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Career Management: In-House Counsel Vs. Law Firm Attorney

by on June 8, 2010

If you’re considering a career change, one of the first questions attorneys ask themselves is if they want to work for a law firm or as an in-house  lawyer.   There is no right or easy answer but I recently found a post on Above The Law that fairly sums up what you have to expect when presented with the choice:

“To the professional world were a zoo, Biglaw attorneys and in-house counsel would be kept in separate cages. They live in distinct environments and, according to a group of general counsel at the InsideCounsel SuperConference, have very different characteristics.

GCs from Kaplan Higher Education, Navistar, and Johnson Controls got together for a panel about building great in-house teams. It started with some general advice: Ask for writing samples from applicants, don’t hire applicants who use “I” during their interviews, and help to develop your workforce.

“Attorneys don’t tend to be precise and concise when they talk,” said Janice Block of Kaplan Higher Education. She has training sessions to help new hires improve their communication skills, so they can explain what they do for the company if they get stuck in the elevator with the CEO, for example.

Not surprisingly, companies are getting tons of applications for in-house positions these days. “In a market like now, we have lots and lots of people interested in joining the company,” said Jerry Okarma of Johnson Controls, a technology company based in Wisconsin. Attention, diverse candidates: “We have a hard time finding African–Americans in Milwaukee,” said Okarma.

Read the full article….In-House Counsel Vs. Firm Attorneys

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