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In-house roles spike during downturn (1)

In-house roles spike during downturn (1)

While vacancies at private practice firms have all but dried up, the downturn has lead to a spike in corporate and government in-house employment opportunities.According to Katherine Sampson,…

While vacancies at private practice firms have all but dried up, the downturn has lead to a spike in corporate and government in-house employment opportunities.

According to Katherine Sampson, Mahlab Recruitment's managing director in Melbourne, corporate and government organisations often attempt to bolster their internal legal capacity during a downturn because they view it as a cheaper alternative to briefing work out to external firms.

"We find, in any downturn, one of the immediate things that happens is that corporate recruitment rises ... [and] we've got more government recruitment than we've had for years," she said.

"It's based on their assumption - and I'm not saying it's a true assumption - that they will save money."

According to Sampson, corporate and government organisations believe that reducing the volume of work being briefed out to firms is a quick-fix way of cutting costs.

"They're saying:'If we take on a lawyer for $200,000 we're going to save $X million in external legal fees.' It's quite a simplistic view, but it's one that's strongly held," she said.

For the latest news, views and analysis of issues affecting in-house lawyers, check out Lawyers Weekly's dedicated in-house site www.lawyersinhouse.com.au

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