Preparing to Move In-House

Moving in-house from a law firm requires some planning. We talk to many law firm associates who want to eventually move to an in-house position but very few have an understanding of the market or how to make that move. Here are our top tips for setting yourself up for an in-house move:

1.    Plan ahead.  On average, the move from a law firm to your first in-house position takes a year and a half.  There are several reasons for this timeframe:

 *Many in-house positions require prior in house experience

 *The positions are competitive due to high demand

*Companies can move slowly, often with upwards of three rounds of interviews for each position (and sometimes as many as ten rounds)

2.    Budget.  If you are coming from an AmLaw firm, you will almost certainly be looking at a pay cut to move in-house. Learn about the pay scale for in-house positions and budget accordingly – when your dream job comes along you will be able to afford to take it.

3.    Tailor Your Resume.  Tailor your resume for each specific position. You may have several working resumes, especially if you are trying to move practice areas. Use language from the job description in your resume and remove irrelevant skills. This will make your resume stand out in a crowd.

4.    Understand the Market.  Because the first in-house position is the hardest one to get, it may not be your ideal position – you may compromise on type of work, title, pay, location, or all of the above. However, for your career as an in-house attorney these compromises will be worth it. The more you know about the market, the more you will understand which jobs are realistic for you and how they will help advance your long term goals.

5.    Network.  This may be the most important point – more than half of in-house positions come through networking! Establish and maintain good relationships a reliable recruiter, clients, and other in-house attorneys. Reach out to other in-house attorneys to hear about their jobs, learn interview tips, and ask for introductions to other people who may be helpful.

Good luck and happy planning!

The Bay Area Legal Market – A Cheat Sheet (Litigation)

shutterstock_109409330As with Bay Area corporate practice, technology drives Bay Area litigation. Demand is high for patent and intellectual property litigators, and demand is extremely high for associates with technical degrees (particularly in electrical engineering, computer science or physics).

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The Bay Area Legal Market – A Cheat Sheet (Corporate Practice)

shutterstock_127070843Corporate practice in the Bay Area revolves around the representation of technology companies and investors (venture capitalists and private equity firms), and focuses on four primary areas:

  • emerging company/venture capital
  • mergers & acquisitions/capital markets
  • technology transactions (licensing)
  • private equity

The practice is geographically centered in Silicon Valley (SV) but the presence of technology companies in San Francisco is increasing rapidly and many firms have corporate practices in both places. Many corporate associates live in San Francisco and commute to Silicon Valley.

Read on for the top law firms in various corporate practice areas:
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