Roles we recruit for: Professional Support Lawyers

Professional Support Lawyers

The role of the PSL has evolved considerably in recent years and is now a challenging and interesting alternative from fee-earning.  Taylor Root have a dedicated team who focus on recruiting Professional Support Lawyers and Knowledge Managers for a range of US, City, Niche and West End firms.  We work with a wide spectrum of candidates: from those wishing to make their first move into a PSL role to experienced PSLs wishing to make a lateral move (generally for more flexibility, better remuneration or a promotion) or those considering their next challenge as a Head of Knowledge Management and/or into a more strategic role. 

Roles we recruit for: Professional Support Lawyers
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A typical working day as explained by PSL's

There is no such thing as a typical day! I always spend some time reading through email alerts and updates and reading any articles or cases that are highlighted that may be significant for the group I work in. I may forward some of these on immediately (e.g. a news story), or may need to do some more work e.g. to read a judgment or piece of legislation or do some more research and then possibly prepare a note for my group.

I frequently spend time with the BD person for my group - we may discuss content for an upcoming webinar or newsletter or new stories that involve clients or targets. Sometimes I will be working on a big project that will take up a lot of time - e.g. a research note for a partner to allow them to deliver a webinar, preparation for a client seminar, or I might be writing content for our quarterly client updates or contacting fee earners about content I want them to write. I may be responding to queries I have received for some information on a topic or a copy of a judgment or article.

I usually spend some time each week uploading know-how to our Knowledge Management System. We also prepare a monthly PSL newsletter with case summaries for internal publication and each month I will have 1 or 2 case summaries to prepare for that.

Part time PSL , City Firm

My typical day varies between 9 - 12 hours depending on my workload, although my regular working day is usually 10 - 11 hours long. Due to the current volume of work involved in the role (by way of background, my PSL role is a newly created one and the firm did not previously have a PSL resource or up to date precedent bank) I often work slightly longer hours than I am led to believe my friends in PSL roles in other mid/larger law firms work do, but this is more out of choice than as a result of pressure being put on me internally.

My average day consists of a lot of precedent drafting (due to the lack of an up to date resource being available), preparing internal training sessions on topical and/or other required areas of corporate law (either as a result of new legislation being enacted or on areas that I or colleagues believe the corporate lawyers need further training/a refresher on), preparing a variety of client-facing publications (in both hard and electronic copy), liaising with colleagues in other departments to assist with cross-department training sessions/current awareness issues and helping to identify new revenue/work streams that could be exploited by the firm, and how best to implement these.

I tend to focus more on private company related work, than public company related work, although I am occasionally involved in this. This is driven by the fact that the firm is more involved in private, than public company work, and also my background as a private company M&A and venture/growth capital lawyer.

Full time office based PSL, West End Firm

I usually arrive in the office at approximately 9 a.m., although I’ll have to arrive earlier if we have arranged client seminars or internal training starting first thing. Assuming I can go straight to my desk, my first task is sifting through email alerts to identify whether there are any legal updates that need to be circulated internally or could be used as a source for external communications. The remainder of my day is varied, though there are invariably legal queries from fee earners in my team and other departments and offices to answer throughout the day.

A substantial part of my job involves creating and updating standard forms, either in response to changes to industry standard documentation, legislation or caselaw (which will need to be done in priority to other work) or as part of ongoing improvement and maintenance. I might need to arrange training sessions and review materials for other presenters, or work with fee earners to prepare client bulletins. I also need to maintain our intranet pages and ensure know-how is collected from fee earners and uploaded to the intranet. I will also be involved in firm wide projects, which may take up a significant amount of time. Recent examples included the design of a new intranet system and switching to Webfiling at Companies House.

I will usually leave around 6:30 or 7, but have flexibility to leave earlier, and we have excellent IT for remote working. While I have a work phone, I don’t tend to check emails once I have left the office unless there is something specific I am waiting for. I am rarely called once I have left the office.

Full time office/home based PSL, Large City Firm