LegalJob was recently asked the career questions below by a young government lawyer. This post contains two more questions and the answers that follow can apply to government service as well as any first or second legal job out of law school.
For non-litigators is a private law firm or an in=house position better? Does it depend on the type of work I want to do? What if I want to change my practice area?
- Better is going to mean different things to different people. Both could be great or terrible. Consider the following items:
- Selling. Law firm will likely involve more selling from day one until you leave. You sell yourself to get work from partners (your inside clients) and later outside clients. In-house will generally involve less selling since there is just one client and no billable hour. However, you may have to compete with folks in your department.
- Generalist vs. specialist. The law firm may require you to be more of a generalist (as you take projects that come up). Depending on the company, that role as a generalist could apply to the in-house position too.
- Opportunities to grow and develop as a lawyer. The law firm may have more training opportunities. However, you could be groomed in-house to take over for the lead counsel.
- Opportunities to move up and make more money. The law firm offers partnership if you can make it. In-house may lead to management in the company, which could be lucrative.
For non-litigators, what kinds of experiences should I have before I leave the government?