If you’re a solicitor looking for a career change, within the legal sector or beyond the law, there are many options for you:
Read our case studies and tips from solicitors who have successfully moved to a new sector.
The number of solicitors working in-house is growing. Legal journalist Grania Langdon-Down asks: Should I work in-house?
Roles in law firms offer legal services to different types of clients, from individuals to businesses. Solicitors usually start in private practice – it may be more difficult to enter private practice further into your career if you did not complete a training contract there.
To become a sole practitioner, you must have practised as a solicitor for at least 36 months within the last 10 years and have authorisation from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Read the SRA’s starter pack on becoming a sole practitioner
Founder and managing partner – former intellectual property partner Adam Moralle set up his own boutique firm
Solicitor advocates have the same rights of audience (the right to appear and conduct proceedings in court) as barristers.
To use your rights of audience in the higher courts (High Court, Crown Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court) you must meet standards set by the SRA.
You must also pass a rights of audience course.
Joining the judiciary is a great way to take on a new challenge. Depending on the role, you’ll need at least five or seven years’ post-qualification experience.
You start on a fee-paid basis. A fee-paid basis is an agreed payment for the work, regardless of the time it takes. You can work while continuing in practice, or as a full- or part-time salaried judge.
There are several starting points:
The selection process is competitive. If you’re submitting a judicial application, you should attend our event on judiciary interview training for solicitors.
The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary gives examples from days in the life of judicial office holders.
Find out more about judicial appointments
If you want to stay in the legal sector, you can use your skills in jobs such as:
We follow solicitors’ career journeys from:
If you decide to leave the legal sector, your skills could be valuable in other jobs.
Husnara Begum shares tips for taking your career beyond the law, and what to ask yourself before changing career direction.
Instead of a traditional full-time job, you may want to try multiple part-time jobs, also known as a portfolio career.
They offer flexibility and can be a way to rethink retirement, claims HR consultant Patricia Wheatley Burt.
Roles can include a combination of your experience or interests, such as:
Find out more in our webinar: How to create a portfolio career.
Flexible working – options and roles.
How to market yourself – Rachel Brushfield, career strategist, gives tips.
Help for solicitors – call our pastoral care helpline if you’re experiencing employment difficulties.
Our 30-minute webinars are free to members.