Law School Discussion

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wardwilliams

$$$$$
« on: June 30, 2007, 06:43:22 PM »
So I know the starting salary for Biglaw is roughly $145K depending on the market, but can someone give me a rough idea of what the starting salary would be for in-house counsel at a decent sized corportation, for instance, maybe a pharmaceutical company, insurance company, retailer, etc.  Thanks

Re: $$$$$
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 07:22:51 PM »
Biglaw isn't that high.  I would say it ranges from 90 to 125 with some higher and some lower.

Re: $$$$$
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 07:29:59 PM »
$145K is the standard for most of the largest national firms, with some paying $160K

$90-125K are basically larger regional firms.

As for in-house counsel, odds are you won't be able to get a job like that out of law school. A few companies do hire a handful of students straight out of law school. The salaries are usually significant lower than the biglaw salaries, but the hours shouldn't be as demanding.

Note that when I say "in-house", I'm not talking about "general counsels" or the highest ranking attorneys in a company's legal dept. These attorneys will make more than an entry level in-house attorney and usually have A LOT of prior experience.

Talk to career services at your school for a better idea.

Re: $$$$$
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 07:33:37 PM »
Biglaw isn't that high.  I would say it ranges from 90 to 125 with some higher and some lower.

Oh wow. Wow. BIGLAW is actually $160k right now with some firms still at $145k. In fact, rumor has it BIGLAW will be at $170k-$190k by the time the 2009 class graduates.

Of course, what constitutes "BIGLAW" probably changes at different schools. But, in general, BIGLAW is $160k, though you can make an argument it is $145k (though not as many BIGLAW firms are at $145k so, personally, I think it is a weak argument) not 90k-125k (that's more like MIDLAW).

wardwilliams

Re: $$$$$
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2007, 08:45:17 PM »
$145K is the standard for most of the largest national firms, with some paying $160K

$90-125K are basically larger regional firms.

As for in-house counsel, odds are you won't be able to get a job like that out of law school. A few companies do hire a handful of students straight out of law school. The salaries are usually significant lower than the biglaw salaries, but the hours shouldn't be as demanding.

Note that when I say "in-house", I'm not talking about "general counsels" or the highest ranking attorneys in a company's legal dept. These attorneys will make more than an entry level in-house attorney and usually have A LOT of prior experience.

Talk to career services at your school for a better idea.



Really? Why are in-house jobs harder to get than biglaw jobs?  And how much lower than biglaw salaries do u mean?

Re: $$$$$
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2007, 08:57:23 PM »
$145K is the standard for most of the largest national firms, with some paying $160K

$90-125K are basically larger regional firms.

As for in-house counsel, odds are you won't be able to get a job like that out of law school. A few companies do hire a handful of students straight out of law school. The salaries are usually significant lower than the biglaw salaries, but the hours shouldn't be as demanding.

Note that when I say "in-house", I'm not talking about "general counsels" or the highest ranking attorneys in a company's legal dept. These attorneys will make more than an entry level in-house attorney and usually have A LOT of prior experience.

Talk to career services at your school for a better idea.



Really? Why are in-house jobs harder to get than biglaw jobs?  And how much lower than biglaw salaries do u mean?

At my school, Citigroup interviews people for in-house counsel jobs. You spend 2 years at a participating law firm (top NYC firm) and then start as a VP in some legal group in Citigroup 2 years later. They also give you a signing bonus of either $30k or $60k when you get out of law school, which you'll have to pay back if you end up not leaving the firm. The pay scale is the exact same as BIGLAW for that particular program, but I don't know what it is like during what would be partnership level. Also, they only interview at less than 10 schools (just straight down US News for the most part).

Re: $$$$$
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2007, 03:32:12 PM »
I just checked current biglaw salaries.  I had no idea they have gone so high.  Wow!

Re: $$$$$
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2007, 04:25:39 PM »

Really? Why are in-house jobs harder to get than biglaw jobs?  And how much lower than biglaw salaries do u mean?


Most companies don't have large legal departments. When something big comes up, it gets farmed out to a large regional firm or a biglaw firm. So, because there aren't that many jobs available, they're hard to get. That's assumming that a given company is willing to hire you straight out of law school.

Salary depends on the grade/level of attorney you'd be at the company, basically it coincides with experience. Also, the size of the company will determine your salary to a large extent.

Here are some examples:



1. A guy graduates near the top of his class at a local law school. He's hired by a major corporation's legal department as an entry level attorney. He will probably start somewhere around 70-80K. Compare that with biglaw salaries.


2. A highly successful experienced lawyer in his late forties gets a job as a "general counsel" for a large company. This guy is probably making well over $300K per year. Compare that with biglaw partners, some of whom are making over 1 Million per year.


If you are even thinking about the stuff being discussed here I hope you are either:

1. at a top law school

2. at the top of your class at a local law school