In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

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MCFC
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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby MCFC » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:59 pm

In your OP you mention that going in house with the wrong company can be pretty bad. I know this is a general question, but what does the wrong company look like in your view?

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby BizBro » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:25 pm

Coming out of law school not knowing much, if anything, how was the learning curve? I know you mentioned coming in with a hustler mentality, but how did you get by the first few months, especially since most in house attorneys come in with at least 3-5 years of excellent big law training.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:32 pm

yot11 wrote:What's the IP scene like for in-house? Are you basically doing patent prosecution or is it more transactional patent work (presumably it's not litigation)? Or is it more soft IP work?


OP: Generally, much of it relates to management of various portfolios of work. You usually won't be doing the patents or IP litigation yourself. For example, deal-related IP work, or patent prosecutions, or soft IP work, or IP litigation will generally be done by a law firm being overseen by in-house counsel. So, think of the in-house attorney as a strategist who understands generally the importance or objective of various workstreams, has a budget, and prioritizes on the basis of corporate need (so some patents will be going to some iron clad vault IP firm, some will be going to midlaw firms or boutiques with a nice rate structure). IP litigation and transactional support will be similar--you know what our various objectives are, the types of arguments you want to make, and manage firms and internal team members to make it happen. One really cool area with lit is where you understand that we want certain caselaw to be built out across the country, so you selectively choose firms, and ally corporations, and regions to make these arguments in a kind of slow play way.

There are a few other areas as well, IP policy, IP government affairs, international IP, Standard Essential Patents/Standards/IP/antitrust. Each of these have their own issues and attorneys who focus on these issues.

I don't think a hard science degree isn't required for most of this work, but some areas obviously require people with relevant career experience (it is hard to manage a portofilo of design patents without experience in that arena).
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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:52 pm

TTTooKewl wrote:Thanks for doing this OP. I have two questions, one about biglaw experience v. no biglaw experience; and the other about upward mobility.

From what I've gathered so far, you seem to be suggesting that anyone coming in the door at your company starts out at the same seniority, with the same pay -- regardless of whether they are new grads, have 2 years biglaw experience, or have 7 years biglaw experience. Is this the case, or have I misunderstood? If the case, do you know if this is typical of in-house jobs? I'm currently a 2L with a biglaw SA lined up, and expect to end up in-house after 3-6 years at the firm. From what it sounds like, if that's my ultimate goal, I should do my best to just skip biglaw and find an in-house position fresh out of law school. Do you have thoughts on this? Are there valuable skills that transfer from biglaw? Are there different in-house roles, some of which would benefit more from biglaw experience?

My question with respect to upward mobility is pretty straightforward. From what you've said, it sounds like upward salary movement is primarily a function of negotiation. It also sounds like there's a totem pole of VPs. What types of paths do in-house attorneys take throughout their career? What do you foresee for yourself? Is there a lot of room for upward mobility within your company? Do people often leave to accept a position of higher seniority at other companies? Do you have a feel for how much your salary could/would likely increase over the next 10-15 years?

Thank you.


OP:In response to your first question, I think that at my company, it varies a lot. Basically, based upon number of years of experience you have a relative level where you can enter, and then the salary band for that level is like 60-80k depending upon how well you negotiate, how well your manager negotiates, how competitive the position is, prior work experience, etc. I'd say that your average joes coming in from a law firm have basically the same level that they are entering at, and then salary and stuff is based upon negotiation ability and the above mentioned factors. I have this friend who didn't negotiate at all and probably left 50k on the table per year (he came in from government and didn't know any better).

I got lucky because they don't usually have people enter straight in from law school, and I did have several years of relevant pre-law experience that helped justify my salary. There wasn't a lower level that they could pay me at, it just didn't exist, so I reaped the benefits. People who come in at a partner or of counsel level or from many years in the government can justify much higher levels to start.

