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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.


Q: With the urging of my family, I accepted a position with a small law firm about a year ago based primarily on quality-of-life concerns. I had previously been working long hours as in-house corporate counsel for a large corporation and the position required a lot of travel. Now, a year later, it is increasingly obvious to me that I do not enjoy working in the small law firm environment. If I start to look for another in-house counsel position, how do I explain the decision to go to the firm? I assume that, when I say quality of life, the recruiter will hear I was feeling lazy.

Dear Greener Grass: You know, it is so interesting to me to receive your question … for so many years now I have been trying to tell my candidates that going in-house is not necessarily going to provide the quality-of-life change from law firm life that they think they are going to get. And here you are testifying to that very fact. No indeed, the grass certainly is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

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