Partner or In-House?

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Partner or In-House?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:44 pm

I'm a 6th year lit associate at a small firm. Made the jump from biglaw 4 years ago. I enjoy (as compared to biglaw) the small firm lifestyle. Hours are generally 8:30 - 6:30, and I work on weekends only as needed--on average, two Saturdays a month for a couple of hours. No night work. I work only with the name partner, and I generally manage the day-to-day matters for the cases. Salary (w/ bonus) is a little under $190,000.

Assuming the economics of the firm are fine (they are so far), I've been told I'll make partner at the end of the year. Sounds good on paper. (Making partner will stunt my ability to lateral to other firms (b/c I have a limited book of business), though I don't have much interest in moving to another firm.) I'm hesitant to take the partnership offer b/c I do not want to be in a law firm for my entire career; I just don't find much satisfaction in this job.

I have an offer to move in-house at a boutique investment firm. Pay starts at $160,000; could probably negotiate upward. I've been told pay will exceed $200,000 w/bonus.

Here's my question: Will my in-house options increase if I take the partnership offer, and wait 4-5 years before looking to go in-house? What option would y'all take? I know a lot of this comes down to personal preference. My mortgage is my only debt. Wife makes $120,000, so the pay reduction isn't a big issue.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Partner or In-House?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:51 pm

Sounds like you'll be somewhat better compensated at the firm, and it does keep more options open. If you're not actively trying to pivot to the investment industry then staying put seems like a no-brainer. If your career ain't broke, don't fix it.

hdr

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Re: Partner or In-House?

Post by hdr » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:58 pm

In-house lit options aren't as common so I don't think being a litigation partner will help much, unless you can also demonstrate experience in other areas like commercial contracts.

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Sackboy

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Re: Partner or In-House?

Post by Sackboy » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:37 pm

hdr wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:58 pm
In-house lit options aren't as common so I don't think being a litigation partner will help much, unless you can also demonstrate experience in other areas like commercial contracts.
I disagree with this. In-house lit options are less common, but they do seem to be more senior roles. Those roles are probably looking for partners who have headed cases and can tackle litigation from day one to its conclusion versus litigation lawyers who went in-house relatively junior in their careers. Just my $0.02.

burritotaco

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Re: Partner or In-House?

Post by burritotaco » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:48 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:37 pm
hdr wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:58 pm
In-house lit options aren't as common so I don't think being a litigation partner will help much, unless you can also demonstrate experience in other areas like commercial contracts.
I disagree with this. In-house lit options are less common, but they do seem to be more senior roles. Those roles are probably looking for partners who have headed cases and can tackle litigation from day one to its conclusion versus litigation lawyers who went in-house relatively junior in their careers. Just my $0.02.
I agree with this. I have several friends/colleagues who have gone in house and they all agree that around 10 years' experience is required for a lot of positions. A friend specifically waited until she had 10 years of experience because she said so many positions had that as a strict requirement.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Partner or In-House?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:13 pm

burritotaco wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:48 pm
Sackboy wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:37 pm
hdr wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:58 pm
In-house lit options aren't as common so I don't think being a litigation partner will help much, unless you can also demonstrate experience in other areas like commercial contracts.
I disagree with this. In-house lit options are less common, but they do seem to be more senior roles. Those roles are probably looking for partners who have headed cases and can tackle litigation from day one to its conclusion versus litigation lawyers who went in-house relatively junior in their careers. Just my $0.02.
I agree with this. I have several friends/colleagues who have gone in house and they all agree that around 10 years' experience is required for a lot of positions. A friend specifically waited until she had 10 years of experience because she said so many positions had that as a strict requirement.
OP here. This is helpful. I don't view this in-house position as a dream job, so it makes sense to wait for a better opportunity, especially if partnership expands those opportunities.

Anonymous User
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Re: Partner or In-House?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:05 am

Agree with others that it's better to stay put and see what else comes along.

OP - am curious to know how much do small firm partners typically make (salary+bonus)? I assume they are all equity partners at smaller firms?

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nealric

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Re: Partner or In-House?

Post by nealric » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:05 am
Agree with others that it's better to stay put and see what else comes along.

OP - am curious to know how much do small firm partners typically make (salary+bonus)? I assume they are all equity partners at smaller firms?
Somewhere between negative income and hundreds of millions. Seriously - small firms are all over the board depending on the matter they handle, volume, location, how many people who work for them, etc. There is no "market" rate.

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