After several years (or perhaps decades!) of practicing in a specific area, it’s no wonder you are considering change. What is prompting your desire for change, though? Boredom? Market changes? A desire to get out completely? Or an internal drive to simply spice things up a bit?
Perhaps the better question to ask, however, is whether you should make a change?
Unsurprisingly, there is no simple answer to this question. But with some soul searching and practical due diligence, you can make your decision with confidence.
When deciding to take the plunge into a new practice area, it is imperative you first ask yourself these soul-searching questions:
While I suspect you may read these questions and say “duh,” you’ll be surprised how many attorneys skip this most important step. Take focused time to truly consider the questions before answering. Then move on to the next group of questions.
Now you must ask yourself more practical, due diligence-type questions such as:
Perhaps the best way to answer these questions is to talk to someone already practicing in the area. Reach out to colleagues and professional contacts. I assure you the lawyers to speak to are likely no more than one-to-two degrees of separation from you. Reach out to them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many will be more than happy to meet and share information.
During your conversations, ask them what they like and dislike. Discuss the challenges unique to the practice area and any regrets they may have about selecting that line of practice.
The more practical experience and insight you can glean from these conversations, the better off you will be in finding the answers to help you decide which path to take next.
Your existing practice area may have chosen you. Now may be the time for you to choose it.