Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

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Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:11 pm

I used TLS a lot back in the day and I wouldn't mind giving back in the form of solicited advice. My path was t25>t5 transfer, v10 biglaw>biglaw lateral>inhouse. I don't want to out my industry (or city) but it's sexy. At least on paper. Ask away.

Can offer advice on LSAT, LS exams/grades, transfering, OCI, SA, the bar (have multiple admissions), major metro biglaw, lateral hiring, paying off student loans (repaid over 250k to date), inhouse hiring and inhouse generally
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby trebekismyhero » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:14 pm

How many years were you in big law total and what was your practice area in big law? Did you get the in-house job through a recruiter?

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:16 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:How many years were you in big law total and what was your practice area in big law? Did you get the in-house job through a recruiter?


4 years (2 years at each firm). M&A. Yes.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:28 pm

How many in-house positions did you interview for before landing your current position?

I'm at a big law firm, 4 years in. Currently interviewing for 2 in-house positions at tech companies (completed 3rd round at one, 2nd round at the other). Have previously applied for other in-house positions without luck, though was a finalist for one position. I know 4 years is a little on the junior side but I'll keep trying until one pans out... glad to hear others have made it at 4 years experience!

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How many in-house positions did you interview for before landing your current position?

I'm at a big law firm, 4 years in. Currently interviewing for 2 in-house positions at tech companies (completed 3rd round at one, 2nd round at the other). Have previously applied for other in-house positions without luck, though was a finalist for one position. I know 4 years is a little on the junior side but I'll keep trying until one pans out... glad to hear others have made it at 4 years experience!


Literally just one -- 2 rounds here meeting with all the execs. It's a small legal department, which is the only way to go, imo. I did a secondment as a 2nd year to mega PE and while that certainly helped my pitch, it made me realize I didn't want to join a lawyer army where you effectively do biglaw for one client (a la Amazon-- if you're thinking of Amazon, run). This sounds douchey but I've always been one of those people who nails interviews. I cleaned up at OCI and it was during ITE as a transfer.

At my first firm, the sweet spot for exits seemed to be 4th year. Virtually the entire class thinned out for inhouse, albeit the majority seemed to be going to large places in junior roles. Still better than the prison camp we were in. The ones who remained were the most insufferable and generally contributed to the lemon problem among the senior associates that biglaw is known for.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:43 pm

Was the transfer w/debt repayment all worth it?

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Was the transfer w/debt repayment all worth it?


It was necessary to get to where I am now, at least at the time. Not sure if it was all worth it-- will need a few more years to evaluate. I was a splitter that slacked off in UG so law school was a bit of a resume reset button. That said, taking on this much unsecured debt is not worth my current result-- and it's a very good result for 99.9% of midlevel corporate lawyers. I really enjoyed 1L, hated the rest of LS, liked studying for the bar(s), hated biglaw, like my job now but there's way too much emphasis on facetime here. Thinking about how much money I spent on tuition and interest makes me sick to my stomach. Coping with the debt when I was going through the thick of it was hard, and hard on everyone around me. It took a huge psychic toll but it also made me disciplined enough to not impulsively quit out of frustration/lack of sleep.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:43 pm

What was the breakdown of PE vs. strategic work you did during each of your law firm stints? Public companies vs. private company work? Did it seem to matter to your employer or other in-house job opportunities you might have considered?

Why did you lateral? (different type of M&A work? just looking for a change of pace?)

Do you find your work in-house intellectually stimulating? Can you generally summarize your day-to-day? Would you characterize your work as strictly legal, or do you do some more business-side stuff as well?

When you say there's a face-time requirement, do you mean normal business hours? Or more than that? What are normal business hours?

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:53 pm

How much do grades matter when going in-house? I'm a 3L who's currently at the bottom of my class at a non-traditional grading school (think HYSCB), with a corporate job lined up post-grad at a reputable vault-ranked firm. If I stay there for 4-6 years, will that compensate for my low grades, especially since I'm hoping most people won't be able to understand them? Thanks!

