find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
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
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
Jackie Rhodes
Dec 12 2017
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
Dec 12 2017
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
Dec 11 2017
Warm welcome for new district court judges
Three practitioners who were appointed as district court judges in WA have been congratulated by ...
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 & ...