What are you drafting for?

Can small, everyday actions contribute to systemic change?

Josef COO Sam Flynn explores how changing the way you work can increase the longevity of the place we call home. It’s time to rethink your professional skills; they may be more powerful than you think.

“Drafting for the climate”.

This is a phrase I heard recently at an event hosted by The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP), a new London-based startup that supports lawyers to make the world’s supply chains more climate conscious.

“Drafting for the climate”, for them, meant empowering lawyers everywhere to add climate conscious clauses into their firm’s precedent documents or particular contracts.

It’s a simple idea with real-world consequences. 

Last year, for example, Salesforce implemented TCLP’s climate conscious clauses in its supplier contracts, meaning that 60% of its suppliers must implement science-based emissions reduction strategies by 2024.

That’s huge! A small organization is driving change in global supply chains just with a clever idea and some resources. 

The line, “drafting for the climate,” also hit me hard because there is something so powerful in the idea that we can tackle the biggest issues in the world with skills that we consider banal.

To be clear, I don’t believe that tackling “carbon footprints” at the individual level is the solution to climate change. TCLP though is different. It is strategic, pursuing systemic change by leveraging the expertise of its community members.

This is a transformative idea not just at the societal or environmental level, but also at the personal. If we can drive meaningful change in the world just by doing our day-to-day work, then each morning we also get to decide on the legacy we leave behind. I’m not talking about becoming the Prime Minister or writing a famous novel – I’m talking about small, authentic actions that we can take on any given morning.

“If we can drive meaningful change in the world just by doing our day-to-day work, then each morning we also get to decide on the legacy we leave behind.”
– Sam Flynn

This may all sound a little naive, but this kind of thinking has been really central to my life.

Earlier in my career, each day I would turn up to work – whether as a litigation attorney, a lawyer in corporate advisory, or even an Associate at the Supreme Court – and I would produce particular pieces of work that related to particular matters.

This could be research for a case, preparing materials for my Judge, or drafting advice on a regulatory question. I loved a lot of that work, and I got to spend time with and learn from some amazing people.

But when I built my first legaltech tool, I felt something different. I felt like I could also use my everyday skills – research, drafting, advice – for good too.

This legaltech tool helped people to navigate an unfair regulatory regime. Tens of thousands of people used it to get help, and it was part of a broader strategic push to overturn the unfair regulatory regime. 

This project changed the way I saw my own skills. They weren’t just something that I developed for self-improvement or career progression, or something that I used for other peoples’ purposes. They were my superpowers, even if they seemed a little boring to others.

What this also does – and maybe this is the most important part – is that it transforms your day-to-day experience of work by connecting you to a purpose. And, for me, there is no more powerful a motivator than that.

At this TCLP event, I was reminded of that intoxicating feeling (and that I get to live it a little each day with Josef).

What do you want your legacy to be? What is your superpower? What are you drafting for?

Learn more about the great work The Chancery Lane Project is doing here.