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Going In-House

The Real Reason You
Went to Law School

We won’t tell anyone your secret 1

There’s a world where your business acumen is as valued as your legal credentials.

Maybe you’re sick of keeping track of your billables. Or maybe you’re the GC of a startup that’s just gone public, and you need a new gig. While the possibilities in-house are endless, there’s also no more Cravath Scale or AmLaw rankings.

You’re in the Wild West.
But Whistler is here to guide you.

We only work on jobs we would want ourselves, and the majority of our in-house
roles come from referrals from our trusted partners at top tech firms.

 

 

Happy lawyers who made it in-house:

Associates - Find a Better Fit

Dream Jobs
Do Exist 1

Don’t just quit
and become
a real estate agent.

The job you get out of law school does not determine your fate, because it's the next move -
the one you make when you know what you want - that means everything.

Whether you want a culture upgrade or a practice area shift,
we can light the way.

Whistler's promise is simple: we evaluate the competition and make you five to ten percent better.
That's the difference you need to stand out from the pack.

 

Associates who now love their jobs:

Josh leveled with me from the start. He never tried to sell me on a position, but rather took the time to talk through options and took a vested interest in my career. I was more than just a commission.
Whether you're trying to break in or move up in the ultra competitive tech or entertainment fields, Whistler can actually get you there. Whistler's industry focused networks and resources allow them to deliver where the other guys can't.
I recommend Josh to everyone because he delivered. He listened to where I wanted my career to go and then paved the road to get there.

 


MARK BONINMark Bonin

Technology Transactions Associate at Wilson Sonsini

Just wanted to reach out and say how impressed I have been with Julieta. She is killing it. She is extremely responsive (which I appreciate) and really gives a lot of thought when answering my (many :)) questions. Whenever I have an ask or question she goes at it 110% and I really value that.
She also brings a lot of Bay Area market knowledge which is super valuable. For example, I am talking to a Partner tomorrow at Gunderson and she knows them well enough to shoot them a text to put in a good word. The Bay Area expertise is especially important because I went to law school on the East Coast and did not do OCI with many of the SV firms.
Lastly, I think of Julieta as a strategic partner, rather than someone trying to sell me on something that would be best for them. This last part is probably the most important and has earned my trust and respect.

 


NATHANIEL GRAYNathaniel Gray

Corporate and Securities (Startups) Associate at Gunderson Dettmer

I recently wrapped up a job search process with Julieta, and am utterly and completely impressed with Julieta. She made my job search and interview process, which is normally frustrating and daunting, so streamlined and manageable, to the point it was downright enjoyable.
Not only is Julieta a consummate professional with a deep and fulsome understanding of the market (including its dynamics and its players), but she is also unfailingly kind and empathetic. She took the time to truly get to know me and to help me figure out what I actually wanted for the next phase of my career. From day one, Julieta completely dedicated herself and her valuable time to get me to that next phase, from answering my many and varied questions, to allaying any of my concerns and doubts, to providing me with key insights into firms and its personnel, to helping me process all the information I was receiving from firms.
Julieta went above and beyond in all respects, ensuring that I was prepared for my interviews and that I was thinking pragmatically and strategically throughout the entire process.

 


JENNIFER BOYDJennifer boyd

Private Equity M&A Associate at Latham & Watkins

Working with Wolf was one of the better professional experiences I've had. He took the time to actually understand what I was looking for in my next job and how it aligned with my overall career goals. He provided me with tailored advice and opportunities, whereas, frankly, other recruiters seemed more interested in making sure I was placed anywhere they could find an opening (relevant or not). Wolf also took the time to be there for me on a personal level, and was a great sounding board when considering different offers.
I would recommend Wolf 10/10 times.

 

JOE DOLLJoe Doll

Corporate & Crypto Associate at Fenwick & West

I've known Amdie for over four years. I met him when he helped one of my close friends leave the firm we both worked for and watched him as he advised him about all aspects of his search, paying close attention to fit and long term goals as well as short term needs. Ever since, I've referred any of my friends who need it to Amdie for his advice. He's been invaluable as a source of knowledge about the market and career advice generally, with no pressure whatsoever. I absolutely trust that Amdie has my best interests at heart, and he is one of my go-to resources for career advice, big and small.

