BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

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PwnLaw
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BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:45 pm

Hope the interview season is treating you guys well.

A bit about my background so you guys know what I can speak to:

- LSAT Teacher
- T-14
- BigLaw Associate (3-4 years, entertainment in California)
- In-House (Combo position of biz-dev and legal at an entertainment startup)

I'll hop in and out answering questions as they arise.

solidsnake
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby solidsnake » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:17 pm

Congrats on making the jump. How did you know it was time to take the plunge?

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:18 pm

Has it lived up to the hype?

PwnLaw
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:20 pm

solidsnake wrote:Congrats on making the jump. How did you know it was time to take the plunge?


I had an awesome gig in BigLaw, but I came to the conclusion that I'd like to do my own startup one day and there really wasn't anything more I wanted to accomplish in a large firm. I had my own clients in a space I really enjoyed, but partnership just didn't hold the allure for me. Once I realized that, the decision was pretty clear. It was just an issue of timing and finding the right opportunity.

PwnLaw
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has it lived up to the hype?


I'll let you know in a few months. Just getting my feet under me. Very different, in a good way.

CanadianWolf
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:28 pm

Which LSAT prep course ? Did you teach the LSAT prep course prior to joining the law firm ? In house pay ?

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:29 pm

Were you doing corporate/transactional work at your previous firm? Is that the best avenue to follow if one hopes to transition into an in-house position? What are some other avenues, as far as you can tell?

PwnLaw
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:33 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Which LSAT prep course ? Did you teach the LSAT prep course prior to joining the law firm ? In house pay ?


Kaplan (only legit gig in town at the time, if only I knew what the others were paying). I taught back in college.

Taking a 50% hit in pay, but have stock options.

PwnLaw
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Were you doing corporate/transactional work at your previous firm? Is that the best avenue to follow if one hopes to transition into an in-house position? What are some other avenues, as far as you can tell?


I was doing a blend. Mostly transactional entertainment work with a tech emphasis.

Lots of different avenues, but corporate is probably your best option. If you're litigation, then there are options, but it's mostly with larger companies that are subject to suits often. Niche specialties like government contracts or healthcare open up options within the appropriate industries as well.

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:00 am

I haven't heard from any of the firms I've had callbacks with. I know a fair amount of people who have interviewed at these firms have had offers and a few people who have had rejections. If you could, would you mind detailing how BigLaw recruiting worked at your firm.

Specifically, would you tell us what happens after a callback that will lead to either a rejection or an offer.

lawschoollll
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby lawschoollll » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:26 am

Had you not been intersted in an in-house gig, what would have been some of the other exit options you'd have looked at? What have other former associates from your firm moved on to? Thanks.

PwnLaw
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:I haven't heard from any of the firms I've had callbacks with. I know a fair amount of people who have interviewed at these firms have had offers and a few people who have had rejections. If you could, would you mind detailing how BigLaw recruiting worked at your firm.

Specifically, would you tell us what happens after a callback that will lead to either a rejection or an offer.


It varies a great deal from firm to firm (and even office to office). For example, in our sattelite offices, we had rolling offers. The small office might only have 2 spots open for a SA, so they'd make a list of 10 and then put out an offer to the top 3. As soon as one rejected, they'd make the next offer. In some instances an offer was made well after at callback (1 month+). For larger offices it's a bit different: they'd make an offer to say 100 people simultaneously knowing that standard yield would be X%. If they missed the mark by a few, no big deal since the office would be big enough to absorb it.

PwnLaw
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:32 am

lawschoollll wrote:Had you not been intersted in an in-house gig, what would have been some of the other exit options you'd have looked at? What have other former associates from your firm moved on to? Thanks.


Honestly, I wasn't really interested in an in-house gig before this one came along. I was approached probably 30 times during my time at the firm. It was a mix of positions: in-house attorney at large movie studios, talent side firms, agencies, other large firms (most common), start-ups, consulting, etc.

Exit options really depend on what area of the law you're in. Since I did entertainment, that was the type of inquiries I received.

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Cmoss
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby Cmoss » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:15 am

After only 4 years at the BigLaw, how did you decide now was a good time to make the jump?

Also do you think 4 years is enough preparation for In house Counsel?

lawschoollll
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby lawschoollll » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:43 am

PwnLaw wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:Had you not been intersted in an in-house gig, what would have been some of the other exit options you'd have looked at? What have other former associates from your firm moved on to? Thanks.


