- On May 27, 2019
Companies all are looking to hire lawyers who can immediately add value. Employers want someone who understands the industry, has done the job, and can manage the clients. That’s why they prefer in-house lawyers doing that exact job now. But what should you do if you aren’t already in-house? Here are five ways to pitch yourself:
- At a minimum, offer subject matter expertise. I have seen clients hire firm lawyers because they are known as experts in a needed area. So get known in your field, e.g., through presentations, publications, and an undeniable track record. Or if you are junior, show that you can draft, negotiate, and counsel without supervision in that industry.
- Show you have good business judgment. Employers know law firms train lawyers to mitigate 100% of legal risk. However, in-house lawyers often must make decisions on the fly with imperfect information. They need to balance client demands with an acceptable level of risk, often by coming up with something creative. How can you show you have these skills? Give examples of relevant work and successes.
- Demonstrate you know can capably advise a range of clients because counseling makes up a large chunk of the job. Company lawyers often have to advise cross-functional teams, including engineering, finance, marketing, sales, etc., and it’s best to have great relationships with these departments before a problem arises. Don’t come across only as a zealous advocate, but also an approachable partner for internal teams.
- Point to a record of success. Metrics are an easy way to show you can get the job done and can withstand pressure. Gather numbers on your win rate, money saved, cases won, deals closed over hyper-growth periods, etc.
- Your network vouches for you. A surefire way to get an interview is if the hiring managers get a recommendation from someone they trust to speak to you.