Did you know that almost a third of lawyers quit before having reached the tenth year of their profession? Often put off by the precariousness of the job in the early days of their career, or the high level of commitment and pressure needed to keep up, these lawyers decide to hang up the court gown and take a different path. Here are 6 other options that you could consider if you want a change of career.
According to a report given to the chancellery in February 2017 on the future of the law profession, 30% of lawyers quit their jobs before having reached the tenth year of their career. The reasons which push these legal professionals to hang up their court gowns are numerous. In particular, most of them highlight the lack of remuneration considering their level of personal investment, and also the rising competition between the ever-increasing number of lawyers on the job market.
Therefore, almost 3% of lawyers admitted to the Paris Bar decide to quit the profession every year. The Paris Bar Council estimates that 850 lawyers choose to leave each year, though their reasoning often remains unclear, as when they hand in their notice, they specify that they are leaving on ‘personal grounds’ (a box to be ticked on the form).
So if you also want to take the plunge, here are some careers that you could consider taking up which would allow you to use your previous law career as a significant advantage.
Become an in-house lawyer or a legal manager/director
The business world is becoming more and more attractive to lawyers. As recruiters specialised in legal careers, the consultants at TeamRH, a Parisian recruitment firm, are regularly contacted by lawyers who wish to quit the profession and become a salaried worker, especially within a business. So, applying for a position as an in-house lawyer, a legal manager or even a legal director, according to your level of experience and your field of expertise, can lead to a good outcome. Indeed, although this is a secondary factor, the fact that you are a former lawyer is an undeniably advantageous one. It is a guarantee of your credibility, but also of your writing skills and precision, in the eyes of recruiters.
Concerning the candidate, the advantages of working within a business would be: normal working hours, paid leave and TOIL days, a 13th month, your company will take care of the mutual fund, and last but not least, you will receive a fair pension. Another advantage that must not be forgotten is the work/life balance that comes with this position. Say goodbye to the fear of being called at 3am or being reproached for not having seen a message the following morning.
Finally, for the careerists among you, working within a business leads to a great legal career and plenty of opportunities for professional development. And even if you will rarely be entrusted with a senior position from the outset, remember that nearly two thirds of the legal directors of the ‘CAC 40’ have, at some time in their lives, worked in a law firm.
Key positions: In-house lawyer in real estate, insurance, banking, labour or company law.
Become a magistrate
Another option for a lawyer eager to change careers would be to move to the other side of the courtroom. In other words, by becoming a member of the Ministry of Justice. Indeed, the National School of Magistracy in France proposes a 4th competitive exam specifically for lawyers. To be accepted to take the exam, you will just need 7 years’ experience as a lawyer and to be at least 35 years old.
Far from being an easy or boring position, the magistrate’s role is fascinating. You will take part in important trials, except this time, it will be different. It will consist of being convinced rather than you trying to convince others.
Become a notary
Want to hang up the court gown to become a notary? This possibility is set out by article 4 in decree no. 73-609 of the 5th of July 1973. You are required to pass a skills-based test and you must have a certain number of years of experience.
Unlike the lawyer’s profession, one so coveted by first-year university students, the notary’s role is one which we often assume is passed down from father to son. But this is no longer the case. In fact, once you have settled into the position, the notary’s role can be low-risk and very rewarding indeed. A position which involves multiple legal sectors (real estate, family law, etc.), it is a varied role where face-to-face contact is very important. Consulting is becoming more and more common in the position, and so the approach to law will prove to be different to what you are used to, yet just as stimulating. The key is joining the right notarial office in order to settle in well there. Make sure to consult all of our notarial positions that could benefit you.
Become a court administrator
Have you thought about joining a court administration service? This legal professional is a judicial representative. They are neither a civil servant, nor a public official, but rather a freelance professional. Recently, a top quality Parisian firm called on us to search for a court administrator. Furthermore, the client prioritised candidates who had the French CAPA qualification, and if possible, who had experience as an associate in a law firm.
Are you a lawyer specialised in insolvency proceedings and restructuring? Well, you would be an attractive candidate in the eyes of a court administrator. It is also worth noting that the ensuing opportunities for professional development in this kind of position are plentiful as you progress towards becoming a court administrator yourself.
Become a wealth planner
Are you a lawyer who wishes to join a bank as a consultant or a wealth planner? Luck is on your side as this career is also an in-house lawyer career. Indeed, wealth planners offer advice and expertise to private bankers on legal and tax matters. This professional has been trained as an in-house lawyer, they operate with a customised approach, often working on large assets. You would be working in collaboration with notaries, financiers and transaction specialists, among others. Your mission would then be to provide very precise legal advice to field staff.
Become an entrepreneur
Do you want a complete change of career? To do something completely different? You should know that your strong legal background will be very useful if you want to become your own boss. Because yes, that’s right – you have multiple qualities that will allow you to do so: 1. You know how to work and manage your time independently, 2. Setting your own goals and achieve them is something that you are able to do, 3. You are used to overtime, 4. You would be able to explain your rights to your clients or suppliers who do not fulfil their obligations.
TeamRH is a Recruitment Company located in Paris. It is a crucial player in the legal and financial sector. We provide services for our national and international clients, aligning ourselves with their pursuit of excellence.
As a company with international clients, we welcome applications from candidates from all over the world and with international experiences. So, when sending us your CV, do not hesitate to mention the soft skills and experiences that make you stand out.