in Employers, Legal Profession

Flexible Hours and the Legal Profession

I often have conversations with senior partners of law firms who ask me to find them lawyers who are willing to work hard, be committed to their firm, and show entrepreneurial flair and determination. However they do not want anyone lightweight or…. wanting to work part time.

Usually the requirement is for someone who wants to work full time and in the office from 9am-5pm. This, in the partner’s eyes, is someone who is committed and hard working. Someone like themselves.

I have to say that I often find that if I work flexible hours, which I often do, my work benefits as a result. If I want to go and have a game of golf or play tennis one afternoon, but then work the evening to make up for it, I get to relax during the day and get some exercise. In the evening I can condense 4 hours of office time into 2.5 hours and not have to deal with the telephone calls or other distractions.

I would imagine a lot of part time workers do the same, if not more hours than a full time worker, as when they are in the office, they usually have a lot more work to do. Full timers can afford to spend a morning Ocado shopping, or arranging car insurance quotes, but part timers have to be focussed for the whole time they are in the office in order to complete their work in a set time for that day.

So when a partner thinks that someone is hard working because they are in the office from 9-5, he or she is probably wrong. Someone who is hard working is someone generating fees, and this can be done in shorter time frames or on a different time scale than just the normal office hours. Offices on the continent open very early in the morning and close early in the afternoon to enable their workers to enjoy other things in life, such as exercise etc.. Not quite there yet in the UK..

Author: Jonathan Fagan MIRP MAC Cert RP LLM Solicitor (non-practising) – Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment ( – save time, skip the legal job boards and register with us!  Jonathan Fagan is a specialist legal recruitment consultant, author of the Complete Guide to Writing a Legal CV and the Guide to Interviews for Lawyers. He has recruited for law firms across the UK and overseas in all shapes and sizes. If you have any questions that we have not covered above, please email us at

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at