No fear at Square One Law.
A law firm has wedded advice about being a good solicitor to jazz poetry, with challenging results.
Square One Law's maxim is "listen first, pivot quickly and think creatively", according to the opening frames of its new promotional film.
The Yorkshire firm certainly thought creatively about art direction, as evidenced by the ensuing two minutes in which a performance poet, Lerato Azula, performs an ode to Square One's ethos while dancing to arrhythmic drum breaks.
The avant-garde piece begins by projecting the firm's slogan across Azula's face.
"There is...an enemy", she begins. "That enemy is fear".
"Fear of breaking traditions. Of being expelled from the old boys' club", she specifies.
Viewers may be struck by the implication that the enemy of a young black woman could be the fear of being expelled from an old boy's club, but there is more cognitive dissonance to come.
"Fear of appearing new. Truth is, law and regulations are complex", she continues.
The pivot to regulatory law commentary may seem jarring in the context of percussion-accompanied free verse and interpretive dance, but that's jazz.
Square One's open mic night gets even more demanding when the poem adopts a hectoring tone about professional standards. "But being a good lawyer is...not!" admonishes Azula. "Not if you listen."
"Think. Share your ideas. And actively avoid being limited by conventions, fearlessly", she cries to the beat of the drum, delivering lines which might have been lifted from an underperforming associate's review.
"Don't just list out legal options! Or process legal outcomes. Show your hunger", she implores, "For the business".
Azula lends impressive depth to the kind of motivational slogans lawyers are subjected to at away days, and earns every penny of her fee during the climax, which appears to have been drawn from a word association game played by HR.
"Be the go-to person. Initiate. Shape. Strategise", she recites. "Stand tall. Side-by-side. Watch their back. Create new opportunities".
"That's how we create connection", concludes Azula. "Build relationships. Understand a problem. Take it on without fear. And solve it." The performance ends with the drummer exiting an empty stage, leaving the audience to reflect upon what they have just witnessed.
Speaking to The Business Desk, Antonio Bachini, the creative director at the agency behind the ad, explained, “We wanted to show the world just how fearless Square One Law are, so we looked for a fearless way to tell their story. Jazz and spoken word poetry ticked all the boxes”.
Ian Gilthorpe, Square One’s Senior Partner, agreed: “I was totally engaged when Antonio explained great musicians are talented, but not all can play jazz, and in a similar way, there are many talented lawyers, but they don’t all think creatively or deliver the same bespoke service as Square One Law”.
Congratulations to the very un-square Square One Law for staging its recruitment brochure like a Gil Scott-Heron concert. If you've seen a law firm take similarly out-there approach, get in touch.
In-house lawyer? Take ROF's survey and have your say: