Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

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Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:47 pm

Title says it all. There seems to be a consensus that Inhouse positions are among the most coveted of attorney jobs. That being said, for those of you who have/are Inhouse counsel, are the jobs actually that great? Is the nature of the work you're doing any more interesting, or is it the fact that you're not working in a terrible firm environment anymore?

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Title says it all. There seems to be a consensus that Inhouse positions are among the most coveted of attorney jobs. That being said, for those of you who have/are Inhouse counsel, are the jobs actually that great? Is the nature of the work you're doing any more interesting, or is it the fact that you're not working in a terrible firm environment anymore?


There have actually been a couple of relatively recent threads on this subject. I think the biggest pluses for inhouse are:

Fewer hours
Stable position
Better benefits
No billable hours

Major cons would be:

Less interesting work (maybe)
Only one client (could be a plus for some)
Less pay (Although pay scales differ greatly depending on the company)
Less options (from what I've been told it's hard to go from inhouse back to a firm)
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:50 pm

This is a stupid thread. need more details. Depends on firm and inhouse.

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NinerFan
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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby NinerFan » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:56 am

FWIW, all of the in-house people I regularly interact with are gone until January for the holidays. Meanwhile, my friends in law firms are just hoping they don't work all day on Christmas.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby lacrossebrother » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:26 am

Why the fuck would you want to do law school only to work as a in-house lawyer --being general counsel would be cool but fucking being a monkey tasked with managing OC is life sucking. Who cares about hours

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Doritos » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:57 am

lacrossebrother wrote:Why the fuck would you want to do law school only to work as a in-house lawyer --being general counsel would be cool but fucking being a monkey tasked with managing OC is life sucking. Who cares about hours


A lot of people do.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby kalvano » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:17 am

It entirely depends on the company you work for. I work with some in-house Google attorneys and they are probably worked harder than a lot of Biglaw people. I also did a stint in-house over the summer while in school and those guys made decent money, showed up around 9:00 or 9:30, handled the daily stuff, and left around 5:30 or so.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Kochel » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:35 am

I've been in-house for a long time now. At no time have I ever thought that my time in Biglaw was better, either in terms of the quality of the work or the lifestyle. (I'm also paid quite well.) What I will say is that in-house work tends to be better for senior lawyers (managers) than for entry-level lawyers. While it might be an obvious point, it is important when choosing an in-house landing place to get a sense of the possibilities for promotion and growth in one's practice.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby WhirledWorld » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:03 pm

The idea that in-house work is less interesting or lower quality hasn't been correct for most firms since GE upended the in-house model and starting hiring top partners to keep their most interesting work in-house while farming out the boring stuff. Probably true that your role in house will be less varied, though that's often not the case (particularly in smaller departments and smaller firms).

All in comp is probably comparable on average to most biglaw salaries, since you're often getting stock and 401k matching and most positions already pay maybe 150k base as a median. But there is huge, huge variance depending on the firm, your experience, the industry, etc.

There are many in-house positions that don't involve working past 6:30 p.m. ever. Those of us who've practiced know what a difference that makes, to be able to be home for dinner every night and to be able to make plans every night and stick to them, not living in fear of your phone buzzing with an email calling you back into the office. On the other hand, however, there are plenty of in-house positions with much more demanding work schedules.

Leaving a firm for an in-house gig is often a one-way move, but that has more to do with timing/networking/the fact that most people prefer in-house as a long-term career. For timing, most firms don't hire in-house lawyers as partners unless you're GC or something like it. I have seen folks go in house for a couple years and then come back as a senior associate, but it's rare because you'd have to leave as a midlevel and want to come back fairly soon before you're no longer in that first-to-seventh-year window. Not sure how easy it is to move between in-house gigs -- can't imagine it'd be hard aside from the networking hurdle though.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:06 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:Why the fuck would you want to do law school only to work as a in-house lawyer --being general counsel would be cool but fucking being a monkey tasked with managing OC is life sucking. Who cares about hours


Not many go to school to do in house work. They become a lawyer or a transacation smattorney and then realize it fucking blocks tiny cock. Then they leave for in house.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:37 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:The idea that in-house work is less interesting or lower quality hasn't been correct for most firms since GE upended the in-house model and starting hiring top partners to keep their most interesting work in-house while farming out the boring stuff. Probably true that your role in house will be less varied, though that's often not the case (particularly in smaller departments and smaller firms).

