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
In-house lacks career progression opportunities

In-house lacks career progression opportunities

Phillip Hunter, Dolman Legal Recruitment

Before moving in-house, lawyers must consider their career progression and think two steps ahead to their next potential role, according to a legal recruiter.

In a recent episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Dolman Worldwide Legal Search & Recruitment general manager and in-house specialist Phillip Hunter said while there are many positives to moving in-house, a potential drawback is the lack of career progression opportunities.

“Career progression for in-house is one of the areas where we’re seeing people becoming a bit more disenfranchised with making that move,” Mr Hunter said.

“There are less opportunities in working in-house for the majority of businesses.”

Unlike in private practice, where lawyers have many rungs of the ladder to climb over time, in-house teams are often small and don’t allow for much internal movement.

“The majority of teams are around five to 15 people. With five to 15 people there is one general counsel, so how do you get to that position if that’s what you want?” Mr Hunter posed.

“If the general counsel is relatively new when you’re taking on a senior legal counsel role, how long is it going to be until you get that role? You’ve really got to have a look at that.”

Mr Hunter said many in-house lawyers are taking on roles that aren’t purely legal, if a more senior legal role isn’t available.

“A lot more lawyers now are also considering more commercial roles. We’re seeing lawyers pick up being the point of contact for the HR department or heading up procurement, risk and compliance, company secretariat,” he said.

“People are moving out of pure legal counsel roles and into operational roles, strategy roles. We’ve seen a couple of clients take on COO roles as well.”

However, for lawyers who want to stay true to their role, Mr Hunter said they often have to look at shifting companies in order to move up through the ranks.

“More often than not you’ll find people moving out of a business due to a lack of career opportunities within the business,” he said.

“I think it’s important for everybody to keep their eye on the market and always understand what’s actually happening with their competitors or in organisations that they’re actually interested in.”

Most importantly, Mr Hunter said, lawyers should always be thinking two steps ahead to avoid getting stuck.

“More often than not people are thinking – and should be thinking – ‘Where will this role take me?’,” he said.

“Because there are limited opportunities within the company you are going to be joining, you do have to think bigger picture, and sometimes that is outside.”

Listen to the full podcast here.

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

In-house lacks career progression opportunities
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
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 & ...