If you are an associate at a major firm, the chances are great that you have contemplated going in-house at some point in your career. This is conventional wisdom in the legal-search business because associates frequently recite the mantra, ''Call me if you hear about a good in-house counsel position.'' But have you fully considered the pros and cons of leaving private practice?

Is an In-House Job Right for You? Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions About In-House Careers

Every career choice involves trade-offs. While moving to an established public company may work well for some and joining a venture capital-backed startup may work well for others, choosing an in-house legal job is not the right career choice for everyone. Even if it is the right move for you, it is important to understand that there are aspects of law firm life that you may still miss

The process of gathering information about your options is the best way to make good career choices. If you are thinking about an in-house career, the best thing you can do for yourself is to find several in-house lawyers who are willing to speak with you on an informational basis. Approach law school classmates; former colleagues who have left private practice; and clients, past and present. Ask them what they like about being in-house, and find out how they spend their days. Ask what things they miss about practicing in a law firm, and get their advice on where you might best fit in a corporate environment.