Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

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Yugihoe

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

Postby Yugihoe » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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


OP - Congrats on the offer.

Am I correct with the math then that your total package is around $225k/year (not including the sign-on bonus)?

I'm going through the process, having only been in biglaw for about 16 months, and wondering what I should expect (market is NY/Chi/SF/LA/DC).


Very interested in your outcome, 16-month biglaw anon and hearing more responses to this question. Good luck.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:14 pm

I went in house about a year ago as a fifth year in a midwestern tertiary city.

165k base
20% target bonus (paid slightly more more than 20% last three years)
25k signing bonus
35k relocation lump sum
5% 401k match

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:41 am

Yugihoe wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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


OP - Congrats on the offer.

Am I correct with the math then that your total package is around $225k/year (not including the sign-on bonus)?

I'm going through the process, having only been in biglaw for about 16 months, and wondering what I should expect (market is NY/Chi/SF/LA/DC).


Very interested in your outcome, 16-month biglaw anon and hearing more responses to this question. Good luck.


Not 16 month biglaw anon but I started looking around that level and started really applying in earnest about 2 years in and I'm still looking over one year later. I've probably got almost 30 interviews, including screeners, and no offers. Only a handful or so has gone to a late stage. I'm a pretty bad interviewer but it's also difficult. I'm pretty sure there are several other associates around my class year at my firm who have been trying for a similar amount of time with similar results.

That being said, I did discuss comp with a few places and it seems like they're looking for something like $160-170K (base) for 1-2 years in, going up to more like $170-190K (base) once you are like 2-4 years in. Years here mean years worked not class years. That's plus a 5-15% cash bonus, often matching 401Ks (but not always) and a big song and dance on the value of equity. With a public company the RSUs can be another $15-40K on top. Public companies don't hire many junior associates though (at least in the Bay Area) so I didn't get many shots at that until recently.

This is Bay Area tech but I think big expensive markets are probably pretty close but maybe with slightly better cash bonuses and less equity singing and dancing. That's admittedly based on a limited data set, and you may be able to get higher, but I feel pretty good about those ranges personally.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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


OP - Congrats on the offer.

Am I correct with the math then that your total package is around $225k/year (not including the sign-on bonus)?

I'm going through the process, having only been in biglaw for about 16 months, and wondering what I should expect (market is NY/Chi/SF/LA/DC).


Very interested in your outcome, 16-month biglaw anon and hearing more responses to this question. Good luck.


Not 16 month biglaw anon but I started looking around that level and started really applying in earnest about 2 years in and I'm still looking over one year later. I've probably got almost 30 interviews, including screeners, and no offers. Only a handful or so has gone to a late stage. I'm a pretty bad interviewer but it's also difficult. I'm pretty sure there are several other associates around my class year at my firm who have been trying for a similar amount of time with similar results.

That being said, I did discuss comp with a few places and it seems like they're looking for something like $160-170K (base) for 1-2 years in, going up to more like $170-190K (base) once you are like 2-4 years in. Years here mean years worked not class years. That's plus a 5-15% cash bonus, often matching 401Ks (but not always) and a big song and dance on the value of equity. With a public company the RSUs can be another $15-40K on top. Public companies don't hire many junior associates though (at least in the Bay Area) so I didn't get many shots at that until recently.

This is Bay Area tech but I think big expensive markets are probably pretty close but maybe with slightly better cash bonuses and less equity singing and dancing. That's admittedly based on a limited data set, and you may be able to get higher, but I feel pretty good about those ranges personally.


Where are you looking for/finding job postings that are so junior? Not having much luck on LinkedIn, etc.

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

Postby dabigchina » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:57 am

Anons going in house after 1.5-2 years, are you tech trans? I've only ever heard of tech trans going in house that early @ that salary.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:22 pm

I'm in corporate (HC/Life Sci) in a major coastal city (1.5 years in biglaw) and have my first phone interview tomorrow after sending in a few apps - so great so see any movement. Any specific tips for interviews? (besides not to mention you want to go in house for a better hours)
More importantly, does anyone know what working in a very small legal department is like? This is a fairly small but PE-backed company and they've had only 1 lawyer for the past 3 years (only founded 5 years ago) and I'd be coming on as the junior person to help this person out. Any sense of how that would be? Potentially more interesting work?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:45 pm

Anyone here gone from a non biglaw job to in house? Like fed/local government or a non profit? Curious about the salary offers for those folk. I've seen some people make the jump. Wondering what their salary packages are like.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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


OP - Congrats on the offer.

