find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Fast-tracking an in-house career

Fast-tracking an in-house career

In the absence of a clean career structure like private practice lawyers, Daniel Stirling asks how in-house lawyers can progress their careers.Many in-house lawyers work in small teams with flat…

In the absence of a clean career structure like private practice lawyers, Daniel Stirling asks how in-house lawyers can progress their careers.

Many in-house lawyers work in small teams with flat structures where progression can involve an increase in complexity of work, business engagement and/or responsibility within their existing role. However, for those looking to progress into management or GC positions it is important to consider the requirements of organisations as early as possible in your career in order to best position yourself for future progression.

I spoke with the key decision makers from the legal teams of two ASX Top 10 companies. There was common ground between the two in respect to many of the key points they look to identify in lawyers when deciding on promotions. Many of these areas are personal skills or attributes such as communication skills, integrity, being pro-active and accountable. An optimistic, flexible and innovative approach was also stressed as crucial. There were also many actions or behaviours that should have been demonstrated throughout employment such as stepping up to show leadership without authority on projects or in mentoring junior staff or new team members. Strong business knowledge and relationships, a willingness to embrace and lead change as well as to make and stand by tough decisions are also very important. Strong technical skills are also always necessary.

Simon Brookes (Deputy Group GC at Telstra) advised that they generally look to appoint internally into leadership roles within the Telstra Legal Service Group as business knowledge is so critical and also to provide transparent career opportunities to their large, diverse team. Accordingly, he recommended that junior lawyers seek to broaden their skills (this can be done while maintaining a core specialism) rather than working in a silo as this will benefit their prospects and also provide a wider range of potential opportunities for progression. He also recommended that lawyers seek to gain a strong understanding of the business and become solutions focused as quickly as possible in their in-house career as this commerciality is key to any future advancement.

So it's clear that although many factors in these decisions are based on interpersonal and technical skills, the ability and confidence to go the extra mile, take the lead and make difficult decisions will stand you in good stead for your long-term in-house career.

Daniel Stirling is the director of the in-house division at Dolman

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

Fast-tracking an in-house career
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 23 2017
Education a passion for YL president
Promoted by University of Melbourne. Melbourne Law Masters student Phoebe Blank is successfully j...
Crowd
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
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 & ...