Silly to go in-house?

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Silly to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:11 am

I'm a 3rd or 4th year associate at a DC firm where I do healthcare work (Medicaid and Medicare stuff mostly). The pay is market. I like my colleagues and the substance of the work, but there is too much of it. I work nearly every weekend, and most nights. I've gained weight, and I don't have much time for hobbies and exercise. But overall life is pretty good.

My reviews have all be positive. So I don't think I'm in danger of being fired any time soon, though I have no idea whether the firm would ever want to make me a permanent role.

In the last few weeks, however, I've learned of a healthcare job at a company in exactly the part of he country where I'd want to live. The pay is pretty good--more than 200k/year; less than I could make at the law firm next year, but still good. I've very tempted to apply for the job, and I'd be a good fit for it. I expect I'd rarely work outside of business hours. And the work would probably be much easier.

Am I silly to apply now when my firm position is relatively stable? My fiancé thinks so. She thinks I'd be selling myself short. She thinks even if the firm doesn't want to keep me in a couple years, the partners I work for would help me find a good landing spot. She may be right, but the in-house job sounds so nice.

I think I should apply only if I'm ready to leave the firm. What do people think?

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TLSModBot

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby TLSModBot » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:17 am

I think you'd be silly not to apply.

200K/yr and not Biglaw (though I hear the healthcare side of things can still be more intensive than most in-house counsel roles) sounds like a fucking dream tbh.

How do you weigh the chances of A. making it into some kind of permanent/long-term position at the firm (counsel/partner/permanent associate/etc.) and B. being able to live comfortably/feel happy with your workload, lack of hobbies/exercise, and staying in DC vs. the chance that you won't enjoy the new job/last in that role and the definite short-term paycut? There's no right answer here but personally I'd take the new job and run if you can get it.

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sublime

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby sublime » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:41 am

I'd take the job and run too.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:15 pm

I am in a similar situation and applied for, and will take, the in house if I get it. I am well regarded and am told I will make partner. I just refuse to spend the rest of my life grinding. I want to explore other aspects of my life which have languished while I have excelled in law.

The only crazy decision is to not interview. I personally believe people should go on at least one job interview a year to see what is out there. Maybe it sucks and re-affirms your love of the firm (has happened to me), maybe it is way better and you depart.

The ultimate decision has to be made by you. Unlike the picture painting on this site, all in house jobs arent gold and all biglaw jobs are not trash. In house vs firm is deeper than a professional decision. It is much more about what you intend to get out of life. There is no right answer.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby johndhi » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:53 pm

I'd reiterate the last poster's post. He nailed it.

Also: your S/O, like mine, probably thinks of your job as a good, stable one that pays a lot. but people who aren't in biglaw miss a couple of important things about it: the first is what you've mentioned, that it feels like you don't have a life outside of it. that's very difficult. the second hasn't been mentioned: it isn't a permament position. whether they say so or not, most firms have an up-or-out culture. either you make partner or you get stuck in a weird place that doesn't last forever. putting in-house on your resume is actually adds stability IMO.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby favabeansoup » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:07 pm

sublime wrote:I'd take the job and run too.


^ yep.

Option A) Stay at firm for a few more years. Chances of making partner are slim. Even if you do make partner, your workload only increases, it doesn't ever get better. Partner you get much more pay, but more weekends, more nights, less exercise, less hobbies, less fiancé time.

Say you want to leave in house later as 7th or 8th year. Your experience would demand a higher in house position than a 3rd or 4th year would get (more pay, better title) , but that also means these positions are harder to find. Partners can "help" you all they want, but this is your career to worry about. Getting denied for over experience in house jobs is a very real thing.

Besides the point. A 200k in house gig is a pretty damn good option. I doubt you'd ever find a significantly better opportunity to move in house, even as a more senior associate with partners helping you out.

Option B) Make 200k+, live in area you want to, probably don't have to track billables, likely better long term job security, probably much less time spent working, more time for fiancé and hobbies and exercise.

This just seems like an absolute no brainer to apply and accept if you get it.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I work nearly every weekend, and most nights. I've gained weight, and I don't have much time for hobbies and exercise.

. . . .

Am I silly to apply now when my firm position is relatively stable? My fiancé thinks so. She thinks I'd be selling myself short. She thinks even if the firm doesn't want to keep me in a couple years, the partners I work for would help me find a good landing spot. She may be right, but the in-house job sounds so nice.



