3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

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3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:38 am

Hi! I'm a graduating 3L in NYC. I currently have two opportunties that I'd love some input on.

I had an in-house summer associate position through which I received a long term offer. However, during the summer I found the work unfufilling and the lifestyle to be boring. Fast track to 3L OCI, I was able to land a big law position.

While I believe that the partner track is best for me and I would gain great experience, I'd still like to know if I'd be missing out on something by not going in-house. The numbers are as follows:

In-House:
$140K, hefty signing bonus, end of year bonus $20K
9-5 hours, 30 vacation days, 401K & health insurance
Edit: incremental increase in salary & position (AVP --> VP --> MD --> ED)

Big Law:
$175K, no signing bonus, but Bar fees paid for, 1st year bonus likely $15K
big law hours, 21 vacation days, 401K & health insurance
Edit: normal big law ladder

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smokeylarue

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby smokeylarue » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:37 am

Honestly, that in-house package for someone straight out of law school seems almost too good to be true. I think you'd be a fool not to take it. Obviously you'll make some more money in BigLaw so if you have massive loans maybe that's someting to consider.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:46 am

Go big law if you want to make partner. I know some classmates who really like big law despite the hours because of the work style, adrenaline, and constant pressure. One person even went back to big law from a job more like an in-house counsel one because the pace is much slower. These people are few and far in-between, but they exist and you might be one of them and if so, that is quite impressive.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby TooMuchTuna » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:17 am

I went in-house right out of law school and there are certainly times where I regret not taking a Big Law gig (mostly because I would like to have experience working in a firm). With that said, your in-house offer seems pretty insane, so I'm not sure I'd turn that down. What kind of company is it? Public or private? I'm assuming the latter because you didn't mention stock options?

What practice group would you be in for Big Law? Your exit opportunities for in-house jobs should be pretty good after a few years so long as you stay away from Lit.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:Go big law if you want to make partner. I know some classmates who really like big law despite the hours because of the work style, adrenaline, and constant pressure. One person even went back to big law from a job more like an in-house counsel one because the pace is much slower. These people are few and far in-between, but they exist and you might be one of them and if so, that is quite impressive.


out this anon

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:51 am

pancakes3 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Go big law if you want to make partner. I know some classmates who really like big law despite the hours because of the work style, adrenaline, and constant pressure. One person even went back to big law from a job more like an in-house counsel one because the pace is much slower. These people are few and far in-between, but they exist and you might be one of them and if so, that is quite impressive.


out this anon

Why?

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Yugihoe » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:46 am

Just know that a lot of big law people would jump in house for that kind of salary and package. You've got a great deal. You can big law and always try to make it back in house though.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:02 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Go big law if you want to make partner. I know some classmates who really like big law despite the hours because of the work style, adrenaline, and constant pressure. One person even went back to big law from a job more like an in-house counsel one because the pace is much slower. These people are few and far in-between, but they exist and you might be one of them and if so, that is quite impressive.


out this anon

Why?

Because there's nothing confidential in the post and it violates the rules? Also, it's bad advice. You can lateral to biglaw from in-house as a partner, it's done all the time.

OP, if you turn down the in-house offer, please PM me name of company so that I can apply.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:32 am

Bruh I’ve been billing 12+ hours every day for the last two months and this pace will continue through the holidays (sorry family). You have no idea what you mean when you think biglaw will be “faster paced”. As a junior, the work is pretty boring to boot! You’d have to assume you’d stick around for several years so you can do “interesting” work.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:48 am

Anonymous User wrote: However, during the summer I found the work unfufilling and the lifestyle to be boring. Fast track to 3L OCI, I was able to land a big law position.


If you find the work in-house unfulfilling, then maybe BigLaw is more your speed? I did the exact opposite to you. I did the BigLaw thing for 1.5 years during law school and found the work unfulfilling and the lifestyle lacking, so I went in-house directly out of school. I haven't regretted it for a second. There are days that I wish I had that extra $30k in my pocket this year, but that feeling will go away once my student loans are paid off.

Here are a couple things to to consider, though. I administered some projects for our 2L interns this past summer, and I gave them work that had been hanging around for a while because it was a bit tedious and superficial. I can't exactly assign a 2L some killer strategic project. They don't have the time or experience to get up to speed, let alone put out decent work product. It really wasn't until I was 6 months in that I had enough context to start getting put on the good projects. Also, I have no idea how the lifestyle in-house could be boring. You can literally leave at 5pm and go do whatever the hell you want with your evenings. Sure as heck beats being stuck in your office until 8pm doing doc review for some BS deadline your partner set. If you mean that your coworkers are boring because they don't go out to lunch all the time and stuff, then that's fairly easy to remedy. You have to be the change you want to see. I guarantee that your coworkers will jump on any opportunity to socialize.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:10 pm

Finishing up stub year now and if I had the chance I would jump on that job and not look back. Don’t underestimate the value of your free time.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:39 pm

OP here. All of your replies are great and I truly appreciate the insight! A couple of things:

-The in-house position is with a large financial institution.
-The big law position is in litigation & dispute resolution (arbitration)

I love litigation and arbitration. The overall pace during my summer in-house was slow. I fear that once I go in-house my opportunities for mobility will solely be within the institution. The law firm prides itself on being family orientated and they are expanding their lit/ dispute res practice. The experience would be invaluable, along with the career prospects.

Edit: Been thinking more about what you all said. I believe that I do need that constant rush and that developing a career in law is my ultimate goal. Big law might be the choice for me and I could go in-house later if need be!?

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby ruski » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. All of your replies are great and I truly appreciate the insight! A couple of things:

-The in-house position is with a large financial institution.
-The big law position is in litigation & dispute resolution (arbitration)

I love litigation and arbitration. The overall pace during my summer in-house was slow. I fear that once I go in-house my opportunities for mobility will solely be within the institution. The law firm prides itself on being family orientated and they are expanding their lit/ dispute res practice. The experience would be invaluable, along with the career prospects.

