Recruiter searches on the TotallyLegal CV database for In-House related keywords are on the up. ‘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%.
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 in-house 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 lawyers, 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.
If you would like to find out more about the typical responsibilities and requirements of an industry role, you can check out our comprehensive In-House Counsel job description article. Alternatively, upload your CV to the TotallyLegal database so recruiters can contact you about In-House opportunities in your area or browse the latest In-House Counsel jobs and General Counsel jobs to find your next role.