From nine choices an online survey in December 2005 offered that described in-house advantages, 400 plus corporate attorneys chose three as almost equally strong: “work hours,” “exposure to the business side” (both at 25%), and “variety of legal work” (22%). The other selections, as reported in InsideCounsel, March 2006 at 51,were “working for one client” (11%), “benefits package” (5%), “company culture” (4%), “colleagues” (3% — take that, collegiality!), “management opportunities” (2%), and “career advancement opportunities/salary/perks” (3% combined).
“Working for one client” may reflect the glow of not having to keep track of time, and possibly not having to sell work (unlike for partners in private practice). It is odd that work hours get such applause when the same survey revealed that 52 percent of the respondents said they work 41-50 hours a week, and 38 percent of them reported 51-60 hours a week. Those self-reported hours probably ought to come down to earth a bit.
“Management opportunities” could mean to some respondents the opportunity to manage others in the law department, or it could mean the opportunity to move into a management role outside the legal department.