I will stay in-house, thank you very much,

Posted on | July 27, 2011 | 10 Comments

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As you know, I work in the corporate world. Before that I worked in private practice. I even worked for the local State’s Attorney in juvenile matters. Either way, I have seen all sides of the law. The most common question that I am asked is will I ever return to private practice. My answer, “Not if I can help it.” Don’t get me wrong, I loved the law and the work that I did. In my career, I was blessed to have attorneys who valued paralegals and knew how to utilize us. So why wouldn’t I want to go back to that?

1. Billing. I hated billing. We never had a billable hours quota but the attorneys would make mention about how we could not afford certain things because our billables were down. I come from a Catholic background. I respond to guilt. So, I would work extra hours to increase my billables so we could afford new copy paper for the poor souls in purgatory.

2. Benefits. The corporate world is full of benefits. I have health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, pet insurance, car insurance, home insurance, my-clothes-look-bad insurance (okay, maybe not that one but I am sure if I looked there would be something similar). I have an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), a 401k, and free coffee. Ask me which is the most important of those three? We have flex time and work-from-home time and close-early time because of “corporate retreats.” Those “retreats” are the best!!! Wear shorts, go to a bar, drink some beer – and the company pays for it all. Plus, we are sticklers for not wanting to pay overtime so no more than 40 hours per week. No weekends. No nights. Travel is on either the company plane or business class. Hotel rooms are in hotels where they serve room service and have turn-down service. Honest to God! I am not trying to make you jealous but can you see why the benefits are a perk?

3. Advancement. If you can make up a title and create a position around that title, you can advance. Even in the legal departments. The corporate world has so many opportunities to move up the ladder – all while working 40 hours because we don’t like to pay overtime.

4. Outside counsel. Yes, you read that correctly. I LOVE outside counsel at Christmas. Why? Because they want our business so badly that even the partners find themselves sucking up to the paralegals and legal secretaries. Christmas is awesome in my world. Cookies, chocolates, fruits, bagels, wine. That is sent from all manner of outside counsel in order to remind us that they are great firms that we need to work with in the future. (And here is a little hint…we pay attention to who remembers us. We give you $1 million in legal fees and you don’t even send a card? Yeah. You just lost our business.)

5. Rainmaking. I worked for a small firm in a small town so the whole office had to contribute to bringing in “the big one.” I remember seeing an accident on the morning news and waiting to hear the names of the victims just to see if I know them and can bring in new business. Yep. I crossed that line. And came right back over and started looking for a new job. In the corporate world, you don’t have to look for clients. They are right there in the next cubicle. You are in constant contact with them. This can be bad, true. But at least I will always know how to find my client.

I am sure that I could also create a list of the bad things in the corporate world. But that is another post….for another day….

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10 Responses to “I will stay in-house, thank you very much,”

  1. Grumpy Humbug
    July 27th, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    Did I ever mention I’d sell my soul for a Corporate position?

  2. Corporate Paralegal
    July 27th, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    I offered to hire you but noooo….you had an opposition to this little thing called moving.

  3. Grumpy Humbug
    July 28th, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    Moving to the middle of nowhere outside of civilization, yes.  I do object to that.

  4. Corporate Paralegal
    July 28th, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    OK….there is that.

  5. Ceci_webster
    July 27th, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    I am jealous!

  6. In House Paralegal
    July 27th, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

    Nice to hear some corporate spots have maintained the perks.  We have lost the retreats and company trips in the down economy.  Not sure they ever had coffee on offer here.  I would say the beverages (hot and cold) are the ONLY think I miss about biglaw.

  7. Corporate Paralegal
    July 28th, 2011 @ 1:06 am

    You get lucky.  Corporate positions in my town are few and far between.  If you are in a larger metropolitan area then the likelihood is more available.  Check around.

  8. Anonymous
    July 28th, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    I’m lucky.  Our firm is pretty darn close to corporate, probably because our practice is so specialized.  We have a phenomenal reputation so we don’t really have to chase clients – the ones we have keep us pretty busy (and love us), and our reputation brings in the others.  We’re also small, and the attorneys all love their vacations so we don’t have quotas, don’t usually have OT (trials are the exception) and life is pretty good.  (Yes, Virginia, there really are good paralegal jobs out there!)

    BUT – if I get tired of this someday, my next stop is corporate.  I’ve already been working my contacts :0)

  9. Anonymous
    July 28th, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    PS!  You’re doing a great job filling in for PH :0)

  10. Superlegal
    July 30th, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

    To the tune of White Christmas…

    “I’m dreaming of a corporate job…)”

    I’ve been looking for one for a while. One day…

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