Aspire Training and Networking Group – Risk management, resilience and responsibility

The LexisNexis Aspire networking and professional group met on Wednesday 14 October 2015, facilitated by Sophie Gould at LexisNexis.  Along with the Advisory Board and existing members, it was great to see the addition of new members and their invaluable input. Aspire is an ever expanding group that provides informative and engaging insights into the life of an in-house lawyer. Guest speakers provide first hand experiences and a platform to bounce off new ideas with your peers. The group meets quarterly and provides a free networking service which is a key life line to many starting out in their in-house legal career.

This session’s topic was centered on effective risk management and led by guest speaker, Gayle McFarlane from Cordery. Risk Management can sound like a daunting and impossible task for many in-house juniors and Gayle was exemplary in providing the group with a whistle-stop tour of how risks can be categorized and assessed in an effective and efficient manner. Imagine approaching a set of traffic lights – the red light would alert you to risks that you absolutely cannot take in any situation, amber would indicate to proceed with caution and green would show those risks that you could even ignore! Gayle went on to discuss ‘sweet spots’ and ‘worst case’ scenarios – a priceless aid in time management and cost efficiency for any hard pressed lawyer.

Susan Cooper from Accutrainee spoke about the organisation’s innovative training contract, the application process and what to expect and attaining the coveted ‘commercial awareness’. She highlighted that successful trainees would need to ‘be proactive, build trust and speak out and explained how this could be achieved.

Rob Green from Canon took the group along his impressive journey from in-house trainee to Legal Director. He reasserted the message of ‘resilience, responsibility and determination – and how it really pays off! He spoke of the differences from private practice and how being thrown into the deep end from Day 1 gave him a unique presence and has helped shape him into a businessman rather than a lawyer in business.

The session finished with informal networking over drinks and an opportunity to ask questions to all the speakers. Aspire is supported by LexisNexis and the group benefits from weekly training in the form of email snippets on communication, management and other soft-skills. Emma Wilson from LexisNexis introduced the next training module on ‘Managing Expectations’. This training also counts towards your SRA training requirements and is a rewarding opportunity for personal development. The next session will be hosted early next year (details to be confirmed shortly). For more information or to join, please click here.

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