Briefing 5P SEssion: presentation from Clara Garfield
Clara Garfield, senior manager with AG Consulting |Addleshaw Goddard
Clara Garfield, senior manager with AG Consulting at the law firm Addleshaw Goddard in London, is closely connected to the ‘O-shaped’ lawyer initiative – a movement that has recently emerged with an emphasis on helping all lawyers, both private practice and in-house, to develop a more rounded set of skills, and a more open mindset, in the interests of building more harmonious, productive and mutually-beneficial relationships.
Clara provides a short overview to the background, and 12 key attributes, of the initiative – all of which feed into the objectives of becoming more adaptable, increasing understanding and articulation of value, and the nurturing of stronger team and client relationships. The ideas are focused on both personal development and opportunities for more effective management of other people, and they are seen as having a connection both to making faster progress on talent diversity in legal business and helping to reduce stigma around mental health.
In the past dismissed too easily and often as ‘soft skills’, traits such as originality, optimism and approaching challenges and experiences with a more open mind are now firm requirements, and lawyers who instead rely solely on their technical expertise to advance their careers may well be taking a risk.
We also hear how firms are taking practical steps to pilot embedding aspects and awareness of ‘the O’ in their own training and development frameworks, thereby demonstrating a further O – taking ownership.