My last post discussed the importance of avoiding career-limiting moves. Today, I’ll focus on how in-house litigators have the opportunity to learn information every day that they can and will use in future litigation—every single day. That learning opportunity will happen if you keep your door open and are nice.
In-house legal departments handle a wide range of company issues: I handled the company’s litigation, but other folks handled contract drafting and negotiations with equipment vendors, subcontractors, and customers. Legal departments also often handle company compliance issues, like developing trainings on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or avoiding sexual harassment. These various activities invite contact with a steady stream of company employees.
When they visited the legal department to talk with other lawyers handling other matters, company employees often also came to my office, stopping by to say hello or ask random legal questions. Sometimes employees needed information about probate matters, legal disputes with neighbors or landlords, recommendations for attorneys who handle criminal matters—the kinds of things neighbors ask. I referred them to the State Bar of Texas website, governmental websites for Harris and surrounding counties, and other sources of information they might not have known about. And we talked. Continue Reading