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Going In-house Is Career Suicide for Good Attorneys
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Summary: The best attorneys should never give up on their career by going in-house. Read on to learn why.

Read Why Going In-house Is Often the Worst Decision a Good Attorney Can Ever Make to learn more.


Going in-house is never a good career move for attorneys. Harrison Barnes goes in depth to explain how going in-house is more like a funeral that the exciting party that attorneys treat it as. Barnes compares the situation to that in The Hunger Games series where the tributes that are selected to be part of the games are treated like special people with the best food and clothing imaginable. However, after the food is gone, the tributes enter a game that ends in death for everyone but one.

Imagine seeing a lavish party for someone leaving a law firm to go in-house. You would get the idea that going in-house is a position worth being jealous of and working towards. The truth behind this party is that top partners are hoping that the departing attorney will return the favor of business to the firm.

See Why Going In-house May Be a Bad Decision.

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Leaving for an in-house position because the work is hard at your law firm is never a good enough reason. If you are unhappy with your current environment, then move to a new one. Jumping shipping without trying out a new law firm is never a smart choice. In-house you lose the ability to have your own clients so you lose the ability to control your future.

Everyone in the legal industry constantly dreams and talks about going in-house, giving the impression that no one in their right mind would refuse the opportunity. The assumption by everyone is that going in-house will change their careers and lives for the better. The truth is that some attorneys understand the damage going in-house can do and simply want to lead others astray because it means less competition for them. When an attorney goes in-house, another attorney will be able to pick up their clients and their share in the profits so of course they want to get rid of other attorneys.

Attorneys need to have a book of business, the larger the better. If they are putting this off then the inevitable will happen – they will be out of a job and a career. Attorneys that have been with a law firm for years but still have not brought in any clients will be dumped by the firm. This is the only time that going in-house is smart.

Read Understand In-House Attorney Jobs before Taking the Plunge.

An attorney that does not care about the rules of the game and building a client list should go in-house because in truth they don’t want to be an attorney. They care more about cushy hours and being a messenger between the company management and the law firm doing all the actual legal work.

As an attorney that was fortunate enough to get a job at a major law firm, you can be successful as an attorney if you just work hard to get clients. Don’t give up and take the easy route because eventually that job will end and then you will have to start over at the bottom, if you are lucky enough to be given the chance by a law firm to start over.

Do you agree with what Harrison Barnes says in that going in-house is career suicide for attorneys? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about in-house attorneys, read How Much Do In-House Attorneys Get Paid?





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