Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

ID in-house vs. private firm

Generally speaking, in New York, is it better to join an in- nofaultkillself08/31/17
By "in house" are you talking about a staff attorney doing g shikes09/06/17
I believe he was referring to the "grunt work" aka the actua goorange88809/07/17
"Higher line auto" So there is like "big" fender bender l t3success09/01/17
In my experience, pros of in-house ID are no pressure to bil fcct09/01/17
Tough call and dependent upon you and what you want in your jd4hire09/01/17
It depends. There are decent ID firms and decent in house p therover09/01/17
I'm also curious about this. 2 years in with a large carrier goorange88809/06/17
I'm gonna say, without knowing anything about ID, that at a dingbat09/06/17
My experience is that many ID shops don't have real equity p therover09/06/17
No one my age (35) talks about their aspirations be an ID p nofaultkillself09/06/17
No one I know in the 30 range talks of being a partner in ge loblawyer09/06/17
Good luck pulling clients in ID t3success09/06/17
nofaultkillself (Aug 31, 2017 - 10:48 pm)

Generally speaking, in New York, is it better to join an in-house litigation team (e.g. Chubb, Zurich, Travelers, etc.) doing higher line auto, premises, labor law, etc. ASAP or to stick in out with private firms doing the same thing? I'm seeing that in-house has better benefits, but they dump a ton of files on you. Any thoughts / experiences in that regard?

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shikes (Sep 6, 2017 - 8:52 pm)

By "in house" are you talking about a staff attorney doing grunt work or negotiating contracts and regulatory world of insurance companies?

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goorange888 (Sep 7, 2017 - 10:03 am)

I believe he was referring to the "grunt work" aka the actual litigating.

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t3success (Sep 1, 2017 - 4:37 am)

"Higher line auto"

So there is like "big" fender bender law now? I'm confused.

Can't speak for New York, but otherwise I would say in house. From my perspective it would be a blessing to have a ton of work. It's insanely competitive among ID firms to get what is left of work. This requires constant networking to obtain work, which may end up netting very little. It's hard to pull a new carrier.

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fcct (Sep 1, 2017 - 7:24 am)

In my experience, pros of in-house ID are no pressure to bill or obtain clients. I never work weekends and leaving the office past 5:00 is a rarity. I also have more job security and more reliable benefits/bonuses than when I was with a private firm. The downsides are lack of entrepreneurial growth and generally less interesting cases.

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jd4hire (Sep 1, 2017 - 8:11 am)

Tough call and dependent upon you and what you want in your career. I was 4 years private ID Firm, 5 months in house for large carrier (auto/ premises primarily, but had all sorts of insureds on various lines) for 5 months and then returned to private ID firm (where I currently am and have been for 1.5 years).

I left in-house as I was swamped with files and was being forced to practice in a manner I was not a fan of. I would have 2-3 "events" per day, which included depos, arbitrations, mediations, court hearings, etc. I went in-house to get trial experience. I definitely would have gotten it had I stayed. PRoblem was that since I wasn't staying past 5 (as you aren't rewarded), my cases were crap and I was always woefully unprepared. I got comfortable walking into depos without even reviewing the file or really even knowing where the accident occurred. The vast majority of my files were less than 10k in value and just complete crap. I did have some high-value cases, but I wasn't getting to work them up.

I got tons of experience and visited a ton of courthouses in my region, but I just wasn't comfortable with that style of litigating.

The job had huge pluses and would be a great fit for someone looking for a pay check and not caring about much else. My carrier had strong benefits and pay was decent. Financially I'm doing better in terms of salary and my current bonus potential is significantly more than had I stayed.

Downside of private ID is the billables and the cut throat competition. ID firms are a dime a dozen. Mine is diversifying a lot and starting to become larger. Nonetheless, it's all about what you bring home.

My depos have gone from 3-10 per week to 2-5 per month. Nonetheless, I feel like I'm practicing law the right way rather than just shuffling papers and going through the motions. I'm happy with where I'm at and the moves I made, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I regret making my move once in a blue moon.

If you have management skills and you're young in your career, you could spend a lifetime in-house and work your way up to potentially managing entire regions of in house offices. However, you are one amongst hundreds and it's easy to fade into background.

That was my take. It should be noted I got in at 7 today to get my billables up so I can leave on a 2 week vacation. While I have the same amount of vacation time from each place, at my firm they don't care about when or how much time I take, it's all about the end of year billables. In house they were fine with using all of your time, but not 2 weeks at a time.

Good luck.

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therover (Sep 1, 2017 - 10:28 am)

It depends. There are decent ID firms and decent in house positions. It often depends on the carrier(s). A firm or inhouse position that does mostly auto work is more likely to be high volume repetitive cases. A firm or inhouse position that does professional lines, municipal work, and/or general liability policies will have more interesting cases and generally less files (and more resources). I'm in house and work on cases like you describe and I'm very happy to have made the switch from a small firm to inhouse. The volume is certainly more but the experience, especially trial experience, has been great.

There are also lots of benefits to working for a large company. In addition to the expected medical and retirement, they have lots of training opportunities. I work from home one day a week. Etc. I've also never had a problem taking two weeks vacation.

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goorange888 (Sep 6, 2017 - 10:25 am)

I'm also curious about this. 2 years in with a large carrier (right out of school) and not sure if I should be looking to make a move to a private firm.

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dingbat (Sep 6, 2017 - 12:54 pm)

I'm gonna say, without knowing anything about ID, that at a private firm there's at least a chance of making partner

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therover (Sep 6, 2017 - 5:01 pm)

My experience is that many ID shops don't have real equity partners. They may call people partners but they don't take a real cut of the business.

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nofaultkillself (Sep 6, 2017 - 2:35 pm)

No one my age (35) talks about their aspirations be an ID partner. The juice (200-400k) is not worth the squeeze (pressure to keep and gain clients).

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loblawyer (Sep 6, 2017 - 5:04 pm)

No one I know in the 30 range talks of being a partner in general. I am observing very little desire to follow in their footsteps. Probably huge anecdotal bias but still think a lot dream of getting out even if kind of successful.

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t3success (Sep 6, 2017 - 9:10 pm)

Good luck pulling clients in ID

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