Switching from one in house position to another

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Switching from one in house position to another

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:06 pm

What's the TLS consensus on how difficult it is to move from an in house position at one company to an in house position at another company? Assume that the applicant is a corporate generalist in both roles.

There seems to be blogs and other postings online that claim it is very challenging. One says it is as difficult, if not more difficult, than going back to a law firm after being in house. The reason given there is that many companies would prefer to hire their outside counsel (folks who are already familiar with the business and the business personnel), rather than have to acclimate someone to a new business environment.

But I would think that two candidates with similar experience, one of whom most recently worked in house for a couple of years and one of whom remained at a law firm instead, the candidate with the in house experience would be preferred.


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Re: Switching from one in house position to another

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:18 pm

I don't see how this is the case. In fact, most in-house openings seem to require at least some in-house experience.

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Re: Switching from one in house position to another

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:23 pm

I've not attempted it personally, but my sense from being an in-house attorney is that it is easier to get another in-house job if you are in-house. Just like most recruiter calls in biglaw are for other biglaw firms, most recruiter calls in-house are for other in-house jobs. One thing to keep in mind is that there are usually fewer in-house jobs in a given location and specialty than equivalent law firm jobs. There are only so many company headquarters of companies large enough to have a legal department.

I disagree with people saying that most companies prefer to hire their outside counsel. Most companies tend to focus law firm hiring at the senior associate level. It's very hard (and expensive) to get a partner to come in-house. We usually think of our outside counsel as the relationship partner. My company has hired relationship partners, but it's much more rare than just hiring a senior associate or someone from a peer company. Also, someone with in-house experience will probably need a lot less acclimation than someone with only law firm experience- especially if they are hiring in the same (or related) industry.

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