What are the downsides to going in house after a year/3 years as a junior corporate associate? Ten years as an associate before achieving partner is not something I’d consider. billing Nd tracking every minute stinks. What are the long term $ benefits of firm vs in house? Is there as much $ upside in in house role?

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One advantage of jumping in-house early (assuming that you have the opportunity) is that you can try it out and if you don't like it, you can jump back to big law. Once you have a real book of business it's pretty much going to be a one way trip. Money is incredibly variable depending on where you end up. Top end is usually lower, but there are positions at high end tech companies where you'll be making partner money. These, needless to say are incredibly competitive.

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No. In the vast majority of cases you give up significant earning potential in exchange for actually being able to have a life outside of work.

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Low entry compensation and likely low raises. Going in as an AGC is probably the sweet spot for making good money.

People who come back to big law cite skills atrophy, lack of variety, and not working on exciting or important matters as common criticisms of in-house. Most concede lifestyle can’t be beat.

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In-house $ is typically best in tech and finance. It’s increasingly common to see attorneys jumping back into BigLaw, if they haven’t been out that long. Also, worth considering: not all law firm platforms are the same when it comes to the in-house opportunities they could theoretically yield. I’ve seen a lot of attorneys make a successful leap in years 5-8 from certain tech-centric firms (or elite white shoe firms).

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At 3 years GC could be very entrenched, tight with top management, and decide hiring you was a mistake because you don’t have enough experience… So you could be out of a job in a year or so if it doesn’t work out. No way to know this before you start so it’s a big risk to go in house that early.

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Agree with AA1. I would suck it up for another couple of years before making the jump. I was in your shoes as a third year. A good mentor I confided in at that time told me to wait to go in house until I was comfortable running point on smallish deal start to finish, and I’m glad I listened to that advice. It’s paying dividends in my current role (went in house a year ago as a 5th year).

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I’d wait until 5-7 years when you know what you’re doing. Suck it up, make good money and learn some stuff at the firm from some smart lawyers for a few years and then just as you are really getting fed up you’ll bean ideal in house candidate with some savings or loans paid off so the cut won’t feel quite as painful.

One of my biggest regrets in life is spending my late 20s and early 30s grinding away to make billables.

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