In your case, each company will have different policies--they are much different than law firms, which are pretty identical and have lockstep pay. The legal needs of Shell and McDonalds are going to be hugely different. Some have created straight out of law school roles, others have not. So, pay and benefits and stuff will really vary if you happen to find something straight out (like anywhere from 60-200k/year). The odds are much better to make it in through a big law type process--I'd move forward with your original plan, and see if you can find something else concurrently.

To answer your second question, the roles are pretty different depending upon companies, but generally you may have junior and senior in-house attorneys, then some kind of associate general counsel role, then a functional VP/CVP, then the general counsel himself. We don't have all of these in my company, but this is kind of the progression path. Many companies kind of rotate you around with various subject matter responsibilities until they feel you are prepared to manage a team of attorneys, then you start climbing the management ladder. I think most in-house positions are fairly secure, there is less of an up-or-out mentality, and many people choose to stay as more of a functional or subject matter expert attorney rather than become a manager. Some managers go back to a functional role. It isn't really seen as a demotion. Many people try to advance by jumping over to a new company. This is probably the fastest way to climb to the top, as rival companies will many times try to bring you over at a higher management role. However, it kind of increases your chance of failure to do this because you haven't had time to build a support network within the organization, and it makes working cross-functionally with other groups, increasing effectiveness, hard.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:11 pm

MCFC wrote:In your OP you mention that going in house with the wrong company can be pretty bad. I know this is a general question, but what does the wrong company look like in your view?


OP: First red flag: Some companies put a hard wall between law and the business. This means that unless you have a JD/MBA, you are not really perceived as a strategist or part of the decisionmaking process of the business. This sucks because you will be treated basically as a subject matter expert and they will spend time trying to measure your efficiency, how much legal work you are generating, etc.

The better companies treat law as one of their key strategic areas. They see the competitive advantage in viewing business decisions as partly based upon regulatory, political, and legal risk contexts. They perceive lawyers as business strategists, just like their marketing or strategy or operations or sales guys. This means that as an in-house counsel, you will have a lot of say as to how business works within your company. You will meet with customers, you will sit in strategy meetings and have veto power over some garbage idea or plan of action. You will be part of financial planning. You will own a budget and will work collaboratively with other non-legal professionals to execute and make good things happen. You may be brought over to manage a product or strategy or a roll out in another country for a few years, then you will be brought back over to work on a different type of legal work. You can create your own projects on the side, like say you foresee some huge risk that may impact the company or a new business method, you can take some of your time and focus to put together a team and make it happen.

Other red flags: Additionally, I think the better companies have great legal management, and the bad companies have sucky legal management. Your general counsel and his leadership team may really create a great or bad organizational culture. I would say to steer clear if there is any aura of negativity, or a focus on small amounts of money over people, or an up-or-out culture, or too many layers of management between the general counsel and the lowest lawyer--middle level managers are sometimes the worst to work for because they have their own personal ambition and may throw you under the bus to get there, or cultish control over certain elements of your life. Also, if your GC is law focused, but not business focused. It is hard to succeed as an attorney if you don't understand the business that you work for, and a general counsel kind of controls this dynamic. Do attorneys talk about business? Do they care about the corporate direction? Are there opportunities to learn about the business? I really don't think any of these negative things exist in my company, but my coworkers complain about these dynamics at their former organizations.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:33 pm

BizBro wrote:Coming out of law school not knowing much, if anything, how was the learning curve? I know you mentioned coming in with a hustler mentality, but how did you get by the first few months, especially since most in house attorneys come in with at least 3-5 years of excellent big law training.


Two points:

First, I'd say that big law experience is helpful, but not essentional to a lot of what you do in many in-house counsel positions. Many junior and mid-level associates are doing work that they won't do at a company ever. Three ways that big law experience may be helpful is 1) you are plugged into a role where you will be managing workstreams that are sent to firms, or 2) you are rendering opinions based upon narrow subject matter expertise that is likely to be gained at a firm, and 3) legal writing skills--most of the time, you will be writing things you never had to write at a firm--if you did it at a firm, chances are that it will still be outsourced to a firm (and you my need to review, but never write). However, you will be doing legal writing and generally good writing skills are really helpful.

