Lawyer Career Changer Profile

Kiri Harlow

Human Resources (in-house legal)

Kiri Harlow

Legal Career

City firm, Solicitor, Corporate/Commercial, New Zealand

New Career(s)

Legal Recruitment
Human Resources (in-house legal)


Career Change Story

I am now a Resourcing Advisor (In-house legal recruiter).

Prior to relocating to the UK, I had to assess my career situation and decide what shape I wanted it to take once in London.

While I enjoyed working in a corporate legal environment alongside bright, professional and hardworking individuals, I was unsure whether Corporate/Commercial law was for me.

Being a driven individual with the desire to rise to the top of my chosen field, I wanted to be sure that being a solicitor was the route I wanted to take because, if it wasn't, I wanted to get onto a different track as quickly as possible.

While I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of law school, and I still have a keen interest in the law, I decided it wasn't what I wanted to focus my career on.

Therefore, I visited various legal recruiters to discuss my options.

I found that most legal recruiters I met had a legal background and we discussed why they had moved into recruitment - various things resonated with me, particularly the desire to increase their people contact and on a day-to-day basis and, from a more altruistic perspective, help people find their 'dream job'.

So, after a lot of thought, I decided to move into agency recruitment, recruiting lawyers throughout NZ.

After moving to London, I recruited legal support staff and this set me up to move into an in-house recruitment role, recruiting business services staff for a city law firm.

My next internal move is to cover a secondment recruiting partners (via retained search) and oversee the recruitment of associates.

Career Change Reflections

While the sales aspect of agency recruitment wasn't for me, since moving to an in-house recruitment role I have never looked back.

I enjoy being back in a city law firm due to the professional nature of the environment and focus on client service.

I also appreciate being part of a wider HR team, where I have gained a deeper understanding of various aspects of HR that affect recruitment e.g. business/resource planning, budgets, reward and compensation, corporate responsibility & diversity and learning & development.

Another enjoyable part to my role, is that I have gained an understanding (albeit high level) of the majority of the roles within a law firm, and have played a key role in recruiting many employees who contribute to the firm's success.

Combining my legal knowledge/skills with my passion for people and recruitment, I can honestly say that this has been an ideal move for me, and I look forward to my future career.