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ishouldhavebeenaplumber

Switching From Civil Litigation to Solicitor's Work?

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Hello everyone, 

I am entering my 3rd year (2018 call) as an associate at a boutique litigation firm (10 lawyers) in downtown Toronto and I have been considering making a switch to a solicitor role. I am wondering if it is possible at this stage of my career to make such a switch? Also, I would be grateful if anyone has any practical tips for how one might go about making the switch, and/or pretty much anything anyone has to say on this subject. 

I enjoy litigation, but there are some aspects of it that I find frustrating (e.g., general delays, length of time for files to resolve, slow or lack of replies from opposing counsel, dealing with court staff). 

I realize that now would not be the ideal time to go job hunting, and I was not planning to until things (hopefully) return to normal; or at least when the Ontario Reports start to show the normal number of job postings. 

Thanks in advance for your replies. 

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9 minutes ago, ishouldhavebeenaplumber said:

... I enjoy litigation...

Then don't switch! You'll find things frustrating about a solicitor gig too. 

But yes, you can switch it up I'm sure. Not too late. You could, for instance, partner up with an older solo solicitor who is planning to retire. You do some litigation + solicitor stuff with them for a few years and just transition out of the litigation game for the most part. 

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Or find the right in-house position that will allow you to do some litigation, oversee some litigation and do lots of advising.

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18 hours ago, Jaggers said:

Or find the right in-house position that will allow you to do some litigation, oversee some litigation and do lots of advising.

Jaggers, 

Besides insurance companies I did not know that in-house positions existed for litigation lawyers. Almost all in-house positions that I see posted (except for insurance companies) are for corporate/commercial, securities and/or employment lawyers. But I will keep an eye out. Thanks.

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Well, I am an employment lawyer :)  But the places I have worked in house also have litigators and keep varying amounts of litigation in house.

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8 minutes ago, ishouldhavebeenaplumber said:

Jaggers, 

Besides insurance companies I did not know that in-house positions existed for litigation lawyers. Almost all in-house positions that I see posted (except for insurance companies) are for corporate/commercial, securities and/or employment lawyers. But I will keep an eye out. Thanks.

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/litigation-counsel-at-bell-1676572482/?originalSubdomain=ca

It's expired but just an example of what's out there.

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3 hours ago, Jaggers said:

Well, I am an employment lawyer :)  But the places I have worked in house also have litigators and keep varying amounts of litigation in house.

Yeah, insurance defence work is definitely not as glamorous as employment. But you take what you can get when you're new on the scene. Do they let the litigation lawyers assist with or work on non-litigation matters? 

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5 minutes ago, ishouldhavebeenaplumber said:

Yeah, insurance defence work is definitely not as glamorous as employment. But you take what you can get when you're new on the scene. Do they let the litigation lawyers assist with or work on non-litigation matters? 

Yes, litigators provide critical advice on how to avoid getting sued! Also things like general interpretation of laws (where you don't have specialists - e.g. in Covid times, we have a litigator who's responsible for interpreting our obligations under all the new emergency orders that came into force, or figuring out if cowboy mayors in Nowheresville Saskatchewan have the statutory authority to close all businesses in the town). Litigators often do work with internal investigations, whistleblower stuff, etc. Also assisting with complying with warrants, production orders, etc. from government authorities (not only cops, but all manner of regulators).

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23 hours ago, Jaggers said:

Yes, litigators provide critical advice on how to avoid getting sued! Also things like general interpretation of laws (where you don't have specialists - e.g. in Covid times, we have a litigator who's responsible for interpreting our obligations under all the new emergency orders that came into force, or figuring out if cowboy mayors in Nowheresville Saskatchewan have the statutory authority to close all businesses in the town). Litigators often do work with internal investigations, whistleblower stuff, etc. Also assisting with complying with warrants, production orders, etc. from government authorities (not only cops, but all manner of regulators).

Thanks, Jaggers. Very helpful indeed. I would guess I probably need 3-5 years experience before I head towards the in-house world though right? I just entered my third year of practice last week. 

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1 minute ago, ishouldhavebeenaplumber said:

Thanks, Jaggers. Very helpful indeed. I would guess I probably need 3-5 years experience before I head towards the in-house world though right? I just entered my third year of practice last week. 

Friend of mine did insurance defence work for their articles and got hired as in house counsel in a completely unrelated field as a new call. I think it’s all about selling yourself, so you should definitely give it a shot.

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