Am I correct with the math then that your total package is around $225k/year (not including the sign-on bonus)?

I'm going through the process, having only been in biglaw for about 16 months, and wondering what I should expect (market is NY/Chi/SF/LA/DC).


Very interested in your outcome, 16-month biglaw anon and hearing more responses to this question. Good luck.


Not 16 month biglaw anon but I started looking around that level and started really applying in earnest about 2 years in and I'm still looking over one year later. I've probably got almost 30 interviews, including screeners, and no offers. Only a handful or so has gone to a late stage. I'm a pretty bad interviewer but it's also difficult. I'm pretty sure there are several other associates around my class year at my firm who have been trying for a similar amount of time with similar results.

That being said, I did discuss comp with a few places and it seems like they're looking for something like $160-170K (base) for 1-2 years in, going up to more like $170-190K (base) once you are like 2-4 years in. Years here mean years worked not class years. That's plus a 5-15% cash bonus, often matching 401Ks (but not always) and a big song and dance on the value of equity. With a public company the RSUs can be another $15-40K on top. Public companies don't hire many junior associates though (at least in the Bay Area) so I didn't get many shots at that until recently.

This is Bay Area tech but I think big expensive markets are probably pretty close but maybe with slightly better cash bonuses and less equity singing and dancing. That's admittedly based on a limited data set, and you may be able to get higher, but I feel pretty good about those ranges personally.


Where are you looking for/finding job postings that are so junior? Not having much luck on LinkedIn, etc.


They're pretty rare but I've more or less been checking LinkedIn, goinhouse, indeed, ventureloop and laterally almost daily for about two years now. I applied to every posting asking for 1-3 years throughout my second year and then once I was about a third year, every posting looking for 3-5 years. I was a stretch candidate for lots of the interviews I got.

Also, 25-30 interviews over 2 years or so doesn't really feel all that successful to me. It's a lot of applying to stretch jobs and doing screeners that go no where. I'm also in the tech/emerging company space in the bay area, which I think helps immensely. Lots of recruiters have told me that the hiring manager told them to interview anyone from my firm that was close to the reqs. And there are a lot of growing legal depts in the bay.

At this point, I know of about four people that I started with in corporate that are already in-house (would be brand new fourth years if they were still in BL). One of them went in house after about one year but that was kind of amazing. Others went in-house at various points during their third year. I also have a couple class mates from law school that went corporate and have been in house as third years. I have been getting a lot more traction now that I'm approaching 4th year status.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:22 am

Could be a bias toward over reporting success stories.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone here gone from a non biglaw job to in house? Like fed/local government or a non profit? Curious about the salary offers for those folk. I've seen some people make the jump. Wondering what their salary packages are like.


Yes I did, and as you'd imagine the comp was nowhere near as good as some of these folks that came from a big firm. I went from a state agency to a mid market bank as a 2nd year - $110k base, cash bonus typically around 10% of salary, no stock options, 401k match up to 6%. This company was well known internally to pay far below its peers. I left last year for a firm and a bigger paycheck, so far very happy with the decision.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone here gone from a non biglaw job to in house? Like fed/local government or a non profit? Curious about the salary offers for those folk. I've seen some people make the jump. Wondering what their salary packages are like.


I did not come from big law but my company sent me to law school. After I passed the bar, my salary bumped to $145K + 25-20% bonus. I went from a scientist to a patent attorney at a F500 company in a small town (<50K population).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:20 am

Acknowledging there’s obviously some variance, how long do companies typically wait after posting the job opening to reach out to applicants for an interview?

I also noticed that the company has reposted the position a week after the initial posting (which was when I applied). Does this mean they’ve reviewed and didn’t find what they were looking for, or am I reading too much into it?

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

Postby nealric » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Acknowledging there’s obviously some variance, how long do companies typically wait after posting the job opening to reach out to applicants for an interview?

I also noticed that the company has reposted the position a week after the initial posting (which was when I applied). Does this mean they’ve reviewed and didn’t find what they were looking for, or am I reading too much into it?


I think most companies will wait at least a couple of weeks after a listing goes up to see what they get. HR may send the hiring manager a weekly cull of resumes that pass the basic qualification thresholds. From there, it likely just depends on the type of response they get. A more specialized opening (for example, a senior benefits lawyer) will probably garner fewer qualified applicants than a broad one (entry level M&A/Corporate).

