Rachel Brushfield is a career strategist with a marketing and branding background who loves writing. She helps her clients to define what they want from work and helps them to market themselves to achieve it. She is passionate about writing and loves sharing insights and simple tips and tools to make life and work easier, and writing is a medium that enables her to reach and help more people so that they can help themselves.
She writes on a diverse range of marketing, career, networking, human capital, talent, world of work and personal development topics for employees, the self-employed and employer audiences. Topics include: how to market yourself, networking, how to handle difficult people, time management, living life by your values, fear, career reinvention, CV design, stress management, how to do absolutely nothing etc. She reads widely from quality sources and keeps up to date with trends and market changes as well as client needs.
Articles: Brand Strategy, The Trainee (magazine for the Young Solicitors Group), Marketing Week, Link (magazine for the Association of Women Solicitors), Managing Partner magazine, Managing for Success and Inside out – The Law Society’s magazines, PM magazine
Books: Ark Group: ‘Talent management for lawyers: A hands on Guide’ (5000 words), ‘Professional development for lawyers’ (20,000 words)
Bulletins: Energise Human capital, Career Strategies, Smart living and working and Self-promotion topics
Career guides: Brand Republic, Energise, The Telegraph
Chapters: IBA/Globe Publishing ‘How mentoring and coaching can help with life balance issues’ and ‘ Women lawyers and how to improve gender balance’
Columns: The Lawyer Managing Careers Column, HfM magazine (magazine for London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham), Career – The Times, Brand Republic Blog, Oxfordshire Life, Cotswold Life, Young Lawyer
Guest blogs: The Law Society Gazette, Totum Partners
Letters: Marketing, Marketing Week, Campaign, The Evening Standard
Newsletters: ClubSix – a weekly on-line gastronomy lifestyle club for 2 years
An extensive selection can be viewed on my LinkedIn page under ‘Publications’:
An extensive selection can be viewed on my EnergiseLegal web site:
The Telegraph Jobs site has many career guides under various categories:
Testimonials for writing
“I just read your chapter on the gender balance. Excellent stuff, it’s good to see the analysis is finally getting beneath the surface and working out what it is about the business model that pushes women out. Personally, I’ve always felt that it’s just that women are smarter than men and more prone to making rational, non-ego driven choices. And it simply doesn’t make sense to stay in a big law firm, for anyone. Anyway, congratulations on another great piece of work.”
Michael Bradley, Managing Partner, MARQUE Lawyers Pty Ltd.
“Rachel is a skilled content curator and prolific writer on a variety of topics. She creates regular career guides for The Telegraph for our 8 core market sectors, plus useful management and career success topics and has done so for over 3 years. They help our browsers progress, market themselves and succeed in their jobs and careers. https://jobs.telegraph.co.uk/careers/
Busy senior execs do not have time to read lots of information and Rachel’s career guides are insightful digests that provide a thorough yet succinct overview of the topic, clear practical tips and useful resources. I have no hesitation in recommending Rachel to any companies wanting a responsive, strategic yet practical proactive approach to content curation to build their brand, create thought leadership and add value to their customers.”
Neil Kalidas, Business Development Manager, The Telegraph Media Group.
“I can honestly say I am very impressed and would be delighted to provide a review. In particular, I thought your chapter dealt with a slippery and sometimes controversial issue with clarity and a degree of practicality not often seen. I will be recommending this section to those involved in our Women Partners initiative.
This is a concentrated burst of thoughtful analysis and practical pointers. Self-contained chapters draw on the insights and experience of a credible cross-section of specialists in talent development, each focusing in on a particular facet of talent development within law firms.
The sequence of chapters is thoughtful, allowing the linkages and nuances between one topic and the next to thread the text into a coherent whole, despite the authoritative and distinctive voices that comprise it. Topics range from general overviews of talent management in law firms, coaching, transition from law school, generational and inter-cultural issues, client relationships, gender balance, psychology and change, collaboration and innovation. In a jargon-prone discipline, the authors quickly get to the heart of their topics, bringing clarity to key talent-related issues affecting law firms with a minimum of theatrics.
This book ought to be essential reading for those on promotion committees, recruitment and retention committees, partnership boards, firm leadership or a strategic human resources roles. However, it will also be of enormous assistance to those with broader organisational development or people-centred responsibilities including those with an L&D remit, a BDM focus or a strategic knowledge management bent. Until this month, this book has been sitting quietly on my desk, waiting for me to make the time to focus on it. Having done so at last, I wish I had started sooner. This little volume punches above its weight.”
Stephanie Abbott, Director of Knowledge, Learning and Development, Mayer Brown JSM
“Advice on marketing is legion and often depressing to read. It leaves the unwilling or unhappy marketer feeling impotent, inadequate and a misfit. All the more refreshing therefore to be met with Rachel Brushfield’s premise that you should find what you love to do and do more of it. Hooray, we cry – no more awkward silences at networking events, no more cold-calling or uncomfortable trumpet blowing! Well she is not going to let you off quite that lightly, but in this challenging light-toned interactive workbook, the mythical concept of what is marketing is comprehensively debunked. As a result of this deconstruction all of those promotional activities that make many lawyers squirm are broken down into more manageable tasks that therefore lose their ‘queasy’ nature. The advice is ‘to start small and easy’ and be comfortable with ‘imperfect actions’ as being better than no action at all is wise counsel. The section headed ‘blocks about marketing’ struck an immediate chord, and the section on ‘procrastination management’ would have worked wonders for me if only I hadn’t put off reading it for so long! Will it change the way you market? Well, like any tool, it is only as good as the effort put into using it, but as a practical companion for someone attempting to make a breakthrough in this area, Rachel’s workbook has much to offer.”
