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Lawyer stories:
From Frozen to Freelance

Without LOD lawyer Kate Hardwick, our HELLO-D! newsletter wouldn’t exist at all (gasp). Not only did she come up with this concept, but she can also sing along to all of the songs from Frozen – oh, and she’s a lawyer when she feels like it too. Read more about her journey to becoming a flagship LOD just-a-lawyer here.

A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with my children in the kitchen – sorting through boxes of new school uniform and singing along to the songs from Frozen – when I received a call from Nadia, and she asked me to write a piece for this blog. Apparently, on the back of glamorous tales of lawyers/DJs, lawyers/stylists etc, they wanted to showcase the story of an LOD lawyer who is “just a lawyer”. I reported this exchange to a fellow LOD, who replied, “So, when they wanted to hear from one of their boring lawyers, they asked you?”

So…no exciting portfolio career for me: I am indeed a flagship LOD just-a-lawyer. I turned up on LOD’s doorstep in 2010, after my already unhappy in-house job took a turn for the worse. I had worked alongside LODs (I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that we used to call them “lawyers when they feel like it”), so I wasn’t new to the concept. But I wasn’t entirely convinced it was for me either.

This was a time when the LOD interview process involved a rather cringeworthy commercial role-play test (Editor’s note: don’t worry we no longer test acting skills!). I haven’t forgotten mine. At the end of the test, Simon (Harper, LOD CO-Founder) said to me, “Well, I’ve never seen anyone approach it quite like that before.” Silence. Quite a long silence. “But then…I suppose you are…a corporate lawyer…” And with those words of not-even-faint praise, I was in.

Five years and eight assignments (not to mention one wedding and two children) later, I’ve grown up with LOD. In fact, we’ve grown up together – LOD has come a long way from three people “making it up as we went along” (that’s a direct quote) in a dusty corner of Adelaide House.

I have been fortunate to meet some wonderful clients and lawyers along the way. When I came up with the idea for HELLO-D! (sadly can’t claim any credit for the name), it was borne out of the desire to find out what everyone else was up to – a.k.a. nosiness. I love hearing about those inspiring lawyers who fill their non-LOD time with more colourful or offbeat work. It’s more of a lifestyle choice for me. I throw myself into a new project, then – as soon as the job is done – hand in my temp building pass for a few clear weeks of enjoying myself… via the usual self-approved end-of-assignment treat. And then I square up to the next one.

Since joining LOD, I have learnt so much about law, about business and about people. Crucially, I’ve also learnt that fund managers host very extravagant Christmas parties, music company employees do spend an awful lot of time on Spotify, and that charity workers really, really love karaoke. I certainly don’t see this as ‘keeping my hand in’. But then, what’s a career anyway? I am a lawyer when I feel like it.

(P.S. Sorry Simon – I haven’t made any progress whatsoever on the role-play skills.)

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