In-House Counsel Taking Questions

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Mr. Jones

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In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Mr. Jones » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:40 pm

Pepperdine grad, 2013. Former associate a mid size law firm in LA practicing insurance defense (workers comp, construction defect, subrogation). Now, in house counsel for a firm client, a 100+ person construction company.

Fire away if you have any questions.

Madmen321

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Madmen321 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:16 pm

Thanks!

How does the pay compare to the firm and how much, if any, did it influence your decision to move.

Mr. Jones

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Mr. Jones » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:45 pm

Pay is comparable to the firm. 30% of my pay at the firm was based on bonuses. I was able to negotiate a salary equivalent to my average gross pay at the firm, so leaving the firm didn't mean a pay cut but instead meant a more steady paycheck. The construction company gives bonuses too, however, they are not nearly in the size range of a law firm's bonuses.

My firm didn't give a lot of perks. My new company gives cell phone, car, and an extra two weeks of vacation.

Taking everything into account, my pay is in-house counsel is certainly higher. However, on the off-chance that I would have made Equity partner I could have probably made more at the firm. But, we all know how hard that is.

I also don't have to bill in 6 minute increments anymore. It's amazing how much work you can get done when you don't have to bill.

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t-14orbust

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby t-14orbust » Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:49 pm

What's your salary? What are your hours? Who are your colleagues in terms of where they worked prior, their legal experience, and what law schools they came from? Where is the company located? How many hours do you work on average? What's the upward mobility like?

Mr. Jones

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Mr. Jones » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:16 pm

What's your salary? 150k.

What are your hours? At the firm, I worked between 35-60 hours depending on court/depo schedules, etc. As in-house, I worked between 38-45 hours typically. Overall, about the same but a little less variability.

Who are your colleagues in terms of where they worked prior, their legal experience, and what law schools they came from? I am the only lawyer at the company now. All the lawyers I work with are outside counsel. My new company already had some good contacts with mid-size to large firms so those are primarily the ones I work with. I also use my old firm for various matters.

Where is the company located? San Diego

How many hours do you work on average? 40

What's the upward mobility like? I'm note entirely sure yet. As I mature in this role I will get a better idea. There is no partnership track like at a firm though, but there are lots of senior managers who would be the equivalent of a salaried partner in my eyes, which I think is well within reach for GC since GCs tend to have access to the highest levels of management. Ownership would a buy-in and retirement of current owners.

Danger Zone

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Danger Zone » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:53 pm

How did you get this job? You said a former client, but did they approach you about the opportunity? Also what are your day to day responsibilities? You can be as general as you're comfortable with. Thanks.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mr. Jones

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Mr. Jones » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:15 pm

Danger Zone wrote:How did you get this job? You said a former client, but did they approach you about the opportunity? Also what are your day to day responsibilities? You can be as general as you're comfortable with. Thanks.


Client approached me after about 1.5 years of working with them on a variety of matters. Primarily, I helped with them with litigation discovery but provided some assistance on employment matters when they came up. I had a lot of client contact so I always tried to frame the legal issues into a broader business issue when making recommendations, which I think they appreciated.

In terms of daily responsibilities, I manage outside counsel on two claims that are either in litigation or very close to it. I also provide advice to senior management as they navigate the dispute resolution process ingrained in municipal construction contacts. I provide advice on subcontracts we execute, primarily when the subcontractors want to change parts of our standard form. I work with construction management to determine if the proposed changes are within our risk tolerance. I provide some employment advice. I am also heading a business development project involving the small-business administration and various set-aside programs we are partnering with small business to take advantage of. That stuff is the most fun and is more transactional in nature. I work a lot with our C-level management in determining insurance requirements, doing the interviews to get liability coverage, shopping around for new rates, etc. Lastly, I guess my role is also compliance officer, so I try to make sure we're in compliance with contract requirements (i.e. reporting reqs with the Government, etc.). My job involves a lot more talking and attending meetings than my job at the firm.

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kellyfrost

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby kellyfrost » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:59 pm

Do you drink more alcohol as in-house counsel or at your firm job?
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mr. Jones

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Re: In-House Counsel Taking Questions

Postby Mr. Jones » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:09 pm

kellyfrost wrote:Do you drink more alcohol as in-house counsel or at your firm job?


Firm.



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