Vario is Pinsent Masons’ freelance legal resource operating out of the UK and Australia. Vario exists because we believe that there are endless possibilities for life and law to exist in harmony, both for market-leading international businesses and talented, unique legal professionals. Our Varios range in experience from those taking their first tentative steps into the legal profession, through to Partner level lawyers who are now seeking a different direction for their career.
How Vario works
The Pinsent Masons Vario team is currently around twenty strong and based out of the UK and Australia. This team is responsible for servicing the needs of the firm and the firm’s clients, as they turn to us looking for a freelance legal resource.
Once we understand the requirements of the opportunity, we will find the ‘Vario’ with the right skills, experience and personality to fulfil the criteria and align to the teams values, culture and ethos. We do this by considering all members of our 300+ strong ‘hub’ of Varios. Each of our Varios has been assessed via an extensive screening process in order to join Vario. We seek out the very best people by looking at their technical ability, but equally at their personal attributes. From this we can understand those that are suited to work as freelancers and who we trust to represent Vario and Pinsent Masons in a manner that we would expect.
Become a Vario
The way the world works has changed. Businesses want greater choice when they procure services; conveniently, people are seeking ever-greater flexibility in their career choices. Freelance offers aspirational lawyers and paralegals a different route through the legal profession.
The freelance option has always existed, so what is different now?
We conducted a piece of research and from this we learned that freelance lawyers don’t just want to ‘work’. Instead, they seek a long-term career and the opportunity to progress and don’t see why being a freelancer should impede upon this. In essence, why should the freelance model be any less aligned to offering a fulfilling, progressive career than that of more traditional routes?
With this in mind, Vario was created. Our mission, to provide freelance legal professionals with variety in their industry experience and client exposure; to offer high-quality, varied and interesting work; to support them with the infrastructure that comes from working with an international full-service law-firm such as Pinsent Masons; and to ensure that they feel a part of something and aren’t just used as a stop-gap.
And that’s what we’ve been doing since 2013, having placed lawyers and paralegals into hundreds of assignments.
What is the application process like?
You’ll complete an online application form on our website. There are then several stages including an online personality profile, interview and references. The full process is outlined on the apply page. We aim to complete the recruitment process within one month, at which point, if successful, you’ll become a Vario and be eligible to start working with us.
How might Vario support your career plans?
We place lawyers and paralegals across the firm, allowing them to work in a number of different teams and on multiple different projects. We also place our Varios with our clients in a range of industries such as banking, energy, telecoms, health, construction and the public sector.
As a freelancer, you are often working in a situation where resource is scarce and your skills and abilities are in demand. This might be driven by a recent contract win, legislative change, parental leave, a resignation, a sabbatical and a hundred other reasons. What is important is that you are there for a specific reason, working with a team that really needs your support and who will utilise your time fully. This provides a platform for our Varios to grow and develop in a way that some permanent roles are unable to offer.
Fundamentally, an assignment with Vario can provide you with that most important asset – experience. This invaluable experience will benefit you, as you will see how our firm works and the different types of client that we work with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you ask applicants to complete a personality profile?
It’s important that we are able to gain insight into an individual’s natural behaviours, style and personality, and therefore understand their fit for freelance work. Freelancing requires a particual different mind-set and a particular set of skills and behaviours, and fantastic lawyers or paralegals might not always make fantastic freelancers. This questionnaire will also help you understand whether or not freelance work might be right for you.
How long will my assignment last?
This varies from client to client and team to team. However, they can range from just a few weeks, to several months. In practice many of our Varios are offered extensions beyond their original end-date.
How often will I be on assignment?
This varies for each Vario depending upon factors such as their location, experience, current market conditions and expected day-rate. The more willing a Vario is to work in a flexible way, the more frequently they tend to be on assignment.
Will I feel like I’m a part of the team I’m working with?
Every client and team is different and your briefing will include insight into how they tend to integrate freelancers. Whilst there will always be activities reserved for permanent employees, most clients will include you in the majority of team events and will make you feel welcome! Furthermore, we match our Varios to environments where we believe that they will be comfortable.
What holiday will I receive?
You will agree any leave days with the client or your team directly. As a freelancer, you will be responsible for paying yourself during any holidays you take — leave days are not paid.
What is a typical working pattern?
Your working hours will be specific to each assignment and will be clear for both parties from the outset. Typically, Varios work a professional working day (including occasionally working above core hours if workload dictates).
Where is most of your work?
The majority of our assignments are in the South East of England, Scotland and the East coast of Australia, however we are seeing increasing regional and international opportunities as Pinsent Masons grows the global office network.
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