Podcast

As I am often preaching on this podcast, lawyers of the future and successful lawyers of today will need to be more business-minded. A question that often comes up is what does that mean in practice? What are the key skills that modern lawyers should be equipped with? 

Today’s guest, Peter Connor, has the answer. 

Peter has developed the ‘T-shaped lawyer’ framework, all about the skills and competencies that a modern legal professional needs to assert themselves, integrate into the business they work in and become part of the decision-making from the early stages. The framework was inspired by the well known ‘T-shaped professional’ concept, explained in the episode and at the end of these show notes. 

Peter’s business, Alternatively Legal, works with firms and in-house teams to implement a specially-designed program for developing skills beyond their core areas of expertise. It’s about transforming and learning new ways of thinking and doing, which are rapidly becoming imperatives in a world where working collaboratively with non-legal professionals is more and more important. Peter says: 

“Think of yourself as not just a lawyer. You can be, and you should be, more than that. The ’T-shaped’ concept gives you a nice idea of what that might mean.” 

In this episode, Peter provides an in-depth rundown of how his program works, how it can be tailored to different roles (from juniors to partners) and the results that people can expect from taking the course. 

Peter explains that a true T-shaped professional must be across all the core competencies, they can’t try to opt-out of one aspect of the program: 

“The answer is no, because everyone needs to be at least level one or two in everything. As a T-shaped lawyer, you have to be able to identify opportunities, like design thinking opportunities, so even if you’re not the person who’s going to be executing it, you’ll be able to have an intelligent conversation with an expert.” 

What is Peter doing differently? He’s built a program that focuses companies on the humans who work for them, rather than the digital mediators and facilitators that tend to dominate the broader conversation about business development. More than that, he’s broken down and defined all aspects of what a person could need to succeed as a business-minded lawyer. Maybe that’s why he calls himself a ‘Legal Architect’.  
 

If you’re not already familiar with the ‘T-shaped professional’ concept, the vertical line of the T represents your core area of expertise (legal expertise, in this context) while the horizontal line represents everything else – all the skillsets, mindsets and knowledge that may not pertain directly to the main thrust of your job, but that enable you as an individual within a company to do some pretty cool things.  

Listen to the episode to learn more about how Peter has applied this concept to the legal profession. 

This episode is brought to you by Nexus Law Group and LawCPD

About our guest 

Peter Connor is the Founder and CEO of AlternativelyLegal. Peter has worked all over the world helping in-house lawyers reinvent themselves and reimagine their way of working. He has developed the unique T-shaped in-house lawyer framework and T-shaped legal team framework.  

Find out more at www.alternativelylegal.com  

Peter Connor quotes 

  • “Think of yourself as not just a lawyer. You can be, and you should be, more than that. The ’T-shaped’ concept gives you a nice idea of what that might mean.” 
  • “The more horizontal stuff you do, the better you’ll be at the vertical stuff.” 
  • “Have we overlooked human transformation in our obsession with digital transformation?” 
  • “As a T-shaped lawyer, you have to be able to identify opportunities, like design thinking opportunities, so even if you’re not the person who’s going to be executing it, you’ll be able to have an intelligent conversation with an expert.” 

My new book – It’s Time To Do Law Differently 

My new book It’s Time to Do Law Differently: How to Reshape Your Firm and Regain Your Life is now available! You can get your signed copy here. 

In It’s Time to Do Law Differently, I share my six-step blueprint for transforming your law firm. Learn how to move from a traditional practice to a productised ecosystem and as a bonus, you might just get that quality lifestyle that you’ve been craving. 

If you haven’t got your copy yet, you can get a signed copy here or find the paper back and ebook on AmazonBooktopia or your favourite online bookstore. 

Thank you to Nexus Law Group  

This episode is brought to you by Nexus Law Group. For those seeking positive career change, Nexus Law Group offers senior lawyers the freedom of sole practice with all the support and infrastructure you need so you can focus on what you do best – practising law. Contact Nexus to find out how you can take the next step towards a more rewarding legal career. Find out more on the Join Us page at nexuslawyers.com.au

Your $25 discount from LawCPD 

Are you a lawyer who needs CPD? I’ve teamed up with LawCPD to help make that task easier for you. LawCPD provide premium CPD for Australian lawyers and they offer much more than just another webinar. LawCPD‘s courses are online, on-demand interactive learning. LawCPD are offering Doing Law Differently listeners $25 off their first purchase using the code DLD25. There are over 100 courses across all competency areas. Visit lawcpd.com.au to find your next CPD course and make sure you use the DLD25 code for $25 off. 

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