In-House offer and salary negotiations

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:15 pm

This is a combo “would you take this job” and “what should I reasonably expect for salary negotiations” thread:

3rd year biglaw Corp. associate in SoCal
Public tech company with >$10bn market cap
Recent poor performance, leading to cuts, changes, layoffs.
Title: Senior Legal Counsel
Salary: $160k
401k match: 5%
Benefits: unclear right now what cost will be. Certainly less cost than Big law
Stock Incentives: would probably get a small amount of RSUs
Vacation: “unlimited”

I personally think the base is far too low. I have friends that went in-house straight out of law school that made more. I was aiming for $190k, comfortable with $180k, might accept $170k if the equity is bumped sufficiently. Am I being unreasonable? I’d like to hear some perspectives on what you all think the range is. I especially think it’s low because I’d be taking on the role of more than one attorney (see note about recent cuts and poor performance).

I really like the people I’ve met and my would-be direct superiors seem great. Of course I have some reservations about the recent performance and cost-cutting, but I really believe the company’s in a low cycle and will bounce back (which makes equity incentives more appealing). I would happily accept the job if the salary was higher, but I can’t tell if I have unreasonable expectations since this isn’t an entry level position and I don’t have a lot of datapoints other than friends that went straight in house.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:30 pm

FWIW, when I was a 3rd year I got an offer from a tech mega-corp for even less base (145k) in a more expensive area (SF/SV). Bonus/RSU would've made up some of that difference if I'd taken it. The size of your bonus/RSU grants are can significantly alter the comp picture (as well as vesting schedule, opportunity for refresher grants, etc.).

All I can say is that in-house comp varies wildly but 160 is not unreasonable for a third year, and in fact is (from what I know) on the higher end of things outside of SF/NYC. A studio would be likely be offering you low 100s with crap benefits. Unless you end up at a place like Google you're not going to be breaking the bank as a junior counsel - which, regardless of title, is essentially what a 3rd year attorney is.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, when I was a 3rd year I got an offer from a tech mega-corp for even less base (145k) in a more expensive area (SF/SV). Bonus/RSU would've made up some of that difference if I'd taken it. The size of your bonus/RSU grants are can significantly alter the comp picture (as well as vesting schedule, opportunity for refresher grants, etc.).

All I can say is that in-house comp varies wildly but 160 is not unreasonable for a third year, and in fact is (from what I know) on the higher end of things outside of SF/NYC. A studio would be likely be offering you low 100s with crap benefits. Unless you end up at a place like Google you're not going to be breaking the bank as a junior counsel - which, regardless of title, is essentially what a 3rd year attorney is.


Yup, all fair. Bonuses will likely be lower than normal due to performance. I guess I’m just working off a limited data set where people I know were hired out of law school for what was a first year’s salary at the time. I agree that $160k does not seem outlandish, but I’m also assuming they will come up a bit, since who starts off with their best offer?

JohnnieSockran

Bronze
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby JohnnieSockran » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is a combo “would you take this job” and “what should I reasonably expect for salary negotiations” thread:

3rd year biglaw Corp. associate in SoCal
Public tech company with >$10bn market cap
Recent poor performance, leading to cuts, changes, layoffs.
Title: Senior Legal Counsel
Salary: $160k
401k match: 5%
Benefits: unclear right now what cost will be. Certainly less cost than Big law
Stock Incentives: would probably get a small amount of RSUs
Vacation: “unlimited”

I personally think the base is far too low. I have friends that went in-house straight out of law school that made more. I was aiming for $190k, comfortable with $180k, might accept $170k if the equity is bumped sufficiently. Am I being unreasonable? I’d like to hear some perspectives on what you all think the range is. I especially think it’s low because I’d be taking on the role of more than one attorney (see note about recent cuts and poor performance).

I really like the people I’ve met and my would-be direct superiors seem great. Of course I have some reservations about the recent performance and cost-cutting, but I really believe the company’s in a low cycle and will bounce back (which makes equity incentives more appealing). I would happily accept the job if the salary was higher, but I can’t tell if I have unreasonable expectations since this isn’t an entry level position and I don’t have a lot of datapoints other than friends that went straight in house.


