Law firm experience is no longer vital before transitioning in-house

Fernando Garcia, Andrea Wood

By Julius Melnitzer | July 13, 2023

A few years of experience at a law firm, previously considered a must – or at least an advantage – may have lost some of its lustre for lawyers seeking in-house careers.

“Things have changed, at least a bit,” says Fernando Garcia, who has over 15 years of experience as a general counsel providing strategic and legal advice on Canada-wide and international legal matters. “The old model called for two to four years in a law firm before going in-house, but now more and more people have experience working in some kind of legal-related environment, like labour or industrial relations.”

While to varying extents, law firm experience as a prerequisite for a legal department career depends on the individual, their goals, and their passion for an in-house job, Garcia believes that many of the skills learned in law firms are redundant or outdated for in-house lawyers. MORE . . .

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or


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