Trying to move in-house. Tell my firm?

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

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Trying to move in-house. Tell my firm?

Post by phan » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:39 pm

Going to start looking for in-house position. At a big firm right now. Do I tell my firm in hopes that they help me land a gig, or should I try to do it stealth?

kaiser

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Re: Trying to move in-house. Tell my firm?

Post by kaiser » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:29 am

You do it quietly and discreetly. Don't tell your firm about the search in advance.

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Re: Trying to move in-house. Tell my firm?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:55 pm

Telling the firm is different from telling a partner or two. As for telling the firm, like HR, I'd say likely no. But I think telling partners can be the right strategy if they're well-connected and they like you.

If you have partners who are actually well-connected in the industry and like you/want you to succeed -- they exist! -- then telling them can help you get a good role. I work for a firm that has a reputation as pretty rough on associates (think Skadden/Kirkland/Latham), but took the risk of telling a partner in my group about my goals. That partner, along with a few others in my group, helped me land my next job. These partners like me and I think by asking for help, I was able to make them feel like it could be good for them if I left for the right role. While it's definitely possible that I would have been able to get the job without their involvement, I think that some well-timed text messages to their friends helped make me aware of positions that I wouldn't have been aware of otherwise and also put my resume on the top of the stack at positions I applied to. I have currently accepted an offer at a place that checks all the boxes but am waiting to give my official notice until early January. The partners are aware of this so my workload is decreasing because they can't really staff me on new stuff, but I still expect to get a full bonus.

This is heavily fact-dependent so you definitely have to give a lot of thought to whether or not you want to take the risk of getting sidelined. E.g. if you do it wrong, they might think you're a quitter who is on the way out and freeze you out before you're ready. Or if you talk to a partner who thinks they're well-connected but in reality everyone thinks is kind of an asshole, then the calls they make on your behalf are going to be counterproductive. In each case, though, I think that is a function of who you talk to and the risk can be controlled (not eliminated) by being judicious about who you bring into the loop.

As far as how to broach it with a partner, I think every relationship is different, but I waited for a Friday afternoon when I hadn't made any dumb mistakes recently and when I knew the partner was in a good mood (this combo happened rarely) then stopped by and asked open-ended questions about advice for how to get better as a lawyer. I steered that into a conversation about long-term goals that didn't involve the firm. The whole thing took about a year.

phan

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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:23 pm

Re: Trying to move in-house. Tell my firm?

Post by phan » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:55 pm
Telling the firm is different from telling a partner or two. As for telling the firm, like HR, I'd say likely no. But I think telling partners can be the right strategy if they're well-connected and they like you.

If you have partners who are actually well-connected in the industry and like you/want you to succeed -- they exist! -- then telling them can help you get a good role. I work for a firm that has a reputation as pretty rough on associates (think Skadden/Kirkland/Latham), but took the risk of telling a partner in my group about my goals. That partner, along with a few others in my group, helped me land my next job. These partners like me and I think by asking for help, I was able to make them feel like it could be good for them if I left for the right role. While it's definitely possible that I would have been able to get the job without their involvement, I think that some well-timed text messages to their friends helped make me aware of positions that I wouldn't have been aware of otherwise and also put my resume on the top of the stack at positions I applied to. I have currently accepted an offer at a place that checks all the boxes but am waiting to give my official notice until early January. The partners are aware of this so my workload is decreasing because they can't really staff me on new stuff, but I still expect to get a full bonus.

This is heavily fact-dependent so you definitely have to give a lot of thought to whether or not you want to take the risk of getting sidelined. E.g. if you do it wrong, they might think you're a quitter who is on the way out and freeze you out before you're ready. Or if you talk to a partner who thinks they're well-connected but in reality everyone thinks is kind of an asshole, then the calls they make on your behalf are going to be counterproductive. In each case, though, I think that is a function of who you talk to and the risk can be controlled (not eliminated) by being judicious about who you bring into the loop.

As far as how to broach it with a partner, I think every relationship is different, but I waited for a Friday afternoon when I hadn't made any dumb mistakes recently and when I knew the partner was in a good mood (this combo happened rarely) then stopped by and asked open-ended questions about advice for how to get better as a lawyer. I steered that into a conversation about long-term goals that didn't involve the firm. The whole thing took about a year.
super helpful. thanks!

phan

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Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:23 pm

Re: Trying to move in-house. Tell my firm?

Post by phan » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:09 pm

Also, anyone have thoughts on using a recruiter to go in-house?

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

Re: Trying to move in-house. Tell my firm?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:10 pm

phan wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:09 pm
Also, anyone have thoughts on using a recruiter to go in-house?
I would not use a recruiter to go in house (unless the recruiter works at your target company or has actually been engaged by your target company). All things equal a company would rather not pay a fee for their services. At worst, a company may not consider your application if it is fed to them by a recruiter.

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