Training in-house - busting the myths!

11 Jan 2019 | 3 min read

Whether you’re starting out on your first career, or embarking on a new one, making decisions about how you’re going to go about it can be daunting. Especially when the career you’re considering is in the law.

Aspire, the free networking and professional development group facilitated by LexisNexis, is there to support in-house lawyers during that exact period. The group steps in to help at a time when help is much needed. After all, starting out in-house isn’t like being a junior in a private practice law firm; there isn’t the heft of a large firm behind you to offer advice and support.

Chris Benn (Pinsent Masons), Danielle Sharkey (Charles Russell Speechlys), and Katie Barker (Network Rail - seconded to Dentons), all on the board of Aspire, passionately speak to the benefits of training in-house and how it’s one of the best ways to develop as a young lawyer – and to do so quickly, in this candid Crafty Counsel interview.

Dispelling the myths...

First, however, there’s a myth that needs to be dispelled; in-house training is on a par with the training provided by large private firms. In fact, there’s a lot to be said for the superiority of in-house training, especially in today’s client-driven, commercially-minded marketplace.

For example, while in-house legal teams are generally leaner, this can actually be an advantage to the junior lawyer; you’re exposed to a higher level of work at an earlier stage than you would be at a large firm. Furthermore, the level of exposure to clients is also unparalleled in-house. You work with them day-in, day-out, whether it’s in meetings or taking calls. You quickly come to understand their needs and tailor your advice accordingly.

This touches on another important issue about in-house training. It’s not simply the volume and quality of work that a young lawyer experiences in such an environment, but the breadth and depth as well. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to develop sector focus and a really deep understanding of the industry, thereby honing your expertise. You also develop knowledge about other areas of the company, from business development and balance sheets to how the company itself is run. It helps you develop as an all-round lawyer and prepare you for your career.

It should also be noted that beginning your career in-house doesn’t necessarily mean that your career path will remain in that sector. If you choose to move into the private sphere further down the road, you do so a step ahead of your private practice counterparts, armed with a wealth of business knowledge and commercial insight. You understand the nuances involved with working in-house and your advice can therefore offer a strategic perspective that takes the needs of the client into account. 

Join Aspire today!

For more information about training in-house, whether you’re considering it as a lawyer, or as a legal department head considering taking on trainees, take a look at the Aspire programme, facilitated by LexisNexis or join here today.

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