Working in-house is becoming an increasingly attractive option to many lawyers as salary packages close the gap with private practice. Matt Edwards, Qualified Lawyer and Senior Consultant for the Legal team at Robert Walters lists some of the benefits of making the move to an in-house legal role.
1. Shorter working hours
A common benefit of an in-house role is that you can normally expect to work more regular hours than is typical for most lawyers in private practice. Of course, there are exceptions within any given in-house roles. However, the majority tend not to involve the same extent of unpredictable working hours that can define many practice roles.
2. Focus on one client rather than many
Those in-house lawyers who are content to have escaped the requirement to get involved in marketing activities, also often enjoy the fact that working in-house typically means that they only work for one client; namely the business that employs them. For some, this is a significant benefit over private practice in which most lawyers are on call for numerous clients at any given time. Although, if you are working for a multinational group or a larger business, there is the possibility you still have numerous ‘clients,’ but there’s the advantage that you are also colleagues – giving you the option to negotiate deadlines based on business priority and opportunity to work as a team.
3. Take on a more commercial role
The nature of work undertaken in-house can also be different in that, sometimes it provides lawyers the opportunity to move into more of a business role. When it comes to legal work, everything tends to be very closely related to the particular area of business in which your employer is engaged, so a thorough understanding of the industry you work in is often just as important as knowledge of the law.
4. Broader compensation packages
Whilst in-house lawyers may not receive the high basic salaries as lawyers in private practice, they do often receive more sufficient benefits packages overall. Benefits may range from a car, private medical insurance, pension entitlement, a bonus scheme to an extra few days annual leave. To find out how much you could earn in an in-house legal job, access the Robert Walters Global Salary Survey.
5. Witness the results of your work
As an in-house lawyer you will work closely with your clients, and therefore have the opportunity to see the outcome of your results. In private practice you may not always observe how your advice was implemented as your relationship with clients can come to an end, once you’ve provided the service.
6. Flexibility to structure work around your life
Generally, being in-house you will not have to keep track of billable hours. The demands of recording your time can be frustrating and monotonous. Working in-house doesn’t mean you’ll be working any less hard, just that there isn’t the same pressure to monitor your billable hours; inevitably allowing you more free time and flexibility.
7. Job satisfaction
With any luck you’ll feel apart of the decision-making progress driving your company. Many in-house lawyers speak of the real sense of achievement that comes with contributing to the development of the company and will often receive recognition for their work.
Visit the career advice section of our website for more tips to help you in your career.
Start searching for your next legal role, or contact Matt Edwards on 02 8289 3100 for a confidential discussion.