Second, when I started I felt like I had a ton of blindspots. However, I've now realized that most everyone just learns some things on the job. The company has a really nice set of training materials, and also people are really willing to assist. So, when you hit a new area where you have no idea, just reach out to others and utilize resources that are available to actually learn. For example, a few months in, and some attorneys needed some help putting together a proposed draft of an important regulation where a foreign country was seeking comments from impacted corporations. I had no idea what I was doing, and researched a ton into a super narrow area of law. Then, on a conference call with a bunch of other companies, and representatives of that government, I made some suggestions based upon intuition and research that no one had identified. After I spoke I was like "oh crap, everyone hates you, what's wrong with you..." Then, the other companies were like "yeah, that's a good point, let's do that." Everyone thought I was super competent, but I guess I was just lucky and put in focused research into something. You'd be surprised how much of success as an attorney is being the most recent and freshest to research an issue.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:16 am

Thanks for this thread OP. I'm expecting an offer this week. I've never negotiated compensation before. Any tips on how to approach? Does this ever backfire and piss off the company?

Any other General tips for starting out inhouse? I've been in big law several years and this is my first job change since law school.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:59 pm

Thanks OP. Is it easier to get to an AGC role after working for 3 years at Cravath/S&C etc. instead of starting in-house right after LS?

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:31 pm

Thanks for doing this, OP, really helpful. Imagine I am a senior associate or junior partner at a V50 firm with which your company does not currently work, but one of my areas of expertise is an important area for your company. Is there anything I could be doing to handle any of your company's work successfully in the short-term? If not, what would you recommend that I do to form relationships at your company that might lead to handling some of your work in the next five or even ten years?

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks OP. Is it easier to get to an AGC role after working for 3 years at Cravath/S&C etc. instead of starting in-house right after LS?


I don't think so. AGC roles are determined upon your few years of performance following your start at the company (so you have to do well at the entry attorney level). At that point, no one cares where you went to school or where you worked previously unless it is related to job performance (having prosecutor experience may help you as an internal investigator).

It will help you if you enter from of counsel or partner level. You usually start at AGC or JVP from these roles.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this thread OP. I'm expecting an offer this week. I've never negotiated compensation before. Any tips on how to approach? Does this ever backfire and piss off the company?

Any other General tips for starting out inhouse? I've been in big law several years and this is my first job change since law school.


If negotiating, benchmark your offer as soon as you receive it. Don't commit to anything until you've done this. Be super happy and positive throughout. Try to find an insider who can help let you know if it makes sense. I'm happy to help you figure out if you are getting a raw deal. They wont be pissed at you, but make sure you aren't pushing too hard if it is already generous. Remember that some companies give a lot of stock in lieu of salary, and this might be a good way to push as well.

One thing to remember inhouse is to try to add value and be entrepreneurial. One major reason people fail is that they want to sit in a corner typing on a computer, when much of the value you add is helping improve the org and business as a whole. Also, try to be communicative and get to know a lot of people.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this, OP, really helpful. Imagine I am a senior associate or junior partner at a V50 firm with which your company does not currently work, but one of my areas of expertise is an important area for your company. Is there anything I could be doing to handle any of your company's work successfully in the short-term? If not, what would you recommend that I do to form relationships at your company that might lead to handling some of your work in the next five or even ten years?


Attend a lot of industry events, collaborate on projects outside of work (e.g., pro bono stuff), keep in touch with law school classmates, try to be to guy known for work in a particular industry. These are the long term things that help. In the short term, you can always have moxie and try to pitch inhouse guys. I've seen this work. However, it is usually easier if you have a preexisting relationship. To summarize, build real relationships and develop a reputation first and foremost. Think about why you go to particular doctors or restaurants. Usually a mix of good reputation and some familiarity. So, just try to be the guy who knows everyone and everyone likes. This can even be done early on in your career. I've seen second years hustle big important events because the other seniors and partners couldn't be bothered to attend. Now, they own that trade org relationship for their firm, and all of us companies know them. I promise we all would be a hell of a lot mor comfortable giving that second year our work when he becomes a senior associate than some random partner who tries to swoop in later on. Then, his classmates at the firm can whine about how they worked harder than him, but he got made partner because of randomness or he was better liked by senior partners. No, it is almost always because he found a way to get companies to give him business. This actually should be a priority if you want to stay at a firm. Also, if the firm collapsed or something, this kind of guy would be the first that we'd take in.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this thread OP. I'm expecting an offer this week. I've never negotiated compensation before. Any tips on how to approach? Does this ever backfire and piss off the company?

