This is the 7th post in our series "How I Became a Freelance Lawyer" by our Flex lawyers. Today's post is by Carol MacPherson:
I have been a lawyer for over thirty years. I started my career as a junior partner in a three person firm, the first all-female firm in Mississauga in fact. When that disbanded, I joined a law firm in Toronto where I specialized in mortgage remedy law for several years.
I then decided to go out on my own. A friend who was a family lawyer in Mississauga had a spare office and invited me to set up my practice. I had always preferred the “solicitor” part of “barrister and solicitor” and to be sharing office space with a litigator worked out well. As my friend’s practice expanded, so did the space, and eventually there were seven of us sharing space, mostly family law lawyers and myself. I was the recipient of referrals from these lawyers in the areas of real estate and wills, indeed it became obvious to me that this was a very satisfactory way to set up a practice: concentrate on one or two areas of law and then give and receive referrals to and from lawyers in other areas of law. All the others in the shared space were also sole practitioners and this arrangement continued for many years.
Eventually I decided to “retire” from a full-time practice. I was interested in pursuing other interests, mainly obtaining a Certified Financial Planner designation. I also started teaching in the paralegal program at Sheridan College, something I had done at Humber in the early days of my practice.
My practice now consists of only Wills and Estates and real-estate work related to Estates, and I offer a “Mobile” service meaning I go to the client rather than the client coming to my office. This means that I can offer my legal services to people who either don’t have the time or the ability to travel. I find that being freelance allows me to work anytime anywhere and I love that flexibility and also the time to do volunteer work.
Carol assists lawyers and law firms with their over flow legal work in Wills & Estates (including real-estate work related to Estates). Find out more about Carol and her services here.
Happy New Year! We hope you took some time over the holidays to connect with family and friends, but also with yourself. We are back at it over here at Flex and very much looking forward to making 2017 fantastic. We are continuing with our Wellbeing Workout series and hope that these bite sized daily practices help support you in your success. We know that when we "be well", we "do well".
Today, we are going back to building the connection between mind & body. This meditation helps develop an awareness of how stress and tension may be manifesting in our bodies and provides a way to release it. This is a fantastic practice to remember on those particularly challenging days.
DAILY DOSE: Breathe In CALM; Breathe Out TENSION
Find a comfortable seated position.
Tighten your fists; and release them (x3)
Hike up your shoulders; and drop them down (x3)
Scrunch up your face; and release the muscles (x3)
Now, become aware of your entire body as you breathe in;
As you breathe out, visualize the release of tension in your body.
Allow your body to relax into this breathwork.
On the INHALE, say silently: I breathe in calm.
On the EXHALE, say silently: I breathe out tension.
Repeat the practice with your eyes closed so you can be fully present.
Repeat this breath-cycle of "I breathe in calm; I breathe out tension" 5 times.
Ashleigh Frankel, a former lawyer with Flex Legal Network, is also an applied mindfulness specialist & transformational leadership coach. During articling, Ashleigh began to develop her mindfulness practice to survive and thrive within the profession. The tools have been so transformational, that she went back to University of Toronto to complete intensive study in mindfulness & mindfulness meditation, with the vision to bring these resources to others to support their success. We hope you enjoy this mini-series.