Career satisfaction derives from filling a wide range of desires, and every individual partner defines satisfaction differently—with happiness and satisfaction tied more often to “soft” factors like lifestyle or practice fit than compensation. In fact, more often than not, partners grapple with balancing the intense demands of a busy legal practice with the desire to spend more time with family, friends or other outside activities. After all, no one ever reached the end of their days and said, “Gee, I wish I’d just billed that one more hour.” Inevitably, once the conversation turns to work-life balance, the partner ends up stating some form of “I’d really like to hear about in-house opportunities.”

In-house is the Holy Grail, the Promised Land and the Shangri-La of the practice of law—at least that is the perception of many. But is it truly the Asgard (last mythological reference, for my Marvel fans) of the practice of law? Here are the five most common motivations that partners cite for wanting to move in-house—and a little food for thought:

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