Legal Consultant Profiles: “The Flexible Mid-Level Consultant” Annalise Haigh - Looking Back at 2018!.
Annalise joined the KorumLegal team in late 2017, after trying her luck in television, luxury fashion and teaching, before that a two-year travel “odyssey” (where she became a snowboarding enthusiast), and before that many years in a large global law firm. She was ready for her next challenge and wanted it to be in the legal space. She was inspired to join the “gig economy” and NewLaw fray, having always had a strong belief in the capacity of the legal world to innovate. Read on to see how Annalise fared over the last year or so… is she still just as enthusiastic? (Hint: OF COURSE!)
1. How has this past year been for you since leaving the ‘conventional’ legal practice/joining KorumLegal?
Challenging! But in a good way. I’m still providing in-house counsel support for my first ever client! Although, now on a more ad hoc basis. Interestingly, this lead to a steep learning curve for my legal skills. In private practice or a large in-house team, your practice area is controlled, and generally you have access to senior know-how and resources. In my legal consulting roles, I’ve often been the only “legal” person in the company, with no-one within the business to bounce strategy. In this situation, I’ve had to step up and back myself – sink or swim so to speak (well hopefully not sink!) – as a result I’m a lot more confident in my legal know-how. In addition, I’ve also loved the strategic “business of law” side of the consulting work. This adds a lot of value, and in the end enables you to provide better legal support.
2. With the added flexibility of working in the ‘Gig Economy’, what have you been able to achieve outside of your legal consulting career?
I have a unique position in that I am a KorumLegal Consultant but also part of the KorumLegal HQ team. Not only do I get to use and improve my legal skills, but I get to upskill from a business perspective. I’ve always been interested in innovation and strategy, and my role as Head of Communications allows me to really develop these skills. Of course, being an active Legal Consultant also gives me a deep knowledge of the core of our business, which I can draw on for our marketing. It’s win win! KorumLegal HQ team is also a big believer in flexible working, so I can travel and work – best of both worlds. Over Christmas, I spent a few days working beside a pool in Bali… there are worse places to be!
3. What’s your new year resolution – both personally and professionally?
Professionally, I’m keen to keep building my professional skills and profile. I’ve been part of the Australia Chamber of Commerce mentoring programme, and my mentor has really helped me with my development. Personally… it’s a bit weird, but I want to be more in the “know” with music! I love going to festivals and gigs, but my friends will attest, very rarely do I know who I am seeing! This year… I’m going to know!
4. Last year when we spoke you had just started your first assignment – any update on any surprising or juicy anecdotes of your experience being a legal consultant?
If someone asks for a corporate commercial legal support… expect that you’ll also need to have some knowledge of almost every other area of law! Luckily, from my M&A due diligence days, I have some basic knowledge of most areas! I think almost every area of law has come up for me over the last year!
5. Do you have any tips for consultants looking into joining the flexible workforce? Any Dos and Don’ts? (Productivity tips?)
Just last month I wrote an article on this point! (Your First 10 Days as a Legal Consultant) So, yes I do! The main “dos” are to be adaptable and strive to provide real “value add” to the client. The main “don’t” is to get stuck in your ways – you’re there for a short time, so you’ll need to figure out the client’s processes and where you can add value based on your own experience, not the other way around! I also recommend reading “How Consultants Project Expertise and Learn at the Same Time” which also gives some great consulting tips!
To find out more about Annalise and why she decided to join the NewLaw working model, read her previous 2018 Consultant Q&A here.
Feb 28, 2019