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There are many attorneys who change their legal practice areas in the later stage of their legal careers. There can be several reasons that make these attorneys take such a decision. They probably begin to feel that the legal area they are practicing in does not suit them anymore. This is why they prefer a change after having been involved with a particular practice area of law. Though switching legal practice areas is a difficult process in the midlife, it is not difficult to do so. With a little care and proper planning, you can achieve your objective.

A Harrison Barnes suggests that you take into account the pros and cons of your big decision before actually stepping into a different legal territory, as it were. You should choose your practice area when you are still in the law school. If you take a wise decision then, you do not have to face the troubles of changing your legal practice areas. You need to seriously consider every aspect of a certain area of law you are thinking to choose in your later life. Make sure that your choice depends on how that particular area of law will help you in the future. And also that you are not attracted by the glamour or the glory associated with that particular field.

If you really wish to change to a specific field at this stage of your life, you should ask yourself whether your decision is correct; be sure that you are changing for the right reason. A Harrison Barnes feels that you should have a solid reason or two for taking such a decision else you may have to regret your decision for the rest of your life. You must not change your practice area just because you feel that other attorneys earn much more than you in a different legal field.

When you choose a new practice area, make sure that you stick to your decision for the rest of your legal career. Frequent changes in practice areas may give you a bad name in the legal circles. You may even lose the trust of your employers. A Harrison Barnes says from his own experience that they might start doubting whether you will stick with them any longer. Consequently they might find excuses to avoid hiring you in their law firm.

If your decision for switching the practice area has anything to do with the fact that you are not happy practically for no reasons at the law firm where you are currently employed, it is not a sensible step. But if you are confident that you will be able to give your best in the new practice area, and that the new environment will do a world of good to you and your legal skills, it surely is a wise decision, says A Harrison Barnes.

You may have a number of reasons for your decision for changing your legal practice area, but be honest with yourself, says A Harrison Barnes. You have to be sure that your decision is taken after deep thinking and much consideration. Make sure that it does not turn out to be a blunder after some time in your new practice area.

Make a candid self assessment and ask yourself some pertinent questions: “Do I have those special talents required to be successful in the new practice area of law I am planning to shift to? Will my nature and temperament suit the new environment and newer challenges? What do I enjoy doing the most?, Am I comfortable with complex issues or interested in the simpler ones?”. You have to find correct and honest answers to all these questions.

A Harrison Barnes says that the answers to these questions will help you determine which area of law practice suits you the best and where you can fit without any difficulty. Once you are sure of your reasons and are confidently aware of the area to shift to, you should go ahead without hesitation.

Besides making objective analysis of your own personality, you should consider your credentials and qualifications. After all, credentials and qualifications vary from firm to firm in the legal field. Though the basic knowledge to every field remains the same, there is still a lot of difference in all the areas of law. And if you have a very impressive academic background and record, you will be able to attract many legal employers even if you wish to switch to a different practice area, feels A Harrison Barnes.

Thus, shifting or switching to another legal practice area may be beneficial for you if you have very carefully planned every step. This whole process needs too much of thinking and research, which includes various aspects of your legal career as well as your life itself. Whatever your decision, make sure it is the right one and taken after a lot of considerations.

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