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Why In-House Attys Ditch The Corporate World For Law Firms

Michele Gorman Law360.COM

Law360 (November 30, 2018, 7:21 PM EST) -- After 10 years as an in-house lawyer, Adrienne Ehrhardt wasn’t actively searching for a law firm job, but the chance to shape the privacy and cybersecurity group of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP as its new chair was too good to ignore.

With firms looking to build up their cybersecurity offerings with experienced attorneys, Ehrhardt — a former associate general counsel at Lands’ End Inc. and lead attorney in privacy and data protection at insurance company CUNA Mutual Group — realized that environment would allow her to be more involved with her practice and become part of a broader conversation about data and cybersecurity.

While the hiring of in-house attorneys remains sporadic for the traditionally established firm practice areas, such as litigation, labor and employment, and mergers and acquisitions, there’s a trend in hiring corporate lawyers who specialize in newly established or multidisciplinary areas of the law, such as cybersecurity, data protection and intellectual property, according to Rosalind Dodd, a managing director in Major Lindsey & Africa LLC’s in-house practice group.

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