Clearpoint Counsel, Australia’s first B Corp law firm is also 75 per cent female, and they reckon this modern approach leads to happier lawyers.
Former in-house lawyer and recent addition to the firm Rania Tannous, thinks they’re right.
“I made the leap to Clearpoint after meeting founder Joel Cranshaw at an industry event,” she told Australasian Lawyer
“I was really impressed with the team that Joel had assembled and the business model he had developed.”
To achieve B Corp certification, the firm had to meet rigorous standards of social and environment performance and accountability.
“By offering retainers to clients, it enables an in-house-like approach to client management, which both lawyers and clients love. I realised I wanted to be part of that and I knew I could make a real difference with my experience,” Tannous said.
Clearpoint’s start-up culture starts from the hub-like open office space where lawyers are heavily encouraged to collaborate. And while at times Tannous said it can be a challenge to maintain focus, the benefits are well worth it.
“It's the constant exposure to new ideas, people and businesses which makes it interesting,” she said.
“If you are looking to innovate in your profession, there is no better place than to be amongst people who are doing it every day.
“If we need to be away from people to focus, we go to a quiet space, place our headphones and get the job done.”
The firm doesn’t use financial performance as a measure of a lawyer’s success or progress but rather focus on purpose and experience. They are of the belief that this ‘outdated’ model leads to lawyers working in isolation, where they’re would prefer the focus to be on community involvement.
“The legal profession has traditionally been built on hierarchy and rigid billing systems, which for new economy businesses is becoming outdated,” Tannous said.
“We also encourage our lawyers to pursue activities such as yoga, running and community programs.
“As we work in a co working environment, we have a lot of interaction with our community, and this exposes us to clients doing some extraordinary things all the time.
“I think this generates a lot of good will for our legal team, as they feel part of a community, not isolated in an office.”
So what’s next for the happy firm? Making waves in the legal profession with a nation-wide rollout.
“Ultimately we are always looking for ways to improve what we do, because we love what we do,” Tannous said.
“Our plan now is to forge ahead and replicate this model all over Australia, as it has a lot to offer both lawyers and clients alike.”