All in comp is probably comparable on average to most biglaw salaries, since you're often getting stock and 401k matching and most positions already pay maybe 150k base as a median. But there is huge, huge variance depending on the firm, your experience, the industry, etc.

There are many in-house positions that don't involve working past 6:30 p.m. ever. Those of us who've practiced know what a difference that makes, to be able to be home for dinner every night and to be able to make plans every night and stick to them, not living in fear of your phone buzzing with an email calling you back into the office. On the other hand, however, there are plenty of in-house positions with much more demanding work schedules.

Leaving a firm for an in-house gig is often a one-way move, but that has more to do with timing/networking/the fact that most people prefer in-house as a long-term career. For timing, most firms don't hire in-house lawyers as partners unless you're GC or something like it. I have seen folks go in house for a couple years and then come back as a senior associate, but it's rare because you'd have to leave as a midlevel and want to come back fairly soon before you're no longer in that first-to-seventh-year window. Not sure how easy it is to move between in-house gigs -- can't imagine it'd be hard aside from the networking hurdle though.

I work for a fairly small in-house group at a very large company.

We use outside counsel fairly regularly for certain types of transactions and mundane tasks, but very little substantive work is outsourced and none of our attorneys spend any significant amount of time managing OC. When we outsource its to get that work off our plates and have someone else manage it and sign-off.

Most of our new hires were senior in-house attorneys from similar companies or senior associates from big firms.

In regards to comp, there is certainly a pay cut, but hours are nearly always 9:30-6:30. The benefits here are far better than any big firm's benefits that I am aware of and we also have 11 holidays and 13-30 vacation days depending on your seniority (which you are expected to take).

Work can get a little mundane, but no more so than in a comparable practice area, as far as the work we do.

In regards to the life of a GC, our GC is responsible for most the administrative tasks of keeping the in-house group functioning and "big picture items". The GC is involved in significantly less "exciting" matters than most our in-house attorneys.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:57 pm

Can you clarify what you mean by "exciting" matters?

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby NinerFan » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:32 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:Why the fuck would you want to do law school only to work as a in-house lawyer --being general counsel would be cool but fucking being a monkey tasked with managing OC is life sucking. Who cares about hours


You're still in law school aren't you? Being a monkey tasked with diligence, signature pages, doc review, turning comments, etc is soooooo much better, I assure you.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:53 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:Why the fuck would you want to do law school only to work as a in-house lawyer --being general counsel would be cool but fucking being a monkey tasked with managing OC is life sucking. Who cares about hours


Because depending on the corporation you work for, in-house counsel actually gets to do a lot of interesting work. I work in-house. We outsource a lot of the more tedious stuff to firms and keep a lot of the juicy strategic stuff in-house. Add on top of that far better hours and comparable compensation.

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Re: Are inhouse counsel positions really as good as the hype?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:49 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:Why the fuck would you want to do law school only to work as a in-house lawyer --being general counsel would be cool but fucking being a monkey tasked with managing OC is life sucking. Who cares about hours

I worked directly under the staff attorneys and GC at my current company (~$4bn commercial insurance company) and found that they all liked what they were doing quite a bit. They each had a good amount of responsibility given that there weren't that many of them.

One of the more senior guys would get in around 8 and leave at 3:30 or 4. The GC works his ass off, though, but I think that's his own doing, as he could definitely have a more hands-off approach to certain things. He's a GC / VP / and corporate secretary all in one. It's a great environment. FWIW, each of our staff attys left larger firms to come here and none of them told me they'd ever go back.




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