April 15, 2021
Our most recent hire, Jonathan Sklar, describes how Law 365 is helping him develop as a newly qualified solicitor.
When did you start at Law 365?
I started at the beginning of 2021. Having only qualified as recently as January, this is my first post-qualification position.
What is your legal background?
My legal background is broad (from a junior perspective) having previously worked in-house at a global media and entertainment company, in private practice as a paralegal and trainee and also completed work experience at a number of premier boutique law firms in the UK and abroad in Brussels before starting the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
What attracted you to work at Law 365?
I actually didn’t know about Law 365 before receiving an out of the blue call from a recruiter pitching the firm to me.
It took me going away, researching and having a look on the website to find out about the firm. What struck me immediately was that Law 365 is the only law firm in the world to specialise in the legal needs of Microsoft Partners, and the subscription and credit-based billing model offer is so far removed from a traditional law firm. It was the idea of specialising in a particular sector, within a really modern business model, that I found refreshing as a junior looking to take my first qualified steps.
Business structure and core specialism aside, the “Insights” blog content and unique sector e-books that Law 365 were producing were both extremely insightful and easy to understand without needing a legal background. It was clear to me that Law 365 really understood the IT/Microsoft Partner sector. This has been proven in the short space of time I have been here with the number of legal and business awards we have been winning!
What kind of work do you do on a typical day?
I am currently on a short-term secondment to one of our major clients to assist on a project, so my day is completely driven by the project. That being said, I still have regular catch-ups with Kim, and the rest of the team are always making sure that everything is OK and that I am not feeling completely removed.
Secondment aside, my role as the most junior member of the team is one of constant learning and development. Typically, I will check in with senior lawyers in the morning to see where there is work to assist on and this can range from reviewing and marking up contracts to drafting advice notes to clients.
How quick has it been to pick up how things work here at Law 365?
It’s a constant learning curve for me as a newly qualified lawyer but from the first day the whole team have made it so easy to pick things up – whether that’s via talking me through my new “acronymy” world (SaaS, DPoR, CPoR, CSP etc.) or taking the time to explain how certain IT contracts work and to understand key terms.
Of course, there is a lot that I don’t know yet, but knowing I have a team of experts who are always happy to pick up the phone to me and help, makes picking things up much easier.
In terms of how things work at Law 365, from my interview, to the onboarding process and being assigned a “buddy” to check in with, Kim and the wider team have been able to answer my questions at all stages whether they are IT related or legal – it has been a very easy process!
Do you work in collaboration with others, or work alone?
I am aware of my “newly qualified” status and that I can’t just be let off the reins to run on matters without supervision, so collaboration with other colleagues forms a large part of my day-to-day role at Law 365. There are often instances where I will collaborate with colleagues on employment, commercial and corporate matters and the whole team are more than happy to offer advice even when it is not a matter they are involved in. It is a real collaborative environment here.
That being said, the senior lawyers are also happy for me to do a “first pass” on documents/advice notes for them to review so I am equally given a great deal of autonomy. This autonomy is emphasised by the secondment I am currently on which is fantastic in giving me direct exposure to a business and giving me a platform on which to continue developing my ability to work alone.
You started working at Law 365 in the middle of the Covid lockdown.
Has it been strange working with people you’ve never actually met in the flesh?
It is strange to only know your colleagues as floating heads on a screen but at the same time, we catch up with each other every morning either as part of a Team Meeting or just to have a general chat over a coffee. So, although it will be strange to meet the team in real life when (fingers crossed) everything opens up again, it actually feels more like I am already part of the furniture!
How does Law 365 compare to the other places you have worked?
Where Law 365 stands out for me is the quality of work you get by working with Microsoft Partners day in and day out. It’s a fast-paced dynamic sector and the work is really interesting. I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t been able to learn something new and take another step forwards in my development.
I have also never worked somewhere where so much emphasis is placed on staff wellbeing, it truly is a “work hard, play hard” environment and I couldn’t be more positive about the firm.
How do you think you will develop as a lawyer with Law 365?
Working for a uniquely specialised firm, full of so many strong lawyers will undoubtedly allow me to build a strong foundation of competence and experience within the IT sector. From a development, everybody is willing to put time aside and help me to improve my legal skills. Even Kim, who has the whole business to run, will put time aside to do a page turn on an agreement that I have marked-up to discuss on a clause by clause basis what I could have done better or how points could be negotiated.
Are there advantages to working for a smaller firm?
At the moment we have five senior lawyers and two juniors. From a junior point of view, working for smaller firm means that I have great exposure to senior level work and often find myself assisting on a variety of matters - it is a perfect environment for a junior to develop.
What do you value in life? How does Law 365 fit in with these ideals?
My own professional development is hugely important to me and I value being in an environment where I am challenged on a daily basis. At Law 365 there is never a quiet or boring day, I am constantly encountering new sector-specific contracts and client queries and I know that with every challenge there is a team of supportive lawyers around me that are more than happy to take the time to discuss matters with me.
What memorable moment do you have from your brief time at Law 365?
I started at Law 365 four weeks before my birthday and expected it go completely under the radar because I hadn’t been with the firm for long. To my surprise, Kim found out that I enjoy whisky, and arranged for a virtual whisky tasting evening for the whole team to celebrate with me. The team also sent me some great coffee gifts after finding out that I am a bit of a home-barista. It was definitely a memorable birthday and speaks volumes about how warm and welcoming the team are.
Are you happy working at Law 365?
Absolutely! The firm has ticked every box from what I was looking for as a newly qualified lawyer both in terms of quality of work and the team around me.
Interested in working at Law 365?
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