Any general advice when starting new in-house job? What would you have done differently/wish you knew? Advice on handling office politics, coworkers, bosses, clients, fitting in, learning new company, not knowing anything at first or feeling like it, making good first impressions, setting expectations, etc.? For awareness I have worked at a large firm and in-house before.

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I always sit back and observe for a while. Just to learn the politics, policies and procedures aka how they do things. I also read the firms policies and procedures to help with that. I talk to everyone politely and sort of reserved. Untill I know people then I'm alot more freindly willing to joke around etc and I have a feel for how tbe business works.

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Less ego. Lawyers are the wheels at law firms. In house we are merely spokes.

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This will depend on each legal department’s particular culture, but one big adjustment for me when I went in house from private practice a year ago was learning that “the client isn’t always right.”

In private practice, my job was to lay out potential issues and advise the client as to ways to resolve those issues and the degree of risk associated with each of those issues, but to ultimately defer to the client about whether not to incur that risk.

In-house, our business clients don’t get to make that decision unilaterally. We also have to go by the basic philosophy that our general counsel has set of minimizing risk and eliminating reasonable arguments that would expose us to that risk. We may ultimately not adhere to that strict policy guideline, but not adhering to it will require getting sign off from my GC. 

The knee-jerk response to almost any proposal that comes to my desk is to say "no." You'll gain a lot more respect and trust if you work hard to find ways to say "yes," even if you have to give some extra guidance or do some expectation management.

^^this.

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