I know someone that went in-house (corporate) as like a 7th year for about $170k...I think his total package with RSUs and bonus was like $210-225k or so. So, $160k base for a 3rd year seems pretty reasonable in SoCal, though I'm sure they have some room to come up a bit, but highly unlikely they'd come up to $190k.

shock259

Gold
Posts: 1873
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby shock259 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:28 am

Overall, it strikes me as about in the middle range. That is well above what most people expect in my secondary market. You may know this, but many companies will be able to be more flexible with bonus/RSUs than with base salary, but you can definitely try to push any or all of it up. No harm in asking. But you may get stonewalled.

What strikes me as potentially more problematic is the poor performance of the company recently. Obviously it can be hard to get a sense of this when interviewing with them, but I would try to do your absolute best to figure out if that is likely to be an ongoing issue. Sounds like you're already mulling that over, which is good.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 3039
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:29 pm

shock259 wrote:
What strikes me as potentially more problematic is the poor performance of the company recently. Obviously it can be hard to get a sense of this when interviewing with them, but I would try to do your absolute best to figure out if that is likely to be an ongoing issue. Sounds like you're already mulling that over, which is good.


My take as well. Base salary is within range, though it's hard to gauge without knowing more about bonus/RSUs.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:45 pm

OP here. I think the poor performance will continue in the short term (1-2 years) but will bounce back due to the nature of the industry. I don’t think a sale is likely at all based on competitors’ performance, but I suppose you never know. I am fairly certain the company will bounce back and I believe this position is relatively secure for a variety of reasons, though I have some apprehension if there are layoffs (last in and all). But, I also think if I can negotiate a good amount of RSUs this could work out well in my favor.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:20 pm

I went in-house as a 3rd year biglaw corp associate. Salary sounds very in line with what i saw and have seen since. It really depends on the remainder of comp. What is your year end target bonus? What is your RSU target? Full disclosure mine was 165k and 45k for each of target year-end bonus and target RSU (vest over 3 years). We would need to know those other two numbers to give you a better idea. If your all in comp is under $200 don't even consider it, the money you're giving up will make you question your decision forever.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:08 pm

How are all of you sourcing these in house opps? I am a third year corp associate in LA struggling to find much of anything (LinkedIn, Glassdoor, goinhouse.com, etc.)

Advice appreciated!!

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How are all of you sourcing these in house opps? I am a third year corp associate in LA struggling to find much of anything (LinkedIn, Glassdoor, goinhouse.com, etc.)

Advice appreciated!!


Routinely monitoring the sites you mentioned, searching Google, looking at companies that have a hq (or legal presence) here... It's a lot of work for not a great amount of payoff, but that's how it goes.

FWIW I think LA has one of the worst ratios of biglaw positions to in house positions, and the main industry here doesn't pay super well at the lower levels. If you're willing to broaden your horizon to Northern California you'll get a lot more hits, and ones that probably pay better to boot.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:20 pm

Unless you want entertainment, LA is rough. Not a lot of in-house positions for far too many lawyers. You just have to be patient and consider OC and possibly SD as well - a quick move in-house isn’t possible from what I’ve seen.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW I think LA has one of the worst ratios of biglaw positions to in house positions, and the main industry here doesn't pay super well at the lower levels. If you're willing to broaden your horizon to Northern California you'll get a lot more hits, and ones that probably pay better to boot.


As a fourth-year biglaw associate in LA who has been actively looking for in-house positions in the LA area for the last 3-4 months, I completely agree.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:20 am

Does anyone know what kind of pay we can expect from studios as a mid-level associate going in house? Do they (excluding Netflix/Amazon Studios) tend to underpay?

To OP: I think your salary is in line with what other 3rd years I know who's gone in house got paid. Their bonus varies though. I think it goes from 10-20%. Some of them got stocks, some didn't.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know what kind of pay we can expect from studios as a mid-level associate going in house? Do they (excluding Netflix/Amazon Studios) tend to underpay?

To OP: I think your salary is in line with what other 3rd years I know who's gone in house got paid. Their bonus varies though. I think it goes from 10-20%. Some of them got stocks, some didn't.


Studios terribly underpay in SoCal across the board in practice areas. Personally, I got offers from a couple in between my 4th and 5th year. Salary offers ranged from 135-150k in base salary after heavy negotiations to bump them up, with laughable bonuses (i.e., $3-5k).

