A (often controversial) conversation between world-renowned Canadian legal analyst Mitch Kowalski and Australian NewLaw pioneer Nathan Hepple of HBA Legal. PMO offers a fresh and opinionated take on what's happening in and around the global legal services industry. Content is candid and controversial: an objection to the status quo. Warning: this ain't your usual legal podcast.
Season 1... it's a wrap: no guest, just chat about the hot issues of the day
In this final episode of season one, Mitch and Nathan chat about the skills that young lawyers should consider developing to get ahead. Nathan urges lawyers to avoid taking their lawyer attitude home in the interests of their mental health, saying: “the skills that make you a great lawyer, don’t necessarily make you a nice person.” The pair discuss the growing trend of law firms to publicly list, and can’t let the season end without analyzing the decent profits many Aussie law firms have announced just months after slashing employee pay in the wake of COVID.
The future of law schools
Will the impacts of COVID-19 bring a new breed of lawyer? Perhaps, we will see graduates who are more resilient and adaptable than ever before. What is the future of law schools as the profession continues to undergo transformation (albeit slow transformation). Mitch and Nathan chat to Professor Robert Cunningham, Dean and Head of the Curtin University Law School in Western Australia. Meantime, Nathan lays down a challenge! Who wants to come on the show to debate the law firm 'partnership' model? Nathan has strong views on the subject, but let’s hear the other side of the argument. Reach out to us! (PS we apologize in advance for some background noise behind Nathan during parts of this show - we recorded from home while building work was happening in his street!)
Law firms & the triple bottom line
Ask a lawyer if they know what the triple bottom line is. Don't be surprised if they look at you with a puzzled face. Lawyers ain't silly, but many don't know what the TBL is all about because law firms traditionally don't look beyond profit. The triple bottom line, aka profit; people; planet... and then there's ESG (Environment, Society, Governance)… whatever you want to call it, why are law firms just not focused on this stuff? Nathan and Mitch talk about this and more with leadership and behavioral change consultant Ciaran Fenton from the UK.
Finding genuine 'purpose' in law firms and why clients should care
Mitch & Nathan interview Melissa Lyon, Associate Principal of Hive Legal in Melbourne, as the trio argue why purpose-driven firms provide a better customer experience for both their clients and their people.
Gender equality in the legal profession
Mitch & Nathan are joined by Libby Lyons, the Director of the Australian Government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency (its mission is to promote and improve gender equality in Australian workplaces). Did you know that the legal industry in Australia is female dominated? But, when it comes to the most senior positions, women are severely underrepresented. Libby talks specifically about the legal industry in relation to gender targets, getting 'gender on the tender', why we don't want to "snap back" after COVID-19, as well as the Agency's push for government funded early education in schools from the age of two as a mechanism to help working families.
Remote & flexible working can and does work!
Firms in Australia are continuing to announce working from home policies for all staff beyond COVID-19 times. Mitch and Nathan discuss what this means for the profession (including positive outcomes for clients) and laugh over a Harvard study endorsing leaving your web camera on all day to prove you are working from home! Katherine Thomas of Free Range Lawyers in Perth, Western Australia, joins the conversation: her entire business revolves around lawyers working remotely. She connects freelance lawyers with firms looking to flex their resource for a certain period of time. As someone who has been working in this ‘remote’ space for years, Katherine has some interesting insight to share.