 

SARAH TOPOLSarah Topol

Litigation Associate at Cooley

There is no better recruiter to work with than Tad. Not only does Tad work tirelessly to make sure you are offered the best opportunities, but he also takes the time and effort to get to know you personally so that he can make sure he’s placing you somewhere that fits your vibe, rather than trying to rush you through the process.
To put it simply, I will never work with anyone else. I am positive that there’s no better recruiter out there who cares as much as Tad, and the Whistler team as a whole, to make sure you end up somewhere where you’ll be satisfied at a professional level and, more importantly, happy at a personal level.

 

Marc Baliatico

MARC BALIATICO

Private Funds Associate at Proskauer Rose

Tad and the rest of the Whistler team are absolutely top-notch. They know the legal market inside and out and will go way above and beyond for clients (e.g. fly across the country to meet and make sure a new firm is working out for a client they’ve placed). Anyone looking for something different (in the best way possible) in their recruiting experience, I highly recommend working with Tad/Whistler - they are hands down the best in the business.

 

Caleb Ginsburg

CALEB GINSBERG

Sports, Media & Emerging Growth Associate at K&L Gates

From the start, Tad listened carefully to understand what I was trying to accomplish in my lateral move and shaped and drove the search process advising me at every step of the journey. He is an excellent negotiator with prospective firms and tells it how it is to his clients. He made certain that I had all of the information and considered every angle before accepting or turning down an offer. We worked very well together and I have and will continue to recommend him to friends exploring a lateral move.

 

WILL REILY

WILL REILY

Financial Restructuring Associate at King & Spalding

Tad took the time to learn about my career goals, and rather than simply sharing opportunities and openings, he took the time to discuss and prepare multiple plans and paths for me to achieve these goals. In the end, I ended up at a great firm that puts right on track for where I hope my legal career will lead. Aside from our professional relationship, Tad also took the time to get to know me personally and continued to check in even when our search had to be temporarily put on hold due to the pandemic.

 

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Mergers & Acquisitions Associate at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Emily is a wonderful human being and that is what makes her an outstanding recruiter. The time and patience Emily took to help me figure my path was relentless yet supportive. This just shows how dedicated the team at Whistler is to your hopes and ambitions. Hands down the best experience with a recruiter ever. Keep it up team Whistler!

 

PRALIKA JAINPralika Jain

Healthcare Associate at Moses & Singer

Whistler and Josh Bilgrei supercharged a fairly languid lateral search into high gear and impressed me with their knowledge of the tech law firm landscape and we zeroed in quickly on what I wanted and where I could get that. A few years after my lateral switch, I can’t thank them enough and for anyone considering a similar career move, can’t recommend them enough.

 

BEN ROSALESBen Rosales

Corporate, Emerging Growth Companies Associate at Goodwin

I wouldn’t be at my current in-house job right now without Jordan’s help with the intermediate steps. I can't recommend him more highly. He’s incredibly well versed in Big Law and is your secret weapon for interview prep — it seems like he knows everybody and he does a great job of helping you frame your move.

 

JONATHAN ALLANJon Allan

Deputy General Counsel at Stoke Therapeutics, former PE M&A and Emerging Companies at Fenwick & West

Francis is not only awesome at what he does, but also is an all around great person to work with and to know. He has been a trusted advisor for me throughout my process of lateraling to a new firm in all respects, and has helped me to navigate the business-related aspects of the move (interviewing, negotiating the offer, etc.) as well as talking me through the things that would affect my personal life and career objectives. He is an organized, responsive and well-connected “people-person” who goes above and beyond the typical role of a recruiter to make sure his clients are taken care of.

