Best in house gigs?

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Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:13 am

I know this will vary depending on the person, but in general...what have you guys heard are the best places to work in-house? And what practice groups will best set you up for them?

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kellyfrost

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby kellyfrost » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:27 am

The ones that have equity bonuses like stock options and restricted stock units.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:47 am

Apple, Tesla, etc...

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know this will vary depending on the person, but in general...what have you guys heard are the best places to work in-house? And what practice groups will best set you up for them?


Speaking from experience, in-house tax is a great place to be. Many companies (mine included) put tax lawyers in the tax department instead of the legal department. This means you are working with mostly accountants instead of attorneys, who tend to have a much more mellow mentality (they haven't been abused by biglaw in the past). They also tend to be much more deferential to the attorneys than other attorneys or non-legal executives.

Specific companies are going to be hard to get information about. There's a massive difference between uber megacorps like Exxon or Apple, middle of the road F500 companies, mid-cap companies, and small companies that may only have one attorney. It's as wide as the difference between working at Skadden NYC or a small-town solo. It's also difficult to target working for a specific company like a law student may target a specific firm- they aren't hiring massive classes of new attorneys every year (some of the megacorps are exceptions)- they are looking for specific roles they can fill.

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know this will vary depending on the person, but in general...what have you guys heard are the best places to work in-house? And what practice groups will best set you up for them?


Speaking from experience, in-house tax is a great place to be. Many companies (mine included) put tax lawyers in the tax department instead of the legal department. This means you are working with mostly accountants instead of attorneys, who tend to have a much more mellow mentality (they haven't been abused by biglaw in the past). They also tend to be much more deferential to the attorneys than other attorneys or non-legal executives.

Specific companies are going to be hard to get information about. There's a massive difference between uber megacorps like Exxon or Apple, middle of the road F500 companies, mid-cap companies, and small companies that may only have one attorney. It's as wide as the difference between working at Skadden NYC or a small-town solo. It's also difficult to target working for a specific company like a law student may target a specific firm- they aren't hiring massive classes of new attorneys every year (some of the megacorps are exceptions)- they are looking for specific roles they can fill.


On this note, Exxon seems to be a great spot. I've interned there, and it didn't seem like people left unless they retired (at least on the IP side). Other than the regular corporate bullshit of any large company, everyone was pretty happy.

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:31 am

Interested to hear about anyone's experience with going in-house to an investment manager/PE fund, coming from a fund formation/investment management or regulatory group at a big firm.

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Kochel » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:47 pm

In-house at an asset manager (not PE), in my experience, has been a pretty sweet environment. The compensation generally is very good, with bonuses sometimes exceeding base salary, and the work is generally 9-6 with very few weekends. As with most in-house jobs, advancement (which can come with sizeable increases in comp) depends on the size of the legal department and is irregular (triggered usually by other departures). At many asset management firms, compliance is very closely tied to legal, which can lead to lateral moves.

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:07 pm

Kochel wrote:In-house at an asset manager (not PE), in my experience, has been a pretty sweet environment. The compensation generally is very good, with bonuses sometimes exceeding base salary, and the work is generally 9-6 with very few weekends. As with most in-house jobs, advancement (which can come with sizeable increases in comp) depends on the size of the legal department and is irregular (triggered usually by other departures). At many asset management firms, compliance is very closely tied to legal, which can lead to lateral moves.


That's my current goal. Mind sharing your prior firm experience (which group/how many years) and how you came about your current gig?

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Kochel wrote:In-house at an asset manager (not PE), in my experience, has been a pretty sweet environment. The compensation generally is very good, with bonuses sometimes exceeding base salary, and the work is generally 9-6 with very few weekends. As with most in-house jobs, advancement (which can come with sizeable increases in comp) depends on the size of the legal department and is irregular (triggered usually by other departures). At many asset management firms, compliance is very closely tied to legal, which can lead to lateral moves.


That's my current goal. Mind sharing your prior firm experience (which group/how many years) and how you came about your current gig?


bump for more input on in-house PE/HF/Asset Mgmt roles

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Kochel wrote:In-house at an asset manager (not PE), in my experience, has been a pretty sweet environment. The compensation generally is very good, with bonuses sometimes exceeding base salary, and the work is generally 9-6 with very few weekends. As with most in-house jobs, advancement (which can come with sizeable increases in comp) depends on the size of the legal department and is irregular (triggered usually by other departures). At many asset management firms, compliance is very closely tied to legal, which can lead to lateral moves.


