Can I switch to transactional at a different firm after 1 year of litigation? Top 3 school with lackluster grades.

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Yes. It's not easy as firms usually want those with transactional experience. You may need to take a step back to find a transactional role but it is definitely doable. On the bright side you are only 1 year out so it is easier to make the switch.

I made the move after 2 years in disputes resolution. It wasn't easy but i volunteered and networked a lot. Eventually i found someone who would take a chance on me and never looked back.

It's a numbers game. Good luck!


Yes, if you get a job at another firm.

Snark aside, of course you can. I’m sure your question is more like, “will another firm hire me.” The answer to that is that someone somewhere probably will at some point. But depending on your background, you might have 1) some sales work you need to do to convince someone to take the chance, and 2) some self education you need to undertake.

I once had a mentor managing a major metro area’s civil division tell me litigation is the best place to learn the law. (Former in-house litigation counsel at a major insurance company.) And to a large degree, that’s true. You start to identify weaknesses a transactional attorney wouldn’t think to anticipate. You often clean up their messes after the fact. So that’s a selling point if you’ve done any sort of post-transaction type litigation. (That’s to say commercial/contract or even regulatory disputes and not just tort or family litigation.)

Depending on what class work you did and what type of cases you’ve worked on, you might have to take some CLEs, read some books, and volunteer on some transactional projects. Not so much because you have to prove that you know how to do transactional work. But to be able to credibly describe why you want to make the switch. They’re very different worlds in any firm larger than 10-20 attorneys.

Finally, you’re only one year out. No one expects you to know anything. Making that type of change will be easier for you in the next two years than in the three years after that. But to my previous point, you’ll probably need to develop a clear and convincing story as to why you want to make the change rather than just boredom or flightiness. That’ll probably be your biggest challenge.


In addition to what others have said above, there are firms that will hire litigators for transactional roles depending on the type of litigation you are coming from. For example IP litigators to tech transactions.


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