How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:33 am

To be honest, it's likely going to raise red flags. When I announced my resignation, most partners were not surprised. I had been out of the office quite a bit- it was getting obvious.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:00 am

Sept 12 here. It was really difficult to schedule interviews and find the time to search for and apply to jobs while working biglaw hours. I would schedule phone interviews for the mornings right before work or during a plausible lunch time,  but there were times I had to cancel. For in person interviews,  I started with medical and dental appointments and then starting taking sick or vacation days. You can also try planning to take a certain week off for vacation and scheduling all your interviews for that week but the timing is pretty difficult to coordinate. I did this and although I lined up an interview for every day of the week,  I didn't get any offers from them and was right back to claiming medical appointments when I got back. I think there are a couple holidays that some biglaw firms observe that corporations do not. That would be a good time for an interview if you don't otherwise have work.

You can't do much about it raising red flags. Obviously,  don't wear your suit in to work. Try to stay engaged in your work (socially too) while searching, although you'll likely be exhausted. Everyone seemed pretty surprised when I left actually

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:55 am

Original poster. Thanks again for the tips.

How much did you customize your resume based upon industry? I do what most corporate lawyers do, M&A, venture capital and general corporate. I have handled commercial agreements but it is a rare part of my job and most jobs I am looking at involve commercial agreements. Also, how much does industry experience matter? My general corporate clients are in niche industries that are not very prevalent in my geography for in-house jobs. Did you provide a deal sheet listing the types of deals you have handled? This always seemed like a strange practice to me when I have been helped interview laterals. It takes up a ton of room on the resume.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:08 pm

Sept 12 here. I had the same problem of having neither the industry experience nor the specific commercial contracts experience in house jobs look for (it sounds like my background is similar to yours). In cover letters, I emphasized transferable skills rather than specific experience. For example, I hadn't negotiated commercial agreements but I've negotiated sections of underwriting agreements, merger agreements, etc and have reviewed hundreds of commercial agreements as part of m&a due diligence. I hadn't drafted 10-ks but I've drafted sections of S-1s and reviewed 10-ks for clients.

Your deal sheet would be separate from your resume and can be several pages.  I rarely included one though and I don't think anyone ever asked for it. They're expected more for law firm lateral applications.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:00 am

Very encouraging to hear. Thanks. Your experience sounds very similar to mine.

I'm hesitant to put down my securities compliance experience because I don't think I want to do that type of work in-house. Did you find a lot of public companies wanted to see that type of experience?

Also, if you don't mind answering a few others questions now that you are in-house, do you have a good sense of the career trajectory once you are in-house (i.e., whether all/most entry/midlevel level inhouse counsel are able to progress up the ladder or whether a lot have to transition to other career paths, like at big firm)? Or, in other words, is it not too difficult to become a lifer as inhouse once you go that path? By lifer, I don't mean at one company in one position - I mean the ability to stay as corporate counsel for a various companies in various roles. Have you found the work to be interesting and the hours to be better? What made you choose the place you went with (i.e., how did you separate the good corporate inhouse positions from the less desirable)?

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:43 pm

Original poster, bumping to hopefully get input on my last post from the in-house folks that were posting previously.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:17 am

Sept 12 here, sorry I've been really busy (not with work).

I didn't find that a lot of public companies wanted securities experience. Like you noted, commercial agreements is a common area of experience they look for.

I can't speak for all in house positions regarding career trajectory since it can vary a lot depending on your company, but from my perspective it looks like you can stay in an in house job for a long time but moving up can be difficult. That makes sense to me - there isn't room for everyone to eventually become GC. That's fine with me because I'm not interested in having that level of responsibility but if you are, you should put off moving in house until you're more senior. The conventional wisdom is to go in house from a firm at the most senior level possible since moving up while in house can be difficult.

Again, your experience will deoend on the company but I love the hours and the work so far. The issues I face are a lot more varied and I spend almost all my time working with non-lawyers which is refreshing. I came from a transactional practice where I was always either pulling multiple all nighters or had nothing to do (of course with no predictability) so I'm really happy to be somewhere where I am constantly busy but still leave at 6 every day.

I don't know how to separate the good in house positions from the bad ones - I only had one offer and luckily I like it here and the pay is good. I was surprised by how little some in house jobs pay. Those were the only ones I stayed away from.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:05 am

Original poster here. Thanks for the response and no worries- I totally understand getting too busy to do much else. Sounds like you have a sweet gig, so congrats. Do you have the opportunity to do any M&A when it arises?

Do you have a sense that if they like you, you can stay at the same job for 20 years? I am not sure if you'd get too expensive for them and they'd rather bring in a new hire eventually.

Last, do you mind sharing what you found to be low pay and good pay for in-house at your level? I'm still poking around and trying to figure it out. So far, I'm seeing $120K as the low end and $150K as the high end for low level in-house jobs (i.e., jobs looking for 3-5 years of firm experience). I'm in a major market (not NYC).

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:08 pm

My offer was 140k for a 3rd year (major city not NYC). Keep in mind bonuses tend to be bigger ("target" for me is 15% of salary, but people tell me 25% is pretty common in a decent year) and most companies have a 401k match.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:25 pm

Original poster. Not bad for salary/bonus for 3rd year at all. If you don't mind me asking, what are raises like year over year? I'm sure it varies, but I've got basically zero data to go on, and I'd imagine I'd want to discuss this when weighing an offer. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts/experience - I really appreciate.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:56 pm

Honestly, I don't have a good sense of what year-over-year increases will be.




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