Marianne used the LPMC to sharpen her legal skills – and supercharge her career
Most early-career lawyers are still finding their feet as they build their confidence and capabilities. So skills like business management and strategic thinking are, understandably, left for ‘later on’.
But Marianne Anderson is a restless, relentless learner.
In fact, five months after she did her PLT, she’s already completed her LPMC. She expanded her expertise in business strategy, finance, culture and strategic thinking.
And next? She’s set her sights on mastering family law and commercial litigation.
Our thanks to Marianne for sharing her story.
Leaping into the LPMC
I’ve always had my sights set high.
After completing my PLT in June 2022, I knew I wanted to accelerate my growth and development even further. My ambition is to one day make partner – or director.
So just a few months later in September 2022, I enrolled in the Legal Practice Management Course (LPMC) with the College of Law. I sought the practical legal skills and the leadership mindset the program offered.
And my employer at Kelly Legal was all for it.
They gave me study leave and were very supportive of me when I articulated I wanted to enrol in the College of Law’s LPMC. They were well aware of the benefits I’d bring back to the firm. What did I have to lose?
Support and guidance
Mary Hockaday, my LPMC facilitator, was instrumental during my time there.
She welcomed every and any question I had – in class and one-on-one. I had to re-submit a few assessments, and she guided me towards solutions every time:
“What if you tried it this way?” “I think you’ve misunderstood this part.” “Let’s go through this bit again.”
She was always frank, considerate and generous with her time.
I never felt like I was a burden. Mary went above and beyond in providing me with mentoring to help guide me through the course. It was such a positive learning experience.
Getting down to serious business
Mary was particularly helpful with the toughest part of the course: the business plan.
She prepared a template to show us what was needed – and this served as an exemplar of the standard we needed to strive for.
While I worked on my plan, I was confronted with tough questions:
How will you retain employees? How will you keep your business afloat if you have a lull? What’s your backup plan?
And if you want a business loan, what will your pitch be when you go to the bank?
In the business world, they need to see a plan. On paper. They want evidence. Not just dreams and goals.
Doing that strategic thinking upfront was, at first, overwhelming. But now I know that the consequences of not doing it would be more so.
Strengthening lifelong skills
As I expected going into the course, the LPMC expanded my expertise across business strategy, finance and planning.
But somewhat surprisingly, it also strengthened several skills that I’m using in everyday legal practice too. I improved my competency across:
- Strategic thinking
- Workplace resilience
- Legal technology
- Professional ethics
In November 2022 I completed my LPMC. And I’ve already put my skills to use at Kelly Legal, where I’ve gained more confidence in conducting my files.
Now when I run files, I’m mindful of the complex business decisions that need to be made to ensure profitability for the firm. I not only see the lawyer’s perspective, but the business owner’s too.
I knew I needed the theoretical knowledge I gained in my law degree to step into law. But LPMC with the College gave me the practical, professional skills I needed to excel.
The experience tightened my focus, pushing me even further out of my comfort zone. I learnt about culture, finance and business strategy.
I’m not sure what’s next. If I make partner one day, amazing. If I make director, even better. If I get to open my own firm, I’ll have truly peaked.
For now, I’m just excited at the possibilities awaiting ahead of me.