Vario offers freelancers chance to combine their career with lifestyle choices - Geraldine Kelm

Freelancing can provide lawyers with opportunities to gain both excellent in-house or private practice experience at all stages of a legal career.

Pinsent Masons Vario has been in the vanguard of this emerging market and as part of a global law firm, freelancers working with us enjoy a range of benefits, including access to an enviable list of high-profile clients who require the absolute best legal support.

A freelance career offers ultimate control, with individuals choosing the work that suits them, in a pattern to fit their needs and with clients they want to work with. This way of working includes part-time, full-time and call-off, and covers all business sectors and specialisms.

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Other advantages of being a Vario lawyer include access to learning management system Vario Advance and access to CPD training and personal development. Our experienced partners work with our freelancers and pass on their technical and client knowledge and we also offer access to our knowledge systems such as Lexis Nexis and Westlaw.

Geraldine Kelm is a Partner with Pinsent Masons‘ Vario Flexible ServicesGeraldine Kelm is a Partner with Pinsent Masons‘ Vario Flexible Services
Geraldine Kelm is a Partner with Pinsent Masons‘ Vario Flexible Services

Diversity and inclusion is a central tenet in all aspects of Pinsent Masons business streams and we promote D&I through events, webinars, newsletters and more, delivering a sense of belonging to our Vario community.

Our specialist account management team matches freelancers to opportunities that best suit their needs and provide support throughout their assignments. Our assessment process helps us to understand the behavioural profiles of each freelancer, ensuring we find the right assignment for each individual.

Typical of a young lawyer choosing the Vario route is Mairi Pirie, whose plans on finishing her law diploma were severely disrupted by the pandemic when she was unable to take up a training contract she had secured.

Fortunately, Mairi applied and was successful in obtaining a paralegal role on our Vario Flexible Services’ bench and in her first legal role she picked up a great deal of knowledge in not only how legal matters are dealt with, but also how the modern workplace is run. Working as a freelancer in a junior role could be perceived as a daunting experience but Mairi, who previously worked in healthcare, relished the challenge of working as a Vario paralegal.

She said: “I think I can definitely draw a contrast with being freelance with Vario and working for an agency in healthcare. I was apprehensive coming into Vario because as a healthcare assistant you never felt integrated into the team and got the feeling that no-one really wanted you there. Coming into this job I thought it would be the same, but it's not been like that at all and everyone's always so grateful for the support.”

Mairi also has advice for other paralegals or junior lawyers considering becoming a legal freelancer through Vario: “There's no other setting where you are going to have the opportunity to be exposed to such a variety of legal sectors, people, and different working environments, whether ion smaller teams or part of large global projects.

“I think it's a great opportunity, especially for someone at my stage who was fresh out of university and not too sure what I wanted to do. It gives you a chance to try different things and to build up confidence in yourself, so you can then decide where you want to take it from there."

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A recent addition to the Pinsent Masons Vario offering is Managed Legal Services (MLS) which helps clients identify their unique challenges and designs an outcome-focused solution which combines our freelance lawyers, Pinsent Masons lawyers, and our paralegal centre of excellence, with fine-tuned processes and pioneering legal technologies. By being aligned to MLS, our freelance lawyers are engaged in exciting and challenging work for large global companies, while still retaining independence and flexibility.

We are continuing to recruit talented, resilient lawyers across all sectors and specialisms to join our Vario community of like-minded professionals who value work-life harmony and who enjoy working on challenging legal projects on their own terms.

Geraldine Kelm is a Partner with Pinsent Masons‘ Vario Flexible Services



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