Skills Workout: Making the most of your first 100 days as an in-house lawyer

Skills Workout: Making the most of your first 100 days as an in-house lawyer

The LexisPSL guide to making the most ofyour first 100 days as an in-house lawyer

Congratulations on securing your first in-house role! You’ve done the hard work ofdeciding to build your career in-house and you’ve found a company you respect and a role that suits you, so now you need to start planning how you’re going to make an impact and do well.

Having interviewed hundreds ofin-house lawyers in order to develop our legal information service, LexisPSL, we’ve learnt a thing or two about how to make the transition from law firm to in-house team, so we’ve prepared this short guide to help you avoid some ofthe pitfalls and hit the ground running.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

The first few weeks are likely to be largely taken up by meeting new colleagues and getting to know your new boss. If you’re lucky, some ofthese meetings will be arranged for you in advance, but don’t feel confined by the list ofmeetings set up when you arrive. Use this time to get a feel for the politics and culture ofthe business by inviting yourself into as many things as possible. Particularly look out for:

  • board meetings (depending on your level)
  • sales team meetings
  • all-hands or town hall sessions, where employees ask questions ofsenior leaders
  • product or commercial planning sessions
  • opportunities to meet your new company’s customers – either at events or by inviting yourself along to a sales meeting or two.

Ask as many questions as you can, particularly in respect ofthe product lines, where profits in the business come from, about the major costs and the objectives and priorities for the year for the people you meet. Find out what law firms are being used and who is appointing them—it might not always be the legal department Also ask for copies ofkey contracts, so you can read and familiarise yourself with key dates and the terms and conditions.

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