 

JASMINE JOSEPHJasmine Joseph

Early Stage and Venture Capital Associate at Latham & Watkins

Very dependable and responsive, Francis was instrumental in my search for a position in the media/tech transactions space. He took the time to understand what type of role I was looking for and provided invaluable guidance every step of the way.

 

MERISSA PICOMerissa Pico

Technology Transactions Associate at Covington

Josh and the Whistler team knew what I wanted before I did. Josh is warm, personable and thoughtful and made sure I was prepared for a series of interviews with what would quickly become my top choice. I am happy and thriving at my new firm because of Josh and the Whistler team.

 

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Emerging Companies & Venture Capital Associate at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Taylor made my dream job a reality. From our first call, I could tell that he had done his homework, genuinely cared about my career goals, and wanted to help me accomplish them. He understands the nuances of the media, entertainment, and technology legal market. Taylor thoughtfully and carefully curated potential lateral opportunities, found the perfect fit, and made the process seamless. I always felt that Taylor was invested in me for the long haul, and he has been a trusted adviser and friend.

 

PHILLIP HILLPhil Hill

Soft IP Litigation Associate at Covington

Despite the fact that he is a rabid Jets and Mets fan, Jon Drucker is anything but a loser. He provided critical advice and insights to me as I mulled over my options and ultimately joined a firm as a lateral associate thanks to Whistler.
Jon is a jack of all trades when it comes to recruiting. He even recommended a contractor I am using for my new home

 

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Corporate Associate at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I have had such an amazing experience with Wolf and his team! As I was considering shifting into a new area of practice, Wolf listened intently to what I was looking for. Unlike recruiters I worked with in the past, Wolf only provided me with opportunities that were relevant to my goals. Wolf and his team listened to what I wanted in a new firm and provided instrumental advice during the interview process.
Most importantly, when I received my offer from xxxxxxxxxxx, Wolf didn't pressure me to take it. Instead, he told me to reflect on how this next move will fit into my overall career trajectory and think about those considerations before accepting. The Whistler team looks at the bigger picture and truly focuses on how to ensure you have the best experience and land the offer you really want!

 

 

 

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Emerging Companies Associate at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I couldn't recommend Amdie more highly. He took a long-term approach, illuminated the whole market, and got me to the perfect practice group for me, helping me move my career to exactly what I wanted, and frankly, what I needed at the time. Not only that, but Amdie was the only recruiter who talked to me like a real human, helping me figure out what I was really looking for at the time.

 

ADAM TOPOROVSKYAdam Toporovsky

White-Collar Associate at Wilson Sonsini

Tad and Emily helped me work through a difficult, risky transition - my practice group experienced several senior departures at once, and I had to decide quickly whether to go or stay, and if going, where to go. Lots of calls and meetings, and more than one kick in the ass later, all courtesy of my friends at Whistler, I landed on my feet, in a better situation than where I started. Thanks, again, for taking good care of me.

 

Robert Weiss

ROBERT WEISS

Asset Management and Investment Funds Counsel at K&L Gates

Working with Tad was such a delight. His positive energy and sense of humor made the recruiting process way more enjoyable, and on top of that, he was so well-versed in the ECVC field that I could always rely on his knowledge. He was always available - even when his baby was crying or sleeping in the same room. Thanks Tad and Whistler Partners!

 

CHRISTINA KWAKChristina Kwak

Mergers & Acquisitions Associate at Fenwick & West

I am so thrilled to begin my new position at Latham & Watkins, and due to Julieta’s expertise and guidance, know this will be an excellent next step for me professionally and an excellent fit for me personally. Julieta was more than a top-notch and keenly intelligent recruiter: she was a negotiator, a sounding board, an advisor, a quasi-therapist and a true ally. I cannot thank her enough for all she did for me!