Edit: Been thinking more about what you all said. I believe that I do need that constant rush and that developing a career in law is my ultimate goal. Big law might be the choice for me and I could go in-house later if need be!?


I don't think that practice leaves you with many exit ops..

the rush of a free $30 dinner and cab ride home in a luxury vehicle wears off fast. I second the above poster - don't underestimate the value of your free time. it gets real depressing after several months/years that you will spend the vast majority (and I mean VAST MAJORITY) of your waking life reviewing documents that will never be looked at again or have any meaningful benefit to anyone's life.

in house at a bank will set you up for other inhouse opportunities, whether at a bank or not. you have a backdoor into what most biglaw associates would do anything to get into.

in-house pace may be slow but law firm life will have other ills. nothing that is done for 50 hours a week, week after week, will be enjoyable. so yes you may like litigation but not to the point of doing it 60 hours a week.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby smokeylarue » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:25 pm

It's not clear to me why say you "love litigation and arbitration" when you didn't even summer at a law firm. Did you summer at a law firm your 1L summer?

That said, if know you want to do litigation for sure (again, it's not clear to me you know what you're getting into or know what you're talking about), then it's no contest, you should go with the law firm.

These are two completely different paths.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:31 pm

you'd be an idiot for passing up on a 160k job that works 40 hrs a week and has 6 weeks of paid leave.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:32 pm

smokeylarue wrote:It's not clear to me why say you "love litigation and arbitration" when you didn't even summer at a law firm. Did you summer at a law firm your 1L summer?

That said, if know you want to do litigation for sure (again, it's not clear to me you know what you're getting into or know what you're talking about), then it's no contest, you should go with the law firm.

These are two completely different paths.


Yes, I was at a boutique litigation firm my 1L summer (cushy position). My extracurricular activities have revolved heavily around litigation & dispute resolution (clinics, arbitration & mediation team. But as you alluded, I do not have real firm experience under my belt!

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I love litigation and arbitration.


Maybe I missed it, but what would you be doing in-house? Lit?

The overall pace during my summer in-house was slow.


Same here. I spent a lot of time surfing the internet during my summer internship. Some of that was intentional on the company's part. They wanted to instill confidence by not overworking their interns. These days, there's enough work to fill the entire day. If I'm running low, there's a database of more work to grab, or I can ask one of about 15 attorneys to take something off their plate. Litigation may be more feast or famine, though.

I fear that once I go in-house my opportunities for mobility will solely be within the institution.


Nah. You may be stuck for 2 or 3 years until you have enough experience to shop around, but you can easily lateral around to other companies or to law firms. This is especially true of firms that you've worked with while in-house.

The law firm prides itself on being family orientated and they are expanding their lit/ dispute res practice.


lol at the "family orientated" part. Did they also use the phrases "collegial" and "work/life balance"? Most firms outright lie about their expectations for new associates.

It sounds like you want to give biglaw a shot. There's nothing wrong with that, but make sure your expectations are hovering around zero going in. You're gonna work your ass off for long hours and at the sacrifice of everything else. However, on the other side of the coin, you'll get really good at your subject matter really quickly.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Hikikomorist » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:41 pm

smokeylarue wrote:Honestly, that in-house package for someone straight out of law school seems almost too good to be true. I think you'd be a fool not to take it. Obviously you'll make some more money in BigLaw so if you have massive loans maybe that's someting to consider.

All the people I know going in house straight from law school (admittedly a small sample) are looking at total compensation in that range, so I suspect this is one area where TLS is sort of behind the times/market.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Graybrow » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:24 am

pancakes3 wrote:you'd be an idiot for passing up on a 160k job that works 40 hrs a week and has 6 weeks of paid leave.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby strawberrieee » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:34 am

Hikikomorist wrote:All the people I know going in house straight from law school (admittedly a small sample) are looking at total compensation in that range, so I suspect this is one area where TLS is sort of behind the times/market.


In NYC only or other markets as well?

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Hikikomorist » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:35 am

strawberrieee wrote:
Hikikomorist wrote:All the people I know going in house straight from law school (admittedly a small sample) are looking at total compensation in that range, so I suspect this is one area where TLS is sort of behind the times/market.


In NYC only or other markets as well?

Other markets.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby lolwat » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:47 am

Most people would take the 9-5 in-house gig in a heartbeat. But I think this is a tougher decision because it comes down to (1) what you would be happy doing and (2) exit options. You might actually be much happier working biglaw hours in a job you enjoy doing, rather than 9-5 doing a job you hate and find unfulfilling.

For things like partnership track... only you will know because I'm sure you're not going to identify the firm, but the chances of making partner at most firms is very low, to say the least.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby smokeylarue » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:49 am

Hikikomorist wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:Honestly, that in-house package for someone straight out of law school seems almost too good to be true. I think you'd be a fool not to take it. Obviously you'll make some more money in BigLaw so if you have massive loans maybe that's someting to consider.

All the people I know going in house straight from law school (admittedly a small sample) are looking at total compensation in that range, so I suspect this is one area where TLS is sort of behind the times/market.


There can't be more than a handul of these positions out there in the country (companies don't really hire straight out of law school to begin with anyway). If there were 160k in-house jobs straight out of law school, no one would ever go to a firm.

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:48 pm

Where the hell are these positions and where do I find them? :D

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Re: 3L w/ In-House vs. Big Law Opportunity- Help Plz!

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:20 pm

I think you should work at the firm so you can gain an appreciation of "slower pace" jobs. You deserve biglaw if you're going to turn down that in house offer.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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