in Careers Advice, Changing Jobs

Changing Specialism in Law

A common topic with lawyers is whether they can change fields of law once qualified. Commercial Lawyers moving into the “more interesting” High Street”, and High Street lawyers looking to earn more than a Tesco shelf stacker and move into commercial law.

Crime and immigration are particular fields, with a number of practitioners wanting quite understandably to change into something more stable and offering better conditions of practice and pay. Moving from high street practice to commercial firms or in house company law departments are two other popular areas.

We also get corporate lawyers wanting to give up the high salaries and lifestyle to “help ordinary people”. It is very difficult to change fields of law via recruitment consultants. We can assist if you have some experience in the field you want to change to, but often cannot help if you are completely altering your career path. We recommend initially thinking very carefully before moving. Is this really what you want, or would you be better served changing firms and getting better working conditions?

Do you know what lawyers in the field you are looking to move into actually do, and have you any experience of this?

Moving from high street into commercial practices is very difficult, getting out of immigration or crime is also hard unless you have already got experience in other fields or you find a sole practitioner who needs help in a variety of fields.

Contact us for further advice and assistance at Further in depth advice can be found at  and You can get further assistance from us via telephone and face to face sessions in careers by visiting

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at