How Corporations are Luring LL.M. Graduates In-House

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Assistant Dean Toni Jaeger-Fine was quoted in LL.M. Guide, in an article examining how more LL.M. graduates are seeking in-house opportunities over law firm partnerships.

For years, making partner at a leading law firm was the aspiration for the top law school graduates. Elite firms such as Freshfields in London or Skadden in New York are willing to pay a premium for star talent to work on big-ticket cases.

That is now changing at big-name law schools like Columbia and Berkeley. They are finding that, these days, young attorneys are just as likely to aspire to a role as a general counsel of a blue-chip corporation as they are as a law firm managing partner, once the pinnacle of private practice.

“More and more students are looking at in-house opportunities,” says Toni Jaeger-Fine, assistant dean at New York’s Fordham Law School. “Many professionals find the general counsel route to be extraordinarily attractive.”

Lawyers work more closely with their clients and take ownership of strategic issues that can make or break a business. “Private practitioners rarely get to see the richness of the issues confronting a client — this is the experience in-house,” Jaeger-Fine says. “Attorneys can really become valuable players in the C-suite and a genuine partner in the client’s business.”

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