Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

(Discuss Advantages vs Disadvantages, Making the Switch From Private Practice to In-House, Compensation & Hours, Work-Life balance, In-House Reviews & Experiences)
max_p

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by max_p » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:28 pm

When people are expressing their options as a rough percentage of their salary per year, how is that calculated? I recently got an offer and was told that the options represented about 20% of my salary, but I am not sure how they got to this number given that the options are worth nothing on day one.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by dabigchina » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:36 pm

max_p wrote:When people are expressing their options as a rough percentage of their salary per year, how is that calculated? I recently got an offer and was told that the options represented about 20% of my salary, but I am not sure how they got to this number given that the options are worth nothing on day one.
Options have black scholes value, even if they are at the money (which they theoretically should be, although they may be deep in the money or out of the money depending on when they did their last valuation).

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by nealric » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:41 pm

max_p wrote:When people are expressing their options as a rough percentage of their salary per year, how is that calculated? I recently got an offer and was told that the options represented about 20% of my salary, but I am not sure how they got to this number given that the options are worth nothing on day one.
Most companies do RSUs rather than options for their rank and file (options tend to be for executives). They are primarily used as retention mechanisms, because you have to walk away from a lot of hypothetical value in order to leave. However, if the company has the common 3-year vesting schedule, you can basically look at it as equivalent to a bonus of that amount starting year 3. My RSUs vest over 3 years, but since I've been at the company longer than 3 years, I get a full year worth of vesting each year (as tranches from each of the last 3 years vest). In practice, it works out to a 20% bonus with the caveat that you need to stay 3 years for the full benefit to kick in. It's also more volatile if you work at a company with a volatile share price.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:10 pm

Just adding another data point here ...

Company: major market (LA/Chi/NYC/SF) media company
Area: Generalist (mostly soft IP, first amendment, employment, data privacy, and contracts)
Year: 2019
Experience: V20 for less than one year
Salary: 135K
Bonus: 15K
Equity: none offered at the moment

Decent benefits. 3% 401K match. Unlimited PTO (generally people take 15-20, but its flexible and dept specific). Haven't been here long, but in general work is 930-6; never had to work on weekends and never worked past 7 (and even then it was by choice because I wanted to wrap up a project and wife was out of town/didn't have anything to do that evening)

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by 1styearlateral » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:53 pm

Lawyer Whisperer recently published a post that the startup market is now trending towards year-end bonuses of 30% of base. Anyone experiencing this?

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:23 pm

Posting another data point - let me know how I fared:


Company: major market (LA/Chi/NYC/SF) financial services firm
Area: Generalist (banking, m&a, cap markets - all in advisory role instead of transactional role)
Year: 2020
Experience: big law since 2017
Salary: 225k
Bonus: 45K (guaranteed for year one, but will be variable in future so may see pay cut?)
Equity: none offered at the moment

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by trebekismyhero » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Posting another data point - let me know how I fared:


Company: major market (LA/Chi/NYC/SF) financial services firm
Area: Generalist (banking, m&a, cap markets - all in advisory role instead of transactional role)
Year: 2020
Experience: big law since 2017
Salary: 225k
Bonus: 45K (guaranteed for year one, but will be variable in future so may see pay cut?)
Equity: none offered at the moment
That is pretty solid for a 3rd year. I always want to get equity, so push for that next year, but that's a good starting salary

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:52 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Posting another data point - let me know how I fared:


Company: major market (LA/Chi/NYC/SF) financial services firm
Area: Generalist (banking, m&a, cap markets - all in advisory role instead of transactional role)
Year: 2020
Experience: big law since 2017
Salary: 225k
Bonus: 45K (guaranteed for year one, but will be variable in future so may see pay cut?)
Equity: none offered at the moment
That is pretty solid for a 3rd year. I always want to get equity, so push for that next year, but that's a good starting salary
Does anyone have any anecdotes of successfully negotiating an initial offer? Let's say above is just the first offer given by company, what would be a reasonable counter-offer? Would it be non-offensive to ask for a signing bonus of maybe 10-15k? Maybe ask that base salary is moved up to 240 and bonus reduced to 30? etc. Don't want to be greedy if consensus is that this is a pretty solid offer from the gates.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by BigLawer » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Posting another data point - let me know how I fared:


