Things to consider when moving In-house
At Douglas Scott our In-house team works with some of the biggest brands in Commerce and Industry. We speak to candidates on a daily basis about moving In-house, so as a bit of a taster Senior Recruitment Consultant Olivia Collicott has put together a bite-size list containing 3 things you might want to consider when making the move from Private Practice to In-house legal team.
How will you fit into your team?
For a lot of large organisations their In-house teams are structured similarly to Private Practice. You’re often segmented into property teams, compliance teams, contracts teams etc and you have a large collaborative department with plentiful resources and support. However, as a wider variety of organisations are finding the need to bring their legal advice In-house (whether that is because of increased regulation or economic pressures) we are seeing more and more ‘Sole Counsel’, or teams of 2 or 3. Whilst for many solicitors working In-house offers the unrivalled opportunity to work autonomously on a broad range of matters, others might find that small teams limit their support and knowledge network. If a smaller team and broader workload appeals to you, we recommend networking events; the C&I Group, Law Society In-house Division, and other regional organisations run social, professional networking, and career development events.
How broad will the position be?
Whilst there are plenty of opportunities out there to specialise within an In-house team (we’ve placed agricultural & property solicitors into a farming business and pensions solicitors into tax organisations etc.), a large proportion of In-house positions are described as ‘general commercial’, and exist within a broad range of industries; financial services, retail, manufacturing, construction, and pharmaceuticals etc. These wide-ranging roles that offer interaction with all areas of the business often require In-house Counsel to solve problems at short notice and ‘pick up’ everything that lands on their desk. If an employment dispute arises, the company goes through a merger, or if someone infringes on your IP - you will have to handle it. This can be incredibly exciting, rewarding, and challenging – make sure it’s going to work for you.
Will there be an improvement in work/life balance?
As with Private Practice there are a large amount of variables within the working culture within In-house teams. Some will expect you to work long hours; some actively promote offering more of a work/life balance. There is, and has been for quite some time, the misconception that working In-house is always going to be an easier life. There are an immeasurable amount of benefits to working In-house; having a direct impact on the business, no billable hours, often working for a recognisable brand, working with non-legal departments. Better working hours, flexibility, and work/life balance definitely do exist In-house – just don’t expect it from everywhere and discuss this with your recruiter before joining.
Olivia Collicott is an experienced Senior Recruitment Consultant with our In-house legal recruitment team. If we have whetted your appetite for an In-house move or you have made your decision and want to know more about the market then you can call Olivia on 0161 233 6360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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