Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:01 pm

Just for you-know-what and giggles.

I'm a mid career attorney with about a decade of experience. Standard shiny resume -- top school, federal clerkship, top firm, high-end government service. I'm currently counsel at a satellite office of a decent-sized -- but not particularly well-known or prestigious -- national firm (I moved here from government for financial reasons). It's a smaller but trendy market (think like Austin or Seattle or Denver or San Diego or Portland). The pay is a bit under market, but the firm has other perks that make up for it. I have a very modest book of business (less than $100k). I have a niche practice in a very popular broader practice area, which means I get a lot of calls within the firm to do that niche work for existing clients. It's great because I'm usually busy, but not so great because I'm mostly working for other people's clients. I don't know partnership prospects, but it wouldn't really matter in terms of comp.

Anyway, I've been getting calls lately. It looks like I may have two serious opportunities. One is to move -- I'd stay counsel -- to one of the more prestigious firms in the market that's trying to build a practice sorta kinda along the lines of what I do. The pay would be market or a bit above, so I'd get a decent raise, plus bonuses would be bigger. Hours would go up. If I made partner, comp would be significantly higher. The new firm has a reputation for being a tough place to work.

The second potential opportunity is to go in house with one of the big companies in the area. I'd come in at the Assistant GC level at the corporate parent level, but be the head GC for a newly-acquired subsidiary. Salary would be a bit higher than I'm making now, but not as high as the other firm. Ditto bonuses. No clue on stock options. The company also has a reputation for being a tough place to work, though a lot of that is due to understaffing issues, which they're apparently in the process of resolving.

So. Them's my choices. Stay where I'm at (comfortable, but perhaps underpaid, and with no certain job security), move to the more prestigious firm (less comfortable, much better comp, also no certain job security), or go in house (less comfortable, middle ground comp, probably more job security).

What do you think?

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:20 pm

Corp or lit?

Inhouse sounds intriguing and not something you've done before

Plus, depending on the company, options could be lucrative

User avatar
Stanford4Me
Posts: 6047
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:23 am

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Stanford4Me » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:50 pm

Is the in-house opportunity in an industry you're interested in? How old is the parent company GC?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:41 pm

What is important to you? What are your long-term goals and interests? It sounds like money is driving your decision, based upon your description of the positions. Nothing wrong with that, but be honest with yourself.

For me, I'd rather go in-house if it meant more reasonable hours and more enjoyable work, so long as there is decent job stability. If neither are perfect, why not shop around for other in-house gigs that are better or other firms that are a better fit? If you are marketable, don't settle.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11721
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby kalvano » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:05 pm

Billable hours suck. In-house all the way.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:06 am

OP.

Corp or lit?


More regulatory than anything. I'd probably call what I do government/regulatory dispute work.

Is the in-house opportunity in an industry you're interested in? How old is the parent company GC?


Yes, very much, to the first. A growing sector in a hot industry. To the second, there would be enough bodies to climb over that thinking I'd ever be GC at the parent is probably unrealistic. Much more likely that the sub is spun off.

What is important to you? What are your long-term goals and interests?


Good question. At this point, stability I think. But I don't want to give up too much for it.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:25 pm

kalvano wrote:Billable hours suck. In-house all the way.


i dream of the day when i dont have to enter my time

ill prob be selling coconut drinks in central america somewhere, tho, not inhouse doing regulatory/compliance work with a chill, 9-6 QOL

User avatar
Stanford4Me
Posts: 6047
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:23 am

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Stanford4Me » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:53 pm

What are your more detailed thoughts on the in-house position? What are some hesitations you might have about moving in-house?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:50 pm

OP.

What are your more detailed thoughts on the in-house position? What are some hesitations you might have about moving in-house?


It's a big company. Advancement may be difficult. While initial compensation is fine, the ceiling is a lot lower than private practice. Like I said, talking to my in house friends around town, the company has a reputation for being relatively tough on its lawyers -- relatively high hours, more stressful than most in house gigs, etc. They said that most of that is because the company has grown so big (it has gone from a run-of-the-mill company to one that controls about 40% of a huge and lucrative market in a little over a decade) that there was too much work and not enough lawyers, and they're in the process of fixing that (hence why they're hiring), but still, it's a bit concerning. I'm also a bit worried that they might overshoot and hire too many new people and have to lay people off, with all the FIFO risk that entails. Then as for my alternatives, my current employer is pretty comfortable/flexible (they charge me out at a significantly higher rate than the other lawyers, so I have a lot less billable pressure), and the other firm that's interested has enough regional and even national cache that it would be easy to build a practice/book quickly.

I think I'm leaning in house at the moment, but not without hesitation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273240
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Informal Poll for Experienced Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:48 pm

For me, I did not want to do firm hours in-house - the pay cut did not make sense otherwise. Some in-house jobs have close to firm hours, so I would be careful. There are a lot of in-house jobs right now. Be picky and consider other jobs. This is a big switch. Better to wait for the right fit in my opinion.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.