3 key skills for lawyers building a career in-house

3 key skills for lawyers building a career in-house

The LexisNexis Aspire networking and professional forum met on Tuesday 20 March 2018. Hosted by Sophie Gould, Head of In-house, LexisNexis, this session looked at how to assess and manage risk, what is executive presence and an interactive Q&A session.

Aspire meets 4 times a year and provides a free networking service which is a key life line to many starting out in their in-house legal career.

In this, the last of our three blog posts in the series, we share Joanna Day, previous Director of Legal Services for Santander Corporate Banking's personal career development advice.

A personal journey... 

Joanna's journey to the top was unconventional. She progressed from court reporting and paralegal roles through the qualified legal executive route.

She battled with academic snobbery (despite having management responsibilities) and the challenges of going to law school in the evenings while working. Through this, she learned that you can achieve what you want if you’re prepared to put in the hours, but it’s important to be sure that the work is going towards something you actually want to do.

Lessons for success

Joanna emphasised the importance of people skills and treating people well, but you should also prepared to challenge things when they feel wrong.

Regarding key skills for lawyers building a career in-house, Joanna offered this advice:

  • Be flexible – don’t stick too rigidly to a specialism, but don’t expect to be technically excellent at everything
  • You don’t need to know everything, but you need to know enough to know when something isn’t right
  • Attitude and a willingness to learn can be more valuable than technical aptitude


Join Aspire today

Aspire is free to join and open to all in-house lawyers in the early stages of their legal career. If you wish to be informed about future Aspire events please register your interest here.

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About the author:

Lauren Fairservice is a paralegal in the LexisPSL In-house, Compliance and Practice Management Group.

Prior to joining LexisNexis in May 2016, Lauren spent a year in-house at ClientEarth, helping to coordinate their climate litigation work and two years in the IP Litigation team at Bristows LLP. She holds the GDL and LPC, as well as an MSc in Environment & Development and a degree in Geography.