Tuesday, 28 June 2011

How transferable skills help lawyers change careers

Many of the lawyers I work with believe their career options are limited when considering a career change.  They feel their existing legal experience is niche and therefore they have few transferable skills and limited alternative career options available to them.

Is this true? Are there limited career change options available for lawyers?

In answering this question, think about the skills you use as a lawyer. 

Firstly, identify what you do each day.  Perhaps you manage a caseload, go to court, draft documents, speak to clients or conduct negotiations.   

Once you have identified your list of activities, think about what skills these activities involve - use the following headings to assist:

·         Interpersonal skills
·         Communication Skills (verbal and written)
·         Drafting skills
·         Research and problem-solving skills
·         Technical skills
·         Flexibility
·         Commercial Awareness

You should now have a long list of skills you use each day.

Eliminate the skills you do not enjoy using and translate your remaining skills into those skills required for alternative careers that interest you.    Be creative and you will soon find that many skills can translate from one career option to another and your career options will start to expand.

So, is it true that there are limited career change options available for lawyers?

No, as a lawyer your career change options are not limited.  You have many transferable skills which make you employable and, as a lawyer, you use these skills to a very high standard.  All you need to do now is build your self-awareness, become aware of the skills you use each day and remain creative through your career change!

If you are a lawyer considering a career change and are stuck for initial career ideas, have a read of my ‘Careers and Jobs for Lawyers’ factsheet found here.

1 comment:

  1. An excellent post, as a lawyer who half practices law and spends the other half of his time on other projects I recommend others start thinking out of the box, particularly inc current market conditions.

    lawyers come across often as arrogant, but arrogance is often a mask for insecurity. Lawyers should know that their skills are very transferable in many different business areas nd the combination of keeping a hand in in law with practical experience from the "other side of the fence" is invaluable.