In House: Tales from the Legal Department Archives
In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Recently in Tales from the Legal Department Category

In-house jobs are in demand. There is rarely a shortage of candidates for an in-house position. That means that prospective corporate counsel will need to truly stand out in order to land a position in-house.

If you manage to get an interview for an in-house position, don't think that your skills, talent, and experience alone will be enough to carry you through. In-house interviews require a bit more. Here are three tips to help you master yours:

Whether you're a legal department of one or in charge of a behemoth in-house team, managing a legal department is no easy task -- especially if you're doing it blindly. How exactly do you track your performance or know if you are maximizing your department's resources?

Metrics, of course. Thankfully, Thomson Reuters, FindLaw's parent company, has an extensive series on legal department metrics over at its Corporate Counsel Blog. We think these metrics should be integrated into every in-house teams' practice. Here are some highlights:

Perhaps you have an offer to be a company's first in-house attorney or perhaps you're trying to convince a company that they need to take you on, alone. Can you be a legal department of one? Is there such thing as a solo in-house attorney?

Of course you can and of course there is! In fact, it's fairly common for there to be only one in-house lawyer at many companies.

Even as the legal market begins to improve, law firms are losing out to in-house legal departments, a recent survey has found. The legal consulting company Altman Weil surveyed chairs and partners at more than 300 U.S. firms with over 50 lawyers.

Their report found that almost all firms acknowledge that competition from non-traditional sources is here to stay. But the biggest competition is coming from clients themselves, as businesses in-source legal work.

Maybe you're an associate with a few years under your belt, dreaming of landing a cushy in-house job instead of pursuing the partner track. Maybe you're already in-house, rolling your eyes at the outsiders who think you have it easy. Either way, you know that in-house work is valued and in demand.

Here's some of the main reasons people decide to pursue in-house careers, as well as a few warnings about why some lawyers might want to think twice.

Maybe you miss the pay of a high performing firm, or you long to return to litigation. Perhaps you've just realized that the General Counsel isn't going to die and leave you the top spot anytime soon. Whatever the reason, you want to go back to firm life.

The good news is, it can be done! Lawyers are increasingly making moves from in-house departments to firm practice. But it's not always an easy transition. Here's some tips to help ease your way:

There are plenty of stories of lawyers leaving firm life. In fact, the attrition rates for associates are huge. That many lawyers will eventually move on is a given and it's no secret that many lawyers fleeing firm life would love to become in-house counsel or even GC's.

But, once the migration has been made, would a GC ever go back? Could she?

Charles Malik, a Lebanese philosopher and diplomat, once said, "The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world."

This year, in honor of International Women's Day (March 8), we've rounded up our Top 5 In House blog posts about women mobilizing to create change in the corporate legal department:

5 Things GCs Have to Know (That Aren't the Law)

As more and more legal tasks move in-house, the legal department finds itself in the unenviable position of having to be master of several trades, many of which have little to do with the law.

I bet you thought when you signed up with the general counsel's office that you'd be filing lawsuits? Try again: GCs not only have to figure out new and innovative ways to put out fires, but the changing world of technology is putting some affirmative duties on them too.

Here are five subject areas that in-house lawyers are increasingly expected to know about:

ACC's 2015 Survey of Chief Legal Officers: 5 Takeaways

The Association of Corporate Counsel has released its 2015 survey of Chief Legal Officers. ACC asked almost 9,500 CLOs or GCs a whole lot of questions, receiving responses from 1,289 of them in 46 countries, to determine what GCs are thinking about these days.

Among the things in-house lawyers seem to be most worried about: ethics, compliance, and data protection. Let's look at five highlights.