Any other General tips for starting out inhouse? I've been in big law several years and this is my first job change since law school.


If negotiating, benchmark your offer as soon as you receive it. Don't commit to anything until you've done this. Be super happy and positive throughout. Try to find an insider who can help let you know if it makes sense. I'm happy to help you figure out if you are getting a raw deal. They wont be pissed at you, but make sure you aren't pushing too hard if it is already generous. Remember that some companies give a lot of stock in lieu of salary, and this might be a good way to push as well.

One thing to remember inhouse is to try to add value and be entrepreneurial. One major reason people fail is that they want to sit in a corner typing on a computer, when much of the value you add is helping improve the org and business as a whole. Also, try to be communicative and get to know a lot of people.

Thank you for the suggestions. Can you please clarify what you mean by benchmark? Do you mean compare to in-house salary reports or ask HR for the range of salaries for other folks with this position (and for the position in general)? If it seems that it is a little on the low side, how do you approach without insulting the company/HR since, presumably, if they want you, they are making an offer that they think is attractive to you?

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:21 pm

Thanks so much for this thread, OP! It is very encouraging and informative.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this, OP, really helpful. Imagine I am a senior associate or junior partner at a V50 firm with which your company does not currently work, but one of my areas of expertise is an important area for your company. Is there anything I could be doing to handle any of your company's work successfully in the short-term? If not, what would you recommend that I do to form relationships at your company that might lead to handling some of your work in the next five or even ten years?


Attend a lot of industry events, collaborate on projects outside of work (e.g., pro bono stuff), keep in touch with law school classmates, try to be to guy known for work in a particular industry. These are the long term things that help. In the short term, you can always have moxie and try to pitch inhouse guys. I've seen this work. However, it is usually easier if you have a preexisting relationship. To summarize, build real relationships and develop a reputation first and foremost. Think about why you go to particular doctors or restaurants. Usually a mix of good reputation and some familiarity. So, just try to be the guy who knows everyone and everyone likes. This can even be done early on in your career. I've seen second years hustle big important events because the other seniors and partners couldn't be bothered to attend. Now, they own that trade org relationship for their firm, and all of us companies know them. I promise we all would be a hell of a lot mor comfortable giving that second year our work when he becomes a senior associate than some random partner who tries to swoop in later on. Then, his classmates at the firm can whine about how they worked harder than him, but he got made partner because of randomness or he was better liked by senior partners. No, it is almost always because he found a way to get companies to give him business. This actually should be a priority if you want to stay at a firm. Also, if the firm collapsed or something, this kind of guy would be the first that we'd take in.


Thanks for the response. Very helpful advice - but fwiw, I'm a female. Winced at the apparent presumption that someone interested in bizdev must be male.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this, OP, really helpful. Imagine I am a senior associate or junior partner at a V50 firm with which your company does not currently work, but one of my areas of expertise is an important area for your company. Is there anything I could be doing to handle any of your company's work successfully in the short-term? If not, what would you recommend that I do to form relationships at your company that might lead to handling some of your work in the next five or even ten years?