Company: major market (LA/Chi/NYC/SF) financial services firm
Area: Generalist (banking, m&a, cap markets - all in advisory role instead of transactional role)
Year: 2020
Experience: big law since 2017
Salary: 225k
Bonus: 45K (guaranteed for year one, but will be variable in future so may see pay cut?)
Equity: none offered at the moment
That is pretty solid for a 3rd year. I always want to get equity, so push for that next year, but that's a good starting salary
Does anyone have any anecdotes of successfully negotiating an initial offer? Let's say above is just the first offer given by company, what would be a reasonable counter-offer? Would it be non-offensive to ask for a signing bonus of maybe 10-15k? Maybe ask that base salary is moved up to 240 and bonus reduced to 30? etc. Don't want to be greedy if consensus is that this is a pretty solid offer from the gates.
This is a solid offer for a 3rd year (2 years of experience). I wouldn't fight for 10-15k signing, feels short sighted at this comp level, if you feel like you need more, ask about getting some sort of annual equity piece to your compensation. Your salary is good for a third year (basically what you make now), and bonus is decent, but this would be an absolute steal if you could also get some equity in the mix.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:02 pm

BigLawer wrote:
This is a solid offer for a 3rd year (2 years of experience). I wouldn't fight for 10-15k signing, feels short sighted at this comp level, if you feel like you need more, ask about getting some sort of annual equity piece to your compensation. Your salary is good for a third year (basically what you make now), and bonus is decent, but this would be an absolute steal if you could also get some equity in the mix.
Thanks, yes will be about 2.5 years of experience post law school. Yes I think I will skip out asking on the signing bonus since it doesn't seem like much. Is equity common at my level? I'm coming in as senior associate (they have VP, MD and Senior MD after the associate level at this financial institution). Can I try to negotiate title instead?

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by trebekismyhero » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BigLawer wrote:
This is a solid offer for a 3rd year (2 years of experience). I wouldn't fight for 10-15k signing, feels short sighted at this comp level, if you feel like you need more, ask about getting some sort of annual equity piece to your compensation. Your salary is good for a third year (basically what you make now), and bonus is decent, but this would be an absolute steal if you could also get some equity in the mix.
Thanks, yes will be about 2.5 years of experience post law school. Yes I think I will skip out asking on the signing bonus since it doesn't seem like much. Is equity common at my level? I'm coming in as senior associate (they have VP, MD and Senior MD after the associate level at this financial institution). Can I try to negotiate title instead?
It is company dependent, but I negotiated equity with my public company. I had a little more experience than you though. I would think you are too junior to be a VP, but I am not familiar with how your company operates. Talk to people at the company about progression. If you have the offer, no harm in asking to meet with a few people to discuss that.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by merde_happens » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:13 pm

1styearlateral wrote:Lawyer Whisperer recently published a post that the startup market is now trending towards year-end bonuses of 30% of base. Anyone experiencing this?
Would love to know any private VC-backed startup giving out 30% cash bonuses to in-house lawyers. Most start-ups I encountered in my interview process (including the one I ended up at) gave equity bonuses, but not cash bonuses. Cash bonuses were more typical of your bigger tech public companies.
Does anyone have any anecdotes of successfully negotiating an initial offer? Let's say above is just the first offer given by company, what would be a reasonable counter-offer? Would it be non-offensive to ask for a signing bonus of maybe 10-15k? Maybe ask that base salary is moved up to 240 and bonus reduced to 30? etc. Don't want to be greedy if consensus is that this is a pretty solid offer from the gates.
I was able to negotiate base salary, but not equity package (although I tried for both). However, most companies I interviewed with asked for a comp range at the screener stage, so that kind of limits how much you can reasonably negotiate when the time comes. My offer was at the lower end of the range, so I pushed back for the upper range and came out somewhere in the middle.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:42 pm

