Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:44 pm

I summered at a V20 in a major market and realized I don't think I want that life. I should have realized this earlier but didn't.

I also have potential opportunities at a midsize, secondary market firm paying $120k and an in-house position in the same secondary market paying $95-100k.

The midsize firm has all the same benefits as the V20, just obviously less pay. The hours are also much more manageable, but it's still a firm. However, this secondary market is my home market, so I have the support of family/friends.

The in-house position is interesting, varied, and clearly lower stress. Attorneys leave by 5:00pm if not 4:30. Everyone works 40-45 hours a week, except maybe the GC. There are nice benefits (not quite to a firm level, but still nice). Quiet and friendly office environment. Barely a Fortune 500 company. Same secondary home market.

What would you do? Is it a mistake to turn down a job that pays $180k for a job that pays $100k? I have applications in at firms in the same secondary market that pay $140k, $160k, and $180k. Obviously that would make a difference if I received an offer from one of these.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
pancakes3
Posts: 5928
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Please Help Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:52 pm

how much debt do you have?

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:53 pm

pancakes3 wrote:how much debt do you have?

will graduate with about $55k (this includes undergrad + law school)

User avatar
pancakes3
Posts: 5928
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:56 pm

in-house.

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:59 pm

pancakes3 wrote:in-house.

my concern is that I would completely bypass the law firm part of my career, I never see attorneys go from in-house to a firm. I'm worried this might hinder my advancement if I don't have any firm experience outside of summering.

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:in-house.

my concern is that I would completely bypass the law firm part of my career, I never see attorneys go from in-house to a firm. I'm worried this might hinder my advancement if I don't have any firm experience outside of summering.


You're not missing much. Bypass that part of your career. There is more to life. Unless you're lit, then I'd think twice.

User avatar
pancakes3
Posts: 5928
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:in-house.

my concern is that I would completely bypass the law firm part of my career, I never see attorneys go from in-house to a firm. I'm worried this might hinder my advancement if I don't have any firm experience outside of summering.


you already said you don't want the firm life. it seems unlikely that you don't want the firm lifestyle now, but would later on.

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:in-house.

my concern is that I would completely bypass the law firm part of my career, I never see attorneys go from in-house to a firm. I'm worried this might hinder my advancement if I don't have any firm experience outside of summering.


You're not missing much. Bypass that part of your career. There is more to life. Unless you're lit, then I'd think twice.

wait what do you mean by lit?

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:12 pm

Hey OP, I don't mean to hijack this thread, but how did you come across this opportunity? I'm guessing you accepted at the end of your SA last year and started applying around? I've been looking to do something similar and nothing panned out. I'm gearing up to do transactional biglaw in a month.

In any case, I'd take the in-house gig in a heartbeat. If you check out in-house postings for most major companies, you'll notice that they either want biglaw experience OR in-house experience; they're pretty much substitute goods. You're not hurting your future career by starting out in-house.

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey OP, I don't mean to hijack this thread, but how did you come across this opportunity? I'm guessing you accepted at the end of your SA last year and started applying around? I've been looking to do something similar and nothing panned out. I'm gearing up to do transactional biglaw in a month.

In any case, I'd take the in-house gig in a heartbeat. If you check out in-house postings for most major companies, you'll notice that they either want biglaw experience OR in-house experience; they're pretty much substitute goods. You're not hurting your future career by starting out in-house.

I had the opportunity to extern for school credit with the F500 company and developed a great relationship with them. Best of luck to you!

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey OP, I don't mean to hijack this thread, but how did you come across this opportunity? I'm guessing you accepted at the end of your SA last year and started applying around? I've been looking to do something similar and nothing panned out. I'm gearing up to do transactional biglaw in a month.

In any case, I'd take the in-house gig in a heartbeat. If you check out in-house postings for most major companies, you'll notice that they either want biglaw experience OR in-house experience; they're pretty much substitute goods. You're not hurting your future career by starting out in-house.