That's my current goal. Mind sharing your prior firm experience (which group/how many years) and how you came about your current gig?


bump for more input on in-house PE/HF/Asset Mgmt roles


Also interested. In fact I came to this thread hoping to learn information about such positions lol

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star fox

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby star fox » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:01 pm

kellyfrost wrote:The ones that have equity bonuses like stock options and restricted stock units.

Yep.

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kellyfrost

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby kellyfrost » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:02 pm

star fox wrote:
kellyfrost wrote:The ones that have equity bonuses like stock options and restricted stock units.

Yep.


Any kind of equity bonus you can get your hands on is clutch.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:43 pm

Depends on your goals for career path and your personality. I never want to be a GC. The politic bullshit and prospect of having litigation under my purview isn't attractive. I have a corporate/M&A background and would like to be VP (or other flavor of exec) in charge of M&A/Commercial eventually. I'm in no rush and I'll be fine it that doesn't truly happen but that would be my ideal role someday, years from now. Accordingly, for me, the ideal position when I went in-house was a broad commercial role (help with product roll-out, sales and vendor contracting, strategic partnerships) and M&A too. Honestly, I probably would be okay staying on track for my goal even if the role was just focused on Commercial because I have significant M&A background from my law firm days. I know this is very specific, but this should be your thought process. Think about where you want to go and whether the role will get you there. Speaking to others in the field (and even head hunters, if you're coming up short) is absolutely necessary to have sufficient information to evaluate.

In addition, I wanted colleagues/specialists within Legal that would let me tap them rather than having to become a really broad generalist. Some people like the idea of figuring out litigation strategy, compliance with regulatory schemes, IP, etc. While in-house roles will almost surely be broader than your role at a firm, the breadth can vary a lot. At the same time, I didn't want such a deep bench that my scope was really narrow and siloed (e.g., just reviewing NDAs, or just doing sales facing commercial agreements).

I wanted a company where I believed in the product/mission. I didn't like being at a firm because I felt like a hired gun that wasn't part of team that moved the ball forward on any project or mission that would impact people's lives. For some, this doesn't matter, but I cared about it. I still interviewed with companies that wouldn't have checked this box, but it was something I was hoping to get when I moved in-house.

I also cared about culture. I'm an easy going person who likes to joke around. I wanted to be around people with similar personalities that were driven and smart, but didn't take themselves too seriously. I also know that I am not the type of person that can function well (or happily) in an atmosphere where it is necessary to put down co-workers to get ahead. I wanted to join a legal team where collegiality was valued. I also would feel like I was hiding my personality if I was working in a stuffy/serious atmosphere...I'd just feel stifled.

Last, I cared about compensation and room for promotion. The comp is pretty straightforward. Not sure why so many people are so crazy over equity grants...compensation is compensation. I don't care if its equity or cash. All things considered, I'd probably rather all cash because equity is almost always subject to vesting. My ideal role would allow me to get promoted without someone leaving. This isn't the case for a lot of in-house roles.

I also cared about work/life balance to some degree. Though, on the balance, I'd rather have interesting/high-level work and have a slightly more unpredictable schedule than a strict 9-5. I found most 9-5 jobs seemed pretty rote and boring.

There you have it. For me, I cared about scope of the work, size of legal department, company mission, culture, level of autonomy, compensation, room for promotion and work/life balance. I also wanted to remain in the same geographic location with limited travel for work.

Job hunting is similar to house hunting. You come up with a list of "must haves" and ideal qualities. You are very unlikely to get everything you want, but it can sometimes happen if you are lucky. The importance of each of these things will impact your ideal job too, of course (e.g., if you care most about comp, you might be best going into financial services...if you care about company mission a lot, financial services might not be right for you).

There are no ideal positions/companies. It totally depends on what you want. Hopefully my thought process for my job search helps you do some soul searching.

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Re: Best in house gigs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:14 pm

Ironically, some of the biggest, coolest companies (incl. Google) can be pretty terrible to work at as an attorney on the transactional end. They can exercise so much market power / clout that they have a standardized form for everything and refuse to alter it, so the more junior transactional attorneys become paper pushers.



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