Attend a lot of industry events, collaborate on projects outside of work (e.g., pro bono stuff), keep in touch with law school classmates, try to be to guy known for work in a particular industry. These are the long term things that help. In the short term, you can always have moxie and try to pitch inhouse guys. I've seen this work. However, it is usually easier if you have a preexisting relationship. To summarize, build real relationships and develop a reputation first and foremost. Think about why you go to particular doctors or restaurants. Usually a mix of good reputation and some familiarity. So, just try to be the guy who knows everyone and everyone likes. This can even be done early on in your career. I've seen second years hustle big important events because the other seniors and partners couldn't be bothered to attend. Now, they own that trade org relationship for their firm, and all of us companies know them. I promise we all would be a hell of a lot mor comfortable giving that second year our work when he becomes a senior associate than some random partner who tries to swoop in later on. Then, his classmates at the firm can whine about how they worked harder than him, but he got made partner because of randomness or he was better liked by senior partners. No, it is almost always because he found a way to get companies to give him business. This actually should be a priority if you want to stay at a firm. Also, if the firm collapsed or something, this kind of guy would be the first that we'd take in.


Thanks for the response. Very helpful advice - but fwiw, I'm a female. Winced at the apparent presumption that someone interested in bizdev must be male.


Edit. Apologies if offense was taken. For some reason the vast, vast majority of young associates trying to develop business are guys. I don't really have an idea why, as both firms and companies have done their best to achieve gender balance. I think that this dynamic can only help you though.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Helioze » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:26 am

I think its interesting that you say one of the best aspects of the job is being let in on the business side of things.

Would you say that being totally on the business side of things would be preferable/more enjoyable?

Would the path to getting there at a F500 be easier or harder is the real question depending on the answer to that question though.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:33 am

Helioze wrote:I think its interesting that you say one of the best aspects of the job is being let in on the business side of things.

Would you say that being totally on the business side of things would be preferable/more enjoyable?

Would the path to getting there at a F500 be easier or harder is the real question depending on the answer to that question though.


I think maybe I didn't clarify this well. It's not like you move beyond law as in-house counsel (generally). You are more of a legal strategist. Every action a major corporation takes has a bunch of different dimensions. What's cool is that you can plan legal strategy, build something, and assist with general business strategy as well. Sometimes what you do will be like 30% law, 70% business, other times it is like 80% law, 20% business. You are just trying to accomplish an objective related to a business goal (smooth product roll out, or adopting the appropriate level of legal risk when expanding into Madagascar, or making sure that you are meeting the expectations of regulatory authorities in a new/novel type of business method or technology).

For me, this is really fun and involving. You get to be entrepreneurial, a tactician, and a specialist all at once.

Most of your peers in a company are similarly balancing their specialty (marketing, or OB, or medicine, or chemistry) with business acumen on cross-functional teams. This is basically how business is done at the higher levels of corporations (at least at mine). So, I get to help with the business, I don't think there is a "totally on the business side," where lawyers don't get to participate.

Also, I don't know if working at a firm is really does increase your opportunities to apply legal knowledge to situations. I would guess that the time I'd spend at a firm adding periods to the end of INC, or trying to make sure that all the brackets are replaced in a form, or filling out a diligence spreadsheet, is replaced by helping to run a business. So, in a way, being in-house actually maximizes my opportunities to render legal advice. Any other in-house people want to chime in? Do you have the same feeling? I never worked at a firm outside of summers, so I don't know.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this thread OP. I'm expecting an offer this week. I've never negotiated compensation before. Any tips on how to approach? Does this ever backfire and piss off the company?

Any other General tips for starting out inhouse? I've been in big law several years and this is my first job change since law school.


If negotiating, benchmark your offer as soon as you receive it. Don't commit to anything until you've done this. Be super happy and positive throughout. Try to find an insider who can help let you know if it makes sense. I'm happy to help you figure out if you are getting a raw deal. They wont be pissed at you, but make sure you aren't pushing too hard if it is already generous. Remember that some companies give a lot of stock in lieu of salary, and this might be a good way to push as well.

One thing to remember inhouse is to try to add value and be entrepreneurial. One major reason people fail is that they want to sit in a corner typing on a computer, when much of the value you add is helping improve the org and business as a whole. Also, try to be communicative and get to know a lot of people.

Thank you for the suggestions. Can you please clarify what you mean by benchmark? Do you mean compare to in-house salary reports or ask HR for the range of salaries for other folks with this position (and for the position in general)? If it seems that it is a little on the low side, how do you approach without insulting the company/HR since, presumably, if they want you, they are making an offer that they think is attractive to you?


