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Winning cases and court dates are all very well, but if there’s no financial stability then the whole operation is likely to go down the pan, so in-house finance careers in law tend to be extremely high-profile, important roles within the firms. You can expect a high work rate and long hours, but the rewards match the output as law firms offer among the best-paid work within the in-house sector of financial services.  If you’re lucky enough to get a break with one of the bigger law firms, there’s every chance that you’ll be able to liaise with international offices and take your financial career overseas if you so wish!

In-house finance in the legal sector: typical projects…

Traditional finance projects within a law firm include analysis of service models, reviewing of pricing strategies, finding new perspectives of profitability and the management of the levels of engagement of every person in the firm. This means that it’s a hugely busy role spanning across many different departments, and that’s just the start of it! One innovative project which has won critical acclaim over the past few years is Eversheds’ transformation of their payroll system from a spreadsheet based model which needed monthly adaptations and checks, to a completely automated model which performs all calculations automatically and has dramatically increased cost-effectiveness and transparency whilst reducing risk of human error. Law firms are always looking for ways to improve their efficiency and profits, so their finance teams are always attempting new ways to innovate and streamline their processes. Opportunities in law-based in-house finance roles can be open to graduates from any degree discipline, though many companies will only recruit graduates with at least a 2:1 in accounting, finance or economics for their finance roles, and many will want tangible experience in a financial setting to back this up.

Possible career paths…

Graduate schemes are a little bit harder to come by in this field and jobs are often simply entry-level rather than any particular scheme. However, this means that you’re put into actual practise sooner rather than later and can start getting to real heart of the job much faster than you would in other paths. The finance of law is pretty niche, so you’re going to need to be more than a little bit interested in the structures of the legal system, although the skills you learn are extremely valuable and can be transferred to various other sectors once they’ve been honed properly! There’s a host of training in the basics of in-house finance available to those in this field – from profit management to the very key topic of tax – the finance team are responsible for making sure that the company gets all its paperwork done properly and that the ever changing financial regulations for firms are met every single time. This in itself sets any candidates up for futures in all sorts of financial careers, but if you were to stay within law there is plenty of opportunities to rise up the ladder – with top finance managers often becoming Finance Business Partners in the firms.  So if working within the legal system without having to sit through all those court dates seems like your cup of tea, or if you simply fancy a top Law Firm Partner salary and prefer crunching numbers to contracts, in-house financial roles within the legal system might be the perfect fit for you!

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