Founded by former lawyers in response to their own experience when they left private practice and embarked on portfolio careers, BCKR was launched early in 2013 and has members from leading City firms, the legal departments of major corporates and elsewhere. It seeks to give lawyers, at all stages of their careers, a broader perspective.
For individuals, BCKR can help broaden their experience and networks, encouraging them to follow an outside interest while developing board skills and greater commercial acumen. Further, when the time comes, it will help them work out their realistic options and personal priorities for life after law.
For a firm or legal department, involvement with BCKR provides tangible support to their lawyers in broadening themselves and their practices, affording greater balance to life while increasing their pro bono offering. It also increases the opportunities for the lawyers to network through the contact of participants with fellow board members who may be existing or potential clients of the firm or company. It should not be forgotten that many corporate clients actively encourage their management teams to take on external roles.
As law has developed as a business there has been a decline in the boardroom presence of lawyers. Lawyers have concentrated heavily on the ‘day job’ and have often been actively discouraged or prohibited from taking outside directorships. As a result, lawyers have had increasingly little experience of the outside world. When the time for retirement comes, this leaves them with little understanding of the options available. There are good reasons for reversing these trends.