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Routes back to law: Setting up in Private Practice

There are many routes back to work after a career break. Taking a more entrepreneurial route may allow you to create your own culture and flexible working practices. Katie Rainscourt, our guest blogger this week, offers the benefit of her experience of establishing her own family law firm. Her advice is equally relevant to other professionals thinking about setting up in private practice. And read to the end if you’d like a return to law mentor.

If you are or have been a
solicitor, are you using your legal skills to your best advantage?

I am managing partner of
Rainscourt Family Law Solicitors, a firm of solicitors based in Milton Keynes, working exclusively in family law.
I am delighted to be able to write a blog for Women Returners, and I do so
because I would like to bring to your attention the option of establishing your
own firm as an alternative option to joining an existing firm elsewhere.
Many skilled solicitors are
currently lost to the profession when they decide that they are unable to
return. One option that these individuals may not have considered is that of
establishing their own firm of solicitors, instead of returning to the traditional
firm environment, or choosing to opt out of the profession altogether. My firm
is a signatory to the Law Society diversity and inclusion charter, and I hope
that this blog may encourage returners to consider this alternative route, and lead
to greater inclusion within our profession.
Is this an option for you?
In terms of whether this is an
option for you, think about the area of law you practise or practised in. Do
you have skills that people will pay to access, and ask for advice from you, in
your area of expertise?
Your first step will be to sketch
out your business plan:
How familiar are you with the market in which you operate or
What is your product? What is
your brand? 
Where will you base your firm? 
What area of law is your expertise
focused in, and how can you best offer this to your clients? 
This will require
in-depth planning and research on your part. Think about your existing contacts or friends who may be able to help
you with your brainstorming.  These contacts
need not necessarily come from the legal world, but may come from a finance or business
background. Think of how best to promote
yourself and your skills, and what will be unique to you and your business.
There will be many decisions that
you need to make, but ultimately, you may end up with a product that you take a
great deal of pride in, and which will enable you to make best use of your legal
I would be delighted to act as a mentor
for a returner to law, or to speak to any of you who are interested in taking this
path, so please do get in touch with me via Julianne or Katerina at