Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 22, 2019 4:40 pm

Thanks all for the additional insight. Don't think they are going to move up at all based on conversations with their people.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 22, 2019 5:04 pm

High CoL in the NE, big company
I do general transactional work and went in house just after finishing my 3rd year

Base is 200 k, with inflation bumps each year + more if you do well
Target bonus is ~30%, but depends on company performance. Came out to 50% last time around
No stock grants at first hire, but started getting them after a year. ~15 k worth
6% of salary * 1.667 (effectively 10%) 401(k) match

other: daycare subsidies, above market leave policy, true M-F / 9-5

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 22, 2019 5:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:High CoL in the NE, big company
I do general transactional work and went in house just after finishing my 3rd year

Base is 200 k, with inflation bumps each year + more if you do well
Target bonus is ~30%, but depends on company performance. Came out to 50% last time around
No stock grants at first hire, but started getting them after a year. ~15 k worth
6% of salary * 1.667 (effectively 10%) 401(k) match

other: daycare subsidies, above market leave policy, true M-F / 9-5


Mind sharing what industry? A $200k base is very good (especially when you hit $100k bonus). You beat market for biglaw last year it appears.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 22, 2019 11:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:High CoL in the NE, big company
I do general transactional work and went in house just after finishing my 3rd year

Base is 200 k, with inflation bumps each year + more if you do well
Target bonus is ~30%, but depends on company performance. Came out to 50% last time around
No stock grants at first hire, but started getting them after a year. ~15 k worth
6% of salary * 1.667 (effectively 10%) 401(k) match

other: daycare subsidies, above market leave policy, true M-F / 9-5


Mind sharing what industry? A $200k base is very good (especially when you hit $100k bonus). You beat market for biglaw last year it appears.


Anon above. Left that a bit too rosy. That's my current base, but I'm a '13 grad, so definitely below biglaw market.
Finance industry.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 23, 2019 9:42 am

Anon from above with 125k base offer...think I am going to pass for now. It sounds like as a 4-5th year I should be closer to 150k-175k base + bonus.

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

Postby shock259 » Thu May 23, 2019 10:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anon from above with 125k base offer...think I am going to pass for now. It sounds like as a 4-5th year I should be closer to 150k-175k base + bonus.


Two other relevant factors are : 1) how desperate are you to get out of biglaw and 2) how long have you been searching for an in house job? I'm not putting my thumb on the scale either way. But if your misery level is high, you've been searching for a long time and you could live on $125k + bonus or whatever, then maybe it's not a bridge too far. After all, comparing your salary to what you're making in biglaw is always going to be disappointing.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 23, 2019 12:35 pm

Anon from above. In a comfortable position at my firm. Have been looking for a few months but certainly not desperate to get out!

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 24, 2019 1:55 pm

Currently a third year at a public, non-F500 company. Went in house straight out of school. Earning 130k base, 20% bonus, 15k annual equity (none of it will have vested when I depart). I moved my way up through a series of lucky moves after coming in at 100k base, which was the trade off for going straight in house.

Moving next month to a similar role at a F250 just outside a major city. 180k base, 15-20% individual and company performance based target bonus, best retirement matching I've seen (it's a unique, specific plan so I won't post numbers on it), 25k signing bonus, and 75k in RSUs vesting 25k/yr.

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

Postby dabigchina » Fri May 24, 2019 3:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Currently a third year at a public, non-F500 company. Went in house straight out of school. Earning 130k base, 20% bonus, 15k annual equity (none of it will have vested when I depart). I moved my way up through a series of lucky moves after coming in at 100k base, which was the trade off for going straight in house.

Moving next month to a similar role at a F250 just outside a major city. 180k base, 15-20% individual and company performance based target bonus, best retirement matching I've seen (it's a unique, specific plan so I won't post numbers on it), 25k signing bonus, and 75k in RSUs vesting 25k/yr.

congrats! you win at life (seriously). what do you do, if you don't mind me asking? general corporate stuff, or something more specialized?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 29, 2019 5:43 pm

3rd year corporate associate in a major market (not NYC/SF), got an offer from a public company at $160k salary, 25% bonus, full 401k match and $25k RSUs.

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

Postby pleapeddler » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:40 am

dabigchina wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Currently a third year at a public, non-F500 company. Went in house straight out of school. Earning 130k base, 20% bonus, 15k annual equity (none of it will have vested when I depart). I moved my way up through a series of lucky moves after coming in at 100k base, which was the trade off for going straight in house.

Moving next month to a similar role at a F250 just outside a major city. 180k base, 15-20% individual and company performance based target bonus, best retirement matching I've seen (it's a unique, specific plan so I won't post numbers on it), 25k signing bonus, and 75k in RSUs vesting 25k/yr.

congrats! you win at life (seriously). what do you do, if you don't mind me asking? general corporate stuff, or something more specialized?


I'm the anon from above. General corporate but in a relatively specialized market (think biotech/pharma/med device type industry). Also handle a lot of business and operational matters outside of usual "legal work" and I still am not sure I'm a real attorney, so take my stats for what they're worth.

