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Aspiration, ability and the LPMC: How this senior lawyer embarked on her next legal venture
Senior lawyers often face the same predicament.
They have a tremendous responsibility to deliver results for clients. Yet, if they don’t bear the title ‘partner’, they have little input on their firm’s processes when it comes to achieving said results.
After 15 years as a successful lawyer, Perth-based Carla Vinciullo was grappling with this reality.
She knew it was time to make a change. And with a career-long aspiration to start her own firm, her inner voice – telling her to ‘go for it’ – became louder and louder.
Her first step towards this dream? Arming herself with the tools and knowledge she needs – by enrolling in The College of Law’s LPMC.
I was a go-getter from the get-go
I headed straight into work following my 2005 graduation. And, apart from six months’ maternity leave, I have been working hard ever since.
My career has been fulfilling, challenging and rewarding. From working with large companies like Qantas to boutique practices, it has been extremely varied.
After a few years I pursued my interest in employment and workplace relations – and have practised exclusively in this area ever since.
Yearnings of a senior lawyer
Whether they admit it or not, I believe that most lawyers dream about three things:
- Not being a lawyer
- Becoming a barrister
- Having their own firm (and skin in the game when it comes to equity)
And my ambitions were always centred on the last one – running my own firm.
As a senior lawyer, you get to the point in your career where you have huge a responsibility to your clients, yet little decision-making latitude when it comes to how you deliver client outcomes. So naturally, you start to want to have influence on systems, processes and culture – all the things that make a firm whir and hum.
When I found myself at this point, I started thinking back to wanting my own firm.
With years of experience and a fully formed family, I decided it was time to take a step toward this goal – by enrolling in the LPMC.
The LPMC – an essential in my back pocket
Admittedly, I hadn’t made a final decision about opening a firm when I took the course. But I wanted to equip myself with the skills to embark on that journey at a moment’s notice.
The course is highly practical and, in my opinion, should be mandatory for any senior associate or partner in Australia.
Regardless of whether you aspire to open your own firm, the LPMC is still highly relevant.
I learnt valuable frameworks and knowledge that put me in a good position, no matter what direction my legal journey might take. The course helped me understand what goes on behind the scenes of a law firm. I was given guidance, notes, templates and documentation to help me translate my vision to paper in a meaningful and considered way.
One of the key takeaways for me was learning the different approaches to costs and budgets, depending on my goals and the number of staff I intend to take on.
The course opened my options and boosted my confidence to make the almighty decision when I was ready.
My boutique law firm was born
After a relaxing summer break reflecting on what was important to me as both a professional and a parent, I decided that I would go ahead and open my own firm.
And thanks to the LPMC, I had the solid grounding to do just that.
Partnering with an old friend from university, I opened a boutique firm in February 2021.
I have the power to shape and create a culture that carries my values – which has been an absolute dream come true. The vision is to be a welcoming and friendly business that put clients first.
We aim to build collaborative client relationships that lead to tailored services and pricing.
As for our staff, we’ve created a fun work environment. We hope to be the workplace graduates would be thrilled to join.
How it’s all going so far
We’ve got through our first few months tracking along nicely.
Amidst the fear and excitement, we’re incredibly busy setting up business processes and getting our marketing off the ground. And we already have an encouraging amount of actual client work too.
We were lucky to receive support from family, friends and the legal community. We’ve even had referrals from other law firms and lawyers, which has really helped us take off.
My advice to others taking the LPMC
Take the course for what it is – an opportunity to build current knowledge on how to run a law firm effectively.
An LPMC qualification will allow you to approach the next steps in your legal career with versatility.
And if you’re hoping to start your own firm imminently, be sure to ask questions relevant to your journey. Everyone involved in the course was collegiate and friendly, so seize the opportunity to build your professional network too. You never know what doors this may open.
One final piece of advice: it’s a good idea to reverse engineer your learning by defining your professional and personal goals first and work backward. This ensures the best business plan for you going forward.
Looking for more in your legal career? Follow your aspirations – enrol in the LPMC today