At some point in almost every lawyer’s career, she gives some thought to the idea of moving in-house from private practice. The desire to escape the billable hour, the fear of business development obligations, or simply the opportunity to have a more predictable schedule, are all very attractive reasons to go in-house. Attorneys rarely carve out time to prepare for the in-house move, however, until the moment they are ready to make the transition. The same actions that can help you succeed in private practice are equally beneficial should you decide that you are interested in pursuing an in-house position.
We have both made this transition. Before moving in‑house at McDonald’s, Michele Bradley worked as an employment associate in private practice in New York City. Susan Cassidy spent almost 20 years in private practice before moving in‑house, first to Motorola Inc. and then to Northrop Grumman Corporation. She is now back in private practice as a law firm partner. This article provides helpful tips for preparing to move in-house and the key factors for success once you finally take the leap of faith and land your in-house role.