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Going In House

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:14 pm
by Murphy1022
If your ultimate goal is to end up in house, do you advance faster within the corporation by working at a big law firm for 5-6 years and then jumping ship or by starting at the bottom and working your way up?

Re: Going In House

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:24 pm
by spicyyoda17
Murphy1022 wrote:If your ultimate goal is to end up in house, do you advance faster within the corporation by working at a big law firm for 5-6 years and then jumping ship or by starting at the bottom and working your way up?

My exposure to F500 (and F1000) legal teams would suggest that big law for 5 years would be significantly more beneficial than beginning in-house right off the bat.

This may be different for small companies that have a regional focus, but I have found the above comment to ring true through the vast majority of legal teams I've come across the past 2 years.

Re: Going In House

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:46 pm
by thesealocust
In terms of starting at the bottom, be advised that significant numbers of inhouse positions aren't available to people who haven't put in a stint at a big law firm first.

Aside from that, I've heard that it's a fine line: the more senior you are when you move, likely the brighter your prospects - but past a certain 'age' it's trickier to move, because your rate/experience level will be higher than most openings available.

Re: Going In House

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:14 pm
by Anonymous User
thesealocust wrote:In terms of starting at the bottom, be advised that significant numbers of inhouse positions aren't available to people who haven't put in a stint at a big law firm first.



This has been my experience as well. I work at a F500 employer and our IP counsel has flat-out told me they won't hire me without law firm experience.

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:16 am
by zachanson
Any idea about the income level for an in-house counsel with 5 yr law firm/biglaw experience?
And how would his/her income progress? Say this guy goes in-house with 5 yr biglaw experience under his belt, how much would his income advance after staying with that company for another 5 yrs? Say this is a decent big corporation in a major city.

I know it's pretty vague and must vary a lot among companies... Just want to get some basic idea. It's as easy to figure out as the biglaw lock step compensations.

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:23 am
by jbiresq
zachanson wrote:Any idea about the income level for an in-house counsel with 5 yr law firm/biglaw experience?
And how would his/her income progress? Say this guy goes in-house with 5 yr biglaw experience under his belt, how much would his income advance after staying with that company for another 5 yrs? Say this is a decent big corporation in a major city.

I know it's pretty vague and must vary a lot among companies... Just want to get some basic idea. It's as easy to figure out as the biglaw lock step compensations.


http://www1.salary.com/Associate-Genera ... alary.html

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Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:41 am
by zachanson
jbiresq wrote:
zachanson wrote:Any idea about the income level for an in-house counsel with 5 yr law firm/biglaw experience?
And how would his/her income progress? Say this guy goes in-house with 5 yr biglaw experience under his belt, how much would his income advance after staying with that company for another 5 yrs? Say this is a decent big corporation in a major city.

I know it's pretty vague and must vary a lot among companies... Just want to get some basic idea. It's as easy to figure out as the biglaw lock step compensations.


http://www1.salary.com/Associate-Genera ... alary.html

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Interesting. I'm speculating that the second one, "senior counsel", might be someone with 5-8 yrs of biglaw experience, which means he/she was making roughly $200-250K/yr.
I often hear people say you have to take a huge pay cut to go in house. Transitioning from $250K at biglaw to $180K at a big corporation probably counts as a huge pay cut. But it may well be worth it if you could get work life balance in exchange.
But then again I guess $180k in house gig isn't that easy to come by. hmm...

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:44 am
by 84651846190

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:37 am
by zachanson
oh and another thing I'm jealous about in house counsels is the stock options / RSU.

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:51 am
by jrsbaseball5
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=207921


I found this link pretty interesting the other day. Seems like the in-house pay, if you can get it, is pretty good considering the work-life balance

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:35 am
by Bronck
http://www.roberthalflegal.com/salarycenter

Shows base salary for attorneys at in house positions w/ 4-9 years experience in NY as:

144k (25th) - 204k (median) - 264k (75th)

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:43 am
by Anonymous User
http://abovethelaw.com/2013/04/in-defen ... pensation/

experience: 8 years at a top 10 firm as an associate

in-house
a signing bonus and relocation package that totaled over $150k
Salary: $250k
Stock Grants: Variable, but the past two years, I’ve received over $100k per year
401(k): Matching up to 6% contribution
Cash Bonus: Variable, but I average $80k per year for the last two years
Pension: Upon retirement, I have a pension (a very nice one)

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:36 pm
by 84651846190
Anonymous User wrote:http://abovethelaw.com/2013/04/in-defense-of-in-house-counsel-compensation/

experience: 8 years at a top 10 firm as an associate

in-house
a signing bonus and relocation package that totaled over $150k
Salary: $250k
Stock Grants: Variable, but the past two years, I’ve received over $100k per year
401(k): Matching up to 6% contribution
Cash Bonus: Variable, but I average $80k per year for the last two years
Pension: Upon retirement, I have a pension (a very nice one)


WTF @ that signing bonus???

Re: Going In House

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:12 pm
by Anonymous User
zachanson wrote:Any idea about the income level for an in-house counsel with 5 yr law firm/biglaw experience?
And how would his/her income progress? Say this guy goes in-house with 5 yr biglaw experience under his belt, how much would his income advance after staying with that company for another 5 yrs? Say this is a decent big corporation in a major city.

I know it's pretty vague and must vary a lot among companies... Just want to get some basic idea. It's as easy to figure out as the biglaw lock step compensations.

This is a really good question. I am trying to figure it out myself as a 3yr corporate associate.

I know I do not want to go the partner route...the only question is when is it best to jump ship. I'm getting great experience, but the hours are brutal. The compensation is almost secondary to the career path/marketability/fulfilling position considerations.

Re: Going In House

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:23 am
by zachanson
Anonymous User wrote:http://abovethelaw.com/2013/04/in-defense-of-in-house-counsel-compensation/

experience: 8 years at a top 10 firm as an associate

in-house
a signing bonus and relocation package that totaled over $150k
Salary: $250k
Stock Grants: Variable, but the past two years, I’ve received over $100k per year
401(k): Matching up to 6% contribution
Cash Bonus: Variable, but I average $80k per year for the last two years
Pension: Upon retirement, I have a pension (a very nice one)


shocking numbers.
however, it would really sad if 40-50% of that income goes to tax! taxes and inflation are crazy these days and probably will get worse and worse.
it has become necessary to make smart investments and protect your hard earned money.