Honestly, I wasn't really interested in an in-house gig before this one came along. I was approached probably 30 times during my time at the firm. It was a mix of positions: in-house attorney at large movie studios, talent side firms, agencies, other large firms (most common), start-ups, consulting, etc.

Exit options really depend on what area of the law you're in. Since I did entertainment, that was the type of inquiries I received.

Thanks. How did you get into entertainment? Is that something you expressed an interest in, or did you just kind of get shuffled onto that path? Sounds awesome, regardless.

PwnLaw
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:31 pm

Cmoss wrote:After only 4 years at the BigLaw, how did you decide now was a good time to make the jump?

Also do you think 4 years is enough preparation for In house Counsel?


I decided because I had everything I could possibly want in law and it still wasn't enough. I was offered an amazing position at an incredible company and I jumped on it.

I was in the unique position of being one of a handful of people viewed as an expert in a discreet area of developing entertainment law (social/mobile video games), so I felt very comfortable with taking the plunge. A good chunk of my work is more business oriented than legal oriented as well.

PwnLaw
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby PwnLaw » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:33 pm

lawschoollll wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:Had you not been intersted in an in-house gig, what would have been some of the other exit options you'd have looked at? What have other former associates from your firm moved on to? Thanks.


Honestly, I wasn't really interested in an in-house gig before this one came along. I was approached probably 30 times during my time at the firm. It was a mix of positions: in-house attorney at large movie studios, talent side firms, agencies, other large firms (most common), start-ups, consulting, etc.

Exit options really depend on what area of the law you're in. Since I did entertainment, that was the type of inquiries I received.

Thanks. How did you get into entertainment? Is that something you expressed an interest in, or did you just kind of get shuffled onto that path? Sounds awesome, regardless.


Largely by mistake. I ended up in a firm that I selected for reasons other than entertainment and it happened to be one of the few firms that permitted junior associates to work in the field immediately. I ended up in the entertainment group itself because I got along with the people well and I did good work.

Kochel
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby Kochel » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:29 am

PwnLaw wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:Had you not been intersted in an in-house gig, what would have been some of the other exit options you'd have looked at? What have other former associates from your firm moved on to? Thanks.


Honestly, I wasn't really interested in an in-house gig before this one came along. I was approached probably 30 times during my time at the firm. It was a mix of positions: in-house attorney at large movie studios, talent side firms, agencies, other large firms (most common), start-ups, consulting, etc.

Exit options really depend on what area of the law you're in. Since I did entertainment, that was the type of inquiries I received.

Thanks. How did you get into entertainment? Is that something you expressed an interest in, or did you just kind of get shuffled onto that path? Sounds awesome, regardless.


Largely by mistake. I ended up in a firm that I selected for reasons other than entertainment and it happened to be one of the few firms that permitted junior associates to work in the field immediately. I ended up in the entertainment group itself because I got along with the people well and I did good work.


This is actually a pretty important point to emphasize, especially for would-be transactional lawyers. I'm another in-house lawyer specializing in a field I had absolutely no knowledge about when I went into Biglaw. Your ultimate career path / specialization may depend not just on what you currently think you want to do, but also on how your firm's work assignments are handed out, whom you end up working with, etc. This is another reason to make sure that the firm you choose is one where you think you'd fit in broadly, not just with respect to one partner or small practice group.

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TatNurner
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby TatNurner » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:55 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer hours questions. I have two:

What are your hours like? And how many weeks of holiday do you get a year?

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chadwick218
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:05 pm

How does salary compare?

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Corsair
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby Corsair » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:14 pm

..

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chadwick218
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:16 pm

Corsair wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:How does salary compare?


Objection, asked and answered.


50% hit in pay, but stock ops is pretty open ended (especially on a forward looking basis).

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Cmoss
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby Cmoss » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:39 am

looking where you are at now, what classes would you recommend 2L/3L to help prepare you for your current role?

Kochel
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Re: BigLaw Associate to In-House Counsel -- Taking Questions

Postby Kochel » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:59 am

As an in-house lawyer myself, the only classes I took in law school that have been remotely relevant to my work have been Corporations and Securities Regulation. (Secured Transactions and Corporate Finance might have been useful also, if I'd only paid attention in those classes.) I wish now that I'd taken a course in Employment Law. These are courses that are relevant to in-house counsel at most companies. But virtually all my training came on the job in Biglaw, not in law school.

If you think you know what industry you'd ultimately like to work in (finance, telecomm, energy, etc.) then take courses on the relevant area of law if you can. But as long as your actual work experience post-graduation is relevant, in-house employers won't be looking to see that you "majored" in any area in law school.




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