In my case, it took them almost eight years to decide, including the fourteen months I was on indefinite leave.
More than a year ago, I received an offer to hed the legal department of a local retailing firm. I decided to accept, for purpose, passion and profit.
Seven months later, I received another offer to serve as in-house counsel for a Hong Kong based securities firm. I told myself, why not? Again, for purpose, passion and profit.
Another eight months later, I am back where I started. I received a phone call last April from my former bosses. They invited me back to the firm. Halfway through the conversation, I realized that they were inviting me back as a partner.
There was only a moment's hesitation. I have been engaged in the practice of law for about eight years. If I had learned one thing, it is that success, whether in life, love or law, requires an individual to control his destiny.
I do not have anything against lawyers (friends included), who have taken in-house positions. I am after all, one of them. Heading the legal or compliance department of a business enterprise, whether local or multinational, is an achievement in itself. I am a witness to the amount of pressure exerted on an in-house counsel, especially where the standards of his or her legal training conflict with the demands of the business.
However, save for a few exceptions, an in-house counsel will never be the captain of his own ship. He will always be an employee of the company he is lawyering for. As a rule, legal departments are expense accounts, whose sole purpose is to support the revenue earning departments. In this sense, an in-house counsel has limited control over the direction the company is going.
I celebrated my thirty-third birthday two months ago. It was the first time that I felt I had real control over my destiny.
Pleaded by Appellant on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 @ 5:56 PM with 3 Objections