8 Signs That It’s Time to Seek Opportunities at a Different Firm

Practicing law was your dream from an early age. You’ve been fortunate to work with a firm that has taught you a great deal. Lately, you wonder if it may be time to think about moving into a different phase of your career. Specifically, could it be time to think about pursuing opportunities with a different group of lawyers? Here are some signs that you might be able to further your career as a Toronto criminal lawyer by aligning yourself with a different firm.

Chances for a Partnership are Somewhere Between Slim and None

The experience you’ve gained is substantial, but the opportunities for advancement are not exactly plentiful. It’s been a long time since a new partnership was offered to anyone. Realistically, you don’t see one coming your way any time soon.


At this juncture, you have three options. Continuing to work for the firm in your present capacity is one. Another strategy is to think about opening your own law office. That could work assuming you’re comfortable being the boss and have enough resources to pay the bills during the start-up phase.

Another option is to consider seeking opportunities with other firms in the area. It’s easy enough to put out some feelers and learn more about who has a reputation for treating new hires well and providing chances for advancement. The nice thing about this approach is that you don’t have to make a move right now. Wait until you find the right opening and then begin the transition.

Navigating the Political Environment in the Office is Getting Difficult

Office politics is something that you’re likely to find in any setting. What’s not always present is politics that hampers the ability to get things done. In the last year or so, you’ve observed some events that make you less than happy to be connected with the firm. The only reason you’ve stayed up to this point is loyalty to your clients and some of the other staff.


If you’ve grown tired of the drama and don’t see things getting any better, it’s time to consider moving on. Be on the lookout for opportunities involving firms that are known to operate with a minimum of politics and more of a focus on taking care of clients. You’re likely to find that type of environment more to your taste.

There are Definite Ideas About How a Law Firm Should Operate

During your time with the present firm, you’ve learned a great deal about how a law firm should operate. That includes what not to do as well as what should be done. This is information that you lacked at the time you accepted the initial offer.

Now you can put that knowledge to good use. As you weigh the options for moving to another firm, look closely at the policies and procedures. Are they basically the same as the present firm? Do you see some policies that would seem to indicate more of a focus on what you consider best practices? If so, it may be time to find out if that firm would be interested in your services.

You’ve Established a Solid Reputation in the Community

The combination of your ability, knowledge, and people skills have made it possible to establish a reputation that motivates people to see you out when they’re facing criminal charges. Past clients readily recommend you to others without hesitation. The fact that your track record in the courtroom is favorable helps too.

All these assets make you an attractive candidate to other firms. Should you decide to discreetly inquire about other opportunities, you may be surprised at who steps up with an offer.

Focusing on an Underserved Niche

During your time with the firm, you’ve handled more than one type of criminal case. While doing well with most of the cases, there’s one particular area of the law that seems to resonate with you more than the others. The fact that your firm doesn’t pay that much attention to that area has left you somewhat frustrated. It would be great to focus more of your energies on that niche area.

It happens that a couple of other firms in town do take on more cases in that underserved niche. Aligning yourself with them could allow you to focus more on the type of criminal law that you desire. If they’re interested, it wouldn’t hurt to talk with them.

You Have the Resources to Get Through the Transition Phase

Moving to a new firm does mean starting over in terms of building a clientele. Non-compete agreements will mean not being free to seek out old clients to aid in the process. That may mean not having a lot to do immediately, even if there are contiguous cases assigned the moment you walk in on the first day.

Make sure you have the financial resources to tide you over for a few months. By then, you’ll be settled in and starting to generate revenue for the firm. At that point, you will begin to see more perks coming your way, as well as the possibility of more revenue in the form of bonuses from completed cases.

Effective in Delegating Tasks and Responsibilities

The level of support that you currently receive is adequate, but it could be better. Having staff to work on research, case studies, and do other types of legwork does allow you to concentrate on preparing the actual case. Could it be that you would have more support at a different firm?

Check around and find out how things are done elsewhere. If there are other criminal law firms in town that seem to provide more support for their lawyers, making a switch could be in your best interests.

One or More Firms Have Already Made Inquiries

Maybe it’s not a matter of finding out if other firms would be interested in you. One or more of the other criminal law offices in town have made it known that they’d like to talk with you. At the least, it wouldn’t hurt to hear them out and see what they have in mind. You might like what you hear.

Remember that it’s your career. You get to decide the direction that fits in with your goals and the other aspects of your life. The only wrong answer is the one that prevents you from being fulfilled, earning a decent living, and leaving time for other things that you consider important. Choose wisely, and going to work each day will be a pleasure rather than something to dread.

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