Faegre Baker Daniels?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:3. If you must come to the Twin Cities, look to go in-house directly without a stopover in a local firm. Unlike in other markets where you have to take a pay cut or sacrifice sophistication to move in house, there are a lot of corporations here with large in-house law departments where you can get very sophisticated work and a great quality of life while making more than you would as an associate at one of the large local law firms. In the past, you may have needed a stopover at a local firm to build connections, but that is certainly no longer the case and might even hurt your prospects of making an in-house move.

I don't know if you are still on this thread or not, but I was wondering how hard it would be to get a decent in-house job (140k) with a Twin Cities company coming from a V10 firm in Chicago. I'm originally from Minnesota, but came to UChicago. All of my family is from Minnesota, and I did undergrad there. Around 5 years of experience as an associate. Will it be tough without a ton of connections?

I often hear uninformed internet commenters suggest MSP is insular and that it is hard to break in without huge connections, but I don't buy that at all. Firms and in-house legal departments here are very receptive to folks that follow paths like yours. I know MANY in-house and law firm lawyers like you. Some catches:
- When you move as an experienced attorney, you are at the mercy of your experience and how it relates to the available openings. While a good market, the MSP legal market is much smaller than you'd think. There simply isn't always an opening for someone with any given level and type of experience. As someone else said, there are plenty of people who are good lawyers but have trouble moving into the market as laterals for this reason. The key is to be patient and opportunistic with the timing of your move.
- There are in-house lawyers with about your level of experience making about that much money in MSP, but I think that most probably make less than that.
- I don't necessarily agree with the advice you quoted about going straight in-house - for someone like you a stopover in a local firm can be very productive. The naysayers in this thread complaining about local firms are, in my opinion, overly negative. Secondary markets like MSP are very different than major legal markets and any attempt at comparison is not going to be favorable to the secondary market. In addition, because it is a small legal market with a huge number of lawyers and would-be lawyers, there are a lot of people who frankly struck out at the big firms, a few of whom speak loudly not from actual experience but from a place of bitterness. There are certainly valid criticisms about biglaw in general and this market in particular, and my statement about a few sour grapes shouldn't be read as discounting those criticisms or the people that proffer them. But at the same time you should know there are plenty of people who have positive experiences but don't spend their time commenting on Internet message boards. So if you think a stopover at a local firm might be a good fit for you, I wouldn't be afraid to explore it.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 271128
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:Much of it has already been discussed, just tossing in an extra opinion. As has been stated, more or less: You work. It's boring. You don't get paid much. It's not interesting. Minneapolis is a good city, but it's not as cheap as you might think and it's cold and windy for five months of the year. This isn't shaping up to be a very good recruiting pitch.

Quite a recruiting pitch indeed! I work at a law firm in the Twin Cities and know many who do - while we have plenty of gripes, it is not nearly as bleak as you suggest.

Obviously you shouldn't consider a law firm in Minneapolis unless you want to be in Minneapolis. If you are intolerant of Minnesota winters or even just indifferent as to geography, you probably shouldn't seek out a law firm here. But if you do want to be in the Twin Cities - and there are plenty of people who do - then there are plenty of good options including Faegre.

Work can vary, and obviously you need to find a practice area that suits you, but there are plenty of lawyers doing interesting, sophisticated work for very sophisticated clients. This is particularly true of Faegre (and I'd say also very true of Dorsey and Fredrikson). If you find a practice group that fits you, I don't think work is any more boring or less interesting than at large law firms in other markets.

I am not going to defend law firm compensation in the Twin Cities generally as it is depressed and is still uncompetitive compared to other markets. But local law firm lawyers I know seem to be much more content with pay since Faegre raised salaries last year and other firms matched at the entry level. And although starting salaries are pretty even across local firms, anecdotally I believe that Faegre's seniority raises are slightly less compressed than most other local law firms and that Faegre tends to offer slightly higher bonuses, making Faegre pay marginally better on average (or at least not meaningfully worse) than other local law firms for a similar time commitment (setting aside IP boutiques). I'd love to hear from anyone at a local law firm (after the first year) that actually has reason to believe they make more total comp than a similarly situated lawyer at Faegre.

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