06 Jul Going In-House
We all know about the appeal of top-tier law firms. While the top tier is a great option, we’d like to take a moment to remind you of another career possibility you should consider: in-house counsel.
In-house counsel work directly for a company and handle its legal issues, from commercial contracts to employment matters to regulatory compliance. There are many benefits of working as in-house counsel, including:
- Variety of work: In a law firm, you might specialise in a particular area of law. In-house work exposes you to a broad range of practice areas, which will keep you on your toes and make your work environment dynamic and interesting. In-house counsel work on a whole spectrum of areas, depending on the industry sector, such as corporate, consumer, intellectual property, dispute resolution, privacy, and M&A.
- Career mobility and earning potential: Corporations are often less hierarchical than law firms, which means you can quickly progress up the ranks if you are a star employee. Pay scales and titles don’t matter as much, which means you could potentially earn more than you would working at a law firm. Working in-house also means that if you ever want to go beyond legal practice – for example, into a Commercial, Strategy, General Management, or Chief Executive Officer position – you will be well-placed to make this happen.
- Corporate exposure: Rather than working solely with lawyers in your place of work, you will build relationships with professionals from all parts of the business, from engineers to accountants to senior executives. This exposure can increase the breadth and depth of your commercial nous, industry knowledge, and non-law skills. Additionally, once you are operating at a senior level, you can gain an important seat at the table where the company’s leadership team makes strategic decisions.
- Flexibility: Say goodbye to targets and billable hours! While in-house counsel work hard and sometimes have to put in long hours, since you are in essence working for only one client, you don’t have to keep detailed records of your time the way lawyers at law firms do.
If you want to put yourself in a good position for an in-house role, read this article on making the transition. It has some great tips, including:
- Continuing to develop your substantive legal practice;
- Developing communication skills with non-legal business partners; and
- Selectively pursuing high-value networking opportunities.
Have we convinced you to make the move in-house? You’re in luck! We are currently recruiting for a Legal Counsel with a commercial law background for one of New Zealand’s most successful companies. See here for more information.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to apply for this particular role or if you would just like to chat about making the move in-house. We’d love to hear from you!