Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

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Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:44 am

I'm a junior attorney in a large market (not in NYC or CA), interviewing at a public company for a corporate counsel role. Currently a transactional associate at a large firm that has a very active, well-known corporate practice. Feel pretty lucky to be considered for this position since I applied for a random posting I found online in a city I'm not currently living in, but the work I do matches pretty closely with the job description and I have some family ties to the area, although I don't have as many years experience compared to some of the other candidates. Been through a couple rounds of interviews and it sounds like if an offer does come through, it will be sometime next week.

I've researched Glassdoor, Robert Half (just provides aggregate compensation), LinkedIn (mostly more senior positions) and on TLS Salary Datapoint page, but since I'm focusing solely on in-house, wanted to see if TLS had any insight for what salary package (i.e., base salary $ + bonus $ or % + equity (if any)) is typical for an in-house counsel at a public company with between 1 and 3 years experience? TIA

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a junior attorney in a large market (not in NYC or CA), interviewing at a public company for a corporate counsel role. Currently a transactional associate at a large firm that has a very active, well-known corporate practice. Feel pretty lucky to be considered for this position since I applied for a random posting I found online in a city I'm not currently living in, but the work I do matches pretty closely with the job description and I have some family ties to the area, although I don't have as many years experience compared to some of the other candidates. Been through a couple rounds of interviews and it sounds like if an offer does come through, it will be sometime next week.

I've researched Glassdoor, Robert Half (just provides aggregate compensation), LinkedIn (mostly more senior positions) and on TLS Salary Datapoint page, but since I'm focusing solely on in-house, wanted to see if TLS had any insight for what salary package (i.e., base salary $ + bonus $ or % + equity (if any)) is typical for an in-house counsel at a public company with between 1 and 3 years experience? TIA


FWIW, I went inhouse relatively junior (after 2.5 years at a regional biglaw firm). The company I went to was a publicly traded midcap company. I was in a secondary city (think Sacramento, Kansas City, St. Louis, Cleveland) and my salary was 135k+ 15-20% bonus.

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Yugihoe
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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Yugihoe » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
FWIW, I went inhouse relatively junior (after 2.5 years at a regional biglaw firm). The company I went to was a publicly traded midcap company. I was in a secondary city (think Sacramento, Kansas City, St. Louis, Cleveland) and my salary was 135k+ 15-20% bonus.


Wow what a great outcome, especially for the lower COL in your secondary city. What practice area did you have in big law if you don't mind me asking? And did you go into a general role inhouse?

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:53 pm

don't think there is a typical when it comes to in house salaries

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2014
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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby 2014 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:36 pm

Varies wildly but secondary city Anon's outcome is probably a fair assumption, if not a little higher than you could anticipate. Depending on the company i could see the split being more bonus-heavy (i.e. 120k w/ 25-33% bonus) and fringe benefits are probably bespoke. I wouldn't expect equity (at least not initially) coming in at such a junior level and to a company that has already IPO'd.

What's the job title? It's terribly imperfect but is another variable you could search - there's a rough spectrum of counsel/attorney < senior counsel < AGC < VP < deputy GC < GC but again, it varies.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:51 pm

I only reached the salary stage with one company, in-house at a large bay area tech co. If I remember correctly, the compensation was something like:

145k-150k base
15k bonus (expected).
~15k stock (50-60k initial grant that gets spread out over 4 years. Refresher grants possible but size and frequency unknown).
Maybe ~10k signing bonus (didn't get that far).
~5-10k of cash benefits, e.g. 401k match.

All-in was first year biglaw if everything came in correctly. If not, it would be below.

It's possible that some of those numbers, esp. stock and signing, would've come in lower on an actual offer sheet. Don't think they would've come in higher.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Yugihoe
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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Yugihoe » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I only reached the salary stage with one company, in-house at a large bay area teach co. If I remember correctly, the compensation was something like:

145k-150k base
15k bonus (expected).
~15k stock (50-60k initial grant that gets spread out over 4 years. Refresher grants possible but size and frequency unknown).
Maybe ~10k signing bonus (didn't get that far).
~5-10k of cash benefits, e.g. 401k match.

All-in was first year biglaw if everything came in correctly. If not, it would be below.

