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It is widely acknowledged that many private practice lawyers reach a stage in their careers when they no longer want to work in practice, but instead want to change direction slightly and work as in in-house lawyer.
We have found that lawyers who want to move in-house fall into two camps: the first being the ‘reactive camp’ and the second the ‘proactive camp’. The reactive lawyers are trying to eradicate the parts of their job they do not enjoy; long hours, the administration of billable hours, law firm culture (which a lot of the time can be fantastic) and the hierarchical nature of law firms.
Lawyers in the second camp take a far more proactive approach. They are often seeking a more commercial role, one that will test both their business acumen as well as their technical ability. They want to understand why commercial decisions are made or not as the case may be.
What do you do if you are a talented solicitor, wanting to make the move in-house but that role is just out of reach? Or in extreme circumstances, what do you do if you have resigned from your private practice job and haven’t secured an in-house role?
There is a solution; at BCL Legal we have a dedicated Interim team that specialises in placing mid to senior level lawyers into fixed term contract and interim roles within law firms.
To those lawyers seeking to move in-house this option could be viewed as a “halfway house”, a means to an end or simply a cash flow vehicle until the in-house job is landed.
As an interim lawyer the firm you represent still has very high expectations of you and you will no doubt be expected to work the hours that are required, manage your billable hours etc but there is light at the end of the tunnel for the would-be-in-house lawyer. It’s all in the name: FIXED TERM CONTRACT. Six months as a fee earner with a reputable firm is surely better than six months on the sofa? Indeed, it may not be as relaxing but it most certainly will keep skills razor sharp and provide you with a better platform to secure that in-house role.
The majority of the interim placements we make are with lawyers who want to remain in private practice; those that enjoy working with different people and often those who have held senior positions in the past and now just enjoy working as lawyers without career ladders to climb and partner status to achieve.
We have seen that post recession the interim space has grown and more and more firms are utilising lawyers on a fixed term contract basis; for three, six, 12 or more months at a time.