Trend: In-House Life Sciences Hiring

Originally published by Chambers | Associate on 11.18.20

by Sean Burke

There’s something big happening in the world of life sciences and biotechnology.

No, it’s not the race for the vaccine (ok, actually yes, that is big)... but we’re talking about the surge of in-house legal hiring at life sciences and biotech startups.

From pharma to digital health platforms to health data, the biotech world has been flush with capital in 2020 as US listed biotech companies raised $9.4 billion in IPOs by August, which means that this year will dwarf the previous record year of 2018, when $6.5 billion was raised. With all of these IPOs and a healthy dose of SPACs too, the legal teams of these startups have needed to expand rapidly.

In the legal recruitment field, that’s meant a few things:

1)      More than half of the new in-house jobs we’ve seen at Whistler Partners in the past month have been for life sciences or FDA attorneys.

2)      These jobs are being filled fast. We’re talking about interviewing candidates hours after receiving resumes, filling the position within weeks, and having them start (virtually) by the end of the month. These employers are motivated.

3)      There’s going to be a drain on some firms’ life sciences practices because there are a finite number of life sciences attorneys. Think about it – you can train any first year to do bankruptcy but a life sciences attorney needs some hard sciences background, if not a PhD. Accordingly, we’ve seen firms put out open ended requests to interview life sciences attorneys at all levels.

So if you are a life sciences attorney and going in-house does interest you, all we can say is have your resume ready. That once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will probably come out of this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

For more information about lateraling as a life sciences attorney right now, click here.

Topics: Whistler Partners