It's possible that some of those numbers, esp. stock and signing, would've come in lower on an actual offer sheet. Don't think they would've come in higher.


Pretty good. What practice area? How long did your search take? Prior relevant work exp?

Can anonymous users list this info in general? It's useful info along with class year.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:34 pm

I went in house before my third year. West coast. Breakdown is:

$180k base
$25k bonus (variable; pegged to performance of the company)
$60k in RSUs and options vesting over 4 years (roughly $30k grants annually thereafter, same vesting schedule)
$5k in 401k match

A former firm colleague of mine in my same class year also went in house locally and had a slightly higher base, but I'm not sure about his bonus/equity situation. Both of us got very lucky, since other colleagues at my old firm who went in house with 3-5 years more experience got around $150k base. Another buddy of mine got $125k with a 25% bonus with his in house offer (same class year me). Moral of the story is that it is total luck of the draw.

Edit for Yugihoe's questions:
Practice area: I'd rather not specify, but niche.
How long did search take: I wasn't actively looking to go in house, but just decided to throw in my CV based on a reference. Time from the initial application to offer letter was about 1 month.
Prior work experience relevant: I would say no. What helped me nab the job was that my practice area and experience at the firm aligned very closely with what they were looking for.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:25 pm

Logically, I don't think there can't be a typical in-house salary package. In-house has too many moving parts. A typical in-house package is probably going to be impacted by the following five variables.

1) State of the market/economy (i.e. did you get your job during a boom or a recession/bust?)
2) Work experience
3) Location (e.g. LA, DC, NY, CHI are probably all going to pay more than most companies in Atlanta, Portland, Miami)
4) Size of company in revenue (e.g. Microsoft (Fortune 25) is probably paying their lawyers more than Wendy's (Fortune 999))
5) Different industries may have different package compositions/base salary standards (e.g. tech vs. automotive)

On the flip side, BL at the current market rate ($180,000/yr.) relies on a lot more stability.
1) During a market downturn, PPP takes a hit, and they purge costly non-equity partners and senior associates, so they can continue hiring at $180,000/yr. base and maintain business by providing services at lower rates to their clients. When the economy is good, they try to keep the salary where it is to pump up PPP and milk senior associates and non-equity partners billing rates.
2) As for work experience, the Cravath scale is agreed upon across the BL industry and offers a very systematic way to determine pay based on WE.
3) When it comes to location, BL at the current market rate pretty much only exists in four major cities (DC, CHI, NYC, LA)
4) In terms of revenue, all market paying firms have hundreds of millions, and some even have billions, in revenue
5) They are all in the same industry (i.e. legal services), so there is no gradation there.

I think a better question would be "what are typical in-house salary packages for F500 SF/SV tech with 0-3yrs WE?" Understandably, the more narrow scope will likely lower the data points offered, but the data points that do get offered might be more useful than the ones captured with a wider net.

This is just my $0.02. My analysis could be absolute shit. I'm more than open to that possibility. :lol:

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:38 pm

OP here - thanks for the responses. Seems like salary/bonus is generally on par with what others have posted, but good to know the amount and terms of equity awards for attorneys going in-house at a junior level, and I understand that these amounts can vary drastically based on location, seniority and specialty.

Will have to wait and see if the offer actually comes in now...

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I went in house before my third year. West coast. Breakdown is:

$180k base
$25k bonus (variable; pegged to performance of the company)
$60k in RSUs and options vesting over 4 years (roughly $30k grants annually thereafter, same vesting schedule)
$5k in 401k match

A former firm colleague of mine in my same class year also went in house locally and had a slightly higher base, but I'm not sure about his bonus/equity situation. Both of us got very lucky, since other colleagues at my old firm who went in house with 3-5 years more experience got around $150k base. Another buddy of mine got $125k with a 25% bonus with his in house offer (same class year me). Moral of the story is that it is total luck of the draw.

Edit for Yugihoe's questions:
Practice area: I'd rather not specify, but niche.
How long did search take: I wasn't actively looking to go in house, but just decided to throw in my CV based on a reference. Time from the initial application to offer letter was about 1 month.
Prior work experience relevant: I would say no. What helped me nab the job was that my practice area and experience at the firm aligned very closely with what they were looking for.


