19 Aug Returning to law post career break? Speak to Montgomery Edge
A career break comes in many forms – caring for a new born (or other form of carers leave); your role was impacted by COVID; you took a break after returning to Australia from overseas; you had a career change; or maybe you even took some time off to travel the globe (ok that last one feels strange to say). For some lawyers, a career break could be for a year, five, or over 10+ years.
I regularly speak with lawyers from all different walks of life, at different stages of their careers, seeking different opportunities. From these conversations the following initial concerns are most common:
- Have I left it too long?
- Are my legal skills still relevant?
- At what level can I re-enter the market?
- Will I be considered in such a competitive market?
- I haven’t interviewed or updated my CV for years and it all seems a bit scary
- Is it true practising law is like riding a bike?
These are all reasonable questions and, increasingly, are easy to address. I love nothing more than assisting someone to re-enter the law and ideally find them a role they love that can be a spring board for reigniting their career.
A popular way to return to the workforce post career break is through taking up a fixed term contract or temporary project-based role. And the great news is, I am constantly on the phone to clients who want contractors! That is, to hire talented lawyers to work on a specific task or projects on an immediate contract or temporary basis, with a medium to longer term view of extending or making the role permanent down the track.
In a severely candidate short market, both in house legal teams and law firms are welcoming back trained lawyers from career breaks. Securing permanent roles can be more challenging, so looking at temporary roles allows for a quicker transition. It can provide greater flexibility, immediate brand exposure, new networking opportunities, opportunities to expand your core legal skill set and finally you can ‘try before you buy’.
Whether an opportunity is for 3 months or 12 months, once onboard, the opportunities are endless!
I have dealt with lawyers who have been out of work for 10+ years, re-enter the workforce and flourish in contract roles. These roles are often a stepping stone into permanent senior legal counsel position. If you have quality communication skills, a commercial approach and pride yourself on being a team player, then you have the foundations for a successful re-entry. The legal skills will come back quicker than you can imagine.
So what do you have to lose. Even if a role ends after the contracted term, you have better networks, up to date knowledge and experience, which will provide you with better skills to help secure your next role!
If this sounds like you, but you are unsure about how to go about returning to the workforce, then get in contact with us at Montgomery Edge.