 


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Corporate Associate at Latham & Watkins

I’ll always think of my legal career as BT / AT. Before Tad and After Tad.
More than a terrific agent, he’s the best mentor, coach and teammate a young lawyer could ever have. Beyond the experience, beyond the connections, beyond the strategy and the sheer amount of effort he puts in, what sets Tad apart is his genuine love for the work. Teaming up with Tad was more than successful, it was inspirational. Seeing his passion and drive made me want to be not only the best lawyer I can be, but also the best parent, friend and colleague.
When I was first introduced to Whistler Partners I mistakenly thought they were a VC firm themselves. But that’s how polished, professional, scrappy and successful his team is for their clients & candidates. They find opportunity and deliver for their partners like no one else.
Tad is Jerry Maguire, Bill Belichick, and Jerry Rice all rolled into one. More than a terrific agent, more than a legendary career coach, truly a teammate on the legal field. He knows the players, the strategy, and the competition, and won’t stop until he delivers. If you want to win, go with Whistler. They’re the Yankees, Patriots, Lakers, Red Wings, Jordan, Brady, Phelps, Woods of the industry and it's not especially close. Working with this team feels like a cheat code. “Unlocking” Whistler will catapult your career like nothing else.

 

gertrude stein 14

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Private Equity & Venture Capital Associate at xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Partners - Find a Better Platform

Already a Big Shot
Partner?

Finding the right platform
for your practice is paramount.

More resources, more reach, more reward.

We believe that tech and startup partners’ books are pound for pound worth more
to a firm because of their growth potential. If your firm isn’t accurately assessing your value,
it’s time to move.

You’re building the practice of the future
and that should be rewarded.

Is it just you? Have you built a whole team? Either way, Whistler owns tech
convergence and is best positioned to match you with a firm that delivers
on its promises.

 

Partners who are taking names:

Sean called me his first day on the job nearly 20 years ago. He moved me from litigation in a failing patent boutique to IP/Corporate at a top five PPP firm. It was exactly what I asked for and completely the wrong move for me.
Then, he helped me move, without getting paid for it, to a mid-sized advertising boutique where I worked happily for several years.
Lastly, as I was on the verge of true happiness, I had picked out office space and was moving to Austin Texas to start my own boutique with great weather and no state taxes, he asked me to “have breakfast and shake a hand” with this great firm he knows. Almost a decade later, it was a perfect fit.
Now we use Whistler to find other great attorneys fed up with Big Law that want interesting work and better lives.

 


S. GREGORY BOYDgreg boyd

Partner & Co-Chair of Interactive Entertainment Group at Frankfurt Kurnit

As a professional, I genuinely value working with other excellent professionals. Julieta is an excellent professional and an outstanding recruiter. In addition to her hands-on in-house experience as a lateral recruiter at Fenwick, she has a complete view of the tech landscape and a deep knowledge of California based-firms. Further, her business acumen coupled with her well-rounded nature (and high EQ) allows her to keenly partner with clients to identify and advance their professional and personal goals for successful long-term fits.

 


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Emerging Companies Partner at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I faced a crossroads in my career when I realized that the firm that I had been with for over a decade was no longer the best for for my practice. Josh, Sean, and their team really “got” what I wanted and needed in a new firm. I had both a business partner and a best friend to guide me through the process. Thanks to their help, I joined a new firm that’s both skyrocketed my professional growth and where I’ve had a great time so far. Now, Whistler is helping build my team.

 

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Technology Transactions Partner at xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jon first contacted me on a search which would have required a return to my native country. I found him to be so knowledgeable and engaging when our conversation turned to my career objectives, I decided to work closely with him and the terrific Whistler team.
Thanks in large part to their support and insights, I recently moved to another firm and achieved my goal of being named partner there.

 

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Corporate Partner at xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

FAQ

The Questions We Get Every Day

We’ll ask so you don’t have to feel silly 2

Why don’t I just submit myself?

You wouldn’t try to argue a case in court if you weren’t a litigator. Sometimes it’s just best to leave things to the professionals. We do this everyday. We know these firms. We got lunch with the hiring manager last week. We are your asset.

We’ll tailor your resume to the opportunity at hand, prep you for the interview with insider knowledge, advocate for you and negotiate on your behalf.3

Why shouldn’t I just submit through a friend?

