In-house lawyers have been spilling the beans in the RollOnFriday In-House lawyer survey. If you've left private practice for life in-house, please do fill in the form below.
So far it has revealed that in-house lawyers are sick of the inability of private practice lawyers to provide clear, concise advice. "Cut out the BS" advised one in-house lawyer, "I am continuously on conference calls that last 2 hours instead of 45 minutes because someone likes the sound of their own voice". They added "I appreciate it can be a tool when used in the right time and place" but "don't use it on me when you are my lawyer."
Another in-house lawyer blasted an external adviser for smothering them with "several pages of waffle and countless opinions with no snappy decision at the end". They were particularly angry at having to pay for it. Private practice lawyers "include all their workings out", he said, and then seem to "charge by the word for it".
Other in-house lawyers objected to feeding and watering their external panel. "Pick up the tab for the taxi/pizza" urged one client who felt it was unfair that they had to pay "just because my work was done late at night". They also commented that "printing charges at 10p per page" should be "overheads for the firm" rather than passed on to the client.
However, not all firms were accused of penny-pinching. One client praised DAC Beachcroft for its generosity in hosting team training days. The firm had "genuinely interesting people to talk to and I rarely have to pretend to take a call to avoid interacting with them".
When the lawyer started talking shop.
Simple freebies still have their place. An in-house lawyer admitted: "still a sucker for a nice pen - the student mentality never leaves me, no matter how many years have passed". Another agreed that it was "hard to beat a Slaughters' propelling pencil".*
However, not all perks go to plan. Addleshaw Goddard was ridiculed for the "massive faux pas of inviting the external secondee" from a rival law firm to an event, "but none of the actual permanent lawyers in the team who instructed them". Another respondent complained that other firms offered "too many Swingers events". Presumably a reference to urban-golf in London rather than car-keys-in-a-bowl soirees in Radlett.
* Stationery is low at ROF towers. All donations welcome.