In-house Attorney Q&A

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In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:15 am

Trying to pay it forward . . . ask away!

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:32 am

What company do you work for?
When hiring someone for an in house position, what are the most important factors? Pedigree, previous firm, lit v. Corp background?

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jingosaur
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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby jingosaur » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:44 am

How did you get your job?
How satisfied are you with your job?
How much money do you make?

synergy
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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby synergy » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:33 am

What industry? How long have you been in-house and what are the yearly raises like? How senior did you come in and what kind of support staff do you have (paralegal, receptionist, junior attorneys etc)? Thanks in advance!

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What company do you work for?
When hiring someone for an in house position, what are the most important factors? Pedigree, previous firm, lit v. Corp background?


I began working for the company in a JD-advantage role after taking the bar exam, and was hired onto the legal team after receiving my results. The company, which just went public, is expanding rapidly, so I think my work ethic and willingness to do whatever task the Company needed (no matter how menial or basic) was the biggest contributing factor in getting the job as an attorney.

I attended a mid-tier (Top 100) school with strong regional ties. Graduated Top 30%, Law Review, Published, Judicial Externships. Took one year off in between undergrad and college, so no significant work experience when I began.

We recently hired a mid-level associate from a reputable regional firm, with similar stats as mine and corporate experience (which we needed given the recent IPO).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:33 pm

jingosaur wrote:How did you get your job?
How satisfied are you with your job?
How much money do you make?


I began working in JD-advantage position after taking the bar, but prior to receiving my results. After I heard I passed, they hired me on as an attorney. I found the JD advantage job via my undergraduate symplicity account and sent my resume.

I LOVE my job. Not only do I believe in the company which stresses integrity and family, I have an awesome mentor and enjoy working with my colleagues (I consider them an extension of my family). Management truly cares about ALL of the employees and my work-life balance is incredible. I am very, very fortunate to say the least. It is refreshing to be around good people who have your back and also get their work done.

I make $90k+ with matching 401k, full benefits, quarterly bonuses.

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:38 pm

synergy wrote:What industry? How long have you been in-house and what are the yearly raises like? How senior did you come in and what kind of support staff do you have (paralegal, receptionist, junior attorneys etc)? Thanks in advance!


The company is a large distributor; providing the industry would reveal too much information, sorry. There is a range of experience in the legal team, from GC to midlevel to me. We have an awesome paralegal and a lot of our support comes from department heads and employees. It's a giant team working together.

Please see above for answers to your other questions.

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:38 pm

If you had an opening for a corp position, would you consider hiring someone who worked in a lit-only firm if all they did was tech/securities/IPO stuff? Or do lit-only firms categorically damage someone's chances of going in house?

I.e., if I worked at Quinn, am I at a disadvantage to getting hired by your company?

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you had an opening for a corp position, would you consider hiring someone who worked in a lit-only firm if all they did was tech/securities/IPO stuff? Or do lit-only firms categorically damage someone's chances of going in house?

I.e., if I worked at Quinn, am I at a disadvantage to getting hired by your company?


I don't think you are disadvantaged in the least, especially if you worked for Quinn. With that said, the nature of our work is nearly all transactional, with us overseeing outside counsel for litigation issues. We would like to handle litigation in-house, but that doesn't seem reasonable at this time with ~300 branches spanning across the United States and Canada (it's too hard to manage locally on a day-to-day level).

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:29 pm

Unusually slow day today . . . any others?

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Pokemon
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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Pokemon » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you had an opening for a corp position, would you consider hiring someone who worked in a lit-only firm if all they did was tech/securities/IPO stuff? Or do lit-only firms categorically damage someone's chances of going in house?

I.e., if I worked at Quinn, am I at a disadvantage to getting hired by your company?


Same question but instead of experience being lit, it was transactional. Basically would you hire a securities lawyers or would the company hire someone with a more generalist or a different transactional background.

1styearlateral
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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:41 pm

Do you feel like you're missing a lot of training by not having experience at a law firm? Specifically, lack of exposure to a wider variety of issues.

Damage Over Time
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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Damage Over Time » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:14 pm

Can you give some hints as to what region / range of regions you work in (trying to figure out how far $90k goes where you live)?

Do you answer e-mails / do other work-related tasks after you get home on weekdays? Weekends?

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:35 pm

Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you had an opening for a corp position, would you consider hiring someone who worked in a lit-only firm if all they did was tech/securities/IPO stuff? Or do lit-only firms categorically damage someone's chances of going in house?

I.e., if I worked at Quinn, am I at a disadvantage to getting hired by your company?


Same question but instead of experience being lit, it was transactional. Basically would you hire a securities lawyers or would the company hire someone with a more generalist or a different transactional background.


Our General Counsel handles all of the securities work and materials with our corporate SEC people. If our GC did not have this background, I imagine we would have hired an attorney with that kind of experience to do this work.

