Questions re: In-House Counsel Hunt (e.g., seasonality, recruiters, etc.)

(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.
job_hunter_1

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:40 pm

Questions re: In-House Counsel Hunt (e.g., seasonality, recruiters, etc.)

Postby job_hunter_1 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:09 pm

Hello all!

I am beginning my own hunt for an in-house counsel position after other co-workers have transitioned into non-Big Law jobs. My firm is pretty great in terms of quality of life ("QOL") relative to other Big Law firms. However, a long-term career in Big Law has never been my goal, the hours are still horrendous and (not surprisingly) I am liking it less and less.

My background--to the extent it matters--is as follows:

Law School: H/Y/S
Current Employer: V100/Texas/2.5 yrs.
Current Salary: New Cravath Scale (woo hoo!)
Section: Tax (do a little bit in other sections as well, such as M&A, Finance and Exec. Comp.)

My goals in the job hunt are, like most people, to better my quality of life and maintain a similar salary. The new Cravath scale will bump my peer group base salary up to $210K beginning in 2017. I hope to make $160K+/bonus/benefits in my new job.

My secondary goal is likely more difficult but less important. I hope to transition to a secondary or tertiary market (e.g., Chattanooga, Austin, Nashville, New Orleans, VA, NC, etc.) or out of the country. My wife and I do not enjoy our current city and are looking for an opportunity in a smaller location or abroad.

I have a few pointed questions regarding the job hunt if anyone is able to help. Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere on the board. I did a cursory search beforehand and found surprisingly little on topic.

1. Besides Glassdoor, LinkedIn, GoInHouse, and Lateral.ly, are there any websites that are widely used or helpful for searching for in-house positions?

2. Are there any recruiters that are widely recognized as the best for in-house positions? I know of Major, Lindsey & Africa but am unfamiliar with any others. Any additional tips on choosing a recruiter are appreciated.

3. Is it possible/recommended to get multiple recruiters?

4. How is the current market for in-house job positions? I've heard from one person that it is a bit slow right now but am unsure to what extent his experience is anecdotal.

5. Is there a seasonality to in-house counsel hires? Is right now as good a time as any to be applying?

6. Any additional advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Questions re: In-House Counsel Hunt (e.g., seasonality, recruiters, etc.)

Postby zot1 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:25 pm

Companies in the markets you listed will likely not pay you as much as you're hoping for.

Anonymous User
Posts: 312851
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Questions re: In-House Counsel Hunt (e.g., seasonality, recruiters, etc.)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:36 pm

Re: 3, ok to use multiple recruiters but most recruiters specialize in firm placements. Ones that are good at in-house placements are a bit harder to find, but they do exist. Note that while it is ok to use multiple recruiters, recruiters will want to know where you have had your materials submitted because they don't want to submit you twice to an opening (so you'll have to tell the recruiter if you have already had your materials submitted somewhere).

Re: pay, it will be dependent on the company and location, but you can expect to wind up with a compensation package that is less cash but more in equity (since you'll likely be able to purchase company stock at a discount). But overall you should expect that the compensation will be lower than law firm associate salary.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

favabeansoup

Bronze
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:26 pm

Re: Questions re: In-House Counsel Hunt (e.g., seasonality, recruiters, etc.)

Postby favabeansoup » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:09 am

job_hunter_1 wrote:
I hope to make $160K+/bonus/benefits in my new job.

My secondary goal is likely more difficult but less important. I hope to transition to a secondary or tertiary market (e.g., Chattanooga, Austin, Nashville, New Orleans, VA, NC, etc.) or out of the country. My wife and I do not enjoy our current city and are looking for an opportunity in a smaller location or abroad.



zot1 wrote:Companies in the markets you listed will likely not pay you as much as you're hoping for.


^ very unlikely to hit your target payscale in the markets you described, at least at $160k salary +. **Maybe not Austin, b/c that is actually more expensive than Dallas and Houston, but in house openings with non-tech experience aren't plentiful there**. Not meant to be critical, just trying to tell you about salaries of people I've seen go in house. In some places you might be able to line up some equity components to get you close or beyond that, but that's not cash. You would have better luck in the bigger coastal markets (NYC/LA/DC/etc) and bigger Texas cities like Dallas or Houston in hitting those.

What year are you in biglaw? 210k on cravath scale puts you at a 3rd year right?

job_hunter_1

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:40 pm

Re: Questions re: In-House Counsel Hunt (e.g., seasonality, recruiters, etc.)

Postby job_hunter_1 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:15 am

What year are you in biglaw? 210k on cravath scale puts you at a 3rd year right?


