I am a mid-level (rising fifth year) real estate associate considering an offer to move in-house. The position is at a company I’m really interested in and would probably provide a significantly better work-life balance. I’m concerned about the pay cut - going from cravath scale to about $175k. Likely no significant bonus potential. I’m interested in hearing any perspectives from those who have taken a similar pay cut - was it worth it to you?

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$175k is a comfortable life in DC. Especially if you have a good work-life balance.

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Thank you! Appreciate then perspective.

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Done it. Work life balance trumps a second Peloton all day!

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Sixth year associate here. Take it.

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175k is nice, I would leave for that.

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I moved in-house for a significant work life balance improvement and a moderate paycut. I would do it again without any hesitation.

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I’m in house, happy to chat!

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Also a rising fifth year, just accepted an in house gig also in DC for similar pay. Def think it’s worth it to have a life again. And agreed - that pay in DC is good. Use online calculators to calculate how much 280 in NYC would be equivalent to in DC (they’ll probably say something between 200-225), so you’ll see that with that context in mind 175 doesn’t seem like a big cut anyways. Plus, the pay cut when you leave BigLaw is expected anyways.

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6th year associate in SoCal making 120... Take that and run down the 405

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Offering a contrary perspective here. Leaving BigLaw is a significant crossroads. This is because once you go in-house, you no longer have the same opportunity at the new model law firms, like the one that I am at. If you come in as a lateral from a BigLaw firm, and you have a convincing case that clients trust you to do the everyday work at your current firm, you can find a third path that neither involves big pay cuts nor hellish BigLaw pain. Let’s say your billing rate at your current firm is $600/hour, but you work over 1900 hours/yr. They make $1.1 million off you, but if you make, say, $350K, and work 2100 hours to realize that, you are taking home less than $180/hr! It’s crazy how little of your value appears in your pocket for many BigLaw arrangements. If 1/4 of your work (475 hours — really not much) would follow you if you drop your rate to $450/hr (and let me tell you, they WILL love this if they trust you), then at a firm like mine where you keep 80% of revenues from your work, you will have a base of $214K, with an unlimited upside if you can sell your partners’ services to your client-friends. If all your partners are from the same type of law firm with an equivalent pedigrees as yours, this is really not very difficult, once their rates are fairer and lower. You can easily demonstrate that the Fortune 500 trust your firm and your partners with their work with client rosters. The new model firms are basically eat what you kill, so we have exactly zero billable hour requirements once you are in the door. Translation: you make SO much more off each hour of work that you gain freedom to do what you need to do apart from work. It’s the best of both worlds. Find a recruiter and look into it before you leap.

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Agreed. There’s a trade off for work-life balance. Generally, the income in house isn’t as inflated as big law pay scales.

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Location?

Currently NYC, new role would be DC.

Spent my career in-house. Totally worth it!

Can you tell me what type of company you got the offer from?

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