In-House Counsel

By Fred Dingledy
Revised January 2024


Related guide: Corporate & Securities Law Research, Corporate Law Career Guide

Books & Narratives

The Corporate Counsel Survival Guide, by William E. Kruse, Chicago: American Bar Association, 2017.

The author, Gallup's in-house legal counsel, advises potential corporate counsels on potential issues they may encounter in the position and how to handle them.
KF299 .I5 K78

The Generalist Counsel: How Leading General Counsel Are Shaping Tomorrow's Companies, by Prashant Dubey and Eva Kripalani, New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013.

This book is based on the authors' interviews with general counsel from several companies. The book describes the transition from a law firm to an in-house position, as well as the duties, responsibilities, and necessary skills that come with the position.
KF1425 .D83

How I Lawyer: In-House Counsel, by Jonah Perlin.
In this podcast, Jonah Perlin interviews lawyers from various types of practice to find out what their job is like and what kind of work someone might do in their field. This link goes to a list of episodes featuring interviews with in-house attorneys.

Indispensable Counsel: The Chief Legal Officer in the New Reality, by E. Norman Veasey and Christine T. Di Guglielmo, New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2012.
The authors examine the main roles of a company's Chief Legal Officer and how to best achieve those goals.
KF1425 .V43 2012

Inside counsel : practices, strategies, and insights, by Marc I. Steinberg and Stephen B. Yeager, St. Paul, MN: West Academic Publishing, 2d ed. 2020.
Steinberg and Yeager describe what it is like to work as in-house counsel and offer strategies for success in the position.
KF299 .I5 S745 2020 (in Office of Career Services)

Inside straight : advice about lawyering, in-house, and out that only the Internet could provide, by Mark Herrmann. Chicago, American Bar Assn., 2012.
Collection of posts from a blog of the same name on the website Above the Law describing the author's experiences as an in-house counsel.
KF1425 .H47 2012 (in Law Library stacks and in Office of Career Services)

In-House: A Lawyer's Guide to Getting a Corporate Legal Position, by David J. Parnell, Chicago: American Bar Assn., 2012.
A book filled with advice on how to get an in-house position and successfully develop it, as well as descriptions of the work atmosphere.
KF299 .I5 P37 2012

JD advantage jobs in corporations : expanding the legal function, by Richard L. Hermann, Delaware: H Watson Consulting LLC, 2017.
Describes jobs outside the counsel's office in corporations in which a law degree provides an advantage.
KF299 .I5 H47 2017 V.12 (in Office of Career Services)

Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel: Practical Advice and Successful Strategies, by Sterling L. Miller, Chicago: American Bar Association, 2017.
Advice and everyday practice pointers from an in-house counsel.
KF1425 .M539 2017


Databases & Websites

WESTLAW: The Legal Practice Database
This database contains articles from law reviews, professional publications, and more that focus on the practical aspects of attorneys in all types of practices, including corporate counsel.

WESTLAW: West Legal Directory -- Corporate Counsel
Contains profiles of corporate legal departments, firms, and corporate counsel.

WESTLAW: West Legal Directory -- Corporations and Business Organizations
Similar to above directory, but has a broader scope -- profiles law firms, corporate law offices, and government positions from across the US.

Association of Corporate Counsel Careers

Search for available in-house counsel positions. Searching is free, but must be a member to post a resume. Also has guides for job-seekers.

Journal Articles

Chambers Associate, "In-house counsel".
Describes the advantages and disadvantages of working as in-house counsel, as well as some of the obstacles you may face in getting an in-house position.

Dhir, Rocky, "An Inside Look at In-House Counsel", State Bar of Texas Podcast (Oct. 9, 2018).
Rocky Dhir interviews William Kruse, in-house counsel for Gallup; and Shruti Krishman, associate legal counsel for Tabletop Media. Kruse and Krishman describe their background before becoming in-house counsels, how they got their current position, and how being in-house counsel differs from their previous legal jobs. The webpage has a transcript of the podcast.

Knockless, Trudy, "In-House Hiring Poised for Growth in 2024 as Legal Chiefs Navigate Budget Pressures", Corporate Counsel (Jan. 4, 2024).
Article notes that legal industry experts predict a "robust" hiring market for in-house positions in 2024. Notes some of the positions that may be available and the techniques companies may use to fill those positions. Available on Lexis.

