How To Get an In-House Counsel Job and Related Decision-Making
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, GoInhouse.com or if you are more senior, check out our General Counsel Jobs page. However, there is no dearth of written guidance on the topic and we’ve linked to many resources in this post.
Why Do You Want an In-House Counsel Job?
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 GoBiglaw.com 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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To Get an In-House Job You Must Do The Research
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 In-House Counsel 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 In-House Counsel 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.
In-House Counsel 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 jobs. GoInhouse.com, 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 GoInhouse.com on Twitter. Another way to find an in-house counsel job is to network with former colleagues and classmates, or join the Corporate Counsel Sections of State Bar Associations you are a member of.
Consider a Legal Recruiter
Be on the lookout for recruiters in your area who specialize in legal placements. We’ve listed some in our Legal Recruiter Directory. 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.
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 24,000+ 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.