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Attorney Job Tips: Transition From Solo-Practitioner To Law Firm Employee

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Attorney Job Tips: Transition From Solo-Practitioner To Law Firm Employee

There are many alluring benefits of being self-employed — you set your own schedule, you make your own decisions, and you can spend as much or as little time at the office as you want. For whatever reason, you started your own firm. Perhaps you had to move back home to take care of your parents and the labor market was tough and you had to make moves. Perhaps you needed a break from the grind of working at a top firm. There are other reasons why you decided to close up shop and transition to the workforce and become a law firm employee.  If that’s you, here are some tips on making the transition from being your own boss to taking direction from someone else.

  • Understand what you want. Are you looking for a change? Are you interested in the partner track at a larger firm? Are you looking to work in a completely different practice area? Was the offer too good to pass up? Whatever it isTransition, be clear about what you want, know why so that understanding can be the driving force behind your job search.
  • Adjust your mindset. Life as an employee is a lot different than the solo-practitioner. You will need to become (re)accustomed to strict work hours where someone else decides your schedule. You will need to keep in mind that someone else, not you,  will be responsible for making high-level decisions for the law firm (though that may be a relief). Adjusting your mindset to fully understand that someone else will be calling the shots will help reduce unnecessary conflict with authority during your transition.
  • Explain your reasoning. When you’re interviewing with employers, you must be prepared to explain clearly why you want to leave behind your entrepreneurial pursuits. Give a basic explanation but focus on convincing them that being an employee is your true goal.
  • Know your reasons. Be honest about your endeavors, the reason you have decided to transition from self-employment to practicing law at a law firm. Are you looking for a steady salary? Less stress? More structure? Health benefits? Be real with yourself about why you want to be an employee and that honestly will showcase itself as fearless during an interview.

You got this. You tweak your mindset and your expectations, the transition from solo-practitioner to employee can be smooth and well worth it. Subscribe to the Leopard Blog for discussions on managing a team, diversity, law firm insights, and other relevant topics.

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