find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Size up the in-house competition

Size up the in-house competition

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who makes the fairest in-house counsel of them all? It's competitive in-house and lawyers should know exactly what's involved, writes Phillip Hunter A common…

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who makes the fairest in-house counsel of them all? It's competitive in-house and lawyers should know exactly what's involved, writes Phillip Hunter

A common misconception by private practice lawyers is that in-house provides excellent work/life balance. The reality shows the demands and expectations on counsel are intensifying and you can only expect the same, if not more, pressure to perform and provide high quality advice and leadership.

Most black-letter lawyers don't make suitable in-house counsel, but why? Although technical skills are important, being able to provide timely, concise and proactive advice is equally as important to the business when meeting company deadlines and objectives.

With regards to CLE, career development and progression be prepared to move roles to gain the promotion, increase in responsibility and in most cases salary. Traditionally in-house has paid little attention to lawyers' educational requirements leaving counsel to lag behind their private practice counterparts that take for this granted. As for the dream GC role, there can only ever be one GC, which creates the need to move on ever more present.

When hiring, companies seek lawyers with particular specialisations, therefore being a master of one (or two) areas of law is far more desirable than the 'jack-of-all-trades' lawyer. Litigation lawyers historically find it harder to make the transition; areas of interest to corporates are general corporate, employment law and commercial areas such as IP or IT.

In a firm you have many clients and are once removed. The nature of work in-house counsel handle can be seen as repetitive and at times not overly challenging. In addition, as you sit with the business there is no escaping the 'client,' many lawyers overlook the impact of their position as a strategic business advisor.

"Queen, you are full fair, 'tis true, but Snow White is fairer than you" - so how do you compare to the competition? Here are a few key questions to ask yourself before taking the leap;

  • Do my skills and experience match the job description?
  • Am I commercially minded?
  • Can I build efficient and effective internal relationships?
  • Will this suit my career aspirations?

So ... Hi Ho, Hi Hum, its off to work we go.

Phillip Hunter is a consultant with Naiman Clarke Legal

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

Size up the in-house competition
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Diversity
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
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 & ...