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:50 pm

1styearlateral wrote:Do you feel like you're missing a lot of training by not having experience at a law firm? Specifically, lack of exposure to a wider variety of issues.


I had this concern when considering my options in the beginning, but have been pleasantly surprised with the issues I have been exposed to (and allowed to work on). Though I focus primarily on one area (because I enjoy it), I have worked on projects in the following areas: human resources/employment, M&A, litigation, real estate, risk management/insurance, commercial/consumer, corporate governance, etc. Plus, another awesome perk is I have the option to choose whatever area of law I'd like to work on, so can try something new if I need a change in pace.

I have always been more drawn to transactional law, so in anticipation of the likelihood of working in that capacity I took quite a few practical litigation courses during law school (so I would know what the hell I was doing if that opportunity ever came along).

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:02 pm

Damage Over Time wrote:Can you give some hints as to what region / range of regions you work in (trying to figure out how far $90k goes where you live)?

Do you answer e-mails / do other work-related tasks after you get home on weekdays? Weekends?



West Coast, secondary market.

Checking emails/working over the weekend is strongly discouraged. If I do work from home over the weekends, it's one of two things: (a) we are super busy (e.g., end of quarter, large acquisition, etc.), or (b) I have idle time and would like to work. To date, I have never been required to work over the weekend, and have only been asked to once when I worked in the JD-Advantage job (and was paid double for that day). It is the same situation when I get home during the week.

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:12 pm

Do the attorneys in your office who oversee outside lit counsel have a litigation background?

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:38 pm

1styearlateral wrote:Do the attorneys in your office who oversee outside lit counsel have a litigation background?


Overseeing litigation is a shared responsibility at this time, with the attorney primarily responsible for this task having some litigation experience (I wouldn't consider it a litigation background). It is more of a "manager" type role -- (a) ensuring outside counsel is on top of its game and communicating information to senior management, and (b) coordinating with the departments, outside counsel, branches, etc. regarding the process and day-to-day developments.

But, if you're curious, a litigation background would not hurt.

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby spud3000 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:55 pm

Have you thought at all about where this job will take you over the course of your career? For instance, if the legal department does not continue to grow and you are stuck at Counsel level, or whatever they happen to call it, will you have to lateral to a different company to advance (both monetarily and responsibility)? Have you talked to the GC about that?

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:16 pm

spud3000 wrote:Have you thought at all about where this job will take you over the course of your career? For instance, if the legal department does not continue to grow and you are stuck at Counsel level, or whatever they happen to call it, will you have to lateral to a different company to advance (both monetarily and responsibility)? Have you talked to the GC about that?



I am not too concerned since the company is rapidly expanding and I have been "promoted" already. I assume things will slow down at some point, but our company really values its employees and stresses advancement and longevity from senior management down to branch employees (e.g., it is not uncommon for someone to have been with the company for 20+ years, we keep the employees we obtain in acquisitions, etc.). I think my GC contiues to give us the resources, tools, and opportunities to acquire the necessary skills and experience to be successful elsewhere if I were to leave ( big on training us all), but reassured me advancement (and increased responsibility) shouldn't be an issue in the near future absent a major screw up on my part.

In the event I come across the unfortunate event of having to leave, I suppose I would aim for a similar position elsewhere, start my own general practice, or work in the family business (a convenient back-up I'll admit).

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby spud3000 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
spud3000 wrote:Have you thought at all about where this job will take you over the course of your career? For instance, if the legal department does not continue to grow and you are stuck at Counsel level, or whatever they happen to call it, will you have to lateral to a different company to advance (both monetarily and responsibility)? Have you talked to the GC about that?



I am not too concerned since the company is rapidly expanding and I have been "promoted" already. I assume things will slow down at some point, but our company really values its employees and stresses advancement and longevity from senior management down to branch employees (e.g., it is not uncommon for someone to have been with the company for 20+ years, we keep the employees we obtain in acquisitions, etc.). I think my GC contiues to give us the resources, tools, and opportunities to acquire the necessary skills and experience to be successful elsewhere if I were to leave ( big on training us all), but reassured me advancement (and increased responsibility) shouldn't be an issue in the near future absent a major screw up on my part.

In the event I come across the unfortunate event of having to leave, I suppose I would aim for a similar position elsewhere, start my own general practice, or work in the family business (a convenient back-up I'll admit).


Sounds like a great place! Congrats!

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 am

After nearly 3 years of the BL grind, I now have the opportunity to work in-house. They match 401k (after a year), pension, generous vacation time and the salary is at the BL level. So.....what are the drawbacks?

JZ

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:18 pm

...aside from fewer hours, what is the biggest upside?

1styearlateral
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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:...aside from fewer hours, what is the biggest upside?

Depending on what your company does, only worrying about one client.

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Re: In-house Attorney Q&A

Postby TooMuchTuna » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:...aside from fewer hours, what is the biggest upside?


Not having to track hours is often cited as an upside by my colleagues (I didn't work at a firm before I came in-house, so I can't weigh in on that personally).




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