Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In-house

Articles From the Team

Is it time to quit your in-house legal job?

In-house lawyers move legal jobs for lots of different reasons; some remain in their job situation longer than they should, and others are guilty of leaving too early into a role.

Here are some of the top reasons why lawyers look to move on.

Navigating your career as an in-house lawyer

Outgrowing a role

Outgrowing a role is one of the more positive reasons to move on. Unless the company’s grown exponentially or the team’s grown/more senior lawyers have moved on, there comes a point where it’s ‘just time to move on’.

What about the more ‘negative’ reasons?

‘Legal isn’t held in high esteem’

Unless you or someone else can improve the impact/importance of the legal team, it’s highly likely that the legal team will get despondent and decide to move on.

The company is sinking

Working for a company that’s not doing well can be a tough place to be. Morale’s down across the business and this has a negative effect on your daily working life. Sometimes, a lawyer can become entirely fed up of being in this atmosphere – not to mention the lack of financial bonus you might be missing out on by not working with a business ‘on the up’.

Your commute is long

Travel, whether by train or car, is becoming longer and more arduous. We’re finding that lawyers will leave if the right work/life balance isn’t achievable.

Your duties have increased but your pay remains the same

Whenever a lawyer comes to me stating this as a problem, I always ask them to elaborate on timeline: from when they felt paid appropriately to when this fell below their expectations.

The reason being, when the duties first increase, I see this as a benefit to ‘you’ as you’re the one gaining the new skills and experience; in the long run, this is making you more marketable when it comes to your career.

Ask too early and you might be viewed as a money grabber; however, there comes a point when a company should increase salaries at their own volition.

Nothing’s more upsetting to hear than a once motivated and hard working lawyer feeling like they’re being taken for granted, based on having a below-market salary for the role they’re completing.

Other reasons

Other reasons include a lack of belief in the values of a company, not liking where the company is moving (both location and business-wise), and not liking fellow employees. The list goes on.

As a recruiter, we’re keen to see that as a professional, you don’t jump without:

  1. Valid reason; or,
  2. Giving your situation enough of a go. As long as the next recruiting client understands your situation, why it’s been a problem and what you’ve done about it, they’re usually open to discussing this with you directly.

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