Making the Jump From In-House Counsel to Business Owner

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on October 22, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A number of attorneys are bidding adieu to their in-house corporate law gigs to pursue a business of their own. After all, in-house attorneys have a unique vantage point. They play a meaningful role in nurturing businesses from their nascence and often stick by them until their untimely (or timely) demise.

So why not toil away with your blood, sweat and tears to "raise" a business that you can actually call your own?

Test Your Conviction

Despite all of the ostensible perks of serving as in-house counsel, corporate attorneys are not immune to the wandering eye; the "grass is greener on the other side" mentality. But remember, running away to eat, pray, and love is often a fantasy. Paradoxically, much of the sense of fantasy can dissipate as soon as you begin figuring out the actual nuts and bolts to achieving the dream -- yet some make it work.

Test your conviction. Be sure to ask yourself whether you're primarily motivated by passion for an interest or a desire to quit your current daily grind, suggests Business Insider.

To begin this process of introspection, ask yourself whether you're mostly moving away from or toward something in your in-house position. If your day-job is still helping you learn valuable skills that you could in turn use for a later endeavor of your own, maybe it's not time for you to chart your own course quite just yet.

Have a Clear Plan

Do you think of a glorious variety of passions that you could pursue, or one serious ambition that you see yourself dedicated to for some consistent period of time, with a clear exit strategy? Alas, conjuring up a pipe dream of passions is less likely to pan out than one committed passion.

Take recovering corporate attorney Pete Girgis for example. Girgis left law to launch Qui Tequila, a luxury tequila company, reports Forbes.

Girgis grew up with an appreciation for spirits (his father owned various liquor stores that he managed while in school). Fortuitously, he met his cofounders in law school. He had a clear idea in mind of what he was passionate about and built a strong support system to attain it.

Remember, starting your own business is no walk in the park. It requires fortitude, perseverance, steely determination -- and a whole lot of networking. If you need to nourish your plan, work on it on the side (so long as it doesn't violate your employment contract) and take your time to form a clear plan.

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