Searching for an In-House Legal Job?  A Legal Recruiter Can Be Invaluable!

For many lawyers, transitioning to a corporate counsel job makes a lot of sense. Lawyers focused on technology transactions, data privacy, commercial contracts and more move to in-house legal jobs every day. Many attorneys realize after a few years in private practice that a law firm environment is not the right long-term fit, while others seek a more business-oriented role right off the bat.

The upsides of in-house attorney jobs are many. You work for one company, where you have the opportunity to become integral in the overall success of that organization. Since you represent only one client, you gain an intimate knowledge of that client’s needs and wishes. As you focus on protecting your company’s needs and interests, you become more closely involved with all aspects of the business. It’s fulfilling to be involved in negotiations and contracts from beginning to end. Moreover, nothing beats a predictable work schedule and no billable hours.

Searching for a corporate attorney job can feel like entering a void. Online job sites are faceless, rarely eliciting a response; and most corporate frameworks are murky to outsiders. With few or no contacts at organizations that have an in-house legal department, you’ll have no guidance in how to ensure that the hiring decision-makers will see and actually consider your resume.

The Legal Recruiter Option

Simply put, a legal recruiter can make your search for an in-house lawyer job faster and more effective. A good recruiter knows which companies are hiring. Many corporations hire in-house legal talent infrequently and often find it difficult to find the right person for an exact position in its legal department. In many situations, companies turn to a particular legal recruiter exclusively to vet candidates, often using a retained search model. This model in which a corporation hires a recruiter to fill a specific position, means working with a recruiter is free for you.

In addition to a recruiter’s inside knowledge of the corporate landscape, he or she can also leverage connections, experience and expertise to improve your job search in other ways.

A skilled recruiter:

  • Has spoken with the hiring manager of the corporation and knows what the company is looking for in its next hire.
  • Knows the compensation range; an experienced recruiter can negotiate an entire compensation package for you.
  • Assesses your resume and suggests improvements.
  • Preps you for interviews and tells you what skills and experience to highlight.
  • Endorses your candidacy; since corporations rely on the recruiter’s screening process, they know you are a high-quality prospect.
  • Can follow-up and get feedback from the company, advising you on next steps.
  • Provides additional information that may not be posted on a job board listing.
  • Informs you of other opportunities and will present positions that are exclusive and not posted publicly.

The Right Cultural Fit

Perhaps the most important aspect a recruiter brings to your in-house legal job search is ensuring that the cultural fit is right between you and your future company. Achieving that cultural fit starts with building a relationship between you and your recruiter. Your recruiter should become your partner –someone you can turn to for advice or to discuss your next career move.

Once your recruiter learns your strengths and weaknesses, your preferences, and motivation, he or she is in the best position to assess your cultural fit in relation to a specific company. Through understanding who you are and what a company’s culture is, your recruiter can create a win-win for you and your new employer.

There is no one-size-fits-all for an in-house corporate attorney job. In your search, waiting for the right opportunity is key. And your recruiter will be there for you with the right job at the right company, to satisfy your professional goals.

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