Interview with Megan Caines from Polaris Lawyers
Written by Anastasia Patralis
Earlier this month, Legally Yours intern Anastasia Patralis met with Megan Caines from Polaris Lawyers to learn more about Megan’s career journey, her passion for personal injury law, and what is ahead for the future.
What has your career journey looked like?
While at university, Megan Caines worked in the call-centre of a large plaintiff law firm. After university, Megan transitioned into full-time work in the call centre while completing her Practical Legal Training at Leo Cussens.
Her desire to work in an area of law that was client-facing with human involvement naturally led Megan to pursue personal injury law. Megan subsequently accepted a full-time job as a lawyer at Slater + Gordon, where she worked for almost eight years.
Megan joined Polaris as a Senior Lawyer in 2017, by which time she was ready for the next challenge in her career. When Megan joined Polaris, it was early in its inception, only open for one week and with only two employees.
Moving from a large national firm to a small, newly opened firm was attractive to Megan because it provided the opportunity to both personally grow and to “shape a culture from the ground up”.
Megan described the idea of building something new as “intoxicating”, striving to deliver exceptional client services, but also fostering a supportive environment for staff.
Additionally, Megan already knew the founder and principal, Nick Mann, and the Chief Operating Officer, Becky Bass.
Through hard work and dedication, Megan has since been promoted to the role of Principal Lawyer at Polaris. Over the past four years, the firm has had organic growth to a team of 13 employees, all whilst maintaining optimal client service.
What do you love most about working as a Principal Lawyer?
Megan’s passions in her role as Principal Lawyer are twofold. On one hand, Megan enjoys litigation and the adrenaline rush of preparing and litigating a matter.
On the other hand, Megan is passionate about working with emerging lawyers, helping them to develop their skills and begin their career journey.
Now four years later, what are hallmarks of this culture that you have helped build from the ground up?
Megan is proud of the incredibly collaborative culture she has helped build at Polaris. The firm’s culture is focused on continual development and learning. Additionally, there is no sense of hierarchy, and no-one has a corner office.
Nick and Megan, as the senior lawyers, are very available, working closely with all staff. Client-focus is at the heart of everything the firm does.
Another hallmark of Polaris’ culture is its innovation. Even before Covid, the firm was entirely paperless and afforded staff the flexibility to work remotely. Polaris is committed to pursuing technological improvements to make matters more efficient.
For example, the firm has developed chat bots for clients, which can accelerate both internal and external processes. Additionally, Polaris was one of the first adopters of e-briefing, despite facing initial pushback from barristers.
Where does Legally Yours fit in?
Polaris started working with Legally Yours about two years ago, drawn to having a network to whom they could refer clients with needs outside of personal injury. Moreover, Polaris receives enquiries through the network and is therefore able to assist a wider client base.
“We got a sense from Legally Yours that there was a lot of shared values between the firms using it. There seems to be a client-centric focus across the board, and law firms that aren’t afraid of innovation, or aren’t too traditional in their approach.”
What’s next in your journey?
Megan’s current professional focus is to advance her skills in leadership, strategic planning, and executive-level management. As for Polaris, some more growth is envisaged, but the firm is particularly focused on ensuring its processes are as streamlined as possible.
In particular, the firm is currently investing in its staff to help achieve these objectives.
Do you have any wisdom for other legal professionals or law students?
Megan emphasises the importance of building a network of trusted colleagues, consisting of both peers and mentors. Megan describes that sometimes in law when climbing the ladder, it is “easy to overlook the importance of human connections and those networks”.
Establishing professional relationships and drawing on similar experiences are invaluable to development and growth.
Do you need legal advice?
If you have a specific question or you’d like to let us know what you need help with, head to our Talk to a Lawyer search resource and find the right lawyer for your needs, or contact Megan Caines directly via Megan’s Legally Yours Lawyer profile.
This Q&A Lawyer Feature post does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area.
If you require any advice or information, please speak to a practising lawyer in your jurisdiction.
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