Recently, Georgie Miller hosted our ‘the growing market for junior in-house lawyers webinar’ and they were joined by three fantastic panellists, one of which was Victoria Davies | Legal Director | Twitter UK. After the event, I decided to delve more into the subject with Victoria to further discuss how best to build and develop a career as an In-house Lawyer.
Does it matter what area of law you qualified into/what seats you did when making the move in-house?
The future for in-house lawyers is bright! More and more companies are looking to have people in-house who understand their business and can work across a number of different tasks rather than having a suite of external counsel who you need to brief in each time. You’ll be rewarded with the ability to get close to the business units, grow your skill set across different areas of law and will learn how to assess and manage risk. The skills you gain will serve you well in-house, back in private practice or even in business.
What is the difference between a Legal Counsel and Senior Legal Counsel role? What tips can you provide to prepare a candidate for a Senior Legal Counsel promotion?
The biggest differences are that you become part of a team within the business rather than an outsider only advising on specific matters without the ability to be part of a project from the beginning and shape its course. You will need to be comfortable with change and be able to give advice quickly by assessing the real risk to the business. Someone who likes in depth legal memo’s will not be happy in-house!
What have you enjoyed the most about moving in-house?
Someone who can build a rapport with the business people, who’s able to find solutions and distill the legal language into easy to understand and digestible advice. I look for someone who can be a respected and integral part of the business unit rather than a standalone legal function and who’s willing to roll their sleeves up and get involved.
Do you think not getting any private practice experience could be detrimental to a legal career?
Research, use of tools such as Practical Law Company, utilising all of the law firms briefings and webinars but also knowing when it is right to seek external counsel’s advice where the subject matter is very different to my day to day.
Watch the webinar in full here.
If you would like further information on working within the banking and financial services markets, please contact Will Skinner.
If you would like further information on with corporate and commercial businesses, please contact Georgie.