Why taking up a contract role might be beneficial to your legal career

Author Celine Tay
September 21, 2022

“I’m concerned that taking on an interim contract role will reflect poorly on my resume.”

5 PQE Real estate lawyer contemplating a move in-house

I think this 6 months’ contract role came at an opportune time – it was between this, or taking a sabbatical just to figure out what I want for myself. At least this gave me a chance to test if I still had enough fuel in my tank to survive an in-house transactional role at a PE; if not, I would have then been able to make an informed decision that it was definitely time to pivot towards a less demanding role with less time-sensitive deals to work on.”

7 PQE M&A lawyer deciding if a transactional or generalist corporate commercial in-house role was better suited for her

Speaking with lawyers in Singapore recently have shown us that opinions are divided on whether contract roles will be beneficial for them or not. The outdated assumption is that contract roles are only for lawyers who have taken a break for personal reasons and want to ease back into the workforce. As legal search specialists in Singapore, we are happy to report that this is not just what contract roles are for – there is great value to taking up a contract role, and below are three of such reasons –

Gaining new institutional knowledge

Being part of a new organisation entails grasping new ways of doing things – protocols, processes, and peculiarities. Change is never easy, but often necessary, in uncovering best practices within the legal profession. Contract roles offer fresh insights into how different organisations work and the beauty of its tenure is that candidates have the autonomy to move on after the contract period ends, without the pressures of tendering their resignations should they find the place unsuitable for the long term.

Diversifying your skill sets

As a newly-qualified attorney, we know you may not have had the luxury of choosing your practice area, especially true for those fresh out of law school during the start of the pandemic in 2020. There are many who have trained in a particular area of law with hopes of transferring departments; the reality though, is that it often warrants taking a slight cut in PQE for said moves, which translates to reduced salaries. On the flipside, contracting has proven to be a viable alternative for these lawyers as long as they are working with hiring managers who are open to training in-house.

Building your network

Author of The Connectworker, Michele Jennae, opined that “networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.” While contract jobs are temporary, we have seen meaningful partnerships and long-term relationships established as a result of such contract placements. Though brief, you never know who you might meet in these roles that would tangibly shape how the rest of your professional career plays out in the legal and commercial world.

If you are interested to find out more about the available legal contract roles or if you would like to speak to someone about this, please reach out to Melvin Ling at melvinling@taylorroot.com.

Contract roles – Immediate availability

  • Technology (In-house)

APAC Senior Legal Counsel – SAAS (Maternity Cover)

Our client is a UK headquartered software MNC focusing on robotics process automation. They are looking for a senior commercial legal counsel for an urgent maternity cover. This is an exciting opportunity to be working in an entrepreneurial institution who prides themselves as a leader in digital transformation, acting as a trusted legal advisor for […]
  • Posted Posted 2 weeks ago
  • Energy

Legal Executive, 6 months contract Immediate start

Our client is a listed oil & gas trading firm covering Asia and Middle East markets. They are looking for a legal executive in a 6-month contract capacity. This is a good opportunity for transitioning (private practice) lawyers to kick start their in-house journey or immediately available lawyers who are looking for a gradual return […]
  • Salary £4141.45 – £4733.09 per month
  • Posted Posted 3 weeks ago
  • Technology (In-house)

Legal Counsel – Payment Services Act/FSR, 5-8 PQE

We have been exclusively mandated by our client, a US-listed Technology MNC, on a legal counsel role in Singapore. This is a newly created headcount, providing legal support and advisory to the relevant business units to build their own payment services capabilities. An exciting opportunity to be part of a new legal arm within the […]
  • Posted Posted 4 weeks ago
  • Energy

Contracts Manager – Energy Trading House

Our client is a leading energy trader, a global player in Global LNG and Coal markets across Asia, EMEA and Americas. This is a newly created role with management responsibilities, supporting the commodities (paper and physical) trading business. About the Role Ensuring accuracy of deal details, reviewing, drafting and negotiating trading contracts Managing a team […]
  • Posted Posted 4 weeks ago
  • FMCG
  • Retail

Senior Data Privacy Counsel, E-Commerce 4-8 PQE

Our client runs an international e-commerce platform supporting consumers in over 100 countries. They are looking for a Senior Data Privacy Counsel who will spearhead their Data privacy and protection strategy across APAC. This is a newly created position, reporting into the Chief Privacy Officer based in the USA. Working closely with the senior leadership […]
  • Posted Posted 4 weeks ago
  • Pharmaceuticals/Life Sciences

Legal Counsel, Asia – Pharmaceuticals, 5+ PQE

Our client focuses on global commercialization within the specialty pharmaceutical business. They are looking for a mid-level legal counsel to join their team, looking at legal matters across the Asia region. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in a business delivering meaningful medical solutions, both traditional and innovative science for the next generation. […]
  • Posted Posted 4 weeks ago
  • Manufacturing

Regional Legal Counsel (Maternity Cover)

Our client is a leading international semiconductor manufacturer regionally headquartered in Singapore. They are looking for a general corporate and commercial lawyer for a 6 -9 months maternity cover. They would consider non-qualified lawyers with strong contract management experience who are immediately available. Role and responsibilities: Managing general corporate and commercial legal matters, partnering with […]
  • Posted Posted 4 weeks ago

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