Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP. This is definitely a trend-- I am interviewing for an in-house position with a major corporation next week. The position focuses on M&A and licensing work, and was recruiting T14 grads.
I've also seen at least two other major corporations with similar plans. The recession led some big companies to dump outside counsel for transactional work and put together their own legal teams.
My biggest concern is that I won't be able to lateral after 3 years if things don't go well. Any insights on this OP?
This is a concern of mine too. I don't think there's any meaningful way of figuring out what the options will be like, given that it's pretty uncommon to start in-house. Lateraling to another in-house counsel seems to make sense, but in-house counsels deal infrequently with other in-house counsels so it's hard to make connections. Plus, there's still many in house-counsels that wouldn't even hire someone with only 3 years experience and may be skeptical of someone who has no experience outside of another IHC. IHC deal much more with firms, and transitioning to become a transactional lawyer on the firm side seems like a possibility, but again I have no clue whether a firm would consider someone with no prior firm experience.
It's sort of uncharted territory, and it's something in the back of my mind since I plan on keeping put for several years. I'm not worried about it at this point, and I've already made a number of very solid connections that for some reason I think that things will work out if I decide to leave in a few years.
This is a legimate concern. Training in house is not usually as good as it is in firms. In house legal teams are very often very lean and mangers don't have time to train or let you figure things out. If it gets complicated, it usually gets outsourced. For that reason junior attorneys in house tend to deal with the easy stuff, the repetitive stuff, or the business particular stuff. Neither of these things makes it easy to develop transferable skills. You might be getting great access to business people and autonomy on helping them out with particular types of tasks, but without a firm background, it can be harder to reinvent yourself for the next job. If you happen to find a job that is looking for almost exactly what you have been doing, you are in really good shape. If you don't (and this is more the norm) it can be much more difficult to get considered over someone who has firm experience (because associates very often see a very wide range of issues for a wide range of clients cross their desks).
Also be on the look out for a stigma attached to entry level positions. It is not unusual for people who are hired out of law school to have a cap on their advancement internally. At a certain level, the company may primarily hire by looking outside, rather than at internal candidates.
Superstars will be superstars where ever they land, but there can be institutional obstacles to be overcome if you aren't following the tried and true path.