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Would it be a mistake to go in house as a junior attorney? Pros/cons?

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The ONLY downside is lower start pay. Literally everything else is a pro. You can earn a lot of money if you develop well in house. Lifestyle is way better. The work is more interesting. Law firms are miserable 99% of the time. IMO

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In your first 5 years it’s all about training. If you’ll get it in-house and don’t get too pigeonholed, it’s fine. But returning to private practice from an in-house role isn’t easy. So going in house may limit your options, particularly if the training there isn’t good. What year are you, what practice area, and what’s the context of your question?

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I went in-house in year 5, stayed 9 years, then into Big Law for 12. I personally think that going in before year 4 or 5 is a mistake. I was in a large company with a large legal team, yet I have to say our training wasn’t as good as what a junior person would get in most firms. You also usually end up wearing a lot of hats in-house, which can be great at the right point in your career, but I don’t think it’s great for a fairly new lawyer.

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In my experience, there's a "right time" to go inhouse, but it varies.  If you go too junior, to a REALLY great place, you'll be the junior, doing first-year work until they hire a more junior person...which might be 4 years from now.  The pay cut going to in-house is real - at a junior level it's often 50%.   Most folks who go over with 6+ years of experience have enough training and expertise that the cut is less of a slap in the face, and they have enough responsibility to entertain them. That said, you need to be careful where you go -- If you go to a small company, you'll get CRAZY experience, in a lot of different places.  This can be exciting and energizing, and hard to translate to other jobs, at companies or back in BigLaw...In a larger office, you still might find that moving UP is a challenge -- it's such a great place that nobody above you moves along or retires...but you can get great experience.   Have you talked to a recruiter in your market?  They might have ideas on where you can grow the way you want to, and develop skills that will serve you in the long run!

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