Leaving the law

Our team at Michael Page Legal are true experts in their field and have been at the forefront of legal recruitment for more than 30 years. What gives us our edge is our people; many of whom worked in the legal profession before joining Michael Page. Their market knowledge, skills, connections and experience makes them perfect for this role and has allowed many to achieve great things. We asked some of our team why they chose to leave the law and what made Michael Page the ideal choice.

Katherine Jackson

Katherine Jackson
I chose law because it was a seemed sensible option offering interesting work, client exposure, a career path and stability. It played to my competitive nature and desire to be successful. Furthermore it would provide a stepping stone to other career paths such as politics which is what I studied at university. So it all sounded great but quickly I found that none of these things rang true in the reality of my working life. 
I found myself working in a city law firm and realised some things about law:
  • The work was interesting but I spent hours waiting on others to make things happen
  • I had some early client exposure but soon realised that was not the norm
  • The stable career path looked increasingly rocky when I recognised just how many people were vying for the few opportunities which were in the hands of the partners. I wanted a role where I could dictate my own path rather than rely on who I knew
  • As for being competitive, I realised that the title I held was seemingly far more important than being the best at it.
I was asking myself quite how I got there and whether I could see myself there in five, ten or twenty years. The answer was a clear no. 
When I was approached about recruitment I could barely have explained what it entailed, let alone recognise that it was something I could excel at. The meritocratic structure, the professional yet fun environment, the work life balance and contact with people was what I had always been looking for. That’s not to mention the interesting work, unlimited client exposure, extensive career path and exciting networking opportunities. Being the best and getting ahead no longer depended on who worked the longest hours but entirely on who worked the most effectively. 
It’s 11 years on and I have never regretted the move. I would urge anyone with a legal background who struggles to remember why they entered the profession and feels they lack an outlet for their competitive spirit, business acumen and a talent for influencing people to give Michael Page a call.
T: 0207 269 2413

Mike Smith

Mike Smith
I joined Michael Page Legal in 2005 having previously worked as a paralegal in Leeds. I had known that legal was probably not for me but found myself in a frustrating situation where the LLB led to the LPC which led me to a paralegal role I did not enjoy. 
On reviewing my options I looked at legal recruitment as an alternative and found that it could provide what I was looking for. I wanted a career where my actions would determine my earnings. I also wanted to find a company who could offer genuine career progression and provide opportunities in the longer term such as an international move. Michael Page was the right place for me.
When I started as a private practice consultant I found the transition was easy. With support I was encouraged to build relationships with candidates and clients and this allowed me to build my knowledge of the legal market in Yorkshire. I enjoyed getting out of the office and meeting clients and then seeing the results at the end of a process and receiving bonuses for work I had put in.
Over my ten year career I have become a manager of a number of offices and have recruited in different sectors. This alongside the bonuses and various trips abroad for hitting targets has meant I've never looked back. I am looking forward to the next ten years.
T: 0113 243 7730

Conor Farrell 

Connor Farrell
I was a corporate finance solicitor at an international firm in Birmingham and was approaching two years PQE when I moved to Michael Page Legal. It was a tough decision for me to leave the law behind and there was a lot of weighing up the pros and cons. Essentially, law wasn’t working for me and I was looking for something different. I had not previously thought about recruitment but the more I looked into it the more it appealed to me. 
Why a career in legal recruitment?
  • Staying in the legal sector - I wanted something where all of the skills and contacts I had developed over the last six or seven years of studying and practising law would be an asset
  • Client contact - I also wanted a profession where I would get lots of client contact; the most important part of our role is getting to know our clients and candidates
  • Autonomy & diversity - In recruitment you are given the freedom to organise your time in the way it best suits you and your market. This means that days are rarely the same and the autonomy and diversity in your working life is something I really enjoy
  • Meritocracy and career progression – You can progress as quickly as you want. You don’t have to wait until you are at a certain level of PQE before you climb the ladder. Everything is very transparent and you know exactly what you need to do to get to the next level
  • Training and development – This was crucial; I did not want to start a new career without the infrastructure and training to make the transition as smooth as possible. The training at PageGroup is fantastic; there are specific training and development programmes that you will get from the very outset.
T: 0121 634 8807

Luc Salmon

Luc Salmonh
I had imagined a legal career working on high profile cases, being involved in complicated legal disputes and earning a good income as a professional. With this in mind and after my CPE & LPC, I joined a large criminal law firm who had a reputation for dealing with some of the most high profile criminal matters in the country. Sadly, I had not realised that criminal law was starting to experience changes with funding and the role was becoming much more commercial and focused on volume.
At that time I decided to make the move to a larger firm. I had always wanted to work for a bigger firm with a national brand, multiple offices and a great work culture. While I initially enjoyed the work this area of law also became more and more commercialised. This meant less client contact, more cases, less appearances at court and all for a salary which was not at all competitive. I quickly decided that I wanted a job where I could work more closely with clients, where there was genuine career potential and a much better salary. I was keen to find a role where I could influence how much I was paid and there was a real chance to earn large bonuses based on completing quality work.
Having decided to leave the law I interviewed across a broad range of industries and recruitment fit the bill perfectly. As well as affording me the opportunities which law had failed to, it gave me a chance to utilise my legal knowledge and education to help me reach career and salary ambitions.
The clincher was the chance to work for an organisation that could give me the opportunity to work across the globe. It felt a bit like joining the ‘Clifford Chance’ of recruitment! Twelve years later and it has delivered in all aspects I was looking for, and more.
T: 0207 269 2123
If you are considering leaving the law and want to learn more about the opportunities that Michael Page Legal can offer, please get in touch with one of our team or apply for one of our available legal recruitment consultant roles.