Gone are the days when an office with a window is synonymous with a successful legal career.

So when faced with the prospect of losing one of our most valued Insurance Associates to the lure of The Big Apple, we asked ourselves: why couldn’t a member of our team still provide legal services to her clients while chasing her dreams in America?  And so Lily Phan’s flexible working arrangement was born.

Lily started with Norton Rose Fulbright in February 2013, working for both the Sydney and Brisbane teams. In late 2015 she won the Green Card Lottery.

Here are a few words from Lily:

It had always been a dream of mine to live in the States. During the year I applied for the Green Card Lottery, there was a 0.87% chance of winning, so, when I won, I took it as I sign that it was meant to be!

Unfortunately that meant I had to resign from my position at Norton Rose Fulbright. Or, so I thought.  They offered me a contract role working for the Sydney Insurance team while in New York.  Due to technology and paperless files, my working from NYC is effortless and I can do everything I did when I was physically present.

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today – including law firms – is how to retain millennial talent. At Norton Rose Fulbright, we have found that one solution is to leverage technology in order to allow our lawyers to work from their kitchen tables, regardless of which city or country they’re in.

As Lily explains:

The 14 hour time difference allows me to crunch out work overnight for our Sydney team. And due to the flexibility I am afforded, I’m now living in NYC and overdosing on bagels, ramen, American BBQ, rooftop bars and dive bars.  Given I work remotely, I can also work while travelling and seeing the States. I am now living my NYC dream! Although it is nothing like Sex and the City…

What does this mean for our clients?

Our ability to retain Lily Phan means we have kept a talented lawyer in our team. It also means our clients have the continuity of Lily’s services and work product. Lily is able to maintain and grow her professional relationships in Australia, while expanding her networks on the other side of the world.  She also works while we sleep, allowing us to respond to our clients even quicker than before.

Lily Phan is an example of how we at Norton Rose Fulbright are thinking and acting innovatively in order to retain millennials. More broadly, she’s an example of how a flexible approach can allow employers to retain top talent, the future of our businesses.