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Returning to the Law After a Career Break

Returning to the Law After a Career Break

You might have decided to take a career break from the law for many reasons – maybe you were no longer enjoying the profession and needed a break, you wanted to try a different career path or perhaps you elected to take some time out to start a family and enjoy family life. Whatever the reason, there’s definitely a path back to a law career for you! 

If you are worried about stepping back into the world of law, we’ve put together seven must-do tips that will help you to feel more confident and give you the push you need to get back into a law career. 

1. Refresh your knowledge

There are always new guidelines, pieces of legislation and changes in the legal world. This means there is always something new to learn or come to grips with. To make the transition back into the legal world easier, make sure you are familiarising yourself with any changes to particular industries, for example, no-fault divorce.  

In addition to legislation changes, make sure you are staying up to date with current cases, big news stories, and topics of discussion in the areas of law you are looking to practice again. This will give you something to discuss in interviews and refresh your memory.

2. Update your CV

Perfect your CV. It might have been a while since you last looked at your CV, so it will definitely need an edit and a refresh. Make sure to include the reasons for your career break and any skills or experience that might be relevant to the jobs you are applying for. 

In addition to this, make sure you update any personal details and thoroughly spell-check it before applying for any roles. It might sound like a tedious task, but it is one that needs to be done!

3. Go networking

Networking is a great way to develop relationships with potential colleagues, find out more about the firm’s values, get yourself on the firm’s radar and then decide whether it’s the right fit for you.

Have a look at local law society websites, LinkedIn events and Eventbrite for networking opportunities for lawyers or professional services firms. Networking is also a great way to build up your confidence too so it’s a definite win.

4. Don’t let a setback knock you down

As you have probably already experienced, securing a job in law is competitive. Even with experience, this is still likely to be the case. So, try not to let rejections or setbacks knock you down and decide to rethink your return to the law. 

5. Get the admin sorted

There are a number of things you might need to do before getting back into a law role, depending on the position you are looking to secure. If you want to work as a solicitor again, some steps you need to look into beforehand are:

  • Is your name on the roll of solicitors? If not, you need to restore your name. To do this, you will need to complete a screening process, answer some questions, provide any documentation if you have been admitted anywhere else and pay a fee of £20. To do this, go to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) website.
  • Once you have completed your application to add your name to the roll of solicitors, you now need to renew your practising certificate. This is something you can also do through the Solicitors Regulation Authority website. When returning to the profession, you must apply for your practising certificate at least 30 days before you wish to start practising.

The SRA answers lots of FAQs surrounding this topic on their website.

6. Identify what will work for you

Whatever the reason for your career break, the role you desire within a law firm might have changed. This could be the hours you want to work, the distance you are willing to commute, the area you want to specialise in and more. 

We’d recommend identifying what it is you are looking for, and then applying for new roles from there. This way you can negotiate things like hours, days in the office and more when you are interviewing so all expectations are discussed and clear.  

For some, law might no longer be the route you want to go down and you might be wondering if there is an alternate career you could do in the legal world without having to go back to the daily pressures of being a solicitor. We’ve previously written a blog post on alternative careers for lawyers that might spark some interest. 

7. Be proud of your career break

We are confident that any career break you have had would have given you additional skills and experiences that can benefit you in a law career. Whether it’s time management, learning a new skill, meeting new people, and networking or multitasking.  

So be proud of your career break and talk about what you learnt in your time away from law or work altogether. 

Ready to get back into the world of law?

Hopefully, this article has given you some tips on things to prepare to help you feel more confident in coming back to the world of law. If you are looking for a new role within the legal world, have a look at firms that are currently hiring here.