Am I the only one who read this and started wondering if OP's fiance is a gold digger? I wouldn't want my fiance to keep a job that makes them fat and boring if the alternative is less fat and less boring and still pretty rich.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby Pulsar » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:05 pm

Whoops anon was me; clicked the wrong button.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:31 pm

I think it would be silly not to seriously consider the position. Coming from someone who went biglaw-inhouse-biglaw again, I've seen the good and bad of both. The one thing that you have to consider is that it is often hard to move up in-house. Depending on the position, it may be better to stay 6-8 years to try to get a associate GC position vs going in at a corporate counsel position.

4 years experience in inhouse years is generally still pretty junior. It is also pretty difficult to go back to biglaw from inhouse later on in your career.
With that said, your inhouse job pays exceptionally well for a relatively junior position.

To be honest, making partner isn't just about doing good work, you also need a sizable client base or having a certain skillset and having luck on your side.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby zot1 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:20 pm

Sounds like your fiancé wants you to stay busy for longer hours than you should...

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:34 pm

OP here. Thank you everyone for their responses. I'm surprised so many think the in-house position may be the better one.

I talk tonight about the potential in-house position to a friend who works for the company. He has been there for a few years and loves it. He said the compensation is close to a what a 4-5 biglaw associate would make, though the bonuses can be larger for biglaw. The job would be regulatory counsel--not sure how that relates to leadership roles in the company.

I showed my fiance the responses to my original post, and she asked me to assure everyone she is not a gold digger. She's not. She has encouraged me to look for jobs at the federal government, where I would make less than half of what the in-house job makes. She just really likes DC--her family lives fairly close by, which would come into play if we have a child in the next couple of years as planned. And she likes her job here, so she would be sacrificing her career somewhat. She thinks it would be better for me to go in-house after a couple of additional years at the firm, and she may feel better at leaving her job in a couple of years.

Another thing is that I don't mind my job. It's interesting work, and the stress is manageable. It's just the long hours that are a drag.

My friend at the company thinks I should only if I'd likely accept if I get it. He says that I may burn bridges at the company if I get it but turn it down. And he says 1-2 positions open up every year that might be good for me. He'd keep his eye open for opportunities there for me.

I'll think more about it this week certainly, but my gut tells me that it may be better to stick it out a couple more years at the firm before making any big work decisions, especially since that's my fiance's strong preference. I just hope Trump doesn't repeal all healthcare regulations and/or destroy DC in the next couple of years.

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zot1

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby zot1 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:11 pm

OP, I was just messing.

With her career involved (maybe I missed that in the first post?), then I can see why it would make sense to hang tight for a bit.

But in reality, going in-house is a great opportunity. You can at least apply and see if you get it.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby TLSModBot » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:14 pm

Good luck OP - you know you best.

Do update us down the line; it'd be educational either way for those of us just behind you in Biglaw to see how things turn out.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:50 pm

Good luck OP, there are clearly a lot more factors at play which we do not understand and which have nothing to do with the career decision.

I do not agree that you should not interview. My friend turned down an offer at an in house firm. A year later she said she asked if they were still interested. She immediately got the offer.

If you get the job and don't take the offer just say your wife isn't ready to move but hopefully we can keep the door open in the future if there is a spot and your wife is ready. You'll probably be the top candidate when the next round comes up.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby trebekismyhero » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Good luck OP, there are clearly a lot more factors at play which we do not understand and which have nothing to do with the career decision.

I do not agree that you should not interview. My friend turned down an offer at an in house firm. A year later she said she asked if they were still interested. She immediately got the offer.

If you get the job and don't take the offer just say your wife isn't ready to move but hopefully we can keep the door open in the future if there is a spot and your wife is ready. You'll probably be the top candidate when the next round comes up.


Totally agree. There is no downside to interviewing even if you don't want to make the move yet.

And as Capitol Idea said, please update us on everything for those of us more junior. Good luck

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:28 pm

Yeah idk why you wouldn't at least interview, OP. It's one thing to consider the idea. It changes the equation when you have an offer in hand. Also, though maybe your friend knows best, I don't see why declining an offer would burn any bridges, especially if you stay at your firm and tell them the truth (wife's desires). No one is so sensitive that they will be angry at that. Like others said, it may be beneficial because if you and your wife decide it's a job you would be interested in (in the future), they don't have to vet another candidate if they already know they like you.

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nealric

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby nealric » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:16 pm

Take the interview at least.

I went in house from a similar position. I didn't hate firm life, in fact I was in a good situation. But with the right company, in-house can be fantastic. It's worth finding out if this is one of those positions.

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Re: Silly to go in-house?

Postby Johann » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:15 pm

sublime wrote:I'd take the job and run too.



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