Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright launches innovative flexible working solution
Last Updated: 27 October 2015

Norton Rose Fulbright has announced an innovative flexible working solution for clients aimed at providing fast and cost-effective task-based services as well as valuable work experience for talented law students.

Since early this year, the Australian Insurance team has developed and run a pilot flexible working solution that allocates suitable tasks to a pool of hand-picked law students engaged after intensive interviews, testing and training. These students carry out the tasks and deliver the results to Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers who apply quality assurance tests before the final work product is given to the client.

The brainchild of Australian head of Insurance Tricia Hobson, the solution was conceived to provide timely and cost-effective services to clients through a flexible system that can be expanded and contracted as needed. The aim is also to empower law students to work from home and elect the hours that suit them on a job-by-job basis.

Sydney-based Insurance senior associates John Moran and Amie Crichton drove the implementation of the service, from the creation of a new digital platform to manage the flow of tasks, through to the vetting and training of successful applicants.

Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner in Australia Wayne Spanner commented:

"This is a great example of the sort of innovative thinking our business has embraced in order to find smarter ways to assist our clients. The model has already proved effective in our Insurance team and we are considering ways to adapt it to other parts of our business and practice areas where applicable."

Norton Rose Fulbright head of Insurance in Australia Tricia Hobson commented:

"This service is a win-win for our clients and our people, not to mention the students themselves. Clients benefit from having particular tasks done by a fantastic pool of cost-effective, flexible employees whose schedules allow for the efficient turnaround of work. And my younger lawyers benefit from being freed up to concentrate on higher value tasks where they can make a greater contribution. It has also been pleasing to be able to give talented students an early jump on their careers with some genuine work experience for a major global legal practice."

The popularity of the service among law students has been immense. When the initial call for interest from peak universities went out to fill the five positions for the pilot program, almost 190 responses came in over three days.

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