E25: Building a client-centered career in law with Marlo Osborne-Smith, Director at PwC New Law


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How can you meaningfully impact your clients in a way that not only generates revenue, but sets the foundation for a meaningful career in law?
This week, I have the pleasure of speaking with Marlo Osborne-Smith, who is a Director in PwC's New Law department. Marlo has a wealth of experience building and growing amazing client relationships. Prior to PwC, Marlo was Head of Clients Asia Pacific at global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.
We covered:

  • A walk through Marlo’s Journey to PwC, from graduate lawyer to recruiter, to business development professional and then Client Relationship Manager;
  • The key skills Marlo built to improve her career;
  • What it really means to be client-centric and how to put the client at the centre of the firm;
  • The challenges and triumphs of growing the New Law arm within PwC;
  • Key skills for a T-Shaped Lawyer;
  • The challenges facing in-house legal teams and how PwC is building a legal operations capability to address those challenges;
  • The future state of Legal Functions and;
  • Success and making an impact on the legal industry

Some of my favourite quotes from this episode:

  • “For me thing that was missing [from traditional practice] was the need to think about the individual client. Not just their technical problems, but their individual needs.”
  • “I built trust early by always delivering on what I said was going to do.”
  • “My success has often been drawing on the skills of others. I’ve never pretended to be good at everything, but one of my strengths has been collaboration.”
  • “What really drives me is helping clients solve their problems.”
  • “For me the definition of a successful career is really enjoying what I do. And what I do is help client solve their problems, and not their legal problems - solving the way they work. If I can make my clients, and the profession, work more efficiently, if I can help them do high value work, and have better relationships with their business stakeholders, then for me that’s the definition of success”
  • “I think the careers available to [young lawyers now] are endless and it’s just about opening up your mind to those opportunities, and drawing on those T-Shaped skills, to differentiate yourself.”

Learn more about Marlo:


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  • Connect with me on LinkedIn
  • Have an idea for the podcast or a guest you'd love to hear from? Drop me a line here: burrett.sam@gmail.com

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