Happiness – we all want it and time and again we’re told the Danes have it. Denmark is often ranked as the happiest country in the world. But why? And what have the Danes got in common with consultant lawyers at Setfords Solicitors?
According to a report by the Happiness Research Institute, yes, that is a real thing, the reason the Danes rank so highly in international happiness surveys is due, in part, to them enjoying trust, security, wealth and freedom. According to the institute the Danes as a nation trust each other, their welfare state reduces uncertainly and therefore creates security, the country enjoys a relatively high level of prosperity, and the Danes experience a sense of freedom based on rights enshrined in their laws.
It sounds pretty good doesn’t it? And it certainly makes sense. A sense of trust, security, wealth and freedom are all factors we can appreciate would make us happier. But how many of us actually have them? In a traditional law firm I’d argue not many.
Let’s start with trust. In traditional law firms there are often so many lawyers fighting for so few partner positions that competitivity is rife, and, whilst you might have colleagues, it’s unlikely you’ve got many real friends with your best interests at heart. Security? Forget it. With such high billing targets within most traditional firms any real sense of job security is lost. If you fail to deliver on impossible goals you might not be openly fired, but you’ll quickly get the sense you’re not welcome and a partnership is but a pipe-dream. Wealth? Maybe. But any money you make by working 18-hour days in a high stress environment will pale in comparison compared to the money the firm makes on the deals you put together through blood, sweat and tears. And what about freedom? Be serious. In a traditional firm this is not an option. You will have too many clients and too little time to even think about a flexible lifestyle.
Is it any wonder that a study at one American university, Johns Hopkins, found that lawyers suffered from depression at a rate of 3.6 times higher than employed persons generally. Now I’m not saying every lawyer is unhappy, but I am suggesting that if you want to find happy ones in any great numbers you could do worse than look to a group of consultant lawyers, like the ones at Setfords.
The way our firm works absolutely embraces those factors that make the Danes so happy – trust, security, wealth and freedom. Trust is part of the bedrock of our firm. We deliver what we promise to our consultant lawyers so they can deliver what they promise to their clients. I firmly believe our 50-strong support team is both the biggest and best in the industry.
Onto security. Now you might think that working as a consultant lawyer doesn’t provide security, but I would argue the opposite. The truth is for you to be at the stage where you are genuinely ready to be a consultant lawyer you will have accumulated two key things: loyal clients and the ability to bring in new ones. And you take ownership of your own success – you aren’t really marketing a firm, you’re marketing yourself and your ability to deliver. You become the brand. So if you are good at your job, wherever you go your clients will follow. Not that you would want to go anywhere else after Setfords. Because we don’t set billing targets you can decide how many clients you should have to ensure each and every one gets the excellent service they deserve, and, as we all know, a happy client is a loyal one.
So what about wealth? The simple fact is consultant lawyers can earn more money working this way than they would ever earn working in a traditional firm. At Setfords you can earn up to 80% of what you bill. You get the rewards you deserve.
Finally, we come to freedom. That’s what being a consultant lawyer is all about. You are in control of your life. You decide how many clients you have, where you work, and when you work. Some of our 160-plus lawyers work from home, some work from offices, they can even work abroad. No one is checking what time they start work nor what time they finish. All we at Setfords care about is what you care about, and that’s delivering a brilliant service to your clients. How, when and where is completely up to you.
The good thing about happiness is there’s plenty to go around. Maybe Denmark does have the greatest number of happy people, but I know at Setfords we’ve certainly got our fair share.
To find out more about becoming a consultant lawyer at Setfords go to www.consultantsolicitor.co.uk
CEO, Setfords Solicitors