In-House Careers
In-House Skills

In-House Careers: Are you replaceable as an in-house lawyer?

A little bit of planning allows you to meet any future

2 minutes • 07 Dec 23


In-house lawyers are operating in a period of intensive change – technology, working practices, social norms, macro economic climate, etc.

For many industries, including the law, the things we used to do are increasingly capable of being replaced and/or not deemed as important as they used to be.

That’s life. Things change. But so must you.

So, on a regular basis you need to ask – is what you are doing in your in-house role replaceable? Consider the following as warning areas:

  • Grind: low value legal department functions 
  • Automation Ready: tasks that it is realistic to think can/will be automated
  • Remote: positions where you operate entirely remotely.  
  • Outsourceable: legal functions that are increasingly outsourced
  • Dull: work that is generally considered to be dull
  • Slump Industries: industries in their sunset

Re remote working, we can hear the protests from some of our readers – who are all too ready to say how remote working is effective. Yes, yes, yes - you are amazing - you can handle everything remotely. 

Sure, you can - but you forget one thing. Spending time directly with colleagues in person is critical - it always has been - face time is irreplaceable. So, when hard times come, those relationships and the support they bring are critical. Sure - you were available on Teams - but what did you talk about over the lunch / cup of coffee that you never got to have with key decision makers?

If any of the above conditions are applicable to you – we suggest that you at least give some thought about diversifying your career path into areas you know will be valued going forward.

And what areas will that be?  Here are a few areas for the future or which are timeless gems: legal tech, legal operations, transformation, commercial, litigation, finance and regulatory.

So, asking if what you are doing makes you replaceable helps you engender a self awareness about what the industry wants from you in the future and your ability to deliver it.

Don’t be afraid of playing the devils advocate – is what you are doing really important to your Business/industry, etc. And, if not - get new skills, and move into new areas.

If you want more in-house legal team performance and career insights – please do join the GLS Legal Operations Community for free right here

chevron Back
Legal Resource Stack

Your Resources

Knowledge Centre

chevron Back
GLS Group

News/Press Release

chevron Back
Legal Tech Demo

Discovery Call