In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

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In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:57 am

I've been working in-house for approximately four years for the same company. I am located in a non-major market. Love the job, the work, opportunities and experiences. This was my first job out of law school, so I wouldn't be helpful to answer questions on lateraling.
Any other questions I should be able to give you some answers or insight.
Go ahead and ask.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've been working in-house for approximately four years for the same company. I am located in a non-major market. Love the job, the work, opportunities and experiences. This was my first job out of law school, so I wouldn't be helpful to answer questions on lateraling.
Any other questions I should be able to give you some answers or insight.
Go ahead and ask.


Thanks for taking questions. If you are comfortable sharing, what has your salary and benefits progression looked like each year? Based on what you've seen from an in-house perspective, do you agree with conventional wisdom that in-house becomes a possibility year 3, with the sweet spot being 4-6 - assuming top firm and credentials.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby zot1 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:50 pm

What are your hours like?

Where do you see yourself in three years?

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've been working in-house for approximately four years for the same company. I am located in a non-major market. Love the job, the work, opportunities and experiences. This was my first job out of law school, so I wouldn't be helpful to answer questions on lateraling.
Any other questions I should be able to give you some answers or insight.
Go ahead and ask.


Thanks for taking questions. If you are comfortable sharing, what has your salary and benefits progression looked like each year? Based on what you've seen from an in-house perspective, do you agree with conventional wisdom that in-house becomes a possibility year 3, with the sweet spot being 4-6 - assuming top firm and credentials.


I don't want to post an exact salary number and benefits package but I will give some info.
I'm not in a major market city so I am below $180k that associates at big firms would be paid but still six figures. I also have the opportunity to be paid a cash bonus depending on performance and profitability of the company. We are also given an equity bonus with stock options and restricted stock shares (I prefer the restricted stock shares.) I have a typical employee benefits package with health, dental, 401k, life insurance, PTO, ect.

From my experiences and meeting other in-house attorneys I think that lateraling after 3 years is certainly a possibility. However, most recently I have been told that 5-7 has been the sweet spot for most looking to do so. Some company's are looking for no less than 5.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:06 pm

zot1 wrote:What are your hours like?

Where do you see yourself in three years?


Hours are a typical 8-5. There is occasional weekend work, maybe once every two months. There is also occasional work related travel that I must do. The hours are fantastic and can't be beat.

In 3 years I see myself still working in the office of General counsel here. I hope to have moved up a position by then, but upward advancement is slower because not many people quit or retire and the office is fairly small to begin with. I have no reason to leave. Love the company and what I do. However, looking further ahead, I wouldn't mind developing into an executive role along with general counsel. Currently, our GC has a dual role of COO and that would be an awesome gig. A lot more hours and stress and responsibility but I would be interested in learning more.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:52 pm

Can you talk about the process of searching for in house positions as a 3L for post-grad? Is there a list of companies (similar to NALP Directory) that hire 3Ls available?

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Pokemon » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:05 pm

What is the industry if the company you are working for?

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can you talk about the process of searching for in house positions as a 3L for post-grad? Is there a list of companies (similar to NALP Directory) that hire 3Ls available?


I had already spent a summer working for the company before my 3L year so I didn't go that exact route.

The job search is easier if you have narrowed it down to an industry you want to work in. Then you can focus your search on geographic area and start to try and get in touch with people at those companies and you will develop an idea of their hiring needs and requirements.

All of the other resources are available as well, Internet, career service office, word of mouth, and networking. Very important on the networking side.

As far as I know, there isn't a list published that shows what companies hire 3Ls and which require experience. However, as a rule of thumb, Apple isn't going to hire a 3L, but an up and coming business in your mid sized hometown might be. That doesn't mean you won't find work for large and established businesses, it just illustrates the point that a lot
of HUGE companies hire experienced only.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:29 pm

Pokemon wrote:What is the industry if the company you are working for?


Insurance

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:37 pm

What are your thoughts on JD advantage positions (legal analyst positions)?

Is it normal (at lest at your company) for 3Ls hired for these positions to be able to move into actual JD/bar required positions after some experience?

Note: I'm anon cuz im the one who created the other thread asking the same question

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:40 pm

Thanks for doing this OP. how did you choose insurance industry as your first choice? what other industries have you considered and compared? what are the factors in making your decision? I'm a junior associate but thinking of making a jump in a few years.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've been working in-house for approximately four years for the same company. I am located in a non-major market. Love the job, the work, opportunities and experiences. This was my first job out of law school, so I wouldn't be helpful to answer questions on lateraling.
Any other questions I should be able to give you some answers or insight.
Go ahead and ask.


Going directly out of law school, did you feel adequately trained for the work? Did you participate in any clinics while in school that helped you obtain the necessary experience/knowledge?

ETA: Are you located in East Coast, Midwest, Pacific, etc?

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are your thoughts on JD advantage positions (legal analyst positions)?

Is it normal (at lest at your company) for 3Ls hired for these positions to be able to move into actual JD/bar required positions after some experience?

Note: I'm anon cuz im the one who created the other thread asking the same question


I know a lot of people with JD advantage jobs and most of them work in compl image related fields, policy related fields, or insurance. I think they are good jobs for someone who doesn't want to practice law and even for those who can't find law right away. I'm not familiar with the legal analyst job but that sounds certainly JD related and I would assume you could turn that into an in house gig over time if you wanted.
I know of a guy who is JD and licensed but works as a contract analyst, but that is a non legal job for the state government. So these jobs are all over the board.
In my company I have seen a couple of people take the non-lawyer job that was JD preferred and move into in house counsel. A few years before I started there were two attorneys within the company that started as paralegals even though they wer licensed attorneys and within a few years were promoted.