Katherine Southby, Editor, The Association Women Solicitors’ Link magazine.
“When Rachel first told me she was going to write this publication she asked me if I thought the topic was a relevant one; I confirmed that indeed it was! Highly relevant given the changing landscape of the legal sector in the UK with Market Consolidation, Outcomes Focused Regulation, Alternative Business Structures and potential external investment into law firms all driving firms to develop different strategies and approaches; the “do nothing” option is no longer an option. There has never been a more important time to focus on the development of law firm talent. The traditional levers of high salary increases and bonuses are not as accessible as they used to be to the majority of lawyers, their need/desire for more engagement has never been greater and we are seeing the different aspirations and needs of the new generations of lawyers. So Rachel’s timing for this publication is spot on as is the breadth of the subject matter she has covered; a testimony to her skill and dedication!
Rachel has sketched the landscape well by capturing the key issues firms are facing and the methodologies they are employing. She has identified the drivers of change very well and then gone on to express the needs of the different levels of legal professionals from graduate recruit through to Partners be they newly promoted, established or brought in as lateral hires. Also are included in the analysis are other important groupings like women and the new Generations Y and “Millennials”. Rachel then analyses the different types of professional development delivery and how to engage with the lawyers around them; a very thorny topic! A very good section analyses the traditional skills lawyers need in the new market but more importantly the new skills which will become more prevalent in the changing market including such as pricing, project management and people engagement; the new breed of law firm professional will need to be very different in the future. Throughout her analysis Rachel backs up her own views and ideas with a wide range of experts from within the legal sector who operate in a variety of roles in recognised firms.
The publication ends with a series of very relevant case studies from a variety of firms, in terms of geography and size, around topics that have been discussed earlier in the book. They are very readable and practical and give the reader good insights into what has been achieved already by leaders in the marketplace. It is a good way for Rachel to complete the portrait! So all in all a very good and relevant publication which will give good ideas and insights to Managing Partners, Chief Executives, HR and L&D Directors and more broadly to those interested in the future of the legal market in the UK and beyond.”
Charlie Keeling, Global HR Director, Clyde & Co LLP (about “Professional development for lawyers”, Ark, October 2012.)
“If you’re looking for an up to date exploration of the world of professional development in the legal sector then the “Professional Development for Lawyer” report by Rachel Brushfield will fit the bill. Rachel has interviewed numerous people including managing partners, lawyers at various stages of their careers, L&D professionals and people in law firm management roles, and as a result Rachel has produced a comprehensive guide to the current state of professional development for lawyers. The report provides a number of perspectives and case studies but it also provokes thinking, and I’m sure learning, for those already well versed in learning and professional development. Rachel covers everything from explaining what CPD is and the current work of the LETR to highlighting the changing landscape of the legal marketplace and the emergence of ABS following the Legal Services Act. The report contains a collection of approaches for delivery used in law firms of different sizes and focus. The essential skills for the legal market and what firms are now doing in the leadership and management development space and social media are also addressed in some detail. This report provides an all-round view from international as well as UK based contributors of the role of professional development in an ever changing environment for law firms and is a useful reference for all involved in the professional development of lawyers.”
Sue Beavil, Senior Training and Development Manager, Mayer Brown International LLP (about “Professional development for lawyers”, Ark, October 2012.)
“Great newsletters Rachel.”’ Gail Sulkes, VP Strategic talent, Thomson Reuters.
“Thanks for the newsletters – they are great.” Gary Forward, Lloyds TSB
“Thank you for your newsletters. I find them really useful and interesting. It also makes me take some time out over lunch while I read them.” Kathryn Snook, HR Manager
“You are good at taking a topic in the public domain and relating it to individuals, either in a business or personal context and ‘unraveling it’ and then sharing simple tools for people to apply for themselves”. Louise Barfield, freelance new business consultant.
“I find the advice very interesting and covers all topics covered are simply inspiring, no matter how many times you read them.” Julie Smithard, Sales Manager, Kall Kwik.
“I have been receiving your newsletters for a number of months now and always print them off to read on the train for a bit of motivation in the mornings on the way to work.” Caroline Morton, Marketing Manager, Blue Skies recruitment.
“Nice newsletter, they keep on getting better and better.” Andrew Doyle, Chairman, Holmes & Marchant International
“Thanks for your newsletter, always useful and very pertinent.” Zein Messiner, Psychology mature student.
“I always take time to read Rachel’s Energise newsletters – they are inspiring, uplifting and highly motivating.” Angela Dyson, MD, Belgravia.
“I always look forward to reading your ezine, because even if it addresses a subject I know well, I also know that you will have a new angle on it. I also like the extent of the detail you cover, how ‘well put’ the ideas are, and somehow uncannily they always have relevance to my life or to that of one of my clients.” Cherry Campbell, Relationship coach and trainer.