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:54 pm

Salary? Future potential salary at your company? Hours, vacation, stress?

How do you feel about your status within the company? Are you a valued asset, or a necessary evil? Does legal get nice offices?

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:00 pm

When you said you probably wouldn't have taken the path, do you mean transferring to incur more debt or going to law school in the first place?

Pretty impressed with your loan repayment numbers. I am planning to be aggressive as well. Did you put any money towards 401k? Refinanced? What was your loan repayment strategy?

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What was the breakdown of PE vs. strategic work you did during each of your law firm stints? Public companies vs. private company work? Did it seem to matter to your employer or other in-house job opportunities you might have considered?

Why did you lateral? (different type of M&A work? just looking for a change of pace?)

Do you find your work in-house intellectually stimulating? Can you generally summarize your day-to-day? Would you characterize your work as strictly legal, or do you do some more business-side stuff as well?

When you say there's a face-time requirement, do you mean normal business hours? Or more than that? What are normal business hours?


Good Qs. First firm was about 75%/25% PE, granted 6 months of which I was on secondment so there was no real deal work during then. A couple take private transactions but mostly just helping these funds perpetuate the scam by creating liquidity for each other and indirectly trading portfolio companies. Second firm was 100% PE work. Lateraled to change markets.

Haven't been inhouse that long but so far the work is much better in that it's far more sandbox. You don't have an eDocs bank of precedents to text search and random shit just comes up that you have to paper by being inventive-- anything from random one-off sponsorship deals, resolving content disputes, dealing with companies that have far more leverage than we do but their bureaucracy makes them easy to out-maneuver, etc. This is a hybrid business/legal affairs position, so legal will originate and handle certain deals internally, meaning that we determine what economics work and don't need sign off from other internal business teams. The downside of business side means that you assume the risk of deals turning out bad after the fact. I'm one of three lawyers handling our entire US business and about 500 US employees/contractors, and, without getting into industry specifics, will deal with anything from promotional/sweepstakes disclosure, IP licensing, labor/HR issues, distribution, regulatory licensure, etc. Where stuff really gets interesting is sitting in on the new market entry, expansion, etc discussions and asking consultants probing questions. Hours are 9-5, no weekends, which sounds great, but I liked rolling into biglaw at 10:30 and leaving at 2pm when things were slow. Can't do that here. Senior VPs will literally read ESPN than go home before 5.

There are two types of lawyers-- ones who love riding the learning curve and improvising and others who just want to be on auto-pilot and like doing the same deal over and over again so that they don't get stressed out when faced with gaps in their knowledge. The latter make great biglaw associates but wouldn't do well in a job like this.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How much do grades matter when going in-house? I'm a 3L who's currently at the bottom of my class at a non-traditional grading school (think HYSCB), with a corporate job lined up post-grad at a reputable vault-ranked firm. If I stay there for 4-6 years, will that compensate for my low grades, especially since I'm hoping most people won't be able to understand them? Thanks!


I think non-1L grades are flame. I wouldn't plan on staying at any firm 4-6 years as you have to be a certain type of horrible person to do that but once you get your first job, substantive experience and general likeability are king. Of course saying magna in an interview never hurts but I honestly don't think it matters much in this world. For the clerkship>academia path, it's a different ballgame of course.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Salary? Future potential salary at your company? Hours, vacation, stress?

How do you feel about your status within the company? Are you a valued asset, or a necessary evil? Does legal get nice offices?


Around first year biglaw. Lowest on the attorney totem pole aside from compliance. I like to think that I've made legal a little more personable since I've been here but that could be self-delusion. In our industry, we're necessary but nature of the job is to play internal affairs. I think a big part of making legal likeable is to act like a problem solver and confidant so that people feel they can disclose stuff to you without it blowing up in their face. It's a weird line to walk. In every conversation you either gain or lose market share, so you really need to make sure people trust you to handle shit.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When you said you probably wouldn't have taken the path, do you mean transferring to incur more debt or going to law school in the first place?

