In house

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How much of a difference would it make to be from U. Chicago rather than Notre Dame?

5-Huge difference; law school ranking is the #1 thing they look for
3
23%
4
0
No votes
3
4
31%
2
0
No votes
1
3
23%
0-No difference at all...all that matters is the law firm's prestige/associate experience
3
23%
 
Total votes: 13

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Re: In house

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:40 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Here's the article I was thinking of: http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60637/ ... -In-House/


Totally fair point and something I considered when making the jump. Thing is that the lateral market is so hot right now and I have the credentials/skill set to meet those needs (M&A and securities law). A rainmaking partner I worked for at my old firm emailed me recently (probably looking to pitch business) and casually asked if I wanted to come back since they're hemhorraging associates my level. Maybe he was being nice but I have no doubt with a HYS degree and V5 experience + inhouse experience I can find another firm job if necessary. But that's why I said a year or two. The longer I stay in-house the less desirable I will look - though let's be real if I'm willing to go in as a 3-4 year associate pay scale I'll be desirable. Its not like I'm not doing legal work anymore.

Also TBF that article was written by a recruiting firm. They dont want people going in house. Would rather churn associates to firm after firm to get their fees.

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Re: In house

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:46 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:if the costs come out to being similar i can't see why a company wouldn't always go with a firm. you're probably going to get better work from a business who depends on satisfying you, and you can fire them whenever with no hr concerns. i'm assuming all these companies would be spending millions on firm fees per year without their own team?


Cost is not the same. Plus law firms dont know jack shit about about the company. If you've ever worked for a firm you'll know this. Firms are good at putting together form documents but they have so many clients they dont focus on a specific company. When I was at a firm I would put together a doc and send it to the in house counsel who would basically rewrite sections of it just because I couldn't have known certain things.

Also a lot of in house work is advising management in a way that law firms can't do because they dont have the relationship or can't speak the same language. Firms are useful as tools but you need in house counsel as well.

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Re: In house

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Here's the article I was thinking of: http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60637/ ... -In-House/


Totally fair point and something I considered when making the jump. Thing is that the lateral market is so hot right now and I have the credentials/skill set to meet those needs (M&A and securities law). A rainmaking partner I worked for at my old firm emailed me recently (probably looking to pitch business) and casually asked if I wanted to come back since they're hemhorraging associates my level. Maybe he was being nice but I have no doubt with a HYS degree and V5 experience + inhouse experience I can find another firm job if necessary. But that's why I said a year or two. The longer I stay in-house the less desirable I will look - though let's be real if I'm willing to go in as a 3-4 year associate pay scale I'll be desirable. Its not like I'm not doing legal work anymore.

Also TBF that article was written by a recruiting firm. They dont want people going in house. Would rather churn associates to firm after firm to get their fees.


One of the points I agree with in the article is that your skill set gradually deteriorates when you go in house. You learn and stay good at stuff by doing it, not by overseeing *other* people doing it.

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Re: In house

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
AReasonableMan wrote:if the costs come out to being similar i can't see why a company wouldn't always go with a firm. you're probably going to get better work from a business who depends on satisfying you, and you can fire them whenever with no hr concerns. i'm assuming all these companies would be spending millions on firm fees per year without their own team?


Cost is not the same. Plus law firms dont know jack shit about about the company. If you've ever worked for a firm you'll know this. Firms are good at putting together form documents but they have so many clients they dont focus on a specific company. When I was at a firm I would put together a doc and send it to the in house counsel who would basically rewrite sections of it just because I couldn't have known certain things.

Also a lot of in house work is advising management in a way that law firms can't do because they dont have the relationship or can't speak the same language. Firms are useful as tools but you need in house counsel as well.


The same thing that makes you incredibly valuable to your company, i.e., your intimate knowledge of YOUR company's business and market, is the same thing that makes you less valuable to firms (unless you're talking about a firm that does a shitload of business primarily with your company). I work with in house attorneys regularly on one of my matters, and I can tell that they are rusty on the nuts and bolts of litigation because they spend so much time getting to know things that are very specific to their business. This also makes them less attractive to other companies that are outside of the same market. The bottom line is that you are definitely limiting your options when you go in house. The amount of limiting obviously increases over time, but you cannot seriously argue that you're not limiting yourself. Stay with a firm, on the other hand, and you continue getting experience with a diversity of companies (again, assuming your particular group or practice is not limited to exclusively one company, which I think would be incredibly rare in biglaw).

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Re: In house

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:07 pm

I suspect that a major reason people go in house is because lawyers are generally a prideful bunch, so when associates see the writing on the wall and that they are not going to make partner, they would rather bail on their own terms and get a job that is ostensibly somewhat difficult to get (i.e., a sought after in house position). I know quite a few senior associates and Of Counsel, on the other hand, who stick it out at firms and are generally quite content to continue earning ~300k and practicing law, even though they know that it's a long shot that they will ever make partner. As a new associate, I used to think these guys were somehow failures, but at least they are maintaining good skill sets and on track to build their own practices (if they want to) and perhaps even make partner eventually.

In summary, I think a lot of people go in house because it's in vogue to leave and work for a successful tech company or big bank and because it makes you look like you're leaving on your own terms.