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

Postby jagpaw » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:23 pm

pleapeddler wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Currently a third year at a public, non-F500 company. Went in house straight out of school. Earning 130k base, 20% bonus, 15k annual equity (none of it will have vested when I depart). I moved my way up through a series of lucky moves after coming in at 100k base, which was the trade off for going straight in house.

Moving next month to a similar role at a F250 just outside a major city. 180k base, 15-20% individual and company performance based target bonus, best retirement matching I've seen (it's a unique, specific plan so I won't post numbers on it), 25k signing bonus, and 75k in RSUs vesting 25k/yr.

congrats! you win at life (seriously). what do you do, if you don't mind me asking? general corporate stuff, or something more specialized?


I'm the anon from above. General corporate but in a relatively specialized market (think biotech/pharma/med device type industry). Also handle a lot of business and operational matters outside of usual "legal work" and I still am not sure I'm a real attorney, so take my stats for what they're worth.


Interesting. I had always been under the impression that pharma did not offer competitive salaries for attorneys, so this is refreshing to hear. The business/operational component of your job is especially appealing; any advice for someone looking to get a position that offers this kind of varied, business level work?

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

Postby pleapeddler » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:26 pm

Not to totally derail thread, but on your question about how to find more business/ops focused roles: I think it's kind of a crap shoot and depends heavily on career progression (that's the disclaimer answer), but there are two things that stand out to me as to how to get those roles.

First, when you interview with companies, ask a lot of direct questions about how business-oriented the lawyers who work there are. Some in house groups are still treated as dial-a-lawyer and aren't very integrated into the core business. A good indicator of what you're looking for is if the company emphasizes being the type of team that doesn't tell the business "no" and instead focuses on looking for solutions or alternatives. Also ask about how much and what types of work gets pushed to outside counsel, and also who you would interact with most. If it's project leaders, product managers, sales, operation leader types, then those positions tend to be more business-oriented.

Second thing that comes to mind is just having a bit of aptitude. I think I've largely just been fortunate to move into both my current and the new position, but I do think one of my strengths is working with non-lawyers on all levels. I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that lots of incredible attorneys are not cut out for working in house or are simply not business oriented. Even my current GC struggles with this, as (s)he is an excellent attorney but struggles to relate to her/his business counterparts, which ultimately leads to less cred.

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

Postby veers » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:54 am

I have been getting a lot of pings for in-house counsel positions at NYC investment firms (4-8 years experience), with base salary in the $200-$250k range and $325-$400k all in. These seem like decent initial numbers, but the career progression in these roles appears pretty poor, with the GCs supposedly earning a lot less than a typical V50 IMG partner (most of whom will be pulling in $700k+ as a 1st year partner).

Does kind of make you wonder if there is any alternative to biglaw that can even come close to partner level comp, and if the best bet might just be toughing it out in biglaw.

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

Postby dabigchina » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:31 am

veers wrote:
Does kind of make you wonder if there is any alternative to biglaw that can even come close to partner level comp, and if the best bet might just be toughing it out in biglaw.

If you don't care at all about work/life balance, then yeah, I agree. I think most juniors who want to go in house don't care about making partner and definitely aren't thinking about becoming GC of JP Morgan.

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

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:22 am

dabigchina wrote:
veers wrote:
Does kind of make you wonder if there is any alternative to biglaw that can even come close to partner level comp, and if the best bet might just be toughing it out in biglaw.

If you don't care at all about work/life balance, then yeah, I agree. I think most juniors who want to go in house don't care about making partner and definitely aren't thinking about becoming GC of JP Morgan.


Yeah. There are plenty of threads about big law. This one really is more about people who probably do not want to do big law long term. If you only look at the money in a vacuum then obviously big law is a better choice and this is a strange discussion.

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

Postby veers » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:50 am

The point is that the key focus isn't necessarily on your initial comp but on where your comp is likely to be in 2 years, in 5 years, and in 10 years if you stick around.

Going to an asset manager as a 5th year for $350k all in may seem like a reasonable move from biglaw, but if 10 years later you are now making $450k (while hardly having an exciting job, or an especially good work/life balance) while your old colleagues in biglaw are making $1mm+ and the business side people at your asset manager are also making $1mm+, and you have no realistic chance at ever even eclipsing biglaw senior associate pay, that is going to be a rough pill to swallow.

One of the key considerations in going in house should really be "If I really put my heart and soul into this gig how much money can I be making in 5 or 10 years?" That would definitely lean towards employers, like investment banks or brand name PE funds, that have a history of promoting up in-house counsel and ultimately paying them a lot more $$$.

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
veers wrote:
Does kind of make you wonder if there is any alternative to biglaw that can even come close to partner level comp, and if the best bet might just be toughing it out in biglaw.

If you don't care at all about work/life balance, then yeah, I agree. I think most juniors who want to go in house don't care about making partner and definitely aren't thinking about becoming GC of JP Morgan.


Yeah. There are plenty of threads about big law. This one really is more about people who probably do not want to do big law long term. If you only look at the money in a vacuum then obviously big law is a better choice and this is a strange discussion.

