Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 19


Fed up with billable hours and the
taxing nature of law firm life,
early- and mid-career attorneys are
increasingly seeking positions inside
corporations, where they are finding
broader avenues for personal
satisfaction and career advancement.
Respectable salaries, wide-ranging responsibilities,
and an improved quality of life have defined in-house
positions of late, making them a valuable choice for
ambitious lawyers looking to make their mark away
from law firms, both large and small.

executive and legal search company. "The in-house
lawyer becomes highly vested with the business and
really understands the finances. There is a much
better appreciation for how the business succeeds
and makes money."

years, law firms are increasing associates' salaries and
offering year-end cash bonuses for everyone on their
staff. And firms have tried to tackle lifestyle issues by
redesigning workplaces and bringing in outside
consultants to rework internal processes.

"From my vantage point, the 'war for talent' is
starting to shift between law firms and in-house
legal departments for experienced, business-oriented
practitioners," says Eric Reicin, vice president, general
counsel, and corporate secretary for MorganFranklin
Consulting LLC, and its parent company,
MorganFranklin, Inc., an international business
consulting firm. "In-house legal departments are
attracting some of the best and the brightest
experienced practitioners from the firms."

LEGAL BACKWATERS
NO MORE

"During the past decade, we are finding roughly the
same percentage of law firm associates are
considering moves in house, but have become a bit
more selective in the long-term opportunity as well
as compensation," says Barker. "During this same time
period, we have seen a fairly significant increase in
the desire of law firm partners to consider in-house
assignments, especially general counsel positions.
Partners share the same motivations as associates,
but some are motivated because their practice is no
longer generating the income desired, or they
aspire to join the ranks of general counsel who
wield significant influence in the legal and
corporate arenas."

The trend has been a windfall for corporations and
nonprofit organizations seeking to recruit top-notch
legal talent, as well. With a dedicated staff of attorneys
and paraprofessionals on site, companies can respond
more swiftly and authoritatively to legal concerns
while also having wise counsel in day-to-day business
decisions.
"With the lawyer being part of the company, they are
better able to internalize the business objectives, and
to improve the advice provided to decision makers
along with the associated risks," says Bob Barker,
managing partner at BarkerGilmore, a national

The in-house route wasn't always an ideal option for
legal professionals, whether recent law school
graduates or mid-career lateral movers. In the past,
some considered in-house departments to be legal
backwaters compared to the high-flying
opportunities of a big law firm.
"The perception 30 or 40 years ago was that in-house
counsel positions were where lawyers went to die,"
says James A. Merklinger, vice president and chief
legal officer (CLO) for the Association of Corporate
Counsel (ACC), the global bar association for in-house
professionals. "The feeling was they couldn't make it
in a law firm. Then, over time, that perception has
rightly changed to what we see today. In-house
lawyers are at the very top levels of the legal
profession."
That doesn't mean that law firms are passively
watching their best associates and partners be
poached by corporate America. For the first time in 10

Still, awareness is growing of in-house opportunities.
This interest is partly due to the sophistication of work
currently being performed by in-house counsel,
especially highly skilled general counsel (GC). Their
portfolios are more complex and vital as corporations
have become progressively more global and
nuanced. Moreover, companies are no longer putting
in-house counsel into one narrow field of practice.

* WASHINGTON LAWYER * JANUARY 2017 19


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January 2017

Washington Lawyer - January 2017
Contents
Your Voice
From Our President
Our Membership
Career & Professional Development
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Government & Gavel
Feature: An Inside Job
Feature: Investment Planning for Lawyers
Feature: Making the Virtual Leap
Feature: Lawyers Have Heart
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Partners' Perspective
Ask the Ethics Experts
Attorney Briefs
Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Washington Lawyer - January 2017
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Contents
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 4
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 7
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Our Membership
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 9
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Career & Professional Development
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Government & Gavel
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: An Inside Job
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 19
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 20
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Investment Planning for Lawyers
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 24
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Making the Virtual Leap
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 28
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Lawyers Have Heart
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 32
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 35
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Partners' Perspective
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Ask the Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 45
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 47
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover4
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