Plan B: Survey Reveals Alternate Careers for Canadian Lawyers

TORONTO, Sept. 1, 2015 /CNW/ - In lieu of practicing law, many lawyers would have pursued a career in business, education or science, a recent survey by Robert Half Legal reveals. Fifteen per cent of lawyers interviewed said they would have chosen business management or marketing careers if they hadn't become lawyers. Academia/education and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers ranked second, with each category receiving 13 per cent of the survey response.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing and consulting solutions firm specializing in lawyers, law clerks and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 lawyers among the largest law firms and corporations in Canada: 75 of the respondents are employed at law firms with 20 or more employees and 75 are employed at companies with 1,000 or more employees.

Lawyers were asked, "If you hadn't decided to become an attorney, what career would you have pursued instead?" Their responses:*

Business management/marketing




STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)


Doctor/medical field




Public service








None/nothing other than an attorney


Don't know/no answer



*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

"Even if you're content with your job, it's important to periodically examine your career goals to assess whether your priorities or interests have changed," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "Lawyers considering second careers may find that the skills, knowledge and experience they possess are a natural fit with a variety of roles outside of the legal field." 

A few lawyers who were interviewed acknowledged that they've never considered a career outside of the legal profession. "This is my passion. I've never wanted to do anything else," said one respondent, while another lawyer commented, "I wouldn't trade my job for the world."

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the premier provider of legal staffing and consulting solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal provides a customized approach, including managed review, legal project management and eDiscovery services, to help organizations handle constantly changing workloads. The company offers in-demand expertise across practice areas as well as highly skilled legal professionals on a temporary, project and full-time basis. More information about our full suite of legal staffing and consulting solutions can be found at For career and management advice, follow our Legal Blog, and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140,

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