Making an appeal for my own job?

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Anonymous User
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Making an appeal for my own job?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 07, 2012 10:08 pm

I have been given a somewhat unique opportunity in that my boss has asked me to make an appeal for my own job. First some background: I have worked in-house for a small-mid size company (think Fortune 1000) for over a year during law school and am a newly-minted graduate from a T30 school.

My boss and the GC are very impressed with my work. My boss wants to offer me a spot, but the GC (from what I have gathered) is concerned about the budget and the financial commitment of hiring a new attorney. So, my boss has asked me to make a case for hiring a new attorney (ahem, me) over keeping the current model, which is basically outsourcing a number of tasks in the area of intellectual property to other firms. I was thinking about writing a brief report about all of the tasks that I think a dedicated in-house attorney could accomplish on a less-grandiose pay-scale than outside counsel may require for the same work. I would couple this with an analysis on how much the company spent on outside counsel last year, and throw in an analysis on trends in in-house hiring.

Does anybody have any thoughts on my approach? The situation is a little unorthodox I admit, but I want to make the strongest case I can to get this job. It may be the only job possibility for me.

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dingbat
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Re: Making an appeal for my own job?

Postby dingbat » Mon May 07, 2012 10:47 pm

Make sure that you argue purely economic reasons and not emotional ones:
Focus on tasks that are/would be outsourced and what the outside firm charges.
If you can show that they'll be saving money by hiring you instead of outsourcing, that's the compelling argument. Any additional tasks you can do would be gravy.
Also remember that it costs them more to hire you than just your salary.

To make up numbers, if your salary will be $50k and the stuff they outsource costs $55k, it'll still be cheaper to outsource. But, if you can save them $100k, then it's a no-brainer.

Trends on in-house hiring are perfectly fine to add, but, they're embellishment. Again, the key concern is money, so that is the main thing to address.
Stay on message. If you know someone in business (running/managing a business, not finance) ask said person to review your proposal.

Also, keep in mind that it should not be personal. Don't focus on your specific skill-set, focus on the tasks the firm needs done (and is currently outsourcing). You're not selling yourself, you're selling the idea of saving money by doing outsourced tasks in-house.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Making an appeal for my own job?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 07, 2012 11:17 pm

If you had more experience, then you could benefit your Fortune 1000 employer by monitoring & auditing the outsourced legal bills. (But, be careful, because many corporate clients are buying connections & influence as much or more than the actual "legal work".) Without significant experience, then you have to justify your position on a cost benefit basis.

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dingbat
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Re: Making an appeal for my own job?

Postby dingbat » Mon May 07, 2012 11:21 pm

CanadianWolf wrote: many corporate clients are buying connections & influence as much or more than the actual "legal work"

This is very credited.

johndhi
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Re: Making an appeal for my own job?

Postby johndhi » Mon May 07, 2012 11:54 pm

What an interesting thread and idea. I'm sure others have better stuff to contribute - I'm a law student with only litigation experience, so take my ideas with a grain of salt - that said, you're being asked to make an argument, so you're litigating!

Start with your research. First google result I pulled up seems sort of interesting: http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/ANo ... mber=44083

I bet there are ZILLIONs of law review articles on the economics of in-house versus outside counsel. See what they have to say, I bet you could find some good stuff/interesting points there, and while you're at it, a footnote or citation might make you look good (although I guess if you're writing a memo to these business guys they might not want a purely research piece).

I think an important starting point is that you cost $30/hour and outside counsel costs $600/hr. Your general approach is obviously that you're more economical than them - but how far do you want to push that? Do you want to say they're MAKING money by having you? This is where I, personally would get a little worried: if you promise them profits and don't deliver, what then? Do you mention you feel you could bring other assets/values to the company than simply lawyering?

Have you considered looking around and seeing how many/what projects you could potentially work on and how that would help the company? Are they in with compliance with statute X or SEC reg Y? Do they have nagging employee disputes? Do they have an intellectual property portfolio?

Sorry for going crazy here, but this is a really interesting/fun question IMO. I have a corporations professor who used to be a GC at some smaller then bigger corporations, if you have someone similar at your school I bet they'd be REALLY helpful in looking at this.

Anonymous User
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Re: Making an appeal for my own job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 08, 2012 10:51 am

OP here. Thanks for the great replies. Do you guys think it would also be beneficial to throw in projections of work that needs to be done at the company (but is currently being foregone due to budgetary constraints) and emphasize the necessity of having these tasks performed given the growth of the company? The company has a lot of room to grow and has recently emphasized the need to retain talented people that can be mentored and trained in the company's culture. This future growth, according to my boss, will bring a ton of IP work, which may not necessarily be reflected in the current demand for outside counsel. I was also planning on detailing this possibility for future growth and demand for legal services.

Also, what would the going market rate be for an in-house IP attorney working in the west (think Rocky Mountains, not Pacific Coast)? I figured somewhere around $75-80K.




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