I had the opportunity to extern for school credit with the F500 company and developed a great relationship with them. Best of luck to you!


Awesome, thanks! Good luck with your decision!

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:26 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:in-house.

my concern is that I would completely bypass the law firm part of my career, I never see attorneys go from in-house to a firm. I'm worried this might hinder my advancement if I don't have any firm experience outside of summering.


you already said you don't want the firm life. it seems unlikely that you don't want the firm lifestyle now, but would later on.

true, thanks for your input

User avatar
Lacepiece23
Posts: 992
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:in-house.

my concern is that I would completely bypass the law firm part of my career, I never see attorneys go from in-house to a firm. I'm worried this might hinder my advancement if I don't have any firm experience outside of summering.


You're not missing much. Bypass that part of your career. There is more to life. Unless you're lit, then I'd think twice.

wait what do you mean by lit?


I'm the anon from above. As a litigator, from my limited experience, in-house would be zero fun. From what I've seen, the in-house folks kind of manage all of the cases while and farm our the heavy lifting to outside counsel. I don't think most people who really enjoy litigation would want this forever. I think some would be happy with this in their 40s after they are burnt out and ready for a 9-5 job that pays $$$. But early in my career, I'd want to learn how to litigate and be more involved in the process.

This is why I'd never go in-house. Although I have heard that some companies are now using their in-folks to actually run some matters.

1styearlateral
Posts: 671
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:in-house.

my concern is that I would completely bypass the law firm part of my career, I never see attorneys go from in-house to a firm. I'm worried this might hinder my advancement if I don't have any firm experience outside of summering.

Plenty of attorneys go from in-house to firms. You have the potential to bring in at least one client.

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:07 am

Current in house counsel who started with the company right out of law school. I bypassed firm life, but I didn't have a V20 180k or a great midsize offer, so my situation is a little bit different than what you are facing. I think you are facing a difficult decision.

I tend to lean towards going in house, depending on what kind of work they are going to have you do. If you can get any kind of litigation role or litigation work in house it would be awesome.

Also you need to consider whether or not, or how soon, another in house position will open up for you if you take on the law firm jobs first. I know a lot of people have the goal of grinding out big law for a while then transitioning into an in house position, but they are highly competitive. The opportunity is sitting right in you lap right now.

However, with that being said, you do stand to make a lot more money and build a great network at big law, and at mid law, you have the opportunity to build a great network and likely get some great substantive experience.

Here is how I would break down my current in house gig: 1/3 litigation (including handling own matters), 1/3 compliance related and compliance appeals and disputes, 1/3 -- whatever else needs to be done (updating privacy policy, responding to record requests, training other employees, traveling to meetings and traveling to speak at company functions, ect.) It really is a great gig and I love it. My perception, at least from a smaller in house legal department is that opportunity for advancement within the company is great and there is also an opportunity to take on more business type rather than legal roles if you so choose)

Best of luck with your decision though. You are fortunate to have these opportunities in front of you and I wish you all the best in whatever you choose.

Anonymous User
Posts: 301261
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:51 am

OP, if you didn't like the firm as an SA and preferred your experience in-house, do in-house. The rest will take care of itself.

The reason I say that is that I've been at a firm two years and I have zero desire to go in-house. You have the opposite view -- just do what you like, get as good of experience as you can, and network in case you want to change.

foregetaboutdre
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:16 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby foregetaboutdre » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:44 pm

1styearlateral wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:in-house.

my concern is that I would completely bypass the law firm part of my career, I never see attorneys go from in-house to a firm. I'm worried this might hinder my advancement if I don't have any firm experience outside of summering.

Plenty of attorneys go from in-house to firms. You have the potential to bring in at least one client.


My firm FWIW had this exact scenario happen as well.

