5 Tips for Transitioning to In-House Lawyer

Transitioning from law firms to in-house can be a significant career move for lawyers. In-house positions offer a different type of legal work that is more focused on the needs and goals of the company rather than billable hours and client demands. Here are some guidelines on how to make a successful transition:

1) Understand the role.

Understand the role: Before moving, it’s essential to understand what the in-house position entails. In-house lawyers work closely with the business and operations teams to ensure that legal risks are identified and managed appropriately. They also provide legal advice and guidance to the company’s leadership team. It’s essential to understand how the company operates and its goals so you can tailor your legal advice accordingly.

2) Network.

Network: Networking is essential when looking for in-house opportunities. Attend events and conferences relevant to your field and connect with professionals who work in-house. LinkedIn can also be an excellent tool for networking and identifying potential opportunities. Word of mouth and referrals are still among the largest sources for job referrals and client prospecting. Networking can also provide an educational tool to learn from your peers and to stay up-to-date with the current market.

3) Highlight your experience.

Highlight your experience: When applying for in-house positions, highlight your experience in areas relevant to the company’s needs. Emphasize your experience in contract drafting and negotiation, compliance, risk management, and other essential company areas. This is also why it’s so important to understand what your role will be. In-house teams look different based on industry, size, and budget, so your duties will be reflected in those factors. Think of how you contributed at your law firm, like staying organized with administrative tasks and the many tools you used (or did not). This is also an opportunity to try new strategies. If you have had bad experiences with administrative tasks, you might want to recommend new legal tools that better fit your team or department.

4) Be flexible.

Be flexible: In-house positions often require flexibility and adaptability. You may be asked to work on a wide range of legal issues and may need to collaborate with other departments within the company. Being able to work effectively in a team and communicate is key. Having a CLM tool that provides clear communication tools, like ALOE, that provide assigning comments, task, and allows you to follow contracts necessary to you is imperative.

5) Be patient.

Be patient: In-house positions can be competitive, and it may take time to find the right opportunity. Be patient and persistent, and continue to build your network and gain experience in areas relevant to the company’s needs.

Our 5 Tips for Transitioning to In-House Lawyer just begins there. If you would like a deeper dive and guide as you enter your new journey into the in-house legal world, we have a free guide below.

If you are interested in getting our full guide you can download our free Top 5 Must Do’s for Transitioning to In-House Lawyer along with our Guide to Legal Ops.

Tanya Avila

Tanya Avila

Tanya has made a career of building legal departments in fast paced, fast growth environments. Having repeated the process at half a dozen different organizations, she is passionate about all things that bring efficiency and sanity to the internal legal process.