Ten key tips: how to pivot your legal career

February 10, 2021 | By Rafeena Bacchus, guest contributor

I’ve been a Toronto-based insurance defence and human rights counsel for more than 15 years. I’m now transitioning to a focus on mediation.

The first installment of this two-part series will provide a general roadmap to pivoting a legal career; the second will specifically apply the principles to embarking on a mediation practice.

  1. Know your skill set and determine your area of specialty.
  2. Obtain the necessary training before the pivot.
  3. Learn to seek and receive assistance, seek out information from others in the field, and find a mentor.
  4. Determine the investment needed, and arrange financial backup.
  5. Determine your approach to billing and rates through research, but be sure to keep your real value in the marketplace in mind.
  6. Determine your business practice setup.
  7. Be prepared for hiccups and enjoy the journey.
  8. Use the opportunity to prioritize your time and energy.
  9. Give back and pay it forward: use your new career to help others benefit from your experience.
  10. Step out of your comfort zone, but take care of yourself.

Rafeena Bacchus is a Toronto-based insurance defence and human rights litigator. She’s now turning to a career in mediation.


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1 Comment

  1. Julius,

    Profiling lawyers starting innovative careers is a good idea. In my “encore career” I’ve decided its time to give back and I’m starting up a mentoring program to guide law students on how to build a pathway to a successful career as opposed to getting caught up in the “speed dating” program and bundled into articling programs with law firms where the “20” selected candidates battle one another to in hopes they won’t be culled and become one of the “5” survivors. Let me know if you’d like to see the model and I’ll forward it to you. It might give you some ideas.

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