in Careers Advice, Job Applications

Returning to the Legal Profession

A common issue, especially for mothers (and some fathers) who have taken time off to raise a family and now want to return to work after 2,5 or 10 years.

In some fields of law this is not too difficult. Firms are becoming more aware of the need to treat maternity leave with respect, as opposed to finding an excuse to sack the person on maternity leave as quickly as possible and getting a replacement in. As a result, we are seeing an increase in the number of part time positions, as well as 6-9 month contracts in a range of fields of law.

Part time has traditionally been viewed with suspicion by workaholic senior partners, but they are realising the benefits of retaining staff by offering more flexible conditions.
If you are returning after a lengthy absence, you need to be aware that the salary levels on offer can be quite low, and the choice of positions fairly restricted. It may be worth getting locum work first in order to get recent experience before looking for a post offering more long term opportunity.

Further in depth advice can be found on these pages or at  and

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