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” - Shakespeare 4

Ok fine, but why work with Whistler Partners instead of another recruiting shop?

We hope you’ve gotten here because you like our style. But that’s not enough reason to entrust us with the future of your career.

The fact is, we place more attorneys into top tech and startup practices than any other recruiting shop.

Because we've focused our efforts, we're just more knowledgeable about the space. We know how to help you change practice areas, how to impress that one hiring partner, and how to trick your dream firm into wanting to hire you (just kidding, we’re sure they’ll want you based on your killer credentials). If you have one shot at making a good impression, don't you want to go in equipped with as much knowledge as possible?

Did we mention that we negotiate salaries and benefits every day?

Negotiation takes practice and we’ve done our reps.

Why use just one legal recruiter? Isn’t more… more?!

We love maximilism! More cake, more vacations, more drinks! But it’s not great when it comes to legal recruiters.

Think of yourself like a star athlete, and of us like your agent. LeBron James wouldn’t have two agents with conflicting interests advising him.5 They would never be able to offer impartial advice.

Similarly, if you have two separate recruiters, they’re incentivized to advocate most for the job where they represent you, even if that’s not the best move for your career.

Because of that, we always prefer that you work with just one recruiter, even if it’s not us. Choose the one you trust most and stick with them.

What if another recruiter calls me about an “exclusive” law firm job?

Call your favorite Whistler recruiter. If you’re an associate, 99.9% of law firm jobs aren’t exclusive to any single recruiter. Claiming that an associate level law firm job is “exclusive” is often a trick used when fishing for resumes. If the job does happen to be that 0.1% of law firm associate jobs that is exclusive, we will double check with the firm and gracefully bow out if true.

How do you get paid? I know you’re not all just doing this out of the kindness of your own hearts.

Our fees are paid by whoever hires you.

We probably place 1/10 people we consult with, but we strive to provide 10/10 with valuable advice. If you do want to bribe us with gifts like alcohol or free dinners, we’ll gladly accept. (Recruiting doesn’t have the strict code of ethics law does.)

That said, the highest compliment you can give us is a referral.

Should I go in-house? Is it too early in my career?

We refer to “the 10,000 hour rule” (credit: cool Gibson Dunn partner, piggybacking on Malcolm Gladwell). Associates tend to be ready to go in-house when they have about 10,000 hours under their belt (around the fifth year if you’re billing 2,000 hours a year). Going in-house too early could potentially stall out your career. In BigLaw, there are clear benchmarks and an annual raise is essentially guaranteed. But the business world is far more opaque. If you start as a low level counsel, you can easily be pigeon holed into doing the same kind of contract over and over again, at the same salary, for years.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, so we advise you talk with a recruiter you trust (even if you found the job on your own) to help evaluate if an in-house offer is worth taking.

I only want to go in-house. How should I run my search?

No legal recruiting shop has all of the in-house jobs.

In fact, most only have a handful at a time.

If you’ve checked our job board and we don’t have your dream job at the moment, we’d still love getting to know you. The more we know about your practice, the easier it is for us to call and advocate for you when your dream job comes along.

Do I really have to do a deal sheet? Fill out an LPQ?

Yes, yes, a million times yes.

We recommend all first year associates start keeping track of their deals from the get go - even just in the form of casual notes. It’ll make it much easier when you inevitably have to talk about what you’ve been up to for your entire career.

And if you want to be hired as a partner, you’re just going to have to fill out an LPQ. We know you can negotiate your way out of a lot of things, but this isn’t one of them.

Is there a secret cabal of recruiters that gains power by spamming me with jobs I don’t want?

There might be, but we haven’t been invited to join.

The secret that the legal recruiting industry doesn't want you to know? We all have the same database of law firm jobs and attorney contacts. What differentiates our recruiters is our knowledge of the tech and startup industries, and our winning personalities. We hope that our selective email outreach embodies that, and hopefully isn't too much of a nuisance.

