Often times, in-house lawyers come across complex hurdles that prevent them from steering ahead.
During our interview with a few in-house professionals, we managed to collect some tangible facts that explained what the legal professionals are currently undergoing and how they manage to overcome those obstacles.
There’s one in-house partner that says she has had an excellent fit where she decided to chip into the technology and business sector. She claims that at first, she was interested in the legal practice and advocacy sector. But later on, she lost interest in the advocacy role and decided to follow the partnership and more friendly litigation practices.
There are many things that one can do with the undergraduate degree in Law. “All my life, I had always imagined myself working in the High Court or Supreme Court,” said Ms. Sophie, while speaking to Aussie Lawyer Blog. She says that the position has provided a healthy working environment for her. The most exciting part is that she has held the position for more than 15 years while serving at different companies.
She went ahead to tell us some of the challenges she encountered while working as an in-house counsel at various companies. Her advice to the aspiring legal professionals is that they should determine what they want to do and which companies they want to work for. Most important, they should ensure that they fit well into the positions they may be offered at those companies. “If you feel that you won’t be comfortable where you’re being offered a job post, then simply shy away from the offer,” said Ms. Sophie.
She added that one of the greatest hurdles she faced was when she had to decide what was good for her and who she really wanted to be. It is advisable for young lawyers to be proactive and focused because there are different avenues where one may go down.
She added that she had to go through a lot of drawbacks given her status as a woman in the corporate sector.
Ms. Sophie said that it was unfair to rate women in terms of their gender rather than concentrate on what they have accomplished. She said that there is more work to be done in order to ensure that there is no unconscious bias.
Another case where women are judged based on their gender is during the hiring process. She strongly believes that the potential that one has to accomplish things can’t be assumed just because of their gender.
Ms. Sophie said that there is more room to be explored in the corporate sector by women.
“I began to develop a strong interest in understanding how unconscious bias influences things in the company life,” said Ms. Sophie.
In fact, she had an awesome advice for lawyers looking forward to scaling up the in-house ladder.
She said that companies are in search of in-house lawyers who can focus on the business aspects of a risk decision, and not just the risk aspects. They should understand the risk-rewarding continuum and can connect a company’s strategy to the thrust and cut of day-to-day legal operations.