User avatar
smokeylarue
Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby smokeylarue » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:52 pm

This is a super tough decision. Obviously in-house is the goal however the pay difference is massive. Obviously the midsize firm should not be an option. I don't think you can go wrong, congrats on being in a good dilemma.

gaddockteeg
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:33 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby gaddockteeg » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:40 pm

Im going to vote Big Law.

I'd go to the v20, do the bare minimum as to not get fired and then spend your time there looking for lateral opporuntiie.s

You'll last at least 2 years before they realize youre not "partnership material;" then you'll have more money, have a stronger resume, and end up in exactly the same position as if you had just gone straight in house or straight to mid law.

lolwat
Posts: 1095
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby lolwat » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:53 pm

This seems very difficult to me. All we have to go on is these few paragraphs in the OP.

If I started over and had the same offers you had... I'd probably pick biglaw.

But then again, $$$ and prestige meant a lot to me and still does. There are two "prestige" items "missing" on my resume and I actually think they make a difference. (I'm serious too, by the way -- it's stuff like a COA clerkship and a big firm name.)

Check into the COL differences by the way. $95-100k in some market like Denver will probably get you just as far as $180k in NYC, so...

orangecup
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:41 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby orangecup » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:06 pm

I'd take the in-house job in a heartbeat based on your description of it and your total debt load.

I wouldn't worry about bypassing the law firm part of your career - it's miserable. Full stop. It's easy to tell yourself before you start that you can put up with the long hours, unpredictability, etc. but it's incredibly debilitating. I lost the energy to do much, was always in an irritable mood, etc. and the majority of my friends were the same way. You're essentially trading away a few years of your life for some money. There's much much more to life than money.

The goal for many is to leave a large firm for an in-house opportunity, but after my fairly comprehensive search, I realized that a lot of in-house jobs are not chill 9-5 types of jobs. There's no guarantee you'll find a good in-house opportunity after a few years at a firm.

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1216
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby deadpanic » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:22 pm

smokeylarue wrote:This is a super tough decision. Obviously in-house is the goal however the pay difference is massive. Obviously the midsize firm should not be an option. I don't think you can go wrong, congrats on being in a good dilemma.


Agree that the midsize firm should not be an option. They're still going to work you fairly hard (1900/2000 hours) for 120k. Compare that to a 180k firm with a likely 2000 or 2100 hours minimum and the midsize firm just doesn't make sense.

ETA: I realize the V20 could be a lot more hours worked. I guess my point is that a lot of people think "midsize firm" = lifestyle firm. Compared to a major firm in NYC, I am sure that is true, but mid-size firm hours are still not going to be like an in-house job.

User avatar
Danger Zone
Posts: 8012
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:36 am

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:08 pm

It's concerning how many people recommending the V20 appear to have never worked as an attorney, let alone as an attorney at a big firm

RaceJudicata
Posts: 1604
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:51 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:15 pm

deadpanic wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:This is a super tough decision. Obviously in-house is the goal however the pay difference is massive. Obviously the midsize firm should not be an option. I don't think you can go wrong, congrats on being in a good dilemma.


Agree that the midsize firm should not be an option. They're still going to work you fairly hard (1900/2000 hours) for 120k. Compare that to a 180k firm with a likely 2000 or 2100 hours minimum and the midsize firm just doesn't make sense.

ETA: I realize the V20 could be a lot more hours worked. I guess my point is that a lot of people think "midsize firm" = lifestyle firm. Compared to a major firm in NYC, I am sure that is true, but mid-size firm hours are still not going to be like an in-house job.


But doesn't the market play a role in this? Depending on where OP is from, $120k in his market (along w/ the benefits of being close to friends and family) may not make this such an easy decision.

User avatar
unlicensedpotato
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Please Help With Deciding - In House $95k, V20 180k, midsize 120k (diff cities)

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:25 pm

I think people are under-emphasizing the fact that OP hated big law as a summer. If you were an SA at a V20 and said, this isn't for me, I don't think you're going to be happy putting in 2-4 years as an associate.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.