For another data point: in-house position in a large public company in a high cost of living city (NYC, LA, BOS type) offering $65k as base salary for lawyers 1-3 years out of school.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by 1styearlateral » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For another data point: in-house position in a large public company in a high cost of living city (NYC, LA, BOS type) offering $65k as base salary for lawyers 1-3 years out of school.
Wow, that's breathtakingly low.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:53 pm

Just adding another DP, since I recently started an in-house job:

Company: Large media company in major market
Area: L&E
Year: 2013
Experience: Biglaw in major market
Salary: $185k
Bonus: 20%, so $37k in 1st year (possibly higher based on company/personal performance)
Equity: $2.5k RSUs in 1st year (amount goes up each year)

Other benefits are great, including very generous 401k match. All in all, it was around a 10% pay cut from my biglaw job, which was fine by me. Job is awesome and engaging. Usually done by 6:30, and haven't needed to do any weekend work so far.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:41 pm

Recently offered an in-house job.

Company: F500 Financial Services in major market
Year: 2015
Experience: FedGov
Salary: $155k
Bonus: $20k+, stock/equity wasn't offered

Great benefits. 401k matching + auto contributions. Honestly a very solid comp increase from my fedgov job, which is necessary because I'm giving up PSLF; but definitely not as high as some of the salaries reported ITT. Will probably accept the offer. Glad to be going somewhere that will give me more marketability and room for growth (comp and skills-wise) than my fed gig, which had me feeling like I was peaking way too early.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by BigLawer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Just adding another DP, since I recently started an in-house job:

Company: Large media company in major market
Area: L&E
Year: 2013
Experience: Biglaw in major market
Salary: $185k
Bonus: 20%, so $37k in 1st year (possibly higher based on company/personal performance)
Equity: $2.5k RSUs in 1st year (amount goes up each year)

Other benefits are great, including very generous 401k match. All in all, it was around a 10% pay cut from my biglaw job, which was fine by me. Job is awesome and engaging. Usually done by 6:30, and haven't needed to do any weekend work so far.
Just curious how you are getting a 10% pay cut? Biglaw you would be at $325 base and $90 bonus, or $415. Sounds like you are at $225 +401K. Which sounds more like a 40% pay cut.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:19 pm

BigLawer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just adding another DP, since I recently started an in-house job:

Company: Large media company in major market
Area: L&E
Year: 2013
Experience: Biglaw in major market
Salary: $185k
Bonus: 20%, so $37k in 1st year (possibly higher based on company/personal performance)
Equity: $2.5k RSUs in 1st year (amount goes up each year)

Other benefits are great, including very generous 401k match. All in all, it was around a 10% pay cut from my biglaw job, which was fine by me. Job is awesome and engaging. Usually done by 6:30, and haven't needed to do any weekend work so far.
Just curious how you are getting a 10% pay cut? Biglaw you would be at $325 base and $90 bonus, or $415. Sounds like you are at $225 +401K. Which sounds more like a 40% pay cut.
My firm paid below market once you moved past the first few years, and bonus only kicked in once you hit certain hours thresholds that I had no intention of hitting, so bonus was never a part of my comp as a biglaw associate. Made it so the all-in comp difference wasn't a big drop going in house.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:37 pm

Mid-level IP associate --> IP counsel in major market (SF/BOS/SD)

230k base
25% bonus (expected)
stock options
401k matching

(edited to delete some identifiable info)
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:06 pm

Thoughts on the below? I think it’s pretty on par with(maybe a little below) what I’ve seen here.

Salary:165k
Bonus: up to 15% depending on performance
Experience: 3rd year biglaw, not NYC
Job: counsel at public company focusing on M&A and cap markets

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by trebekismyhero » Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts on the below? I think it’s pretty on par with(maybe a little below) what I’ve seen here.

