- On January 7, 2021
I recently was honored to speak on AABA’s exclusive career panel on the Bay Area in-house legal market. I spoke with Aarti Sheth (Netflix), Amit Pandya (Couchbase), and Tam Pham (MLA). Here are our top take-aways:
- The legal in-house market in the Bay Area continues to be hot, especially in life sciences and tech. It’s an attractive market for qualified attorneys looking for jobs. Pay is trending upwards, especially after the passage of the California pay disclosure law, which prohibits employers from asking what you make.
- Compensation consists of base, bonus, and equity. It’s rare that all three elements are immoveable, so go ahead and negotiate your comp package, but think ahead of time which element is most important to you.
- When you negotiate, show enthusiasm for the job and explain what you bring to the table so people will go to bat for you. You can ask what the salary range is, and explain what you are leaving behind (equity, promised promotion, bonuses, etc.) or your personal situation (you just bought a house, you are taking care of relatives, etc.). Find out timing of performance evaluations, the criteria for success, and bonus payout history.
- To catch the eye of recruiters, get referred and have a great LinkedIn profile, complete with a professional photo and a short narrative of your experience. Treat everyone with respect throughout the entire hiring process. Yes, you can get dinged for being discourteous to the scheduling coordinator or reception desk.
- COVID trends: we are seeing a faster recruiting process because everything is done by video nowadays. Employers are more willing to consider non-local hires. We are also seeing a range of pay adjustments depending on where the hire will work (e.g., candidates will be paid more if they work at headquarters in the Bay Area compared to a cheaper region).