The Herald Legal Awards of Scotland will take place in Glasgow on Wednesday, 15 November and amongst those joining the audience of leading figures in the Scottish legal sector will be Meena Bahanda of legal recruitment specialists, IDEX.
As a member of the judging panel, Bahanda’s insight and knowledge of the legal profession has played an important part in deciding the outcome of the awards, helping to recognise excellence and outstanding achievement on the part of individuals, law firms, in-house teams and suppliers.
For 20 years, Bahanda has been working within the Scottish legal sector, identifying talent, matching strong candidates with employers and helping individuals to move their careers to the next level.
She fulfils that function now as head of legal recruitment in Scotland for IDEX, and she has a unique overview of how the profession is pivoting in order to meet current challenges and opportunities.
She says: “Many firms have adopted flexible working while a number now offer ‘back to work’ initiatives aimed at allowing those who have left the profession to rejoin it and start moving their careers forward again.”
While developments such as these are beneficial across the board, they are helping in particular to stem the flow of women from the legal sector, something that is crucial if the current shortage of personnel is to be addressed, and a number of firms, says Bahanda, are also taking a proactive approach to widening access, recognising that promoting diversity opens them up to a much wider talent pool and also expands company thinking.
Current shortages within the profession can be traced back to the last recession and to subsequent mergers and acquisitions, which reduced opportunities for students to gain a degree, followed by a diploma and then secure the necessary two-year traineeship with a legal firm.
Yet for those who do join the sector, as well as for those already working within the profession, exciting opportunities are continually emerging.
Bahanda says: “Scotland now has firms that operate on a global level so it’s not the case any more that people have to move to London to engage in international work, they can do it from here.”
Part of her role in supporting the continued development of the legal profession in Scotland is to identify strong candidates at all levels, from those newly-qualified to others at the pinnacle of their careers, and she is encouraged by the passion that she finds amongst those within the sector.
“When interviewing candidates I am frequently struck by their commitment to justice and their desire to make a difference.
“With young candidates who have just become qualified, I ask them why they want to be lawyers and I receive a whole range of different answers.
“Not everyone is fuelled by a desire to do corporate work, there are many who want to help individuals at a grassroots level, standing up for those who don’t have a voice.”
IDEX Consulting is a leading business growth consultancy, operating in three core specialisms; General Insurance, Legal and Financial Services, placing talented individuals with a broad spectrum of clients across the UK, Europe, Middle East and the US.
Their specialist consultants are experts in their field, partnering with an established range of clients to advise them on talent management, mergers and acquisitions and business transformation. For support with your talent and / or business growth needs, contact 0333 700 4339 or email@example.com
The same passion amongst lawyers at all levels in the profession will be on show when the winners are announced during The Herald Law Awards of Scotland 2023 .
This year there are 18 categories covering every aspect of the legal profession, from emerging talent to team awards that will recognise the combined efforts of many people working together in a range of legal sectors.
The event will be held in DoubleTree by Hilton in central Glasgow and there are still some tickets available. For more information visit: https://nesquestscotlandevents.com/events/lawawards/