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Solicitor Carli Cooper shares her experiences of working remotely from South East Asia

June 7, 2023 By Carli Cooper Medical Negligence

Traditionally, the legal profession isn’t regarded as the most progressive when it comes to job flexibility. It’s for this reason that I was slightly hesitant approaching my manager with the idea of working remotely from South-East Asia. I was surprised by the response and quickly learned that my employers were very open to flexible working arrangements and exploring new ways of working.

I moved to Vietnam in December 2022 where I have been living and working remotely as an NQ Clinical Negligence Solicitor since. I was no stranger to this way of working, having begun my traineeship with Jones Whyte during the pandemic when we were all forced to lock down and work from home. Since then, technological advancements and worldwide connectivity have continued to lift the veil of the necessity of working from an office.  It was within this context that I identified an opportunity to progress my legal career, without having to miss out on travel.

Life as a remote lawyer is not without its challenges. One potential hurdle was working from a different time-zone. However, we were able to agree on core hours that allow me enough time to consult with my clients, collaborate with colleagues and appear in Court, while working sensible, sociable hours. I do miss the office environment and being surrounded by my colleagues. This was especially true in the beginning when I felt lonely as I logged onto work each day. Thankfully it turns out that Vietnam is the perfect country for remote working, with an abundance of co-working spaces where I have worked alongside fellow digital nomads. Frequent video conferencing has also enabled me to continue to develop my professional relationships with my colleagues, Counsel, and medico-legal experts.

Straying from the traditional office structure might seem difficult in the beginning, but for me, the benefits have far outweighed the negatives. The flexibility has allowed me to develop habits and routines to optimise my workload and increase my productivity. On a personal level, this opportunity has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone while exploring an incredible part of the world. Travelling to exotic locations to enjoy the mountains or learning to surf in coastal towns at the weekends, while progressing my career during the week has become a reality thanks to Jones Whyte.

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