For Junior Associates, Going In-House Is Risky

, Law.com

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While such a move might tempt young lawyers, it could close as many career doors as it opens.

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    From an in-house lawyer at a Berkshire company, please reconsider your advice. I wholeheartedly disagree with almost everything you wrote. For starters, spending more time in private practice does not ease your transition in-house, it creates more of a culture shock. Going in-house early in your career can be great, as the company gets to mentor and mold you, and you professionally develop in a business environment. I‘ve seen many a seasoned lawyer fail to become part of a business unit, especially if they have a litigation background (they tend to be adverserial with regulators, for example). Furthermore, collaboration is key in any in-house role, especially small law departments. So, I don‘t care if you are a 2 year lawyer or a 20 year lawyer, you need to bounce ideas off of one another, even if you think you don‘t need to, in order to ensure the legal team is on the same page and providing consistent advice (lots of forum shopping goes on in-house). Finally, your worst advice is suggesting that in-house lawyers should cater to the business by shying away from conservative advice. Being prudent is doing your job. If you don‘t occassionally frustrate the business, then you‘re not doing the job you were hired to do. Often times, finding a creative solution results from knowing more about the business (systems, internal processes, etc.), which is another great reason to go in-house early in your career. And, being conservative while offering a creative solution is what helps your career.

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