I’m a junior City lawyer specialising in M&A and currently in lockdown. Worryingly, my team is really quiet as a result of the Covid19 pandemic so I don’t have much work on. How can I boost my utilisation rate as it’s obviously not possible to wonder around the corridors asking colleagues if they need help whilst we’re all working from home?

Unfortunately, you’re not alone. The pandemic is definitely having an impact on workflow for lawyers across most practice areas and sadly this trend looks set to continue – at least for the immediate future. And sadly, quite a few junior lawyers in my network have told me in recent weeks that their senior colleagues are hoarding work that would’ve otherwise been delegated to them. As such, I’d recommend maintaining regular contact with partners and senior associates and keeping them updated on your capacity to take on more work. In the absence of charageable work it’s worth asking about opportunities to get involved in BD – for instance, that could involve helping to draft client briefings and pitch documents. Alternatively, it’s also worth offering to get involved in knowhow projects. Outside of your immediate team I’d recommend asking your graduate recruitment or pro bono colleagues if they need help. Failing that, then please do have a think about opportunities for self-learning. There are plenty of free podcasts, webinars and reading materials available online to help you develop your technical and business skills as well as sector knowledge. Also, please try to maintain and positive work ethic and approach colleagues and clients with enthusiasm and a solution-focussed mind-set.

Husnara Begum, Associate Coach & Contributing Editor