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Working in Different Practice Area from Articling Placement


Atticus
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I am currently articling in a litigation firm, but would like to pursue possibly working in business law after my articling placement. How likely is this to happen, and what should I do as my articling term ends in order to successfully achieve it? I haven't looked at job postings extensively yet, but it seems most junior associate positions in business law ask for some experience in business law. Is my goal impossible? 

Slightly similar to the above, how about going from civil litigation to commercial litigation? I assume this is more likely, but how likely and what can I do right now to increase my chances? 

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Pendragon
  • Lawyer

I know a lot of people trying to do this, or have tried to in the past. By civil litigation, do you mean personal injury or insurance defence? The reality is that almost all job postings for junior lawyers want 2-5 years of experience. You will rarely come across a posting that says 0-2 years. Right now, it seems like you fall in the latter category. Large, mid-sized, and boutique corporate firms are closed to you. Small firms are a possibility if you can network your way in. Personal injury and insurance defence experience is not transferable to commercial litigation. I have friends that tried to make this switch and were not able to do it. If you have no connections to any corporate employers, then it will be difficult. There are a lot of people that article anywhere they can, then want to do corporate law or something else they "always wanted to do, but didn't land in law school". Do you have anything that sets you apart? 

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27 minutes ago, Pendragon said:

I know a lot of people trying to do this, or have tried to in the past. By civil litigation, do you mean personal injury or insurance defence? The reality is that almost all job postings for junior lawyers want 2-5 years of experience. You will rarely come across a posting that says 0-2 years. Right now, it seems like you fall in the latter category. Large, mid-sized, and boutique corporate firms are closed to you. Small firms are a possibility if you can network your way in. Personal injury and insurance defence experience is not transferable to commercial litigation. I have friends that tried to make this switch and were not able to do it. If you have no connections to any corporate employers, then it will be difficult. There are a lot of people that article anywhere they can, then want to do corporate law or something else they "always wanted to do, but didn't land in law school". Do you have anything that sets you apart? 

So what field will be possible to transfer to from personal injury experience ?

 

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Pendragon
  • Lawyer
4 minutes ago, Lifeisgood said:

So what field will be possible to transfer to from personal injury experience ?

 

I see a lot of the PI firms now doing employment law. I have also seen some criminal lawyers transition into PI, so you could probably do the opposite. It's most common to see PI lawyers go in house at insurance companies.

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listerine
  • Law Student

Similar but different from OP's question: is it possible to article in a firm that practices corporate transactional work after a 2L summer at a litigation boutique? As strong of a conviction I have/had in litigation being what I want to do, I am beginning to second guess it.

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Avatar Aang
  • Lawyer
33 minutes ago, listerine said:

Similar but different from OP's question: is it possible to article in a firm that practices corporate transactional work after a 2L summer at a litigation boutique? As strong of a conviction I have/had in litigation being what I want to do, I am beginning to second guess it.

Given the fact that the recruit just  concluded yesterday, why are you already second guessing it?

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MapleLeafs
  • Law Student
On 11/4/2021 at 6:03 PM, listerine said:

Similar but different from OP's question: is it possible to article in a firm that practices corporate transactional work after a 2L summer at a litigation boutique? As strong of a conviction I have/had in litigation being what I want to do, I am beginning to second guess it.

Also wondering the same thing. 

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