LawIn the UK, working as a staff lawyer, for example, in a commercial company, it may not be as profitable as a private practice, but more interesting, requiring a wide range of skills and the ability to think strategically.
Most young lawyers first practiced in private law firms before moving to full-time position in a commercial company. In Britain, the contracts for interns offer both private companies and public authorities at various levels, as well as public organizations. For those interested in the practice of law in the UK, set up a special allowance called The Training Contract and Pupillage Handbook and The Chambers Student Guide. You can also contact the relevant department of the Law Society of England and Wales.
Kate Gibson, the legal aid board of Coca-Cola, advises first to work at least two years in a private firm, focusing on business law, and to develop business acumen. It is very useful for a staff position. It is important to learn to listen carefully to the customer, to try to understand how the different companies make business decisions. Gibson knows what she is talking about She previously worked as lawyer in the U.S. telecommunications company Nortel Networks, and prior to that practiced in a private law firm in Southampton, England.
Grace Rothery, an employee of the legal department of “Gazprom” claims that “psychological transition from practice to work is difficult – when I make a full-fledged office, professional pressure increases dramatically, it may initially scare.”
Work on the full-time position suggests that the recommendations are formed not only on the basis of the law and practice “You have to know the business in which you work – to understand how it functions, its culture and processes. Main thing is to see the big picture, and then you will be able to give advice not only legal, but also strategic”, says Gibson.
It is important to speak the language of your business colleagues to be concise and focused. Companies need an answer to the question posed in front of you and risk assessment. And the fact that you know absolutely everything about the relevant legislation is not interesting for companies.
In general, the required skills are not very different from those that apply to private practice, says Rothery, but the accents are different. Of particular importance are the ability to liaise with colleagues and work as a team. Also, you need to be very organized and be able to identify priorities quickly, according to the specifics of the business.
Legal Counsel serves the legal needs of the organization. Duties of a particular lawyer may depend on the type and size of the organization of the legal department.

Nick Carter works in the legal department of the football club Manchester City. There are two full-time employees the department and usually one or two trainees. Both full-time lawyers work with the players’ contracts and agreements with their agents, with agreements on the use of the rights to the images and sponsorship agreements – all this in addition to business routine.

A group of lawyers in the Coca-Cola, which includes Kate Gibson, consists of three experts in commercial law, employment law specialist, and assistant vice president for legal affairs. “I do everything: job placement and recommendations for the Department of Human Resources, business law, assisting in projects, civil lawsuits, trade agreements, marketing …” – says counsel about everyday live.

Many people think that staff lawyers are working strictly in the “regular” hours. Not at all, says Gibson. We have to work a lot, because there’s no indicators and billable hours, only results are important. Legal departments are usually small in size and have few hierarchical levels, so less likely to increase. To move forward, you need to explore new areas of knowledge.