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

Postby spyke123 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:38 am

veers wrote:The point is that the key focus isn't necessarily on your initial comp but on where your comp is likely to be in 2 years, in 5 years, and in 10 years if you stick around.

Going to an asset manager as a 5th year for $350k all in may seem like a reasonable move from biglaw, but if 10 years later you are now making $450k (while hardly having an exciting job, or an especially good work/life balance) while your old colleagues in biglaw are making $1mm+ and the business side people at your asset manager are also making $1mm+, and you have no realistic chance at ever even eclipsing biglaw senior associate pay, that is going to be a rough pill to swallow.

One of the key considerations in going in house should really be "If I really put my heart and soul into this gig how much money can I be making in 5 or 10 years?" That would definitely lean towards employers, like investment banks or brand name PE funds, that have a history of promoting up in-house counsel and ultimately paying them a lot more $$$.

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
veers wrote:
Does kind of make you wonder if there is any alternative to biglaw that can even come close to partner level comp, and if the best bet might just be toughing it out in biglaw.

If you don't care at all about work/life balance, then yeah, I agree. I think most juniors who want to go in house don't care about making partner and definitely aren't thinking about becoming GC of JP Morgan.


Yeah. There are plenty of threads about big law. This one really is more about people who probably do not want to do big law long term. If you only look at the money in a vacuum then obviously big law is a better choice and this is a strange discussion.


I think you are missing the point - people who are worried about how much money they will make if they put their heart and soul into their jobs in 5-10 years arent moving in house. Key consideration for them is life style and work life balance while making reasonable amount of money

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

Postby BigLawer » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:19 am

spyke123 wrote:
veers wrote:The point is that the key focus isn't necessarily on your initial comp but on where your comp is likely to be in 2 years, in 5 years, and in 10 years if you stick around.

Going to an asset manager as a 5th year for $350k all in may seem like a reasonable move from biglaw, but if 10 years later you are now making $450k (while hardly having an exciting job, or an especially good work/life balance) while your old colleagues in biglaw are making $1mm+ and the business side people at your asset manager are also making $1mm+, and you have no realistic chance at ever even eclipsing biglaw senior associate pay, that is going to be a rough pill to swallow.

One of the key considerations in going in house should really be "If I really put my heart and soul into this gig how much money can I be making in 5 or 10 years?" That would definitely lean towards employers, like investment banks or brand name PE funds, that have a history of promoting up in-house counsel and ultimately paying them a lot more $$$.

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
veers wrote:
Does kind of make you wonder if there is any alternative to biglaw that can even come close to partner level comp, and if the best bet might just be toughing it out in biglaw.

If you don't care at all about work/life balance, then yeah, I agree. I think most juniors who want to go in house don't care about making partner and definitely aren't thinking about becoming GC of JP Morgan.


Yeah. There are plenty of threads about big law. This one really is more about people who probably do not want to do big law long term. If you only look at the money in a vacuum then obviously big law is a better choice and this is a strange discussion.


I think you are missing the point - people who are worried about how much money they will make if they put their heart and soul into their jobs in 5-10 years arent moving in house. Key consideration for them is life style and work life balance while making reasonable amount of money


Agreed, if all you care about is having the largest bank account you can by 50, then you should grind out biglaw until then. If you don't make partner you can always lateral to another shop as counsel or partner (or even staying a senior associate), make tons of money. The vast majority of partners at my old firm still didn't seem happy...even with the second (or third) wife, huge house and sweet cars. I can't imagine why!

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:13 pm

Do people usually include ESPP when considering their all in package? I'm looking at a position that will offer participation in an ESPP and I'm wondering if that should mvoe the needle at all?

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

Postby BigLawer » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do people usually include ESPP when considering their all in package? I'm looking at a position that will offer participation in an ESPP and I'm wondering if that should mvoe the needle at all?


No. 401K match, yes. But typically ESPP is a small discount on the stock. Unless they offer some greater benefit to it.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:40 pm

Do in house positions typically have good conversion rates once you make it to the final interview stage? I have an onsite for my dream position later this week. I'd hate to count my chickens before they hatch, but I want to know how excited I should be...

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

Postby mvp99 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do in house positions typically have good conversion rates once you make it to the final interview stage? I have an onsite for my dream position later this week. I'd hate to count my chickens before they hatch, but I want to know how excited I should be...


Pretty good chances. They aren’t bringing you in for nothing. Relax dont and be awkward good luck

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

Postby shock259 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do people usually include ESPP when considering their all in package? I'm looking at a position that will offer participation in an ESPP and I'm wondering if that should mvoe the needle at all?


Very anecdotal but I think many ESPPs are pretty limited in value. 20% off stock for the first $5k or whatever isn't going to really move the needle much. But 50% off the first $20k is basically a free $10k, assuming your stock price is at least relatively stable.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:11 pm

Current corporate M&A junior. Not sure if I want to stick it out in biglaw forever (definitely at least a few more years), but wondering what level/class year you need to get to in order to go in house with a total package around $275-300k, if that is even ever possible. Currently in CA if that matters, but would be willing to move to other locations if I didn't have to take another bar exam, and would obviously be fine with less pay in places that are cheaper to live.



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