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Considering making a move to in-house?

Jun 2020

What’s ‘in’ in-house?

In-house remains as attractive as ever to private practice lawyers looking for that ‘fresh challenge’ and that ‘different role’ particularly in terms of commerciality and business interaction. Because the typical in-house lawyer handles a broader range of work, traditionally it was rarer for there to be a specific link between the professional experience of the private practice lawyer and the specification of the in-house role. Consequently, this has meant that selling a diverse professional background has been generally more acceptable in industry.

However even industry cannot shy away from the market trend for specialisation and given the abundance of quality candidates from junior to senior level, companies are becoming more selective and today actively look for some relevant sector experience. Often company/commercial experience is cited as important training for industry but nothing is set in stone.

How do you find out what a particular industrial sector is looking for? Seek advice of your recruitment consultant as to the requisite skills, how the market is and how to pursue these sometimes elusive in-house opportunities. Ultimately, if you are considered to have the right personal and commercial qualities you will be offered the role.

Preparing for the in-house interview:

For private practice lawyers, the in-house interview can sometimes be daunting especially when the non-legal members of the management team are assessing your business sense and ability to work with management. This is why research into organisational structure, culture, management, areas of business and the recruiting organisation’s industry is essential.

At interview:

Think about the following points:

  • Having the one client is demanding too – how would you manage this single client relationship? Because it’s not ‘about the following’, organisations are looking for something different and demonstrating your softer skills is very important.
  • How do you manage/develop the team?
  • How do you perform within a multi-disciplinary team?
  • How do you communicate with people who are not lawyers?

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