Law School Transparency, I Am the Law - Corporate.
This podcast series features interviews with lawyers in various positions about their work. Episodes include talks with the in-house counsel at a software company and the Vice President of Legal for a food manufacturing conglomerate.

"Legal Departments May Want Recent Grads-But Do Recent Grads Want Them?", Corporate Counsel (May 5, 2021). 
This article discusses a trend that began during the COVID pandemic of corporate legal departments being more willing to hire recent law school graduates. It also discusses the type of work a recent graduate may find themselves doing there. Lexis ID+password required.

Ready, Frank, "GCs Looking for Jobs Post-Pandemic Should Flex Cybersecurity and Crisis Management Muscles", Corporate Counsel (Online) (August 20, 2020) (available on Lexis).
CEO of a staffing company discusses the skills in-house counsel will need to demonstrate to move up the ranks to General Counsel in the wake of COVID-19.

Reisman, Sam, "15 Minutes with Target's General Counsel", Law360 (Apr. 23, 2018).
Q&A with Don Liu, Target's head legal and risk officer. Among other things, Liu talks about the most rewarding part of his job and what he looks for when hiring for his department. Lexis ID and password required to read.

Respass, Helen. "10 Things To Know About Being An In-House Generalist", Above the Law (Apr. 18, 2017).
In a brief Q&A, former Assistant General Counsel for Sojitz Corporation describes the qualities needed to be a in-house general counsel. She describes the pros and cons of GC work, common paths towards a GC position, and a typical workday.

, "How to Survive a Move In-House: Tips from a Lawyer Who's Been There", Corporate Counsel Online (Aug. 30, 2018).
Interview with William Kruse, in-house attorney for Gallup Inc. and author of The Corporate Counsel Survival Guide. Kruse offers advice for attorneys moving from a law firm position to working in-house for a corporation. Lexis ID+password required.

Pervin Rusi Taleyarkhan & Madeline Ober, "Pathways to In-House Counsel (and the Ins and Outs of Working In-House)", American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (May 12, 2022).
Article written by current in-house attorneys describes the paths they took to become in-house counsel as well as some of the differences between working as in-house counsel versus being an attorney at a law firm. 


There are numerous legal periodicals that cover the topic of in-house corporate law. Those listed below are a representative selection of titles that discuss issues related to being a practitioner in the field.

Bloomberg Law News: In-House Counsel
Available through Bloomberg Law (Bloomberg Law ID+password required).

The Business Lawyer
4x per year.
Chicago: American Bar Association Section of Corporation, Banking, and Business Law.
Available on Hein Online.
Westlaw: BUSLAW
Available on Lexis.


The following organizations are active or maintain an interest in in-house corporate law. They offer membership opportunities, information on the industry, and possible employment opportunities. Most of them sponsor seminars or conferences on relevant topics.

American Bar Association Section of Business Law
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Provides a number of resources for those considering business law in addition to membership benefits.

Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)
1001 G St. NW, Suite 300W
Washington, DC 20001
tel: 1-(866)-868-9092
Lawyers practicing law in corporate law departments. Represents corporate counsel on public policy issues before the courts, legislatures, and agencies at the local, state, and national levels. Provides programs and other activities covering the areas of law department management, business law, corporate law, and litigation and dispute management. Has established a corporate group enrollment program. Maintains numerous committees including Corporate and Securities Law; International Legal Affairs; Law Department Management; and Small Law Department.

Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
610 Freedom Business Center
King of Prussia, PA 19406
tel: (610) 992-0022
Professional society of attorneys actively engaged in the legal aspects of the insurance industry; insurance company executives; corporate counsel involved in the defense of claims. Conducts research through Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Foundation. Maintains numerous law sections and committees. Conducts seminars and educational sessions.

Minority Corporate Counsel Association
1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
phone: 202-739-5901
Created to advance diversity in corporate legal departments as well as in law firms serving corporations. Website includes magazine Diversity and the Bar and a Career Center with a job bank and educational materials, among other things.

Photo: Associated Press