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Tips for Your First In-House Job

Written by Theodore L. Banks


You have just received a job offer for a great in-house position. You are an experienced law firm lawyer and you may be figuring that this is going to be easy. You know the law. You know how to write briefs. You are great in court. Your clients love you.

Not so fast. Lots of former law firm lawyers, even litigators, have done a fabulous job as in-house lawyers, but there are some differences. Trying to replicate everything you did at your law firm when you go in-house may be a recipe for disaster.

Here are a few tips a new in-house lawyer should keep in mind:

  • Create an on-boarding in-house strategy to get to know your company, your industry and your internal clients. Make it your business to know the business.
  • While the law firm had the legal function, the law department at your company works with many business functions. Remember that law is only one of the functions in the business equation.
  • Remember that your purpose is to help the company achieve its business goals, not to “win” at all costs. This may mean that compromise is the best business solution to a lot of disputes, even when you know that your company is in the right. Where you add value is knowing how to evaluate, when to settle and when to push back. You can provide sound legal counsel when emotion is getting the best of your internal clients. What is needed and wanted by the company, your boss, your boss’s peers, your peers, subordinates and other areas of the company?  To read more click here

Ted Banks concentrates his practice on antitrust, compliance and life science. Ted has extensive experience with corporate litigation, including responsibility for contested mergers, environmental contamination, advertising, insurance coverage, products liability, employment law, consumer protection, and packaging and recycling.