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 six 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 The outdated assumption is that contract roles are only for lawyers who have taken a break for personal reasons and want to ease back into the workforce.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 company 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

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Legal Counsel, Investment & Consulting

Our client is a global corporate advisory firm with a strong focus on the Asia market as well as presence across US and Europe across different sectors. They are looking for a Legal & Compliance professional familiar with APAC laws and regulations to join the team in Singapore. Role & Responsibility Provide legal advisory and […]
  • Posted Posted 1 month ago
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Legal Director, Manufacturing (North Area)

Our client is a leading semiconductor manufacturing company, regionally headquartered in Singapore. They are looking for a legal director to support global legal, commercial, strategy and operations. This is a newly created position with high level of visibility. You will be managing high value and complex agreements, partnering with senior management across functions. Role and […]
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Legal Counsel – Manufacturing *Office in the West*

Our client is a manufacturing firm with an extensive international presence, manufacturing plants, engineering centres and management offices globally. They are looking to expand the legal team in the Singapore office to provide legal counsel on day to day operations, collaborating with other internal functions and key stakeholders. This is an exciting position to join […]
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APAC Legal Director, Logistics/Transportation

Our client is a global logistics company with international presence. They are one of the largest and most reputable courier and shipping company in the world, with a strong focus on customer satisfaction and ESG, reducing their carbon footprint in innovative ways. They are looking for a Legal Director to be based in Singapore, overlooking […]
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