For Andrew Logie-Smith, building a firm culture takes time, but it shines through in tough times
It’s all about firm culture for Andrew Logie-Smith. The Logie-Smith Lanyon managing partner first pursued law to understand his rights, but he soon realised the extent to which he could help people.
Today, Logie-Smith continues to champion investing in culture as one of the Melbourne firm’s three areas of focus. Over the years, he has contributed to establishing an inclusive culture where those in the firm “look after and support each other,” he said. This culture has become a beacon, particularly in the midst of COVID-19.
In this interview, Logie-Smith talks about the firm’s technology initiatives, the importance of engaging with clients as “part of their team” and enjoying the end of lockdown in Melbourne.
What made you choose a career in law?
Initially, I studied law to understand my rights. I chose a career in law as I realised I could help people achieve their goals.
What do you love most about your job?
The freedom to think differently and to achieve outcomes.
What is going on at the firm? Are there any new programs and initiatives that you’re particularly interested in?
There are three areas of focus for us – culture, technology and relationships. We have over some time built a firm-wide culture of inclusion. That means we look after and support each other. I think that culture has shone through during COVID-19 lockdowns and in turn it has meant we can also best support our clients.
On the technology and innovation front, we’ve been very focused on smart automated documentation to speed turnaround for clients. And on the relationship front we are focussed making our relationship with Bartier Perry a success through the Australasian Legal Alliance.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned in the past year and what advice can you give fellow lawyers about it?
When times get tough, I think that’s when culture really shines through. Investing in building a firm culture takes time, it can be challenging and you don’t always see the immediate payback. However it’s our culture that has been one of our greatest assets in managing through this pandemic. I think as lawyers an investment in firm culture is one of the best you can make.
What should the profession and law firms focus more on?
Their relevance to Australian industry and their ability to achieve timely, commercially relevant outcomes.
What are the challenges you expect in your practice, and in the business of law in general, going forward? What challenges are particularly pressing in the country’s legal industry?
As lawyers, we need to be seen as part of the solution and engage with clients as part of their team.
Lawyers ought to continually engage with clients and networks with the aim of developing long term mutually rewarding relationships – this has been borne out by this pandemic – engaging, listening and actioning.
What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year?
On a personal front, being able to venture out more than 5km from our Melbourne front door. On the professional front, I have gained immensely from watching, listening and engaging with our colleagues at Logie-Smith Lanyon, our clients, network and suppliers during this period. I think those lessons will help us come out stronger as a firm in 2021.