Lawyering: Changing practice areas


I was asked whether it is possible for a lawyer to switch to corporate practice from another practice area.

I think I may not be the most qualified person to answer this question as I have been a corporate lawyer throughout my career and have not changed practice areas before.

However, I know some lawyers who have switched from conveyancing/real estate to corporate or from one practice area to another.

It is possible but the number of years of experience in legal practice may be discounted a bit. It also depends on the law firm the lawyer applies to. For example, if the law firm is doing an IPO which requires knowledge on real estate, the lawyer’s experience in real estate may come in handy. However, if the law firm has only one vacancy and needs someone with corporate experience, that law firm may prefer an experienced corporate lawyer.

If you can showcase your interest and related expertise such as by writing articles, you would put yourself in a better position during interviews. After all, it is better to show than tell.

“Reassurance is futile because you never have enough of it.”

Seth Godin explained in his book “The Practice” why seeking reassurance that “everything is going to work” isn’t helpful.

You do not need permission to advance your career. As long as you are not doing anything illegal or unethical, go forth and do what you think is the best to advance your career.


This post was first posted on Linkedin on 17 July 2022.

Linkedin Post
Five key steps for legal due diligence

Most lawyers are good at identifying issues, but legal due diligence shouldn’t be limited to merely reviewing documents and identifying issues. Here are my five steps for conducting legal due diligence: 1. Identify the issues based on the scope of legal due diligence as agreed with the clients. 2. Provide recommendations …

Linkedin Post
Begin with the end in mind: Post-completion integration

I once worked on an M&A deal that took more than a year to complete. While the deal was not inherently complex, it dragged on due to delays in finalizing the details of the transaction agreements for reason beyond my control. As the deal involved a larger corporation acquiring a …

Being a Corporate Lawyer: Why I Do What I Do

After years of demanding schedule and juggling simultaneous corporate exercises which take a toll on physical and mental health, it is not surprising that some corporate lawyers experience burnout. Unlike some legal practice areas, the work of a corporate lawyer may not seem immediately impactful or “make a difference” to …