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Corporations and In-House Counsel

Another type of practice setting is as in-house counsel to a corporation. Attorneys are employed by both large and small corporations to handle a wide variety of legal needs of the corporations.

Lawyers who work as in-house counsel have one client, the corporation. Years ago, such positions were rumored to be less stressful than big firm practice, but were often considered less challenging. Neither seems to be true anymore, and students are warned against thinking that choosing such a position will lead to a relaxed life style, for such is often not the case. However, graduates who report back about such positions do tend to have a high level of job satisfaction, and report feeling a sense of involvement and control over their personal and professional lives, which is often missing in large law firm practice.

Very few corporations hire graduates directly out of school. Most prefer to hire an attorney with 3-4 years experience. A few multinational corporations with large legal departments are the exception to the rule.

Please note, however, that some in-house departments hire students for first and second summer positions, even if they do not intend to offer them employment after graduation. The Career Services Library has several resources to assist you in searching for such positions, and students are encouraged to touch base with the counseling staff if they have an interest in learning more about this area.