Salary:165k
Bonus: up to 15% depending on performance
Experience: 3rd year biglaw, not NYC
Job: counsel at public company focusing on M&A and cap markets
Are you getting any equity? Overall, for a 3rd year in non-NYC and assuming not Bay Area either, it is pretty standard and solid

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:38 pm

BigLawer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Posting another data point - let me know how I fared:


Company: major market (LA/Chi/NYC/SF) financial services firm
Area: Generalist (banking, m&a, cap markets - all in advisory role instead of transactional role)
Year: 2020
Experience: big law since 2017
Salary: 225k
Bonus: 45K (guaranteed for year one, but will be variable in future so may see pay cut?)
Equity: none offered at the moment
That is pretty solid for a 3rd year. I always want to get equity, so push for that next year, but that's a good starting salary
Does anyone have any anecdotes of successfully negotiating an initial offer? Let's say above is just the first offer given by company, what would be a reasonable counter-offer? Would it be non-offensive to ask for a signing bonus of maybe 10-15k? Maybe ask that base salary is moved up to 240 and bonus reduced to 30? etc. Don't want to be greedy if consensus is that this is a pretty solid offer from the gates.
This is a solid offer for a 3rd year (2 years of experience). I wouldn't fight for 10-15k signing, feels short sighted at this comp level, if you feel like you need more, ask about getting some sort of annual equity piece to your compensation. Your salary is good for a third year (basically what you make now), and bonus is decent, but this would be an absolute steal if you could also get some equity in the mix.
So this is essentially 270k all-in (and not even counting any 401k match or HSA) with less than 3 years of big law experience. Essentially the high end range for salary for this experience level right? I'm actually nervous because it seems they are paying quite a lot compared to other positions but yet I don't feel like I am doing substantive things (NDAs, ELs, similar docs)...

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Yea All Right » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BigLawer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Posting another data point - let me know how I fared:


Company: major market (LA/Chi/NYC/SF) financial services firm
Area: Generalist (banking, m&a, cap markets - all in advisory role instead of transactional role)
Year: 2020
Experience: big law since 2017
Salary: 225k
Bonus: 45K (guaranteed for year one, but will be variable in future so may see pay cut?)
Equity: none offered at the moment
That is pretty solid for a 3rd year. I always want to get equity, so push for that next year, but that's a good starting salary
Does anyone have any anecdotes of successfully negotiating an initial offer? Let's say above is just the first offer given by company, what would be a reasonable counter-offer? Would it be non-offensive to ask for a signing bonus of maybe 10-15k? Maybe ask that base salary is moved up to 240 and bonus reduced to 30? etc. Don't want to be greedy if consensus is that this is a pretty solid offer from the gates.
This is a solid offer for a 3rd year (2 years of experience). I wouldn't fight for 10-15k signing, feels short sighted at this comp level, if you feel like you need more, ask about getting some sort of annual equity piece to your compensation. Your salary is good for a third year (basically what you make now), and bonus is decent, but this would be an absolute steal if you could also get some equity in the mix.
So this is essentially 270k all-in (and not even counting any 401k match or HSA) with less than 3 years of big law experience. Essentially the high end range for salary for this experience level right? I'm actually nervous because it seems they are paying quite a lot compared to other positions but yet I don't feel like I am doing substantive things (NDAs, ELs, similar docs)...
Dude that's basically your biglaw salary, but you get to be in-house with all the benefits in-house comes with. I'm not knowledgeable about in-house salaries but that seems great.

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:22 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts on the below? I think it’s pretty on par with(maybe a little below) what I’ve seen here.

Salary:165k
Bonus: up to 15% depending on performance
Experience: 3rd year biglaw, not NYC
Job: counsel at public company focusing on M&A and cap markets
Are you getting any equity? Overall, for a 3rd year in non-NYC and assuming not Bay Area either, it is pretty standard and solid
No equity. Thanks, that's what I was thinking. Pretty happily accepting!

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Re: Typical In-House Salary Package for Junior Lawyer?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:12 pm

Yea All Right wrote:
Dude that's basically your biglaw salary, but you get to be in-house with all the benefits in-house comes with. I'm not knowledgeable about in-house salaries but that seems great.
yea, just saying it almost feels too good to be true so waiting for the catch. Nervous with the market being in flux too and corona.

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