How to Get an In-House Counsel Job

In-House Counsel Job

If you are like many lawyers, at one or more times in your life you will ask yourself a simple question: “How do I get an in-house counsel job?”. This may happen after a soul-crushing week pulling all-nighters at a Biglaw firm, or even while ensconced in an office tower working at a different in-house counsel job. Sure, you can jump immediately to our in-house counsel job board, or if you are more senior, check out our General Counsel Jobs page. However, there is no dearth of written guidance on the topic. Here are some posts to review that will help you through the process:

Why In-House?

An initial question you should ask yourself is why you are going in-house.  If you are a lawyer working at a law firm, there are many reasons why going in-house may be a good career choice.  In some cases, as many recruiters will tell you, changing law firms may be a way for you to address the issues you are encountering.  Check out for opportunities at law firms that may help you expand your skill-set and prepare yourself for a more business-focused in-house experience. Also note that the journey in-house isn’t just for law firm associates – even law firm partners make the jump – if they can hurdle the obstacles involved. All in-house job-seekers must do some introspection and ask themselves if they are an ideal in-house candidate.

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Nothing is more obvious to a company or a recruiter than a candidate who is mass blasting their resume to every open legal position in the hope that a company – any company – will open the doors to the promised land. Suffice it to say that this approach is not one that is likely to get you an interview – or an in-house counsel job.  Do your homework, research your target industries and companies and prepare yourself

Ready your Resume

There are quite a number of tips and tricks when it comes to preparing a resume for an in-house counsel job – so get to it! Just as important – keep your resume updated and have two other people read it carefully before you submit it.

The Interview

It’s been some time since you’ve had the clammy hands and rumbling stomach that accompany a job interview.  Be ready to ace the in-house interview!  Didn’t get an interview and wondering why? Read on, my friend.

Salary Expectations

In-house counsel salaries range based on level of seniority, area of practice and the geographic market involved. Fortunately, Robert Half publishes a handy guide that can assist you in ballparking your comp.

Where Do I Find an In-House Counsel Job?

In-house counsel jobs are more rare than their law firm counterparts, but they are not impossible to find. Check out some recent featured in-house counsel jobs, or if you are more senior, a list of general counsel, our in-house counsel job board, features over thousands of in-house counsel jobs across the United States and is a great place to look (if we do say so ourselves).  You can search by practice area, location and more and sign up for email job alerts by city and category.  You can also follow on Twitter.  Another way to find an in-house counsel job is to network with former colleagues and classmates.  InhouseBlog’s LinkedIn Group has nearly 5,200 members and there are other career-oriented groups on LinkedIn that target legal job-seekers.  Don’t forget to optimize your LinkedIn profile first!

Consider a Recruiter for an In-House Counsel Job

Be on the lookout for recruiters in your area who specialize in legal placements.  Recruiters often find out about in-house jobs before they are ever offered to the public.  Developing a relationship with a recruiter can also help you down the road, as recruiters will keep you in mind for other positions that may match your skillset.  You can check out some recruiters by looking at GoInhouse’s In-House Counsel Recruiter Twitter List.

Get Exposure on InhouseBlog!

Have you written an article, primer, checklist or “how-to” geared towards in-house counsel? Let us know – we consider guest posts and it is a great way to get free exposure.  All guest posts that are accepted get linked to in our next weekly newsletter which is sent to 10,000 subscribers. Check out our In-House Counsel Guides page to see prior submissions and get ideas.

We hope you enjoyed this post – if you know of other items/issues that you would like to see addressed, just contact us.

Check out our Inhouse Counsel Guides page for other articles and resources of interest.

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