I have been recruiting lawyers into organisations across the North West for 7 years now and as you would expect, I have worked with many lawyers looking for advice and help with their next career move.
Many of the lawyers that I meet with are still in private practice, looking to make their first move in-house. The majority approach me excited about the prospect of working with a business and the positive aspects of the role of an in-house lawyer. However, I am still surprised by the number of individuals I meet who when asked ‘why’ they are looking to move in-house mainly cite reasons for leaving practice and what they dislike about their current role, so the discussion is negative. Typically this will include complaints about business development, time recording, lack of opportunity in their team and working hours and lack of flexibility. They just want something a little less pressured.
It’s always disheartening when you meet someone who cites these reasons, especially as it is my role to find the best people for my clients which in part means someone who is excited about their opportunity and the role of an in-house lawyer. I think most in-house lawyers would agree that it’s great not to time record (it’s worth noting that some in-house teams do record their time) or have pressure on business development targets but that’s not why they moved in-house.
Working in-house offers a very rewarding career but there are a limited number of opportunities that arise in the regions each year. We have to present you to our clients who are particularly interested in why you are moving in-house and what motivates you to make this move. So please, focus on the positives.