Lawyer with corporate legal aspirations
Many of the legal advisors and lawyers, who were broken in by law firms, are applying to us in order to pursue their career in the business world. Their motives are manifold. For example: no longer wanting to put in 60 to 70 hours a week or no longer wanting to work for one client only, doing so the legal advisor also experiences the implementation of his counsel for a change. In any case, it strikes us that many lawyers simply have no idea of what lies beyond the world of law firms.
The concept of working shorter hours in the business world is only partly true. There are even cases of lawyers who, after only one look, fled back to their law firm in terror.
For which reason? They simply can’t handle it! All of a sudden, they have to keep more balls rolling. The counsels they write are far too long and too detailed to be put into practice. Consequently, they don’t succeed in finding a basis of support, which as a result means their job is no longer appealing. Also their remuneration demands often reflect their lack of understanding of the world outside their law firm.
In short, the lawyer aspiring to pursue a career in the business world should reconsider his aspirations. He may well be better off sticking to practicing law, unless he is prepared to write short and concise counsels. The same goes for lawyers finding it difficult to cope with several cases at the same time. Those expecting to have their fee matched in the business world and expecting a salary plan equaling their current plan, might reconsider their intentions too.
Apart from the above-stated, the lawyer with corporate legal ambitions should be aware of the difference between earning his fee and being on the company payroll. Especially legal advisors, who have never experienced business life before, are viewed as professionals without knowledge of business procedures and the firm itself. Without further discussion, it may be noted that this perception proves that a lawyer needs to take on a different attitude, if he is to pursue his career as a corporate legal advisor.
Don’t let me be misunderstood, it is not my intention to discourage lawyers from taking the plunge into the business world. I am just pointing out that a legal advisor’s profession is very different to a lawyer’s. There are those who find it more enjoyable and fascinating and those that don’t. Thus, considered yourself warned, when you consider the switch.