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Lawyer Career Changer Profile

Kirsten Birkett

Professional Support Lawyer


Legal Career

Clifford Chance, Solicitor, Corporate finance, London

New Career(s)

Professional Support Lawyer

Career Change Story

I took a career break from practising law to do an MA. When I had finished the MA I started looking for jobs as a Professional Support Lawyer because I wanted to use my legal knowledge but also wanted a better work/life balance than before. My old firm heard on the grapevine that I was looking and I was invited to an interview in my old department. I had had interviews in a few other firms for jobs as a PSL, but returning to my old firm seemed the best option because I knew what the job on offer entailed, I already knew the people and they knew me and my work.

Career Change Reflections

As a PSL my working hours were much improved, the work was varied and intellectually stimulating. It involved: drafting and updating standard form documents; dealing with fee-earners' queries; monitoring changes in law and regulation; briefing lawyers on legal developments; giving routine training lectures; harnessing firm know-how; and helping formulate the firm's responses to consultations on law reform. I was also lucky enough to go on secondment to the Law Commission for about nine months to help with a project on company law reform. The only downsides with stepping off the fee-earning ladder are less pay and removing yourself from a defined career path.


Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of posting, the information is intended as guidance only. It should not be considered as professional or legal advice.