Community Perspectives: How long did it take you to find your in-house position before getting an offer?

Our in-house professional community their experiences finding and securing an in-house offer.

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Community Perspectives: How long did it take you to find your in-house position before getting an offer?

(Author) An Associate

How long did you search for your in-house job before you ultimately received an offer and accepted? I’ve been browsing for 8+ months and nothing has panned out. I'm asking because I'm not sure when I should give up.

Director and General Counsel Responses:

  • My search took about 15 months. I started pre-pandemic and was a finalist for two separate positions at one company and missed out on both. Then, about six months later, several companies in my market were searching at the same time. I ended up with two offers; one being my client at the time (and is now my employer). While I was disappointed at the time of the missed opportunities, in retrospect, I’m so glad they didn’t work out because I ended up with the dream job (Chief IP Counsel) where the other positions would have been lower level and I wouldn’t have had the same leadership role/responsibilities I do now. So my advice is: stay patient and persistant in the process.
  • Two years.
  • Almost six months of dedicated searching. I had almost a decade in BigLaw as a litigator.

In-house Counsel Responses:

  • It took me approximately 13 months. I started looking right before Covid hit, and made it to three final-round interviews without an offer. Don’t give up! I got the interview for my current job three months after applying online and hearing nothing.
  • My time was probably 13 months and I made it to at least four final-round interviews and got edged out by someone with in-house experience each time. I remained picky as to the role and compensation that I was willing to jump for and am thrilled with the outcome. Keep pushing, it will be worth it!
  • Almost one year.
  • One year and eight months. The pandemic happened in between my search, and I went through a lot of rejections. Then I came out with three offers! Imagine if I had give up!
  • Nine months and counting.
  • This is a tough one. One reason it took so long for me was the market, of course, but also the lack of energy/time I had while billing. Anytime I felt motivated, I sent in at least one application. 12 months in (when I got my interview that led to an offer), I’d sent maybe 100 applications? I got three interviews and one offer. Keep at it! Persistence pays off. And take advantage of working from home (if you still are) by applying in 15-minute spurts.

Associate and Attorney Responses:

  • It took me about 18 months to find the right opportunity. I made it to the fina- round interview a couple of times and I also turned down one offer because I didn’t see a good fit. It’s important to stay patient throughout the process.
  • I am also headed in-house as a Senior IP Counsel. I’ve had lots of opportunities to accept lesser titles/compensation to improve my chances, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Best of luck in your new role!
  • Four months.
  • It depends on the practice area and seniority. If you’re a junior litigator, it’s going to take a few years.
  • Don’t give up - the right opportunity will pop up when it’s supposed to (I know it's philosophical, but so true).
  • Can we form a peer support group? It is a long process.

In-house? Join the conversation on Fishbowl (anonymous).