How Can an Attorney Move from A Law Firm to In-House Counsel?

In-House Counsel

Switching from one thing to the other necessitates homework, coupled with proper deliberation. An early preparation wins half the battle. For a general counsel lawyer, this is true in letter and spirit.

For them, the transition means moving from one employer to the other. It can take a while for them to get acclimatized to the new set up, and the workplace environment. By careful planning, one can sail through the challenge with ease, though.

Just as all the five fingers of the palm are not the same, the approaches of individuals are likely to vary from one another. Still, there are some common rules that all must follow to ensure a smooth transition. Here is a list of some of those rules.

Gathering the details about the new employer

Working under a new employer can go either way. On the positive front, it can be a window of opportunities. Then again, things can be tricky if your boss turns out to be a rigid person. Also, it can be helpful to understand how their company generates revenue.

It is hands down a better idea to know a few things about a new employer before signing the offer letter.

Knowing the revenue sources of your new employer will allow you to set your priorities. You can channel your efforts towards those sources to maximize the revenue of your new company. This will help you become an asset to your organization.

Focusing on marketing your skills

Regardless of who you are working for, you will be the architect of your destiny. At every point in time, you will need to pitch for your services and let your actions, as well as words, reveal how you can add value to the scheme of things of your clients. This will help them identify how they can make use of your services and skills.

The more they associate their needs with your services, the easier it would become for you to build a rapport with them. The more it happens the better.

Making the most of the opportunities that come your way

Being an in-house counsel necessitates an individual to be opportunistic. Because you would be working for your employer as well as for yourself, you will need to learn the art of putting your hand up if you see an opportunity of doing well in one of your client’s case.

This is different from cherry-picking, though. All you need to do is be proactive. That is to say, you should not shy away from taking an opportunity in terms of a legal case if its outcome can show your overall performance on a positive note. Your employer will go by your data at the time of deciding on your increment or promotion. By winning more cases for your clients, you will become an indispensable employee.

Going the extra mile

If you have already worked as a general counsel you may not have got deeply involved with the business as in taking care of all its issues. However, it will be a different ball game altogether for you as an in-house counsel. You will need to look beyond the law and tailor your plans accordingly. As a member of the in-house team, you will be required to get involved in the deeper issues that may have a bearing on the whole business.

Drawing up a plan to respond to a change in schedule

As an in-house counsel, you will have fixed working hours. So, it makes sense to plan your next day’s schedule. However, you may also need to incorporate a change to it. Your best bet to accomplish this task to perfection would be to formulate a flexible strategy. In doing so, your idea should be not to get rattled when you are asked to deal with an urgent case abruptly.

For a general counsel lawyer, it is important to be mentally prepared. By doing so, you can ace any kind of acid test linked to your job responsibilities.

Preparing yourself to be a learner

Learning is a process that never comes to an end. An individual, regardless of their profession, keeps learning throughout their lifetime. You can adopt the same approach and try to learn something new every day.

Remember that no hard-and-fast-rule asks a lawyer not to take an interest in learning anything else concerning the law or beyond its scope. Keeping in mind the needs of your profession, think about how you can make use of your additional knowledge in your profession.

Final thoughts

Migrating from a law firm to in-house counsel involves both opportunities and challenges on the part of general counsel lawyers. For a successful transition to it from a law firm, one needs to be prepared mentally. This can make a lot of difference to one’s overall approach and pave the path to one’s success as an in-house counsel.