Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

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Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:58 pm

I'm very fortunate in my 1L summer to be working for a decent-sized firm with offices around the country (I hesitate to call it "BigLaw" because that implies NLJ250/Vault100, which it isn't). If I end up working with them in my 2L and possibly after graduation, do I stand a good chance of making a leap in-house after 5 years to one of their corporate clients (or possibly into the federal government)? Or is that usually reserved for the very prestigious firms out there? Grades are OK but not top of the class. School ranked between 45-55.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:29 pm

No good answer for this...

LurkerNoMore
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Re: Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

Postby LurkerNoMore » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:23 am

Yes. It will be a matter of what salary/position you are able to get in house and how picky you are about location.

If you know you want to go in house, you should think about the type of law you practice in a firm. Start poking around sites like ACC's career center and Goinhouse.com to see the types of positions that are hired for. There are certain practices that tend to be ones that companies generally outsource (and thus there will be more limited opportunities to leave firm life) and other backgrounds that are more uniformly in demand.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:31 am

Yes, it's possible. But be aware that tls.com seems over emphasizes the amount of people that successfully go in-house after being at a law firm. This site makes it sound like it is a daily occurrence. But you have to realize that you must work for the firm your second summer, receive an offer, accept the offer, last 3 to partnership (usually 7-9) years and not burn out/get fired, and finally impress someone enough so that they would hire you and only you above many other similarly or better qualified individuals.

Don't go to a law firm thinking you will get in-house. It's good to have plans, but you need to have an idea of what you are going to do if you burn out/get fired/don't impress anyone like that.

Kochel
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Re: Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

Postby Kochel » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:43 am

Generally speaking, the bigger the firm and the more diverse its client base, the better the in-house opportunities. But the firm needs to do the kind of work that in-house legal departments prize--which generally means corporate transactions, not litigation or "service" practice areas (tax, ERISA, environmental, etc.). Boutiques and firms with concentrated client bases will afford similarly narrow in-house opportunities.

But even assuming your firm has a diverse client base and balanced practice, the type of work you do at the firm will obviously shape your in-house potential. Corporate generalists tend to be more portable. Specialists may find work at companies in the relevant field, but the job market for that field may be more volatile or non-existent at the time you're looking to leave the firm. Also, keep in mind that you should not count on being able to find an in-house job at one of your firm's clients, let alone one of your own clients. That happens, but it's usually a result of serendipity as opposed to careful planning. Develop skills and expertise that are relevant to companies in multiple industries.

2LLLL
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Re: Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

Postby 2LLLL » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:50 am

Generally speaking, the bigger the firm and the more diverse its client base, the better the in-house opportunities. But the firm needs to do the kind of work that in-house legal departments prize--which generally means corporate transactions, not litigation or "service" practice areas (tax, ERISA, environmental, etc.). Boutiques and firms with concentrated client bases will afford similarly narrow in-house opportunities.



I don't know that this is necessarily true. A large insurance company, for example, will likely have a need for more litigation in-house counsel. Also, I recall reading somewhere that GE employs a large amount of tax attorneys. I don't have any anecdotal evidence, but it seems like both ERISA and environmental could be valuable to certain companies. It all depends on the nature of the company's business. But I think you are right in that, from my understanding, your transition to in-house is all about handling the client's matters while you're at the firm and impressing them.

Kochel
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Re: Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

Postby Kochel » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:44 pm

2LLLL wrote:
Generally speaking, the bigger the firm and the more diverse its client base, the better the in-house opportunities. But the firm needs to do the kind of work that in-house legal departments prize--which generally means corporate transactions, not litigation or "service" practice areas (tax, ERISA, environmental, etc.). Boutiques and firms with concentrated client bases will afford similarly narrow in-house opportunities.



I don't know that this is necessarily true. A large insurance company, for example, will likely have a need for more litigation in-house counsel. Also, I recall reading somewhere that GE employs a large amount of tax attorneys. I don't have any anecdotal evidence, but it seems like both ERISA and environmental could be valuable to certain companies. It all depends on the nature of the company's business. But I think you are right in that, from my understanding, your transition to in-house is all about handling the client's matters while you're at the firm and impressing them.


My main point was that the ratio of "corporate" in-house attorneys to "service" in-house attorneys and in-house litigators will usually be high. Assuming that GE does in fact employ a lot of tax lawyers, it almost assuredly employs many more "corporate" lawyers. At my own company, I'm one of about a dozen lawyers; all but two are regulatory or bread-and-butter corporate lawyers.

As you note, there are sectors, such as insurance, where there's a sufficient volume of ordinary course litigation to warrant a bigger in-house litigation group. But that's not really the case for the in-house world as a whole.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Prospects of Going In-house from National MidLaw?

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:48 pm

IMO sounds too early to even be worrying about this.




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