Re posting may mean they have tweaked the listing. Compare the two closely if you can.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:07 pm

$135k base
$10k signing bonus
~$30k annual bonus (subject to performance, but essentially $20k guaranteed, up to $40k).
~$10k in employee stock purchase
401k match is 100% to 3%, 50% to 6%

I joined as a 4th year in a secondary market (think MidWest, but not Chicago). Company is a large public company (Fortune 100). Nature of the work is a corporate generalist. I was a corporate specialist in law firm life. The lifestyle at the inhouse gig is a true 9-5. I was told that I would almost certainly be promoted within a year, which will increase the comp to $150k base and ~$50k annual bonus, plus some other perks.

Happy to answer any Qs if folks have any.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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


OP - Congrats on the offer.

Am I correct with the math then that your total package is around $225k/year (not including the sign-on bonus)?

I'm going through the process, having only been in biglaw for about 16 months, and wondering what I should expect (market is NY/Chi/SF/LA/DC).

I am the OP who accepted the offer above and I've now worked in-house at the same company just under 1.5 years. I ended up negotiating for more money before I started, so all in, my starting package (without signing bonus) was around 235K. Happy to answer questions now that I'm on the other side of things.

I've gotten a much better understanding of how the comp works (between annual raises, spot bonuses, etc.), but one area of savings that I didn't fully consider when I left the firm is how much I would save on health insurance every month. I have spouse + kids, so at my prior firm my premium was around $700/paycheck (granted the insurance was pretty baller, but we still had like $5000 deductible and $10000 out-of-pocket max). In current role, I pay around $200/month (similar deductible/OOP max w/ some coinsurance), but still probably save at least $10K in healthcare costs each year, which helps offsets some of the higher base salary at the firm. Also, I didn't fully appreciate how great getting a 6% match on 150K is--it's an extra 9 grand a year tax-free (for now), and goes up each year as my base salary increases.

So all-in, when you're comparing take-home pay (after impacts due to change in insurance costs) and retirement contributions, I am not as far behind as I initially expected to be leaving the firm. I also don't have to bill (both keeping track and hitting hours are 2 of the worst things in BigLaw), I can punt work when I'm busy to outside counsel, my nights and weekends are generally free, and I take all 3-4 weeks of vacation every year (as do all my colleagues). Those things all have some significant value to me as well.

As an aside, I've always been the type to listen to whatever compelling opportunities present themselves, and even though I'm very happy in my current role, since I've been in-house I've gotten around half a dozen direct headhunter/recruiter inquiries for other in-house positions (apparently some companies prefer lateral in-house talent?). Of those, I've gone through two interview processes (including one at a much larger (F50+) company that would have required me to move), and in both cases, my all-in comp at my current role outpaced the comp in those roles. So felt good to know I'm pretty competitive relative to market.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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


OP - Congrats on the offer.

Am I correct with the math then that your total package is around $225k/year (not including the sign-on bonus)?

I'm going through the process, having only been in biglaw for about 16 months, and wondering what I should expect (market is NY/Chi/SF/LA/DC).

I am the OP who accepted the offer above and I've now worked in-house at the same company just under 1.5 years. I ended up negotiating for more money before I started, so all in, my starting package (without signing bonus) was around 235K. Happy to answer questions now that I'm on the other side of things.

I've gotten a much better understanding of how the comp works (between annual raises, spot bonuses, etc.), but one area of savings that I didn't fully consider when I left the firm is how much I would save on health insurance every month. I have spouse + kids, so at my prior firm my premium was around $700/paycheck (granted the insurance was pretty baller, but we still had like $5000 deductible and $10000 out-of-pocket max). In current role, I pay around $200/month (similar deductible/OOP max w/ some coinsurance), but still probably save at least $10K in healthcare costs each year, which helps offsets some of the higher base salary at the firm. Also, I didn't fully appreciate how great getting a 6% match on 150K is--it's an extra 9 grand a year tax-free (for now), and goes up each year as my base salary increases.

So all-in, when you're comparing take-home pay (after impacts due to change in insurance costs) and retirement contributions, I am not as far behind as I initially expected to be leaving the firm. I also don't have to bill (both keeping track and hitting hours are 2 of the worst things in BigLaw), I can punt work when I'm busy to outside counsel, my nights and weekends are generally free, and I take all 3-4 weeks of vacation every year (as do all my colleagues). Those things all have some significant value to me as well.

As an aside, I've always been the type to listen to whatever compelling opportunities present themselves, and even though I'm very happy in my current role, since I've been in-house I've gotten around half a dozen direct headhunter/recruiter inquiries for other in-house positions (apparently some companies prefer lateral in-house talent?). Of those, I've gone through two interview processes (including one at a much larger (F50+) company that would have required me to move), and in both cases, my all-in comp at my current role outpaced the comp in those roles. So felt good to know I'm pretty competitive relative to market.


