Q: I am considering making the transition from a top litigation firm to in-house. Do you have words of wisdom?
A: Lawyers from firms generally think they will be closer to the business people and will get a chance to do more than provide legal services to the company if they go in-house. It’s important to check that assumption, in that the roles of in-house lawyers vary from company to company. And making the transition you are contemplating doesn’t simplify needed skills sets. Although you wouldn’t be called upon to bring in business, in-house you also need an affinity for creating and maintaining relationships, supervising others and running budgets, in that many companies not only focus on keeping outside counsel fees under control but on bonusing their inside lawyers based on their fiscal, as well as legal, success. Today, both law firm and in-house lawyers have many challenges, so be sure to gather information and weigh your choices with the short-term and the long-run in mind.