When I moved to Dubai more than 18 months ago, I took a sabbatical – the first for me. If you asked me 4-5 years ago about the idea of being on a sabbatical, I would say it’s not a matter of whether I want to, but it’s when I can. I’d be lucky if I could take leave without having to work during my time off… or without cancelling my leave altogether. In the end, I managed to take a sabbatical. In a way, it was circumstantial driven. My husband is based in Dubai and, with the move and all, I wanted the time to adjust to a new city, environment and, most of all, to settle into a new place. I was fortunate that the previous firm I worked for kept the option for me to come back open, should I choose to do so.
During my time off, I did things I had always wanted to do, including painting and taking some courses on gemology. In addition, I explored Dubai. The only thing that concerned me was that I didn’t want to be out of touch with the legal world – but I didn’t think that going back to potentially long hours and work travels was something that was sustainable for me in the long run. I was trying to find a balance. So, when the opportunity to work with LOD in Dubai came along, I took it. Not knowing what to expect, I was curious to find out what it would be like to work as an LOD lawyer.
Since starting with LOD, I’ve met and come across different people from different walks of life. The clients I’ve worked with have been interesting and good, and the work I do is never boring. I don’t get treated any differently for being an LOD lawyer. In fact, based on my experience, you’re pretty much seen as one of the in-house legal team members doing front-end facing work with the business and its counterparties. It’s a bonus that I’ve kept in touch with some of the people I worked with on previous assignments.
I’m thankful to LOD for giving me the opportunity to work as an LOD lawyer and, at the same time, I’m thankful for the flexibility that comes with it. It has been a good move to leave what I was doing before. I can now say that I’ve got the balance I was looking for, without compromising one or the other. For anyone who wants to find a balance, I highly recommend LOD.