As a recruiter, I speak with tons of litigation attorneys who want to do transactional work. I had the same situation when I practiced law (a long time ago)!
So how do you transition from litigation to transactional work?
Here’s a few suggestions:
- Identify your interests
Determine what area of transactional law you want to do. Identify an area you have significant interest in and find practitioners in that area. Your passion and enthusiasm for the area can go a long ways! For example, if you are a pilot, focusing on aviation practices would be ideal!
- Take an inventory & chart a course of action
Write a list of all your skills, knowledge and experience as it relates to that type of work and write a resume that reflects this. Make a list of everyone you know in the field. Email them and ask them for a quick meeting to learn about their career and how they got there. Prepare questions ahead of time and send a thank you note at the end.
Network with attorneys in your desired practice area. Attend legal conferences, CLEs, seminars, and bar association events to meet practitioners in the field. Offer to help them on the weekends or after-hours so you can get your foot in the door!
- Apply for positions yourself, without a recruiter
You are more likely to have success finding a transactional position if you apply directly to law firms, without using a recruiter. Law firms hire recruiters to find attorneys who already have specific skills and experience and won’t pay a recruiter for someone who is looking to transition from litigation.
- Identify Small, Boutique Firms
You will have more luck finding opportunities at smaller, boutique law firms that do some transactional work.