In-House Counsel Taking Questions

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Anonymous User
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In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:57 am

Background:

Just graduated from a T2(maybe T3 now given our abysmal career stats) in a major market. Median or sub-median GPA. Currently in-house at a Fortune 35 company. Happy to answer questions or help if I can.

Jimbo_Jones
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Jimbo_Jones » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:11 am

Hired with no previous private practice experience? How'd you manage that?

resilience99
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby resilience99 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:14 am

In what sector do you work at? (financial, healthcare, etc.)

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TX_UH
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby TX_UH » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:15 am

What's the starting compensation range for your role?

Anonymous User
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:17 am

Jimbo_Jones wrote:Hired with no previous private practice experience? How'd you manage that?


I had a 1L summer internship here, which I hustled into a part-time gig through the next two years. I have a less common focus in terms of the area in which I practice-which probably helped. I also absolutely hustled my way into every single department function/meeting/etc. Working part time and taking 5 classes was insane, but I refused to take time off because I felt my presence in the office was more important in the long run. Obviously things like providing good work in a timely fashion helped a lot too.

I was on these boards a lot during 1L, and if I had followed the beaten path I would definitely not be here. That is why I'm posting-to offer some outside the box advice, or insight.

Anonymous User
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:18 am

resilience99 wrote:In what sector do you work at? (financial, healthcare, etc.)


Healthcare

Anonymous User
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:19 am

TX_UH wrote:What's the starting compensation range for your role?


90+bonus+profit sharing/options

desertlaw
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby desertlaw » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:32 am

What are your hours/weekends like?

How fortunate do you feel compared to your peers? Sounds like you got a great gig. Congrats.

tigershark
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby tigershark » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
resilience99 wrote:In what sector do you work at? (financial, healthcare, etc.)


Healthcare


Would you be willing to PM me? I am working in the legal division of a large medical association right now and in-house counsel in the healthcare field is my primary goal. Would love to talk more in-depth about your experience.

Thanks!

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:06 pm

desertlaw wrote:What are your hours/weekends like?

How fortunate do you feel compared to your peers? Sounds like you got a great gig. Congrats.


Hours are usually around 8-5:30ish

No weekend work usually.

Very. Very. Very. Lucky.

Yeah, I hustled, and never slept, and have no social life, and spent a ton of money to even work this job through law school (I baked treats for my office every week to make higher-ups stop by and get to know me) and my job is outside the city I live in, so commuting was a huge pain and expensive. But yeah, lucky lucky lucky. Incredibly. A ton of people hustle and have a better GPA, LR, etc. So obviously dumb luck is a part of it.

That being said, a lot of my peers spent 3 years drinking and spent summers "studying" abroad and then complaining to CS that they had nothing lined up. I know three people who quit jobs because they were "boring" or "administrative" or they wanted to focus on grades. I don't get that. My first summer here I made boxes of contracts to ship off to a company that acquired a line of business. All I did was put files in boxes and make a list of what was in the box. But I became the go-to person for all acquisition file questions and I stayed late for weeks to finish box making and hopefully get something more substantial. To the people who quit their firm summer jobs because the firm asked them to do some admin work...I don't really have any goodwill towards their situation.

Anonymous User
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:04 pm

1. Can you describe a typical day (contract review, working with outside cousel, etc.)?

2. How much training did you receive in house?

3. Did you know that they would offer you employment after you graduated?

thanks

Anonymous User
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:28 pm

Rising 3L here at a F50 spending my second summer with the company.

How did you go about bringing up your interest in coming on full-time or your value proposition as a cheaper hire than more experienced attorneys? Or did you just do your job well enough to make them come to you?

Did you inquire into any other job roles at the company such as contract management in the event the legal department could not bring you on itself?

Anonymous User
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:Rising 3L here at a F50 spending my second summer with the company.

How did you go about bringing up your interest in coming on full-time or your value proposition as a cheaper hire than more experienced attorneys? Or did you just do your job well enough to make them come to you?

Did you inquire into any other job roles at the company such as contract management in the event the legal department could not bring you on itself?


This is a tricky situation. I never outright went to anyone and said "I want to work here after graduating. How do we do that?" Also, in no way was (am) I some amazing legal prodigy that they were desperate to lock down.

I don't want to go into more specifics than saying that my particular company did some reorganization and I waited until that shook itself out to really start any sort of push. Sometimes people leave after those things when roles change. I had/have better relationships with some of the non-management level attnys and I definitely expressed interest to them and re-iterated that I loved working for my company. I know they went to the heads of my dept. on my behalf.

I also brought up to anyone outside of actual management that I was cheap labor and a good value. Also, this has happened about 4 times in the past with similarly situated interns. Last time was over five years ago-but they were all really well liked in the office and one was promoted incredibly quickly. So, that definitely helped.

In the end, they sort of gave me a best-case scenario for them(and a timeline) and I countered that my best-case scenario (though I had a more aggressive timeline in my head) was similar and that we could go from there. I didn't really feel it was in my best interest to seem like I NEEDED a job-but that I loved my company and the people and was a great natural fit. Also, I told some attorneys who I knew might circulate it that other rivals were courting me (Don't say any firms that do outside-counsel work for your company). I basically treated it like trying to woo a partner by playing cool and sending myself flowers. Haha.

I did talk to people outside my dept. w/in the same company. I would suggest doing this carefully and always from a hypothetical stance. Most Corp's have an internal job postings board. I would monitor that and see what is out there. Maybe ask people in your dept. that you trust/are friends with if they know anyone in that dept. and go from there. Co-workers of mine suggested I do this and always come from a place of "listen, I'm a new grad and I want to cast a wide net, in case the timing isn't right in my dept."

I had a friend in a different dept. that I went to on a couple of occasions for 'Keep me in mind" talks. Her work was non-JD required (but she was a law school friend) and that made me feel a bit more secure, because I know she would have advocated for me. I looked into different departments that had close connections with mine.

At the end of the day- I think I tried my absolute hardest to seem like I was (and needed to continue to be) a part of the gang. I was really close to almost everyone in my entire department and I set out, very purposefully, to make it that way. I knew it would be easy to "end" an internship if when I called off people responded with "Who?" so I basically worked and worked and worked to get people to actually text me if I called off to see if I was okay. Maybe I should be saying "Work 90 hours a week and learn the law and be a star" but honestly I don't think that is how people get jobs and I don't think that is the economy we are facing. Especially given temp attorneys and the ease of using outside counsel.

Also-I know one intern did go ask for a job (and she got it) and she went in saying "Listen, I don't have anything lined up-and I've been here for two years-I would be willing to work as a paralegal until something opens up." Working at a big company with name recognition while you are looking for other work is (in my opinion) a much better time than unemployment at home with no money coming in and no experience being gained. Something to think about.

Sorry if this reads weird or poorly. I woke up in the middle of the night because I don't feel well and decided to reply.

Anonymous User
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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:1. Can you describe a typical day (contract review, working with outside cousel, etc.)?

2. How much training did you receive in house?

3. Did you know that they would offer you employment after you graduated?

thanks


1. not as much with outside counsel right now. A lot of internal meetings and a lot of communications with clients and contract review. Mostly contract review and client management and coordinating what other divisions may need to be involved in particular ventures.

2. A lot. Still happening.

3. I knew I had a place there in a lesser role (intern/paralegal)-and an idea that maybe they would extend an attny position.




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