Changing Practice Areas Without a Lateral Move?

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Anonymous User
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Changing Practice Areas Without a Lateral Move?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:10 am

I'm hoping to hear from people who've changed practice groups in big law. My experience was exclusively in Area A except for work in Area B that from a practical standpoint was Area A type work (apologies if the vagueness is confusing). I chose Area B, because I assumed if I liked and was good at A then I'd like and be good at B. I'd like to switch to A, but don't know how to do this without risk. Practically, I don't see myself changing enough to have a long term future in Area A. I'm also 100% confident that I would be great at B, and even with a short shelf life, think I'd be able to develop a book of business 15-20 years down the road.

Anonymous User
Posts: 342799
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Changing Practice Areas Without a Lateral Move?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm hoping to hear from people who've changed practice groups in big law. My experience was exclusively in Area A except for work in Area B that from a practical standpoint was Area A type work (apologies if the vagueness is confusing). I chose Area B, because I assumed if I liked and was good at A then I'd like and be good at B. I'd like to switch to A, but don't know how to do this without risk. Practically, I don't see myself changing enough to have a long term future in Area A. I'm also 100% confident that I would be great at B, and even with a short shelf life, think I'd be able to develop a book of business 15-20 years down the road.


I'm going to insert some practice areas and say Area A is patent pros, and Area B is patent lit; that you only did pros work, and while you did help out with some litigation, it wasn't much different from the work you'd do as an agent anyway; that you decided to do litigation when you joined the firm because you assumed if you liked pros you'd like litigation; and now you want to go back to pros, but you don't think you'll be successful doing biglaw pros long-term, and you think you're decent at litigation you'd be able to open your own litigation practice eventually if you just stick with it for a few more years. Is that basically the conundrum here (actual subject matter aside)?

If so, is the question whether you should move? Or whether it is a risk to move? That's highly dependent on the firm you're at right now, the actual work you do, the actual work you want to do, your long-term goals, and a lot of other stuff. Generally-speaking, if you don't think you have a long-term future in a field, you probably shouldn't switch to it, though.



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