It may not quite be an industry secret, but many lawyers are unaware they can get in-house experience without ever leaving the employ of a law firm.
Secondment programs — where an attorney works with a company’s legal department for a finite period ranging from months to a few years — allow for a multifaceted symbiosis for lawyer, law firm and client.
Most measurements show a high level of popularity among all parties — client, firm and attorney — for secondment programs. Many firms use the arrangements to bolster client relations while attorneys gain the highly specialized experience of in-house work, and the hiring company is able to fill a short-term need such as staff deficiencies or projects that take up extra resources.
“I think, definitely, being in-house is very different than being with a firm,” said Camila Tobón, of counsel at Shook Hardy & Bacon’s Denver office. “Secondment gives a view of that.”