Would you mind elaborating on how you negotiated for more money? Since the salaries in-house are so opaque, and the jobs are in such high demand, how did you know if there was room to negotiate, how high you could go, and why the company should agree?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:48 pm

Any insight on the oil and gas inhouse market? Do they accept people earlier and pay more? Is it highly competitive, like litigation, or highly sought after, like IP and tech trans and labor & employment?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:14 am

SF In-house, tech company on its D round

I had ~20 years work experience, 10 in biglaw as staff, 3 in biglaw as an atty, HYPS ugrad, T20 law school, Ivy League MBA

200K base
no bonus range (completely discretionary)
70K (409A value) in options (typical vesting)
+ other concessions (would out my Co)
opportunity for equity top ups in near term if I hit aggressive company goals

My company trades equity for cash comp, and I wanted a slightly higher base bc COL/purchasing my options will be expensive. I am in it for the long haul at this Co, so I am fine with the tradeoffs.

EVERYONE HERE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT LAWYER WHISPERER COMPS. And if not, get your hands on some Radford data.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 21, 2019 11:22 am

Seeking advice on a recently received offer, I'm a 4th year and this is a F500 company in a non-coastal market...

Base: $125k
Bonus: $45k (target)
Benefits include 4% 401K match, PTO, etc. (pretty standard)

Is this on the low end? Any advice appreciated.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 21, 2019 11:40 am

It's a little low, but not the worst. How low probably depends on which city we're talking about. Some just don't have many in house jobs at all. Do you have any sense of whether you would be eligible for a promotion within a year or two? Are you going in as a corporate generalist? You could try asking for a signing bonus, additional PTO, or other fringe benefits if they can't or are unable to give you a base salary raise.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 21, 2019 11:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:Seeking advice on a recently received offer, I'm a 4th year and this is a F500 company in a non-coastal market...

Base: $125k
Bonus: $45k (target)
Benefits include 4% 401K match, PTO, etc. (pretty standard)

Is this on the low end? Any advice appreciated.


Are you a 4th year at a market paying firm? This seems extremely low.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 21, 2019 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Seeking advice on a recently received offer, I'm a 4th year and this is a F500 company in a non-coastal market...

Base: $125k
Bonus: $45k (target)
Benefits include 4% 401K match, PTO, etc. (pretty standard)

Is this on the low end? Any advice appreciated.


Are you a 4th year at a market paying firm? This seems extremely low.


Anon here, firm is below market by about 20%.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 22, 2019 3:33 pm

Any other thoughts here? Much appreciated!

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Seeking advice on a recently received offer, I'm a 4th year and this is a F500 company in a non-coastal market...

Base: $125k
Bonus: $45k (target)
Benefits include 4% 401K match, PTO, etc. (pretty standard)

Is this on the low end? Any advice appreciated.


Are you a 4th year at a market paying firm? This seems extremely low.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 22, 2019 3:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any other thoughts here? Much appreciated!

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Seeking advice on a recently received offer, I'm a 4th year and this is a F500 company in a non-coastal market...

Base: $125k
Bonus: $45k (target)
Benefits include 4% 401K match, PTO, etc. (pretty standard)

Is this on the low end? Any advice appreciated.


Are you a 4th year at a market paying firm? This seems extremely low.


I was the anon who is quoted. I am in-house and most of the associates that I started with are now in-house in a secondary market. That salary is too low (lower than anyone I know in-house). You need to fight to get that up, once you are in-house the raises will not come like they do at a firm. For e.g. my base started at 165 and after a year it only went to 172 (and it might go up even less next year, who knows). I have annual grants and bonuses that together reach in the low 6 figures, which helps, but my salary at a firm would be 280 at this point, so I am taking a big hit. You will sweat the cash comp you give up when you go in-house. I got a competitive offer and I still think about the base salary and cash bonus that is still on the other side calling my name. I would not take this if I were you. With that being said, if you are desperate to get out and truly unhappy - then you need to think about that over the money. But just from a financial aspect, this seems really low.

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

Postby canon » Wed May 22, 2019 4:29 pm

Agree this is low but the bonus gets you to market. Depending on what "Target" is, may be worth taking, given it is a F500 company. Look at some of the in-house compensation surveys (BarkerGilmore and RobertHalf) and compare the geographic market adjustments to see if this is within range.



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