaining oversight.
As a result, graduates are able to fend for themselves through a ‘earn while you learn’ model, that is also bolsters with some highly innovative and commercially confidential collaborations across industry and commerce.
After all the horror stories about legal internships I heard I said “Good, I secured myself a year of copying and scanning”. The image I painted in my mind consisted of being in a dusty office surrounded by files waiting for me to scan. This picture was far from reality when I started with Coplexia.
Find out more
Interested parties should contact the Programme Director, Amir Khodaparast, on 07956 349403 or email [email protected] to request an informal and informative chat by phone. A Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement will need to be exchanged for detailed talks.