How to change specialism in the legal sector
Are you wondering whether you would be better suited to working in an alternative area of law within the legal sector? Here is some guidance to assist lawyers considering changing legal specialism.
Step 1: Identify your reasons for wanting to change legal specialism. Is it the content of your current legal job you dislike or is there something about the working environment that is not suiting you? If it is the latter perhaps resolve these issues first before considering alternative routes within your legal career.
Step 2: Examine your strengths, interests and motivations. Have a think about what you would like your role as a lawyer to include:
- What skills are you good at?
- What other areas of law have you had exposure to that you enjoyed?
- What motivates you?
Step 3: Identify alternative legal specialisms. Write a list of legal specialisms that interest you and identify 2 or 3 specialisms that closely match the strengths, interests and motivations identified in step 2.
Step 4: Carry out research and pursue networking opportunities Talk to lawyers working in your 2 to 3 selected legal specialisms to find out more.
- How do they find the role
- How did they get into this area of law?
- What training will be required to specialise in this area of law?
- What do they like best/least about the role?
- What networking events/opportunities can they recommend to you?
Use all your contacts and attend specialist networking and practice development events. Your objective is to find out whether practising in any of your identified areas of law is going to suit your personality more than your current legal role. Keep going until you are able to make an informed decision about your legal career.
Step 5: Make a decision about your legal career. Identify the legal specialism that will give you the best opportunity to use your strengths, motivations and interests within your legal career. If you discover your current role is actually a good choice for you, review what has been stopping you from enjoying this role.
Step 6: Identify job vacancies. Continue networking and start investigating job vacancies in your chosen legal specialism.
It is far better for a lawyer to change legal specialism than remain demotivated in their current role.