Possible offer at current job; what to do?

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Possible offer at current job; what to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:33 pm

My stats:
Top40 school
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Law Review, Moot Court

I am a 3L and have been working at a job since January of last year (part-time during school and full-time last summer). Currently I am working in-house for a company as an intellectual property intern doing everything from researching and writing memos to drafting license agreements (I am doing soft-side IP stuff).

Last December, my boss approached me and asked me what I was doing after graduation. He mentioned that the company may be interested in offering my a position. I have increasingly been given more duties over the past year and the boss' paralegals have spoken with me as though they assume I am going to work there after graduation.

I haven't really conducted a job search yet because I figured there wasn't anything out there. I have kept my eye out for open positions but most have not been ones that I stand a very strong chance of getting (i.e. bankruptcy, employment law, litigation work, etc.)

My question is whether I should be searching for other open positions now to leverage a possible offer from my current employer. I have no idea what the terms of any offer would be from my current employer. My goal was to maybe wait until after graduation to talk longer-term employment. At the same time, I am ambivalent to putting too much stock in promises of an offer because I know in-house positions for newly minted law grads are rare.


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Re: Possible offer at current job; what to do?

Postby HWS08 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:40 pm

On the one hand, there's that old saying "a bird in hand beats two in the bush."

On the other hand, I've heard from recent grads of my school who went straight to in-house work that they've been told there is a ceiling over the heads as far as advancement is concerned. It seems that even at the small-ish company she works for they are more interested in hiring people who've spent at least a few years at a firm for upper-level positions. I'm not saying you shouldn't take a position at the company, but career advancement potential might be something to think about (and perhaps discuss with your boss if they make a concrete offer). From what I've heard from career services and practicing attorneys, it's easier to move from firm to in-house than it is to move from in-house to pretty much anywhere else.

Finding a position elsewhere can be helpful when negotiating salary IF the other position would be willing to pay you more, but idk if it's worth doing that solely so you have leverage then.

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Re: Possible offer at current job; what to do?

Postby monkey85 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:46 pm

HWS08 wrote:"a bird in hand beats two in the bush."

While the above is true, OP is not even sure if he has "a bird in [the] hand...."

OP, your last passing discussion of this possibility was in December and 3 months have transpired since then. Is it possible to ask your boss how much more likely it is to get this position now?

I think you would benefit from the answer regardless: If "likely" - then you continue working hard and working to get the offer. If "unlikely" - then you know not to put your heart and soul into an internship that won't bear any fruit.

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Re: Possible offer at current job; what to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:49 pm

Solid advice from both above posters, thank you very much. I think it is a good idea to ask my current boss sooner about an offer, so I will definitely find a good time to do that before graduation.

The advancement potential in this job could potentially be high, but I say that only in light of what my boss had told me about being in a position to perhaps take over his post and be in a good spot to transfer to the general counsel or assistant general counsel position. The company is on the small-ish side (think between 400 and 800 employees) but IP is an extremely important aspect of the business.

At this point, I would imagine that most firm jobs are filled (at least those that pay well) so I may not have much to leverage with to convince the current company to offer me higher pay. I was under the impression that, at this late stage, if I am going to get a firm job at all, I would have to wait until after graduation and the bar to have a chance at getting a firm job.

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