Biglaw to in-house

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Biglaw to in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:43 pm

I recently transitioned from biglaw to in-house and am having difficulty shaking off some regrets. I left as a newly minted third-year M&A associate at a V10 in a major market (think NYC/Chicago) to a F500 company in the same city.

Pros: Minimal stress and people are nice. Very stable company and have good mentors. Base is comparable to biglaw and hours are mostly 8:30 to 5/6 with no/minimal weekend work.

Cons: Work is more project management focused than deals. The company does maybe 3-5 smaller acquisitions a year with some securities/financing work. Most of the "interesting" work is done by outside counsel and in-house legal is mostly working in a general review/project management capacity. I expected this going in, but I didn't expect the extent to which work gets farmed out--it seems like in-house legal basically functions as a coordinator among different groups within the company.

I feel like my legal skills are deteriorating. I'm also concerned that I left biglaw too early and may not have opportunity for additional training given how much work is farmed out. Is this normal? I would love to hear from people who went in-house early in their career and how they dealt with regrets (if any).

Anonymous User
Posts: 326559
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Biglaw to in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:18 pm

Take my advice with a grain of salt, because I am still at a firm. But, I think this is why a lot of the wisdom says to try to stick it out for ideally 5+ years in biglaw before going in-house, so that you've had time to develop your legal skillset and learn to really manage the deals. My understanding is that it's tougher to develop once you've gone in-house and also then tougher to move up the ladder the earlier you make the jump.

That said, I think your lifestyle and comp sounds pretty good, so maybe just try to focus on that aspect and think of the poor saps (like me) still slaving away as cogs in the machine when you're watching your favorite show at 10pm and have already been home for 4-5 hours, or when you're at the driving range at 5:30pm on a Tuesday, or when you wake up at 7am for the first time since you went to bed 8 hours earlier and don't have any emails that are urgent or can't be punted to your outside counsel.



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