Greater Variety of Work
In-house lawyers get the benefit of being exposed to a greater variety of work. Whereas in private practice, the difference is that you would be situated within a specific practice area/department (with the exception of a few law firms – Jones Day comes to mind).
Working in-house can give you more breadth – allowing lawyers to cover general commercial, acquisitions, contracts, employment, litigation and data protection/IP law. Some legal departments hire “generalist” lawyers, whereas the bigger companies who are able to budget for more substantial legal departments do have separate practice teams for lawyers with different specialities.
One of the positives of working as an in-house lawyer is that you generally have a good degree of control over your hours.
While you will be expected to pull your weight, and there will always be things that crop up unexpectedly, you should be able to maintain a social life, plan holidays and see your family regularly.
As lawyers spawned in the long hours culture of private practice, it is refreshing to step away to a career where you will be challenged and you will work hard, but where you can plan for busy times and manage your time to allow for a balanced lifestyle.
Pay and benefits
Examples of benefits typical to in-house packages include:
- Ability to earn in 9 months what would normally take 12 months to earn in a normal salaried position. What Contax call the “Snowboarding option”
- Greater potential for remote working
- Ability to learn the “business side” to the law – leading to greater commercial awareness