Pretty impressed with your loan repayment numbers. I am planning to be aggressive as well. Did you put any money towards 401k? Refinanced? What was your loan repayment strategy?


Thanks. No 401k. No point without a match. They percentage match here so might need to change strategy (still have some UG loans left). I refi'd once it became available (was one of DRB's first customers in early '14) but that was a couple years after 7.9% took its toll. In less than 5 years of repayment, I will have paid about 63k in interest, 60k of which to the US government. If that isn't patriotic, I'm not sure what is. My strategy was put the lower interest loans on the longest possible amortization and pay off the highest interest bearing loans as quickly as possible. Averaged about 70k a year. Shared a tiny studio in an industrial shithole neighborhood and brought booze with me to bars. Ate last night's seamless for lunch. Literally lived better as a student than I did during those years. But I kept expenses low and just made $5k+ payments every months for years, incrementally increasing as the raises came in. Used bonus money on myself/vacations for sanity. Keep in mind this was all before PAYE, and I had pre-07 UG loans that DQ'd me there and IBR is a horrible deal. Not sure what I would've done had REPAYE been available before refi'ing to private. Either way, waiting for a bailout that likely wont ever come as long as boomers are in line before us seemed unpalatable so I just went aggressive and stuck with it.

I meant incurring that much debt. It irreparably changed me.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:38 pm

I know you commented on grades already but does school matter at all after your biglaw career?

Can you comment on your benefits and perks you receive?

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know you commented on grades already but does school matter at all after your biglaw career?

Can you comment on your benefits and perks you receive?


School rank definitely mattered here. Both lawyers here are t5 alums and they expressly wanted someone from one of those schools. Lawyers gonna lawyer. Not much in the way of perks. Much better health insurance than at either firm.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby v5junior » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Good Qs. First firm was about 75%/25% PE, granted 6 months of which I was on secondment so there was no real deal work during then. A couple take private transactions but mostly just helping these funds perpetuate the scam by creating liquidity for each other and indirectly trading portfolio companies. Second firm was 100% PE work. Lateraled to change markets.



Did you feel hamstrung at all by your PE-focused work experience?
Last edited by v5junior on Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:56 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:56 pm

Do you think your background in m&a helped in your search for an inhouse position? How did your friends in other groups (finance, cap markets etc.) fare?

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:58 pm

v5junior wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Good Qs. First firm was about 75%/25% PE, granted 6 months of which I was on secondment so there was no real deal work during then. A couple take private transactions but mostly just helping these funds perpetuate the scam by creating liquidity for each other and indirectly trading portfolio companies. Second firm was 100% PE work. Lateraled to change markets.



Thanks for the thorough response! Did you feel hamstrung at all by your PE-focused work experience?


Nah. The business world worships PE so it's an easy sell, even though in-house at a strategic is largely operations-focused rather than acquisition-minded.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:59 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:59 pm

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you think your background in m&a helped in your search for an inhouse position? How did your friends in other groups (finance, cap markets etc.) fare?


Definitely. M&A makes you the most well rounded and facile with contracts, which is 90% of the work. Finance is a dead end. Cap markets people can do well but they are prey for PE who tend to not have any need for securities lawyers at a now-private PC.

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Re: Post-Biglaw inhouse attorney, taking Qs

Postby 2014 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:52 pm

Was there anything specific that made you start submitting in-house applications? Do you think that your options would have been meaningfully different if you stuck it out at your then-firm (or another) for any additional time?

Did you do anything particular at a firm to make your more marketable to exit options? Did you try to focus on certain deal structures, sides, sizes, industries, etc. or did you just take whatever was handed to you? In that same vein was the secondment something you actively sought out or did the client just need someone and you were the person who happened to get asked?



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