This begins my third year of writing for ATL. I am thrilled that our relationship has flourished, and I look forward to continuing this column for some time. When I read over some of my past columns, I realized that vindication of some of my points of view (poor vetting by JPMorgan, the market falling with the continuing shutdown) feels quite a bit better than having to offer mea culpas. Making mistakes is part of life. Making mistakes in a large and public forum is a good argument for not writing. I closed my comments section fairly recently as I believed that the comments had devolved from intellectual snark to a level above scat humor. Maybe it was the summer that brought out the “challenged.” All I know is that it is good to have a cast of regulars back in the fold, and my comments have been re-opened for weeks.

In the coming year, I am going to be doing more interviewing about in-house life…

My perspective is limited to the degree that I am, as our department is, segmented into a discrete specialty area for each attorney. And I am confident that you don’t need more columns about limitations on liability, or UCC-2A. Talking with some colleagues at a bar function recently, I was reminded that there are numerous areas of law that I either don’t touch anymore, or in which I could use some education. Compliance, securities regulations, HR, and the list goes on. Recognizing that at least half of you are in smaller in-house departments, and are forced by the lack of staff to actually “generalize” your practice, has motivated me to seek out knowledge from others.

I think the change will help the column evolve into a better tool than simply a weekly polemic on negatives of in-house life. (Don’t get me wrong, I would only go back to private practice under extreme duress; in that regard, in-house is fantastic.) I considered handing the column over, but I still enjoy writing, and they continue to pay me.

I am going to try to hit Ethics as much as possible, as it seems there is a neverending raft of ethical issues that arise in-house (certainly more than practical education). In any event, I appreciate your reading this column for the past two years. I have an overflowing Gmail folder of letters from readers. I sincerely hope that my advice to those of you who have requested it has helped in some way. I am proud to say that I have responded to each letter. Not always as timely as I would wish, but hopefully inclusive of some kernel of assistance.

Here’s to a new year and let’s hope we all end this one employed, or at least on the way.

After two federal clerkships and several years as a litigator in law firms, David Mowry is happily ensconced as an in-house lawyer at a major technology company. He specializes in commercial leasing transactions, only sometimes misses litigation, and never regrets leaving firm life. You can reach him by email at

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