Legal Practice Retraining: Think Again & Then Some by @WaringLawyer

This piece is dusted off from the archives as it was Rachael’s first blog (February 2012) and is referenced, sadly, in her last for us tomorrow :(. On the plus side Rachael finally got her dream job, so we’re all very happy for her.

February 2012…by Rachael Waring

I’ve always had an interest in Private Client, specifically Wills, Probate and Estate Planning since studying it as an elective on the LPC back in 2006. At the time Personal Injury was buoyant and when you’ve got an LPC loan to pay off, it’s hard not to go where the jobs are. I prospered at my firm and they eventually offered to train me (with secondment) which of course I grabbed with both arms…and legs.

Upon qualification my heart still wasn’t in Personal Injury, I moved to a different PI firm but alas it was PI (and not the firm) that was getting me down.

Then in 2010 I saw my opportunity; I had a baby and took a year ‘off’ (anybody who moans about the maternity laws in this country, just take a look at America’s and you’ll realise how lucky we are.) So when my evening’s permitted I read text books in Wills, Probate and Estate Planning and listened to recorded (and occasionally live) CPD courses to keep up to date.

Finally in the summer of 2011 when I officially left my previous employer I started looking for work experience and thankfully, I was very successful. For the firms that said yes 5 said no; which if I’m being truthful, I couldn’t quite get my head round. Here I was offering my services unpaid and they said no!

Quite often it was the person on reception who barely gave me chance to explain myself properly but sometimes it was firms ‘strict work placement’ programmes that thwarted me. Law firms are often thought of as inflexible and not able to adapt to change. I would think ‘if they can’t be flexible with a week’s work experience how are they ever going to cope with the ramifications of the LSA’?

This is my brief contribution to retraining, as you can see there are rejections along the way and some firms will not even consider your application. I have however made some great contacts and am really positive about the future.

If you do decide to retrain, just remember it is not an easy decision to leave your current practice area, which in all likelihood is probably paying the bills, and quite comfortably too.

© Rachael Waring, February 2012

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