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In-House legal jobs on the rise

Written by: Ethan Cummings
Published on: 8 Feb 2019

In-House Counsel Jobs


Recruiter searches on the TotallyLegal CV database for In-House legal jobs are on the rise. ‘In-House Counsel’ and ‘General Counsel’ searches both saw year-on-year increases in January 2019, of 900% and 417% respectively.

Additionally, the number of In-House Counsel jobs posted on TotallyLegal in January also grew, seeing a monthly climb of 24% and yearly increase of 21%.


  • Why are In-House legal jobs increasing?

    It would appear that businesses and organisations are pumping resources into their in-house legal teams. Why exactly this is happening is up for debate, but Brexit preparations, GDPR compliance pressures and new year budgets may all be playing a part.

    What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re a practice lawyer and have been considering making the move to an in-house legal department for a while, now could be a prime time to start applying. If you are unsure whether making the move is right for you and your legal career, here’s what you can expect when making the transition.

  • Private Practice vs In House

    • More variety - Practice lawyers are usually made to choose a practice area of specialism very early in their career which only becomes narrower with time. In-house Counsel, on the other hand, are exposed to a variety of practice areas, tasks and challenges every day.

    • Work-life balance - Practice lawyers are often in the office from very early in the morning until very late at night. As an in-house counsel your working hours are likely to be shorter and more regular than those of your practice peers.

    • No billable hours - As opposed to practice lawyers, whose salaries are dependent on billable hour quotas, in-house counsel are paid a set annual salary – often with bonuses and benefits added on top.

    • Part of the team - Working as a practice lawyer for multiple clients can leave you feeling like you are not a consistent part of any team. Working in-house gives you the chance to build strong, lasting relationships with colleagues in different departments across the business.

    • Making a difference - Practice lawyers can sometimes feel like the work they are doing has little impact on the bigger picture or is unappreciated by superiors. In-house, the story is frequently a different one: your work will often have direct impact and your opinion valued by colleagues and superiors alike.

    • Career prospects - It can take a long time to make your way up the career ladder in a law firm, but with fewer lawyers to compete with you in-house, your chances of faster progression are increased. Additionally, practice lawyers usually only have the option to work towards partnership, but in-house you may have the opportunity to manage the legal team, change practice area or even move into a non-legal executive position elsewhere in the business.