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Re: In house

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:26 pm

I am in-house at a Fortune 10 company, came straight out of law school at a top-5 school. I started at a really low rate (like 40 k per year), then they jumped me up to 180k+benefits per year after the first year. I think that there are generally four types of people here: T14 (mostly T5) people who went to a firm and left anywhere between senior associate and partner (60%), people who worked for a premier local firm near our home office (basically T1 and T2 people) (20%), IPR/foreign law school people with a good track record (20%),or people who came in directly (me, and like two others, I am the only one in the last 10 years, negligible percent).

A top school does matter a lot, just because it kind of puts you on target to get into the firms where top companies hire. I think you can also get here though by being good local counsel, but are kind of limited to your market, so Notre Dame may limit you to the Chicago market, think McDonalds, airlines, and PE firms.

Also, if it matters, in-house is sick. I usually only work 40-50 hours a week, get to travel a lot, and get paid really well. The work is fun, as you are a legal strategist, get to work on a broad portfolio of issues, and you get to farm cumbersome work out to firms.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In house

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:27 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I suspect that a major reason people go in house is because lawyers are generally a prideful bunch, so when associates see the writing on the wall and that they are not going to make partner, they would rather bail on their own terms and get a job that is ostensibly somewhat difficult to get (i.e., a sought after in house position). I know quite a few senior associates and Of Counsel, on the other hand, who stick it out at firms and are generally quite content to continue earning ~300k and practicing law, even though they know that it's a long shot that they will ever make partner. As a new associate, I used to think these guys were somehow failures, but at least they are maintaining good skill sets and on track to build their own practices (if they want to) and perhaps even make partner eventually.

In summary, I think a lot of people go in house because it's in vogue to leave and work for a successful tech company or big bank and because it makes you look like you're leaving on your own terms.


In-house here. We also get a lot of partners from firms.

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Re: In house

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I suspect that a major reason people go in house is because lawyers are generally a prideful bunch, so when associates see the writing on the wall and that they are not going to make partner, they would rather bail on their own terms and get a job that is ostensibly somewhat difficult to get (i.e., a sought after in house position). I know quite a few senior associates and Of Counsel, on the other hand, who stick it out at firms and are generally quite content to continue earning ~300k and practicing law, even though they know that it's a long shot that they will ever make partner. As a new associate, I used to think these guys were somehow failures, but at least they are maintaining good skill sets and on track to build their own practices (if they want to) and perhaps even make partner eventually.

In summary, I think a lot of people go in house because it's in vogue to leave and work for a successful tech company or big bank and because it makes you look like you're leaving on your own terms.


In-house here. We also get a lot of partners from firms.


I have literally only heard of one partner at my firm ever going in house, whereas I know of 30+ associates going in house just since I joined the firm. I'm not sure where you work that is getting "a lot of partners," and I also wonder which firms these partners are coming from.

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Re: In house

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:44 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I suspect that a major reason people go in house is because lawyers are generally a prideful bunch, so when associates see the writing on the wall and that they are not going to make partner, they would rather bail on their own terms and get a job that is ostensibly somewhat difficult to get (i.e., a sought after in house position). I know quite a few senior associates and Of Counsel, on the other hand, who stick it out at firms and are generally quite content to continue earning ~300k and practicing law, even though they know that it's a long shot that they will ever make partner. As a new associate, I used to think these guys were somehow failures, but at least they are maintaining good skill sets and on track to build their own practices (if they want to) and perhaps even make partner eventually.

In summary, I think a lot of people go in house because it's in vogue to leave and work for a successful tech company or big bank and because it makes you look like you're leaving on your own terms.


In-house here. We also get a lot of partners from firms.


I have literally only heard of one partner at my firm ever going in house, whereas I know of 30+ associates going in house just since I joined the firm. I'm not sure where you work that is getting "a lot of partners," and I also wonder which firms these partners are coming from.


I can't speak for every company, but many in-house companies have what is essentially a "partner" or "GM" level within their hierarchy. The role of such an individual is to manage litigation, regulatory, or transactional work streams that are farmed out to firms, and also subject matter experts where the company doesn't really have the need to put together a team to work on a superspecific issue. It is also applicable in government relations, where companies will hire directly from a policy, lobby, or biglaw firm.

I would say we have at least ten that I know if, and almost all come from V100 firms, most from two particular V20s. I think a lot of these guys have a great incentive to do so--they work less hours and get paid similarly and consistently without as much downside risk.

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Re: In house

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:50 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I suspect that a major reason people go in house is because lawyers are generally a prideful bunch, so when associates see the writing on the wall and that they are not going to make partner, they would rather bail on their own terms and get a job that is ostensibly somewhat difficult to get (i.e., a sought after in house position). I know quite a few senior associates and Of Counsel, on the other hand, who stick it out at firms and are generally quite content to continue earning ~300k and practicing law, even though they know that it's a long shot that they will ever make partner. As a new associate, I used to think these guys were somehow failures, but at least they are maintaining good skill sets and on track to build their own practices (if they want to) and perhaps even make partner eventually.

In summary, I think a lot of people go in house because it's in vogue to leave and work for a successful tech company or big bank and because it makes you look like you're leaving on your own terms.


All fair points. I think there is a difference between litigation and corporate. If anything my corporate skills are getting better as I'm doing more high level work and less bogged down by diligence and such (I still do it when were doing an m&a deal but its usually a few material contracts and not the data room).

I do agree that being of counsel and making $300k is nothing to sneeze at and I'd be happy to do that if I could balance work and family better. But I can't so I went in house. I know some who can bill 2500 and still have a happy family but I didn't want to miss my children growing up.




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