For the past two years, Jennifer Lambert has lived the impossible: practicing law with the freedom to also focus on what matters most. As one of the hundreds of independent, leading lawyers from around the globe who partner with Ontra, she enjoys flexibility and autonomy most lawyers can’t imagine.
“I typically fit my work for [Ontra] around the other things I’m working on. Not the other way around,” she said. Lambert co-founded and currently advises a beauty booking app that connects Black women with salons that cater to their needs so they never again have to experience the bad service, long waits, and rude stylists she and others often encountered.
Her relationship with Ontra — then InCloudCounsel — began in 2019 after five years practicing in New York City, first at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Despite the valuable experience in mergers and acquisitions, and privacy and data security, she was frustrated by the long, unpredictable hours that stamped out her other passions and interests.
“As an entrepreneur, having flexibility over my schedule was essential,” Lambert said. “I was looking to keep my legal skills sharp without taking on a soul-crushing desk job or giving up my freedom. [Ontra] was the perfect solution.”
Today, an average day is hardly average. She focuses on her work with Ontra either early in the morning or in the evenings. Her days are free to spend time on other projects, to pursue personal interests, or to enjoy the little things. “I can always find time to cook dinner and take my dog for a long walk,” she said.
One unexpected bonus of being an Ontra partner lawyer is the camaraderie between the hundreds of professionals on the platform. When a new customer joins Ontra, the company proposes a legal team, and those teams work together to deliver best-in-class service to the world’s most demanding enterprises.
“All of the attorneys I work with are kind, collaborative, supportive, even fun!” Lambert said.
The support that the lawyers and Ontra offer stretches beyond the norm.
“They’ve shown a genuine interest in my outside endeavors,” she added. “It’s refreshing to be able to be open about my whole self.”
Ontra manages legal partners’ back office functions, freeing them to focus on the customers and important personal projects, whether that’s family, another business, or training for a marathon. The company and its legal network are also there to help if her workload grows too large, or to give her more if she so chooses. What matters most is that Ontra works with its partners to help them find and maintain the freedom that continues to be so elusive in traditional legal organizations.
So what kind of advice would she give a colleague curious about a non-traditional legal career path or alternative legal service providers? Two words: “Do it!”