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The new law career pathway - there is a better way

As a leading legal recruitment organisation, we often get asked about alternative legal careers available to lawyers.

It seems that legal professionals are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the long hours, high stress, demanding clients and lack of career progression. They want to know what other options are available to them.

Working closely with Thomson Reuters, the Robert Walters Legal team have seen first-hand, the enthusiasm lawyers have for exploring alternative legal careers. Since launching Practical Law in Australia, Thomson Reuters has been committed to building a team of legal writers with significant experience as legal practitioners in private practice and corporations.

There is no longer any stigma in leaving law or moving into alternative careers. In fact, lawyers are demanding more variety and flexibility. They are confident in their ability to be able to adapt to different roles.

Robert Walters and Thomson Reuters recently held an event on this topical issue about alternative legal career pathways, where we invited four guest speakers to share their career journey and discuss how they utilised their legal backgrounds to transition into alternative legal roles. 

Speaking about the challenges they faced transitioning into alternative legal careers, what they learned from their experience, what motivated them and what brings them satisfaction in their careers now, here are the four key takeaways from the event.  

Out of private practice

Lawyers are moving out of private practice into in-house roles to be closer to the strategy of the business. In-house lawyers can be more autonomous and highly commercial, meaning they can utilise a range of skills outside of the law.

Utilise your existing skills

The training, skills and discipline you develop in private practice will put you in a very strong position to transition into an in-house role or an alternative legal position.

Think outside of the box

There are alternate legal roles that exist outside of law firms and in-house legal teams. Many lawyers move into policy roles, legal writing, compliance and commercial positions. In short, you don’t necessarily need to practice as a lawyer to utilise your legal skills and have a long and prosperous career.

Networking is key

Do not underestimate the importance of your networks. Leveraging off your existing networks becomes even more important as you explore the range of alternative legal careers available to you.

Finally, be confident in your ability and have an open mind. Do not be fixated on the straight and narrow path or what is considered the norm. Opportunities present themselves in many different ways. There is a new law pathway, and options and guidance are available to legal professionals. 


To find out more about the alternative legal careers available to lawyers, contact our legal recruitment team today

Alternatively visit Practical Law for more information.

The speakers at the event included Rachel Launders, General Counsel and Company Secretary at Nine Entertainment Co, Director at Giant Steps School and Non Executive Director at Gateway Lifestyle Operations; Linda Taylor, Managing Writer, Practical Law Australia at Thomson Reuters; Evelyn Subagio, Policy Advisor, Property Council of Australia; and Gregory Haynes, Head of Compliance, ANZ Wealth Division. 

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