I'd love to know the practice area. If you wouldn't mind PMing me I'd appreciate it. No worries if you'd rather not disclose.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby h2go » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I went in house before my third year. West coast. Breakdown is:

$180k base
$25k bonus (variable; pegged to performance of the company)
$60k in RSUs and options vesting over 4 years (roughly $30k grants annually thereafter, same vesting schedule)
$5k in 401k match

A former firm colleague of mine in my same class year also went in house locally and had a slightly higher base, but I'm not sure about his bonus/equity situation. Both of us got very lucky, since other colleagues at my old firm who went in house with 3-5 years more experience got around $150k base. Another buddy of mine got $125k with a 25% bonus with his in house offer (same class year me). Moral of the story is that it is total luck of the draw.

Edit for Yugihoe's questions:
Practice area: I'd rather not specify, but niche.
How long did search take: I wasn't actively looking to go in house, but just decided to throw in my CV based on a reference. Time from the initial application to offer letter was about 1 month.
Prior work experience relevant: I would say no. What helped me nab the job was that my practice area and experience at the firm aligned very closely with what they were looking for.


I'd love to know the practice area. If you wouldn't mind PMing me I'd appreciate it. No worries if you'd rather not disclose.


That's about the compensation at the large Bay Area tech companies for product counsel roles, which tend to hire more from tech transaction practice areas.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I went in house before my third year. West coast. Breakdown is:

$180k base
$25k bonus (variable; pegged to performance of the company)
$60k in RSUs and options vesting over 4 years (roughly $30k grants annually thereafter, same vesting schedule)
$5k in 401k match

A former firm colleague of mine in my same class year also went in house locally and had a slightly higher base, but I'm not sure about his bonus/equity situation. Both of us got very lucky, since other colleagues at my old firm who went in house with 3-5 years more experience got around $150k base. Another buddy of mine got $125k with a 25% bonus with his in house offer (same class year me). Moral of the story is that it is total luck of the draw.

Edit for Yugihoe's questions:
Practice area: I'd rather not specify, but niche.
How long did search take: I wasn't actively looking to go in house, but just decided to throw in my CV based on a reference. Time from the initial application to offer letter was about 1 month.
Prior work experience relevant: I would say no. What helped me nab the job was that my practice area and experience at the firm aligned very closely with what they were looking for.


I'd love to know the practice area. If you wouldn't mind PMing me I'd appreciate it. No worries if you'd rather not disclose.


I can PM you, but I'm not sure how to PM an anonymous post.

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PB&J.D.
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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby PB&J.D. » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote: I can PM you, but I'm not sure how to PM an anonymous post.

Also interested; not anon-op.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Yugihoe » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:15 pm

PB&J.D. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: I can PM you, but I'm not sure how to PM an anonymous post.

Also interested; not anon-op.


Wow that's such a fantastic lat move as a 3rd year associate, anon. Do you mind PMing me as well with your practice area? I'm thinking of switching my practice area and this would be useful info to know.

Slickrick90
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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Slickrick90 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I went in house before my third year. West coast. Breakdown is:

$180k base
$25k bonus (variable; pegged to performance of the company)
$60k in RSUs and options vesting over 4 years (roughly $30k grants annually thereafter, same vesting schedule)
$5k in 401k match

A former firm colleague of mine in my same class year also went in house locally and had a slightly higher base, but I'm not sure about his bonus/equity situation. Both of us got very lucky, since other colleagues at my old firm who went in house with 3-5 years more experience got around $150k base. Another buddy of mine got $125k with a 25% bonus with his in house offer (same class year me). Moral of the story is that it is total luck of the draw.

Edit for Yugihoe's questions:
Practice area: I'd rather not specify, but niche.
How long did search take: I wasn't actively looking to go in house, but just decided to throw in my CV based on a reference. Time from the initial application to offer letter was about 1 month.
Prior work experience relevant: I would say no. What helped me nab the job was that my practice area and experience at the firm aligned very closely with what they were looking for.


Sounds like Amazon :P A buddy of mine works at Amazon and it is very similar to his offer.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby t-14orbust » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:30 pm

Sorry--that was me that asked for the PM.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:31 pm

Yugihoe wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
FWIW, I went inhouse relatively junior (after 2.5 years at a regional biglaw firm). The company I went to was a publicly traded midcap company. I was in a secondary city (think Sacramento, Kansas City, St. Louis, Cleveland) and my salary was 135k+ 15-20% bonus.


