Interview: Janet Goodvach

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Meet the flex

1. Tell us a little bit about your legal career and why you decided to become a freelance lawyer with LawFlex?

I began my legal career in Australia, starting in the insurance and general commercial litigation areas in the late 1990s, including working on insolvency disputes and for the administrators of an airline for several years in helping resolve disputes arising out of the Airline’s collapse. In about 2004 I began building experience in resources related disputes with cross border legal aspects. The matters I worked on were being resolved in various Australian courts or by arbitration. It was exciting but hectic work, with tight timelines, massive volumes of documents to manage as well as the related court or arbitration documentation. In 2007 I began working on matters being heard in the High Court of Justice in England, including being based out of London, and thereafter on arbitration and litigation matters being resolved in different global locations.

Whilst the cases were interesting and varied, and the work fulfilling, after close to 20 years working under immense pressure, and too often working around the clock and sacrificing many important opportunities with family and friends, I decided that I needed to change my pace and priorities in life. My work had become all consuming. Whilst my kids still had a few years left at home, I was also keen to try and find a way to be around for them a little more, have some extended family holidays, and to be able to be the partner and friend I was struggling to be.

At first I thought I would spend a year or two working for a not for profit organization and then return to working for a law firm, but then a friend told me about LawFlex. The first eDiscovery project I worked on with Lawflex back in 2017 was a great way to keep using my skills and experience, but without needing to become completely wrapped up in the matter 24/7/365 like I did when working in private practice. It was great to be part of the legal team for a couple of months when they needed extra support, but then step away. In between projects I was able to be around for my kids more, travel, and work for not for profit initiatives. I haven’t looked back, and in the past 7 years have continued to enjoy working on various eDiscovery, document management and legal research projects with Lawflex, and build up to Lead Lawflex’s eDiscovery and Document Management practice,

2. What kind of projects have you worked on since joining LawFlex?

I have worked on various projects independently, but also worked on projects leading teams of up to 50 lawyers for eDiscovery / eDisclosure and document review projects. The documents review work has been in the context of litigation, arbitration and investigative matters, as well as for due diligence procedures in the M&A context. I have also prepared or managed many smaller legal research pieces – particularly in the area of international comparative law analyses.

3. What benefits does being a freelance lawyer bring?

Being able to work hard when the work is there, but also have breaks in between and manage my own time.

4. What role do you think Legal Outsourcing ALSPs play in the legal market?

I think the legal market benefits from having resources they can call on, on an as needs basis, reducing overheads.

5. What would you say to someone considering becoming a freelance lawyer with LawFlex?

If you want greater flexibility in life, but don’t want to give up using those legal skills you spent years working to acquire, Lawflex is an excellent alternative. It allows you to work on a consulting basis, earn better margins for your work than you’ll be able to get in most firms, and with an excellent support network and team members that can be called on as needed.