Generally, the longer a person remains in-house, the more challenging it can be to return to private practice, says Carrie Heller of The Heller Group Legal and Executive Search Inc.
“At the more senior levels, when a lawyer is attempting to return to private practice, firms will often look for a portable book of business, which is difficult to have if you have been in-house,” says Heller.
There are, of course, exceptions. In some cases, firms want the expertise, knowledge, and connections gained while in-house.
“For example, in-house experience gained at the [Ontario Securities Commission] is often desirable for law firms. As well, in certain cases the corporate work of their former employer may follow the candidate once he/she moves in-house which is also attractive to firms,” she says.
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