Where can you see yourself next?

Why In House?

Why In House?

As a specialist in-house legal recruiter, the first thing I ask candidates who are contemplating a move from private practice to in-house is “What is making you consider a move in-house and WHY?”

The most common responses we get to the question are:

  • “I don’t think I want to go down the partner route”
  • “I don’t think the hours in private practice are sustainable”
  • “I want better work-life balance”
  • “I want a pay rise or better bonus structure”
  • “I want more flexibility”

Rather than thinking about why you don’t want to be in private practice, think about why you want to be in-house and the benefits that come with it.

Our most recent feedback from General Counsel’s who are interviewing candidates looking to make this transition is that it is obvious if the decision hasn’t been clearly thought through. The focus has been on the negatives of where candidates currently are rather than the positives of what is to come in their next role.

I wanted to highlight some key points that I thought would be beneficial to readers who might be guilty of what’s been listed above and to guide them on what to think about before clicking the apply button on their next job application:

  • What industries are you passionate about that are relevant to your practice?
  • How knowledgeable are you about the individual company that you are applying for and how much did you already know about them?
  • Have you been up to date with media announcements relating to the organsiation? Is the company going through growth? Or has it been recently acquired? Or going through a merger?  How is the organisation doing financially? What are some of the major transactions or current work the business has been working on?
  • Do you work in a lean team currently & wish to be part of a larger team where you may become more specialised? Or do you work in a large team currently & want to work in a more intimate team where your work could be broader?
  • What kind of culture and team members are you looking for?
  • Do you want to provide legal advice to another area of law that you don’t currently have exposure to but it is transferrable to what you currently do?
  • Are the roles that you are thinking about applying for realistic given your current skill set & level?
  • Do you genuinely enjoy the commercial aspects of working with a business and stakeholder management? It is a large part of almost every in-house job.
  • Are you happy to do the hours? In-house doesn’t always mean “work-life balance”.

Ultimately, the takeaway from my article today would be to think about the “why” before you apply (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it!).

When you demonstrate genuine passion, interest, and clear knowledge of an organisation it shines through, meaning it will only help you stand out against other applicants and more importantly help you figure out if this is the right career move for you.

Rosie Allen

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