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The attractions of an in-house legal job compared to private practice, according to 820 Canadian lawyers

It’s good to be an in-house lawyer. Many surveys ask those lawyers what they like about their job, and so did the 2011 In-House Counsel Barometer, produced by the Canadian law firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg In association with the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA). Actually, the question had a twist: “What is the main reason you would recommend becoming an in-house counsel to your friends or colleagues who are currently in private practice?” At page 15 of the report a chart lists 10 reasons to choose from, plus “Other.”

The dominant reason, selected by almost one out of three of the 820 respondents (28%), was “Better work-life balance.” A kindred reason, chosen by one out of ten as noted below, was “Better lifestyle,” which seems to overlap considerably. Doesn’t speak well for the culture of law firms, does it!

Two other advantages were tied at 15% (“Type of work (challenging, fulfilling)” and “Being part of business decisions”). Slightly less frequently chosen were “Integration into business process” at 12% and “Better lifestyle” at 9%. The remaining advantages had 5% or less: “Variety of work,” “Opportunity to gain business/sector experience,” “Ability to focus on work/client,” “No timesheets/billable hours,” and “Job security.” In short, less pressure at work and more interesting work – an alluring mix.

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