Yes--about to be third year. The evidence I've gotten so far from friends/co-workers is anecdotal so I welcome healthy skepticism. Two peers recently entered in-house positions (albeit in TX) with overall comp over $200K. Those pay rates surprised me and I was trying to get a better sense of the market. Appreciate the input.

Hopefully, if nothing else, I can land a good-paying job in a somewhat larger city (e.g., Charlotte, Nashville, etc.) that is still in a locale that we like.

Anonymous User
Posts: 312851
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Questions re: In-House Counsel Hunt (e.g., seasonality, recruiters, etc.)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:12 am

I can give you some insight from my inhouse search. I was at a regional biglaw firm in a secondary market doing M&A and technology transactions. I started my inhouse search after getting 2 years of experience. I didn't get a whole lot of traction but managed to get a couple of bites. I ended up moving to a midcap publicly traded company. THe pay was actually better than what I was making in a regional firm. 135 base vs 110k. My bonus was a lot better than at a law firm too. 25% vs 5-10k depending on my billables.

I think with your pedigree going inhouse shouldn't be too difficult. From my search of inhouse jobs, it seems that the most common jobs are related to tech transactions then M&A. I didn't see a lot of tax related jobs.

Anonymous User
Posts: 312851
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Questions re: In-House Counsel Hunt (e.g., seasonality, recruiters, etc.)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:48 pm

I'm currently in-house in a market you're targeting, but am also in a job search looking to move into a bigger market (Texas to be exact). Thought my experience might be helpful.

First as to your comp goal, it's a bit aggressive. I work for a large publicly-traded company & am only now bumping $160K without bonus. Not complaining because it was about what I was making in private practice in boutique transactional firm. I've been in-house roughly 2.5 years, & have only gotten a bonus once, after working on a pretty big transaction. In-house bonuses in my experience are rare, but there is some industry-specific variation there. I know, for example, from friends in Houston that bonuses are more common in the energy industry. Equity comp (at least the really meaningful kind) is only generally available at senior levels (assistant/associate GC), unless, again, you go to a smaller company where the comp packages are more tailored. Not sure what type of company/industry you're targeting (if any), but those things will determine a lot, including schedule (some companies follow different work schedules depending on industry), etc. Also keep in mind in terms of comp that it will not grow significantly until you begin to advance. I've gotten raises each year, but not the kind of bumps I received in practice.

To your specific questions:

1. I would suggest creating & using a LinkedIn profile if you don't already have one. If you do, make sure you have a pic & it's updated. Recruiters are pretty active on there & I have actually been contacted a couple times in the past for positions through LinkedIn. You can also do job searches & set up alerts. I have alerts set on on LinkedIn, Glassdoor & indeed. Finally, if you are targeting particular companies, obviously search their websites frequently. Sometimes you can create a profile & a job alert on those sites.

2. In my experience there are regional recruiters who are better than some of the national firms. They sometimes have websites, but frequently a lot of in-house positions are never advertised, & are confidential. So I would search for recruiters in the cities you are targeting & reach out to them. In New Orleans, for example, Shuart is a well-known recruiting firm. However, based on my experience of looking in the last few months, especially in the Texas market, a lot of companies are not using recruiters because of cost concerns. It remains true I think that your best option for moving in-house is by leveraging existing relationships you have.

3. Yes, I would absolutely recommend talking to/using different recruiters. As I said above, at least in the markets I've looked at, a lot of companies are not formally using recruiters, but I've gotten a heads up on positions coming open from a recruiter. Also, not knowing whether you've used a recruiter before, but I learned the hard way that at the end of the day, the recruiter works for the company they are hired by, & they only get paid if they fill the position. They don't work for you & they don't necessarily have your interest first & foremost. So I feel no necessary loyalty to one over another. That's not a knock on them, they're just doing their job. But you're in charge of your job search, not them.

4&5 - Again, this is based on my experience, but I've found the market slow. There is no real "seasonality", although some recruiters I've spoken with have indicated they expect the market to improve after the New Year, esp if commodity prices continue to improve. I get the sense that people are in a holding pattern right now waiting to see what happens. Being in one of the secondary markets you mentioned, I can tell you there is absolutely no rhyme or reason as to hiring, & in fact they are usually very static markets. Again, this is where knowing a particular industry &/or company/ies you are interested in would be beneficial.

Lastly as to "general advice," unless you really, really want a tax position, I think you might have more success playing up your overall corporate experience, & don't necessarily write off a position if it's not 100% on point with what you're looking for. Internal shuffling happens all the time in legal departments, & there is often a desire to fill positions internally first, so getting in the door is often the most important part.

I hope this is helpful, & sorry for the length.



Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.