In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

3 Lifestyle Tips to Help You Rise to the Top in Corporate Law

When it comes to making it in the world of in-house lawyering, there's often more to it than just competent work and logging enough hours. After all, the steps up at the top for an in-house attorney are often pretty far up.

How you structure your work-life balance, how you socialize at work, and even how you present yourself in the office, all makes a difference in whether you will be successful at getting to the top. You ever see a high level exec and ask yourself how they got there?

Below are three of the top lifestyle tips to help you rise to the top.

1. Beating Burn-Out and the In-House Blues

Unlike law firm life, when you're in-house, there's no big kahuna case that, once you get through, allows you to take a month off. In-house life is the life of regular, consistent business hours, and often unpaid overtime. You're there for the long haul, as the big payday for being an in-house lawyer really lies in the consistency and the relief that comes with not having to hustle to get clients. But after years of serving one client, the tendency to burn out or get bummed out is definitely there.

Some of the best advice for those in-house that are miserable with the work: Do it as competently as possible and find your happiness outside the work. Also, being friendly with your co-workers helps (you don't need to be best buddies, but being around people who are nice to you and like you is always better than being hated).

2. GC Fashion Tips: How to Dress Like a Boss

One of the perks of going in-house is never being forced into the traditional lawyer uniform of a suit and tie ever again, right? Well, if you want to advance, you may want to reconsider your wardrobe choices. 

Outward appearance matters quite a bit, and while jeans and a polo t-shirt can look professional, for some reason, suits still command respect. As an in-house, you may have your sights set on executive level management or a general counsel or role within the C-suite. If that's the case, dressing for the part on a regular basis could be helpful (but be careful not to over-do it).

3. Should You Ever Sign Agreements Over Drinks?

Drinking with colleagues during the day and at after-hours meetings and events, like lunches, dinners, or even breakfasts, can often be enticing, but should it be done? There's no doubt that boozing and schmoozing can actually go a long way to help a person's career path, but it can also backfire in extraordinary ways.

So, in the end, you need to know who you are, and know that person well, after a few drinks. If you are a sloppy drunk, or a lightweight, it might be best to avoid alcohol at work functions. After all, work functions are not fun, they're work. And since you don't need alcohol to have a good time, and you're not supposed to be having a good time anyway, cause it's work, it should be easy to make the right choice.

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