I mean try to figure out what similar people are being paid in your company or other companies with your years of experience in your particular role. There is no way HR is giving you this info. They are many times compensated by bringing you in under-budget, so it is in their best interests to not tell you what the salary range is. Try to find someone within the organization who is willing to tell you. Look for information available online, or talk to people at other companies.

Don't worry about insulting HR. They have seen it all. They will call anything generous. They called my 60% of final offer "generous," and "didn't know if they could provide any more realistically." Luckily, both my boss and my friends in the company told me that they were full of it and helped me to come up with a realistic counteroffer. I had to fight like for a month for it, but got it. I threatened to walk away twice before they finally gave it to me.

This may be a little harsh for your organization, I don't know. It is hard to tell without knowing the company and role. I'm happy to help give you an idea if things work out. Also, assume none of my advice is appropriate if negotiation with a small (less than 1000 employees) company. They may be a bit different.

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby whatsyourdeal » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:59 pm

Hi OP, could you PM me? I had a few questions... I'm also inhouse right out of law school, and had a few questions I'd rather ask over PM. Thanks for the post!

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby yot11 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:14 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

Do you feel that there is decent lateral mobility to other in house positions? I understand the path to your first in house position (working at a firm and building relationships with your client then they offer you a job), but if you get laid off or downsized or want to leave, is it relatively easy to find another in house position at another company?

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:24 pm

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:15 am

yot11 wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!
Do you feel that there is decent lateral mobility to other in house positions? I understand the path to your first in house position (working at a firm and building relationships with your client then they offer you a job), but if you get laid off or downsized or want to leave, is it relatively easy to find another in house position at another company?


OP: Sorry, something came up at work so I had to neglect TLS.

I think this is one of the best perks of in-house--mobility is great. You can move within similar or smaller sized companies (where $$ is still good). Additionally, there is less of an up-or-out/leveling windows to transfer policy like in biglaw. Additionally, there is less of a stigma with being laid off. I've had a couple friends at our company who were laid off when a division closed, and they all found jobs within a few weeks. I think it is seriously about having a threshold of inhouse experience, and then you are golden for a long time. Another person I know just didn't have it work out with us, and got her old job back at another company.

If you work for a company at the top of an industry, in an in demand field, expect job offers from competitors and smaller companies within your industry frequently. I have a friend who literally (no exaggeration) gets at least one offer every two weeks, and probably 30 per year. She isn't like the leader in her field or anything, she just works in an in demand area and for the top company in the industry.

Finally, just want to point out that lateralling is a way to become a senior/agc/vp quickly. Basically, companies may offer you a level above your current level to entice lateralling. If you do this a few times, you can jump forward in a few years to what may take 10 years inhouse at your own company. So, lateralling is popular among some. To me it seems risky to lateral too much if you are already good in your job because you may be less good at companies 2 and 3 because of a mismatch in organizational culture. It is a good way to find the right place though.

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yot11
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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby yot11 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:47 am

Thanks so much for all of your very detailed responses!

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Re: In-house Counsel at Fortune 50 Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:31 pm

You talked about this briefly, but I was a little unclear on this point. Does your company ever hire people for a specific specialty with the expectation that those people will remain in that specialty? I gathered from your earlier statement that even those who get hired for a particular specialty end up becoming generalists at some point, but I wanted to clarify.

Also, do you think it's common for lawyers to be treated as general legal strategists in large companies? I was under the impression that someone who, for example, comes in as an employment lawyer will primarily be doing employment counseling and litigation management. I wonder how common it is for a person like that to be doing non-employment law things at a F500 company. I'm thinking of employment law in particular because I will most likely be doing this at my firm, but this is just one example. I can think of a number of lawyers who went to companies because their specialty was in demand, and I'm curious as to how many companies operate their in-house legal department like yours. I realize you can't speak to every company, but if you have a general sense of the way companies typically operate, I think it would be very helpful. Thanks!




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