Proving yet again that in-house lawyers around the world share similar sources of job satisfaction, consider the survey results cited in Benny Tabalujan, ed. Leadership and Management Challenges of In-House Legal Counsel (LexisNexis Australia 2008) at 51. Conducted in 2005 by the Institute for Knowledge Development (IKD), the survey data from the unpublished report shows that when asked “What do you enjoy most about your role?” 85 percent of the in-house respondents checked “being part of the business” and “variety and diversity of the role.”
Other surveys or posts have revealed similar attractions of in-house practice (See my post of April 13, 2006: nine advantages for corporate practice; May 3, 2010: nine attractions of an in-house position; and July 26, 2008: benefits provide most attraction.).
In the Australian survey, the grumbles come from “Administrative tasks,” bemoaned by 68 percent of the respondents and “People management” by 55 percent. Other problems have shown up on this blog. In fact, for some unknown reason, this blog has dwelled more on the downsides of inside practice than sided with the upsides (See my post of March 28, 2006: reasons not to go in-house; April 12, 2006: among least rewarding aspect of practicing in corporation is “career advancement opportunities”; April 13, 2006: advantages of working in-house: “career advancement” rated low; May 10, 2006: hours not necessarily shorter; June 24, 2007: the intractable problem of career paths; Jan. 16, 2009: disadvantages include stress; and Jan. 16, 2009: lack of pro bono opportunities.).
I offer two other trade-offs. Having only one official client can be a boost or a bust. Compensation is locked down by corporate fiat, but for some lawyers the options and restricted grants are lucrative.