If you don’t enjoy learning about the most interesting jobs in law, let us know and we’ll take you off our lists.

Who’s your ideal client?

Someone who’s tall, dark and hand… wait no.

We know we could make more money moving a sad finance partner from Wall Street Firm A to Wall Street Firm B.

But we’d rather work with people who see the world the same way we do - attorneys who are excited about innovation and progress.

And if they happen to have great credentials or a big book, we won’t complain.

Maybe I don’t even want to practice law anymore. Are you hiring?

Sean gets it. He left behind a glamorous life of doc review for an even more glamorous life of cold calling attorneys. And it was the best decision he ever made!

We’re always excited to meet people who want to join Whistler.

If you’re an associate who loves advising clients but hates writing briefs, a GC who’s sick of having to find a new gig every few years, or a retired partner looking to impart your knowledge, reach out to contact@whistlerpartners.com to learn about becoming a recruiter.6

Footnotes:

1) No we’re not talking about opening a winery. Don’t believe the hype - just because it worked out for Jess Jackson and Robert Parker (both former lawyers, btw) in the 70s doesn’t mean it’ll work for you now. Have you looked at property prices in Sonoma County recently?!

2) Our founder, Sean, was so shy growing up that he would make his little brother ask strangers what time it was. His little brother has a day job now so he doesn’t have time to ask questions for you.

3) True recruiter story: an in-house hedge fund client with incredibly high standards was looking to hire a litigator. After significant work and vetting of potential candidates, we gave them the 5 best candidates in NYC. The hiring manager responded: “they all went to great law schools and they practice at terrific law firms, but all 5 have jumped around too much this early in their career. Each of them worked for a judge for just 1 year and then moved on. Some of them had a job at the Supreme Court and only stayed for a year!” The point of the story? Sometimes in-house employers need a little help from us to understand why your resume is so great. So if you can have us advocate for you at a job, take the help.

4) Scenario 1: Friend who was really funny and popular in law school is now a terrible attorney and not well regarded at his firm. You’re forever blacklisted by association. Scenario 2: Friend goes above and beyond to get you the interview and help prep you. You hate the partner you’ll be working for and your friend gets burned in the process. Scenario 3: Friend turns in resume recommending you. Crickets… did they secretly sabotage you? Paranoia grows. Scenario 4: Friend offers to submit your resume to recruiting because you already have offers at two other comparable firms. Crickets… and time runs out on your other offers. Scenario 5: Friend calls you disappointed after you turn down the offer they helped you get. You later learn through mutual friends that friend is still given shit by the corner office managing partner about you turning down the offer. Friend never invites you to Friendsgiving again. Scenario 6: Friend says “I get a big referral fee if you give me your resume.” Crickets… Two months later you see on LinkedIn that friend accepted an in-house job. Their firm has never heard of you. Scenario 7: Friend was never a friend. You get nothing.

5) Not only has LeBron stuck with his one agent his whole career, he kind of even opened his own agency (ok, he doesn’t have an ownership stake in Klutch, but just saying…)! Disputes between agents and promoters are always ugly and nobody wins.

6) Unrelated to anything but our marketing department made us do this for SEO. Here’s every key word that a lawyer or hiring manager might search for: career advice, law firm rankings, partner profits, biglaw jobs, ignoring recruiter calls, law firm culture, nicer law firms, boutique law firms, burnout, how to go in-house, in-house jobs, legal news, law firm news, legal gossip, legal scandals, blawg, lateral move, switch practice areas, tech law, startup law, cannabis law, associate salaries, associate bonuses, partner salaries, how to originate, partner bonuses, general counsel salaries, in-house counsel salaries, in-house bonuses?, in-house pay cut, does life get better if you go in-house?, billable hours, 2200 hours, 2400 hours, 3000 hours, work-life balance, how to get partners to stop emailing at 3am, how to get associates to respond to emails at 3am, work less and make more, easy money, free money, law school loan forgiveness, lawyers with a personal life, dating for lawyers, attractive lawyers, attorney pool party, quitting law