Positive Trends in Attorney Career Transitions!

If you’ve been looking for a new position in the last few months, you know first-hand how challenging the legal job market looks right now. But even in this environment, we’re seeing cause for optimism. Our clients are achieving success with their career transitions, some practice areas are growing, and hiring is still happening (albeit at a slower rate).

We thought we’d share some information on recent trends to provide both inspiration and ideas.


Client successes in career transitions

We’ve been heartened by the many successes our career transition clients have found this year—especially this spring and summer. Clients are steadily landing new positions, and of those attorneys who’ve transitioned to another law firm, 81% have landed positions of either commensurate or increased seniority.

Where are transitioning attorneys landing? Here’s a breakdown of the types of positions our clients have secured in 2020 thus far:

  • Law firm: 45%

  • In-house: 35%

  • Government: 9%

  • Solo practice 9%

  • Other: 2%

If you’re contemplating a move, know that others are succeeding—and that with a vigilant, strategic approach to your own search, you can too.


Growing practice areas

While the legal industry job market has been disrupted this year—and there are fewer job opportunities in some practice areas—recent market trends suggest an improvement in the overall number of openings.

It’s true that job postings slowed to a trickle in the spring, but that trend has been gradually reversing, reflecting both an increased demand in the busiest practice areas and a greater overall appetite among some employers to hire, uncertainties notwithstanding. While the level of demand varies by region, our comprehensive market intelligence tool shows opportunities increasing nationwide over the last three months, particularly in Litigation, Bankruptcy and Restructuring, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, and Insurance.


Pivots are possible!

Contemplating a career shift into a different practice area? We’d like to share the achievement one of our clients recently had with just such a pivot—transitioning from a transactional to a litigation role:

“I was very pessimistic when I first began my search. With COVID-19 and the switch to litigation, I was worried I would be looking for months or even a year. 

My coach helped me manage my expectations and remain positive even when all roads appeared to lead to dead ends. She helped me craft my narrative and revise my resume/cover letter so that I was able to highlight the litigation work I did in law school as well as the litigation work I did as part of my pro bono practice at my last firm. 

I am now working for a litigation firm, where I am doing substantive work and building a solid resume in my desired practice area. I know that it will take a lot of hard work to get to my final destination and ‘dream job,’ but I am now confident that I am well on my way.”

Stories like these remind us that taking control of one’s career trajectory and making a change can indeed still be done.


Helpful resources from NB&A’s blog for your job search

The articles below offer a range of tips from the NB&A team based on what we’ve seen work for attorneys who are job-hunting right now.

While seeking a new position can be daunting, the encouraging results we see in our clients’ career transition endeavors show that hard work and strategic use of various job search techniques pay off. The market may be tough, but where others are succeeding, you can too!