Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

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darnelld
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Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby darnelld » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:42 pm

How does one go about getting a job as corporate counsel? I ask because the number of people that go into business from law school is so much lower than other positions.

sillyboots
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby sillyboots » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:51 pm

To the best of my understanding, the most typical route is making a connection with a corporation while working biglaw then being asked to jump on board. I've heard that sometimes biglaw firms will recommend people on the basis that they trust the person to kick back business to the firm when larger legal problems arise.

As far as straight out of graduation, my understanding is that it's exceedingly rare and that the *very* few who do are either extremely elite or have ridiculous connections (i.e. it's your parents' company).

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IAFG
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:44 am

sillyboots wrote:To the best of my understanding, the most typical route is making a connection with a corporation while working biglaw then being asked to jump on board. I've heard that sometimes biglaw firms will recommend people on the basis that they trust the person to kick back business to the firm when larger legal problems arise.

As far as straight out of graduation, my understanding is that it's exceedingly rare and that the *very* few who do are either extremely elite or have ridiculous connections (i.e. it's your parents' company).

I agree that it's rare but I don't think it's necessarily elite. There are a few major corporations who hire "associates," and they come to OCIs. I also knew some people in DC who went to LS part-time and then became GC for the organizations they were already working for.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:13 am

IAFG wrote:
sillyboots wrote:To the best of my understanding, the most typical route is making a connection with a corporation while working biglaw then being asked to jump on board. I've heard that sometimes biglaw firms will recommend people on the basis that they trust the person to kick back business to the firm when larger legal problems arise.

As far as straight out of graduation, my understanding is that it's exceedingly rare and that the *very* few who do are either extremely elite or have ridiculous connections (i.e. it's your parents' company).

I agree that it's rare but I don't think it's necessarily elite. There are a few major corporations who hire "associates," and they come to OCIs. I also knew some people in DC who went to LS part-time and then became GC for the organizations they were already working for.


It is rare and more weird than elite. I knew a random guy who started at Spring right out of law school, but while AT&T has a 1L they don't hire from it and I don't know if Verizon has anything (maybe a 2L program). HP also has a program, but IBM doesn't. Exxon and GE do some direct hiring into their tax departments. The only industry that's hired as a trend at my school is insurance.

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darnelld
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby darnelld » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:53 am

Thanks for the information guys.

Bump for others' experiences.

Anonymous User
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:05 pm

There are a few that have programs (i.e. Cargill in MN) while most others want 2-4 years experience at a large law firm before they'll take you on. There are also certain departments within a company which will hire while others won't (3M's patent group will hire straight out but you need the patent bar eligibility while their general counsel's group won't).

For the most part, you need some ties to the corporation to get an entry level position if they don't have an actual program (family, worked there before...something). I'd agree with the above that it's definitely a rarity though

Anonymous User
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:13 pm

You don't necessarily need to come from a large firm to work in-house. It depends on the field you work in, many of which are going to be at large firms, but not all. For example, I know someone who worked at a 4-attorney patent boutique firm for about 1 year and was offered a position within HP's IP department.

I know a few 3Ls who worked in-house for their 2L summer and they have received offers at their companies. However, it's definitely not something you can expect.

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NoleinNY
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby NoleinNY » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:28 pm

I agree that it is very rare to get an in-house gig directly out of law school, but it is possible to get those positions without a T14 resume or a relative working there. I know this is anecdotal (just making an illustration) I know someone who graduated from a freaking TTT (Southwestern) and went directly in-house for a major movie studio. This was accomplished by interning there 1L summer, partime during school, 2L summer, etc.

Moral? It's possible for the non-elite / non-blood connected, but it is very risky and you need to work at it and build connections.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby crazycanuck » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:50 am

This is quite rare. I audit a lot of very large corporation and very few of them have legal departments, they usually just have a law firm on retainer if they need constant legal advice. There might be a couple every here or there. Banks have a few more than others it seems, mining and oil and gas often have a few too.

However, if you want to get into business, the biglaw->corporation route is not the most efficient in any way.

bdubs
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Re: Geting a Job in Business/In-House Counsel

Postby bdubs » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:39 am

crazycanuck wrote:This is quite rare. I audit a lot of very large corporation and very few of them have legal departments, they usually just have a law firm on retainer if they need constant legal advice. There might be a couple every here or there. Banks have a few more than others it seems, mining and oil and gas often have a few too.

However, if you want to get into business, the biglaw->corporation route is not the most efficient in any way.


Basically every large business in the US has at least one in house lawyer, some have in house departments that rival a law firm in size. Almost all of these companies hire experienced lawyers from biglaw firms. Only a few actually hire fresh grads, all of the ones I know of have already been mentioned ITT.




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