There are a number of reasons why in-house legal jobs are popular and why many people see them as the most appealing type of legal job.
Billable Hours – one of the hardest responsibilities for people working in traditional legal jobs is that they have to carryout work for billable hours. The problem is as their time is their saleable product every minute counts. People working in-house have less of a problem if their bus is a couple of minutes late and won’t have to squeeze in work to make up the difference. As a consequence people working in-house tend to have a much better work/life balance and tend to be less stressed.
Not a Mercenary – when working with clients your firm secures work which is they dealt out amongst the staff. Quite often you will have little control over which accounts and clients you deal with. When choosing to work for a company in house the decision is yours, so you get greater control over whom you work with. A refreshing change to most legal jobs.
Integral to Organisation – sometimes when working in a client/firm relationship it’s easy to feel undervalued both by your employer and the companies you work with. When working in-house your far more involved. The companies who employ in house legal teams are usually the kind of organisations who rely upon legal advice, so it’s far more likely you’ll be a valuable member of the team.
More Variety – when working with clients you usually end up specialising in a certain area.. Your experience will be attractive to clients, which in turn make you’re billable rate higher, which is always appreciated by firms. Sometimes though you might find they you no longer enjoy the niche that you operate within, in situations like this the variety of in-house work might be appealing.
Better Paid – Often, but not always, in-house jobs are better paid. Especially when you work out your actual hourly rate. (Try taking your salary and dividing it by the actual hours you work, you might be surprised how low it is.)
There are lots of reasons why you might think about considering taking the leap and moving in-house and it would be mad for any legal professional not to consider it.