Wow what a great outcome, especially for the lower COL in your secondary city. What practice area did you have in big law if you don't mind me asking? And did you go into a general role inhouse?


Corporate/dabbled a bit in tech trans (30%). The role was mostly tech transactions work for a non-tech company. Support their IT department.

Anonymous User
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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:54 pm

Slickrick90 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I went in house before my third year. West coast. Breakdown is:

$180k base
$25k bonus (variable; pegged to performance of the company)
$60k in RSUs and options vesting over 4 years (roughly $30k grants annually thereafter, same vesting schedule)
$5k in 401k match

A former firm colleague of mine in my same class year also went in house locally and had a slightly higher base, but I'm not sure about his bonus/equity situation. Both of us got very lucky, since other colleagues at my old firm who went in house with 3-5 years more experience got around $150k base. Another buddy of mine got $125k with a 25% bonus with his in house offer (same class year me). Moral of the story is that it is total luck of the draw.

Edit for Yugihoe's questions:
Practice area: I'd rather not specify, but niche.
How long did search take: I wasn't actively looking to go in house, but just decided to throw in my CV based on a reference. Time from the initial application to offer letter was about 1 month.
Prior work experience relevant: I would say no. What helped me nab the job was that my practice area and experience at the firm aligned very closely with what they were looking for.


Sounds like Amazon :P A buddy of mine works at Amazon and it is very similar to his offer.


It is not Amazon. I understand anecdotally that Amazon's comp doesn't compare favorably to its peer companies.

Anonymous User
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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:12 pm

Yugihoe wrote:
PB&J.D. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: I can PM you, but I'm not sure how to PM an anonymous post.

Also interested; not anon-op.


Wow that's such a fantastic lat move as a 3rd year associate, anon. Do you mind PMing me as well with your practice area? I'm thinking of switching my practice area and this would be useful info to know.


Thanks. I consider myself very lucky. Perhaps I was being too cautious earlier -- anyhow, I did technology transactions while I was at a firm.

To be honest, I don't think that specialization affected my comp at my in house role. While it is true that tech trans allowed me to make the jump earlier, I highly doubt that in an in house context, someone with tech trans experience would get paid more than say someone with general corporate experience, all other things being equal.

As others have said above, comp in house is very much a crap shoot. Doing tech trans lets you make the jump after a shorter stint in a firm but it really doesn't give you more leverage regarding your salary.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:15 pm

OP here -- offer did end up coming through (hallelujah!), so thought it'd be helpful to include this as an additional data point since this position is not in CA/NYC.

$150k base
$37.5k bonus (variable; pegged to performance of the company)
$30k in RSUs and options
$20k sign-on bonus
6% 401k match

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Roy McAvoy
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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Roy McAvoy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here -- offer did end up coming through (hallelujah!), so thought it'd be helpful to include this as an additional data point since this position is not in CA/NYC.

$150k base
$37.5k bonus (variable; pegged to performance of the company)
$30k in RSUs and options
$20k sign-on bonus
6% 401k match


Pretty solid in my opinion. Are you in a low COL area?

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:17 pm

Any chance the above can be negotiated, or do they kind of expect you to "take it or leave it"?

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any chance the above can be negotiated, or do they kind of expect you to "take it or leave it"?

OP here -- there were some preliminary discussions about salary (which I'd tried to delicately delay until after an offer was in hand, but they kept coming back to this), with the 150k base being at the high-end of the range already, and after some back and forth, sounds like they won't budge off that. The sign-on bonus was not originally included, so that was something additional I negotiated (since I'll be forgoing a roughly equivalent bonus in Dec./Jan.). No luck in negotiating higher or acceleration of equity.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:49 pm

I got to the salary stage last year, as a 3rd year associate in a secondary midwest market.

$150k base
15-20% ($22.5k-$30k) bonus based on business success
6% 401(k) match

No stock, no sign on. I decided I didn't want the gig and turned it down without negotiating. Back on the market now as a 4th (almost 5th!) year and hoping for something slightly higher.




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