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know what kind of pay we can expect from studios as a mid-level associate going in house? Do they (excluding Netflix/Amazon Studios) tend to underpay?

To OP: I think your salary is in line with what other 3rd years I know who's gone in house got paid. Their bonus varies though. I think it goes from 10-20%. Some of them got stocks, some didn't.


Studios terribly underpay in SoCal across the board in practice areas. Personally, I got offers from a couple in between my 4th and 5th year. Salary offers ranged from 135-150k in base salary after heavy negotiations to bump them up, with laughable bonuses (i.e., $3-5k).


This is consistent with my experience. Until you get a few rungs up the title ladder (easier said than done, there's a big bottleneck above counsel/senior counsel level) you aren't getting paid much. I think you have to go into it either with an eye towards using the experience you do get to help snag a job outside of media (possible, if you are doing a lot of drafting or negotiation) and/or be willing to studio hop to climb the ladder quickly.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:16 am

It seems like I may be in the minority here but I've been interviewing in the Bay Area and am a fourth year but would consider the base a tad low too. I think in SoCal it may be closer to fair though. I would say most places I've been interviewing at lately have not really batted an eye for a fourth year at the $185K range of base. I have also heard of friends going in house around that range. I really do think it has been moving up a bit in recent months due to Cravath/Milbank raises and demand (again this is Bay Area so YMMV). That being said I do certainly occasionally get companies that are more in that range. I would be curious to hear when the other posters here who think it is more in line with market went in house.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:It seems like I may be in the minority here but I've been interviewing in the Bay Area and am a fourth year but would consider the base a tad low too. I think in SoCal it may be closer to fair though. I would say most places I've been interviewing at lately have not really batted an eye for a fourth year at the $185K range of base. I have also heard of friends going in house around that range. I really do think it has been moving up a bit in recent months due to Cravath/Milbank raises and demand (again this is Bay Area so YMMV). That being said I do certainly occasionally get companies that are more in that range. I would be curious to hear when the other posters here who think it is more in line with market went in house.


In my Mountain West market (LV, Denver, Phoenix), I interviewed with companies as a 4th -6th year and bases were as low as 100-120 and as high as 180-200, with some in between. So much depends on the company. I ended up in house at one of the higher range companies with a 40k annual target bonus, 30k annual RSUs plus other solid benefits.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It seems like I may be in the minority here but I've been interviewing in the Bay Area and am a fourth year but would consider the base a tad low too. I think in SoCal it may be closer to fair though. I would say most places I've been interviewing at lately have not really batted an eye for a fourth year at the $185K range of base. I have also heard of friends going in house around that range. I really do think it has been moving up a bit in recent months due to Cravath/Milbank raises and demand (again this is Bay Area so YMMV). That being said I do certainly occasionally get companies that are more in that range. I would be curious to hear when the other posters here who think it is more in line with market went in house.


In my Mountain West market (LV, Denver, Phoenix), I interviewed with companies as a 4th -6th year and bases were as low as 100-120 and as high as 180-200, with some in between. So much depends on the company. I ended up in house at one of the higher range companies with a 40k annual target bonus, 30k annual RSUs plus other solid benefits.


This is very solid, so are you about 275k all in? Are you in the energy industry? Seems like the energy sector just pays more based on my experience.

Anonymous User
Posts: 330237
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: In-House offer and salary negotiations

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It seems like I may be in the minority here but I've been interviewing in the Bay Area and am a fourth year but would consider the base a tad low too. I think in SoCal it may be closer to fair though. I would say most places I've been interviewing at lately have not really batted an eye for a fourth year at the $185K range of base. I have also heard of friends going in house around that range. I really do think it has been moving up a bit in recent months due to Cravath/Milbank raises and demand (again this is Bay Area so YMMV). That being said I do certainly occasionally get companies that are more in that range. I would be curious to hear when the other posters here who think it is more in line with market went in house.


In my Mountain West market (LV, Denver, Phoenix), I interviewed with companies as a 4th -6th year and bases were as low as 100-120 and as high as 180-200, with some in between. So much depends on the company. I ended up in house at one of the higher range companies with a 40k annual target bonus, 30k annual RSUs plus other solid benefits.


This is very solid, so are you about 275k all in? Are you in the energy industry? Seems like the energy sector just pays more based on my experience.


Ya, very happy with comp. Naw, I'm in RE.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.