Anything is possible. If and when you interview for one of these jobs you should discuss this in the interview.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this OP. how did you choose insurance industry as your first choice? what other industries have you considered and compared? what are the factors in making your decision? I'm a junior associate but thinking of making a jump in a few years.


I ultimately chose the insurance industry because that is what I had experience in when I graduated. But what lead me to that a genuine interest in the industry and business. Ever since college and I wasn't only interested in the legal side but also the business side and how the companies make money. Strange interest I have been told, but I find it fascinating.

I've looked at going in house for a manufacturing company (think chemical manufacturing) but didn't really care for the office or business. There are also a lot of software and computer related in house gigs but I don't care for the IP and transactional work. I prefer litigation. Plus, tech related in house jobs aren't as stable in the long run. You'll make more money than me in 3-5 years; however, I will still be in business in 30.

A lot of it boiled down to the fact that I like insurance related litigation and the amount of in house litigation and settlement work insurance lawyers do or can be involved in. Being "in house" you are also the client to law firms calling shots and that is a fun experience where you can learn a ton. I don't just do M&A, contracts, and employment law, a lot of what I do is litigation, arbitration, mediation, and settlements and I enjoy that. So long story short that's why I stay in insurance.

If you are a junior associate thinking of making the job I would find an industry you are interested in and really want to learn how they make their money (this is quite important to understand as in house) and then dive into that industry. There are a lot of good things about being in house as I'm sure you already know.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've been working in-house for approximately four years for the same company. I am located in a non-major market. Love the job, the work, opportunities and experiences. This was my first job out of law school, so I wouldn't be helpful to answer questions on lateraling.
Any other questions I should be able to give you some answers or insight.
Go ahead and ask.


Going directly out of law school, did you feel adequately trained for the work? Did you participate in any clinics while in school that helped you obtain the necessary experience/knowledge?

ETA: Are you located in East Coast, Midwest, Pacific, etc?


Located in the Midwest.

No, I did not feel adequately trained coming out of la school, at all. A lot of learning on the fly and a lot of learning from a great group of attorneys I work under. I still learn every single day. I'm getting better though! Day one on the job you simply don't have the expirence and knowledge to make the decisions you are asked to make. Your clients are not lawyers and assume since you are you know all the answers. Plus, you are a client to a law firm and they approach you with strategy questions or business questions that are difficult. Like I said, I'm constantly learning but I love it.

I didn't do any clinics that were helpful and I don't think my school had any that would have been. What I found helpful were internships, an insurance law class, legal research and writing (even though I still love Lexis research attorneys to help), and mock trial, trial advocacy, anything trial related.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:34 pm

I will have some time this evening to answer some more questions if anyone has them.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby iliketurtles123 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:42 pm

Thanks for doing this

I know you said you might not be helpful re: latering but, based on your experience, how do you feel about your ability to move to a firm or another company or even gov.?

Have headhunters reached out to you regarding opportunities? Have any of your peers been able to move?

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:03 pm

iliketurtles123 wrote:Thanks for doing this

I know you said you might not be helpful re: latering but, based on your experience, how do you feel about your ability to move to a firm or another company or even gov.?

Have headhunters reached out to you regarding opportunities? Have any of your peers been able to move?


I think moving to a firm might be difficult. If the firm practiced in insurance coverage or defense I would likely run into potential conflicts and that might be enough for them to dodge me from the get go. Haven't thought too much about moving to a firm.

On the other hand, moving to another company or a government agency is certainly possible. Especially a competitor firm or an agency that regulates the industry.

Yes, I have had headhunters reach out to me. A few of them happened pretty early on in my career 1-1 1/2 years in. I don't know how credible they were and they were looking to fill spots in start up companies. I've also had a few just generally reach out to gauge my interest. So mobility is certainly possible.

None of my co-workers have left since I have been here. I do have some colleagues who were also in house and one left in house for state government to be closer to home and two left for other companies within the same industry. I don't know of any in house to firm moves personally.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby yogotti » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Pokemon wrote:What is the industry if the company you are working for?


Insurance


Anonymous: I have some similar competency in this field. Would you mind PM'ing me as I would love to discuss further?

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:19 pm

yogotti wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Pokemon wrote:What is the industry if the company you are working for?


Insurance


Anonymous: I have some similar competency in this field. Would you mind PM'ing me as I would love to discuss further?


PM'd

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:55 am

I will have some time to answer more questions today if anyone is interested.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:03 pm

I have been looking at in-house positions for a while, most of them prefer contract negotiation or commercial agreement drafting skills, I do not think that's something corp attorneys at biglaws do (or at least where I am), how do you overcome the lack of experience in that case? Thank you.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby david787 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Plus, tech related in house jobs aren't as stable in the long run. You'll make more money than me in 3-5 years; however, I will still be in business in 30.


Not if you're in auto insurance, which will disappear once cars are autonomous.

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Re: In House Counsel Associate (4 years) Taking Questions

Postby thexfactor » Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:05 am

david787 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Plus, tech related in house jobs aren't as stable in the long run. You'll make more money than me in 3-5 years; however, I will still be in business in 30.


Not if you're in auto insurance, which will disappear once cars are autonomous.


Tech inhouse jobs aren't as stable but there are a ton of tech related positions. There seems to be more demand than supply (of people that actually have tech related experience). Furthermore, if you look at V100 firms, most firms have 30-50 or even 100 M&A associates. That can't be said about tech transactions attorneys. Outside a couple of exceptions, most firms only have a handful of tech associates. The work that is done in tech trans is extremely close (but on steroids) to the type of work done by most transactional tech inhouse counsel positions.

If your company goes out of business, it will be much more difficult to get another job.



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