Anonymous User wrote:How do you think about in house attorney's job security? Some people say in house positions are destined to short lived.
Whether in-house positions are short lived is highly company specific. Here are some factors to consider:
1. The performance review system. For example, does the company utilize a ranking system that forces some people to be classified as under-performing? Is there an up-and-out system (like for partnerships at some firms)?
2. Attrition history. How long do people stay at the position, and what are their reasons for leaving? Does the company burn through people ala Amazon?
3. How lean the legal department is. Generally, the smaller the legal department, the harder it is to replace you. If you are part of a small army of in-house lawyers, you are easier to replace.
4. Is the company a likely acquisition target (e.g., a late stage pharma startup)? If so, then your position may become "redundant." Consider whether there has been attempted acquisitions in the past, or whether acquisition is a stated goal of the company.
5. How the company values the legal department. Is it an integral and trusted part of the company? Or do they view legal as a rubber stamp or fun police, and scapegoat legal when things go wrong. Similarly, do they give legal a generous budget, or try to cut costs to the bone?
Anonymous User wrote:Any input on salary/salary negotiation for in-house positions? I'm a 4th-6th year associate expecting an offer for an in-house patent counsel position soon. Thoughts on reasonable range to request?
Salary is dependent on region, and to a lesser extent industry type (e.g., IT, pharma, hardware, financial). Do plenty of research beforehand on salary ranges in your area, for example using Glassdoor, Salary.com, or other resources. I've heard that my company has passed on several biglaw applicants before because their salary expectations were too high, so it's important to do your homework. If they ask you for a salary expectation, don't give an exact number but rather a range (should include the average but weighted towards the upper end).
A couple other tips for negotiation:
- Don't disclose your current salary. If they are insistent on this (or in my case, asked to fill out an electronic form where it's a required field), give a range instead of an actual number.
- Think of justifications for asking for salary that is higher than their initial offer. Use the market research, but you can also include personal factors. For example, if you jump shortly before a salary increase or bonus payout at your firm, tell them what you are foregoing.
- If they are not willing to increase salary by much, try asking for non-salary benefits that are important to you, such as increased vacation days, flexible schedule, moving fees if applicable, technology/bar association/conference allowance, etc.
- If you aren't getting anywhere with the HR rep you are dealing with, ask to speak with an HR supervisor. They may be able to offer more.