No claims of originality or eloquence, but a writer in Diversity & The Bar, July/Aug. 2011 at 31, condensed the advantages usually cited for in-house counsel very succinctly. As background, Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) collected survey responses, among other forms of data gathering, from 857 women of color attorneys. Summarizing why they liked practicing in-house rather than in a law firm, they found the experience to be better “based on interfacing with senior management, working with clients, quality of work assignments, an atmosphere of inclusion, upward mobility, and training and development opportunities.” That’s a good list.
Someone can counter these positives, either by pointing out what law firms offer (more sophisticated problems, more money, autonomy as a partner, for example) or by attacking the stated benefits of in-house practice (limited career path in the department, cost center stigma, lots of humdrum work, no choice of clients, corporate politics and vicissitudes). Still, these six reasons hit most of the commonly given pluses.