Without question, there reaches a point in all lawyers’ careers where they ask the question, ‘Do I want to move In-House?’
The attraction can be obvious in many instances: better hours, increased salaries and a more commercial role, working for one employer rather than multiple clients. However, the grass is not always greener: in specialist sectors, some in-house roles can be relatively one-dimensional and restrictive which can have an effect on future roles. Equally so, economic factors, such as the current slowdown in the Energy sector, can have an adverse effect on your employment status which is essentially out of your control. It is essential that you choose wisely, making informed decisions when considering a move to become an in-house solicitor or lawyer.
In House Versus Private Practice
One thing that is evidently clear is that working in-house is different from Private Practice- ask any in-house lawyer and this will be the first comment they will share with you. Many in-house lawyers feel their role is to identify legal issues before they become commercial problems. In many cases, this could be beyond your field of expertise but there is an expectation that good in-house lawyers will recognise potential legal issues before they arise, minimising commercial risk.
Well-Rounded Skill Set
In order to achieve this well-rounded skill set, it is essential that as an in-house solicitor or lawyer to fully immerse yourself into the company and their products or services. You will need to be able to demonstrate complete knowledge of your sector and industry and be aware of commercial, regulatory and legal changes that may affect the business.
When considering in house legal jobs in Scotland, Ireland and beyond, you need to consider your work-life balance. Naturally, a big attraction to a move in-house is the lifestyle choice. With no billable hours, the expectation around your work/ life balance can be radically different. Of course, there are moments in-house where situations arise, and you are required to go the extra mile and often the buck stops with you, however, by working for one single client will normally mean you have more control over your workload.
In recent years, the difference in salaries between those working in private practice and in-house has become a lot narrower. However, traditionally, lawyers in-house are little to have more attractive overall packages, notably those working in financial services where they will have access to discounted banking products such as mortgages and attractive pensions plans.
Moving to In House Legal Jobs
Ultimately if you are considering a move in-house, your success will depend on a multiple of factors depending on the work you like to do and the environment you want to do it in. Making a move in-house can be a career-defining moment so it is essential you do your diligence on the company you want to work for and their market sector and industry.
If you are considering a move In-House, please get in touch with us via the Contact Us Page.
To browse our current in house legal jobs Scotland and beyond, please click here.
If you are unsure about which career direction you are looking to take please download our Annual Career Review here.