find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
My next move: How do I demonstrate and develop commerciality when seeking an in-house role?

My next move: How do I demonstrate and develop commerciality when seeking an in-house role?

Many businesses have the same key requirement when looking to fill an in-house legal role; and that is to find a lawyer with ‘commerciality’, who understands the needs of the business and is able to provide advice that balances these needs and the associated legal framework.

A question we are often asked is how to best develop these skills and how to provide evidence of this ability to a potential employer.

Creative solutions clients want lawyers who can provide solutions to a problem rather than a roadblock to the development of the business. Those in-house lawyers of most value will be able to analyse the issue and propose a way forward that best fits both the commercial and legal requirements, and articulate why and how it will benefit the business. This experience can be more difficult to express in a resume but it is worth thinking of strong examples of this type of approach, and the tangible results gained, so that you can describe them at interview. You can also consider using an internal client (or external if in private practice) as a referee who can vouch for the creativity and effectiveness of the solutions you have provided.

Get involved – if you are in-house already then it’s important that you get to understand the business, and the key decision makers in the business units that you support, as well as possible. This will allow you to provide relevant commercial advice and allow you to become a trusted advisor to the business. In turn this will make it more likely for them to involve you as early as possible in the process, which often allows the best result from a legal and commercial perspective. This can be helped by undertaking commercial secondments within the business (or in-house legal secondments if in practice), gaining a place on company steering/advisory committees or management teams and attending both industry and legal networking events. Be proactive and get out there in the company, explaining what you can do to help rather than waiting for people to come to you with issues.

The required level of expertise in this area will vary depending on the seniority of the role and the structure and focus of the team. However, commerciality is a fundamental element of any in-house role so it is important to concentrate on improving these skills early in your career, alongside the development of your technical legal ability.


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

My next move: How do I demonstrate and develop commerciality when seeking an in-house role?
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...