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If my goal is to last a few years in big law and go in house at a large tech company, what should be my focus (firm reputation in the tech industry, practice group, years of experience)? Also, what are the exit opportunities like for capital markets?

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Save a lot of money (pay back any loans ASAP and then save like 100k+ a year). Start looking year 3. Be picky and leave as a 4th or 5th year. Capital markets and M&A have good exits.

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If you want to be in house and can get into a technology transactions practice, do it. Capital markets limits you to only the biggest companies that need specific public company reporting lawyers.

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Tech practices at Goodwin, Cooley, Gunderson and Fenwick are top firms for this

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I would think about what type of role you would like to have in-house and choose your focus that way. Ex commercial contracts, IP/ patents, data privacy, employment, M&A, etc. Or if your goal is to be a generalist then I would work hard to get a range of experience.

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Practice group in big law is the most important. Doesn’t have to be the most elite or have the strongest reputation in tech. Tech companies hire way too many attorneys to limit themselves to just a few law firms.

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The majority of in house jobs (entry to senior level) revolve around commercial contracting, product counseling, labor, privacy, environmental and so forth. As other posters have noted, the pool of in house roles looking for public company/SEC filing experience is probably relatively small. However, if your ultimate goal is to be GC/CLO at a public company, especially a smaller public company, lots of those jobs will have a strong preference for candidates with SEC filing experience. That experience can be tough to acquire after you jump in house. Obviously GC/CLO roles in private companies won’t have as strong a preference for candidates with SEC experience.

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