The Solicitors Regulation Authority conducted a research that showed the doubling of in-house solicitors since 2000. Nowadays, they represent over 20% of the occupation, with over 60% working in the private sector. However, those who aim at the in-house ‘position’ often struggle finding the right way to land themselves there. Before searching for the ways to start as or transit to being an in-house specialist, ask yourself why you want to do it.
Why Going to the In-House Legal Sector
There are three basic pros to making the jump:
- Having only one client.
This may be both a pro and a con, but many specialists say their workload becomes more consistent having one client. This also means you will be provided with work weekly for as long as your client is active.
- Being a part of a team.
Working as an in-house lawyer, you usually join a counsel, comparing to working alone as a representative of a firm. So, if being a part of a team is your strong side, you are going to enjoy working in-house much more.
- Working the way towards the bigger picture.
As a part of a law firm, you can get stuck in details of a particular case, not being able to see the big picture your client is moving towards. But when you join the in-house counsel of a particular company, you’re able to not only note their goals but also help achieve them.
The Recruiters Problem
Candidates often blame ‘headhunters’ for cooperating with law firms and aiming only on switching specialists between them, failing to open a door to the in-house sector. It depends on the recruitment company you choose. There are offers like Barclay Simpson legal vacancies that can provide you with the necessary doors.
Sounds good, but before applying, make sure you own the qualities needed to be the ideal candidate for the in-house legal sector.
How to Get into the In-House Legal Sector: A Recruiter’s Recommendations
There are four main things to do, aside from having proper education and experience:
- Take up networking.
Networking might not grant you the job immediately, but it can give you more chances to attend interviews and be considered.
- Tailor your resume.
You may be a genius lawyer, but if you’re unable to show it off in a resume, finding opportunity may be difficult. Recruiters see you for the first time in your resume, so tailor it the right way.
- Contact several recruiters.
Even the largest recruitment companies have a relatively narrow window into corporate jobs. Don’t rely on one firm, try at least a couple, as different corporations usually cooperate with different firms.
- Demonstrate your skills and attributes.
Those are all the same as for law firms: being proactive, a good ‘team-player’, politically astute, etc. However, one quality defines the in-house sector: being truly passionate about the business. Make sure you demonstrate all these attributes when being interviewed.
Also, remember that you as a specialist will be perceived differently after moving in-house. For a law firm you are a source of revenue, but for your future client you will be an expense. So, be ready to work more quickly, as faster results on little data may be required.