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In House Counsel Jobs–How to Ace the Interview

Frequently, when an attorney interviews for an in house counsel position, it is the first time that he or she has interviewed with a corporate legal department. The attorney may be a seasoned veteran when it comes to interviewing with law firms, be it through interviews during law school or in searching for lateral law firm positions, but there are many differences the interviewee must take into consideration when meeting with an in house legal department.  One area that needs special attention is the type of questions the attorney wants to ask of the employer. The discussion about legal skills transfers well from law firm to corporation, but the questions about the employer need to be in a very different vein. Accordingly, we have set out ten questions that work well in different in house settings.

Ten Questions to Ask When Interviewing for an In House Counsel Job

  1. What changes do you anticipate in the industry over the next several years?
  2. What risks will the company face due to such industry changes, and could they possibly affect the viability of the company?
  3. How have you strategically responded to the competition?
  4. Is there any particular legislation that is pending that would affect operations?
  5. Where will be the major sources of business in the next 5 years?
  6. How is legal department performance measured and reviewed?
  7. What is the company’s management style?
  8. What challenges does the company face?
  9. Why have people left the company?
  10. Why have people stayed with the company?

Although this list is certainly not exhaustive, it hopefully provides a good starting point when considering what types of questions to ask a corporate employer.  And always remember, not matter how true the statement may be, when asked by the interviewer why you are interested in the position, never respond with “Because I’m looking for a better work/life balance.”

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