Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

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Anonymous User
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Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:20 pm

I'm a 3L working at a firm, where I've worked for several months now. When I was hired, I was just happy to get a paying job at a decent firm ITE. So, I ended up blindly agreeing to working there all year (woops). Turns out I was just selected for a highly selective clinic for next semester (I didn't think I had much of a chance of getting in). I feel like I am throwing my legal career down the tubes before it starts if I quit after saying I would work all year. At the same time, I feel like I can't turn it down the clinic in favor of a job which may or may not turn into a career. They haven't promised/offered me anything at this point, but I think *if* there was an opening at the right time they'd help me out.

If I quit am I totally ruining any chance I have at a job there, or even salvaging a decent reference?? :?

Aqualibrium
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 3L working at a firm, where I've worked for several months now. When I was hired, I was just happy to get a paying job at a decent firm ITE. So, I ended up blindly agreeing to working there all year (woops). Turns out I was just selected for a highly selective clinic for next semester (I didn't think I had much of a chance of getting in). I feel like I am throwing my legal career down the tubes before it starts if I quit after saying I would work all year. At the same time, I feel like I can't turn it down the clinic in favor of a job which may or may not turn into a career. They haven't promised/offered me anything at this point, but I think *if* there was an opening at the right time they'd help me out.

If I quit am I totally ruining any chance I have at a job there, or even salvaging a decent reference?? :?


Look at it this way: what are the chances of the clinic leading to a job at a firm? What are the chances of the job youre doing now leading to a job at a firm? Answer that, and I think it'll be pretty easy to figure out what to do.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 3L working at a firm, where I've worked for several months now. When I was hired, I was just happy to get a paying job at a decent firm ITE. So, I ended up blindly agreeing to working there all year (woops). Turns out I was just selected for a highly selective clinic for next semester (I didn't think I had much of a chance of getting in). I feel like I am throwing my legal career down the tubes before it starts if I quit after saying I would work all year. At the same time, I feel like I can't turn it down the clinic in favor of a job which may or may not turn into a career. They haven't promised/offered me anything at this point, but I think *if* there was an opening at the right time they'd help me out.

If I quit am I totally ruining any chance I have at a job there, or even salvaging a decent reference?? :?


... wow. Seriously?

Magic 8 Ball says that this move is ill-advised.

Anonymous User
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:33 pm

Yeah, I figured I would get these kinds of responses. Does it change anything if I tell you that I would work in the field I am doing now if I didn't end up with anything better, but the clinic happens to be in the field I actually want to pursue long-term?

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I figured I would get these kinds of responses. Does it change anything if I tell you that I would work in the field I am doing now if I didn't end up with anything better, but the clinic happens to be in the field I actually want to pursue long-term?


No. It's a freaking clinic. You're risking shooting yourself in the foot re: job reference. Not to mention you already agreed to work there.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I figured I would get these kinds of responses. Does it change anything if I tell you that I would work in the field I am doing now if I didn't end up with anything better, but the clinic happens to be in the field I actually want to pursue long-term?


Again, which is more likely to lead to a job? It's romantic to say things like "I'd rather be broke and happy, than well off doing something I don't like." Reality is though, that if working in a firm is your goal, and you don't acheive that goal, you'll very likely be unhappy.

Anonymous User
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:43 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I figured I would get these kinds of responses. Does it change anything if I tell you that I would work in the field I am doing now if I didn't end up with anything better, but the clinic happens to be in the field I actually want to pursue long-term?


Again, which is more likely to lead to a job? It's romantic to say things like "I'd rather be broke and happy, than well off doing something I don't like." Reality is though, that if working in a firm is your goal, and you don't acheive that goal, you'll very likely be unhappy.


I'm not sure it is my goal. I'd like to work in the govt and I have no loans, so debt is not an issue.

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MrKappus
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby MrKappus » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not sure it is my goal. I'd like to work in the govt and I have no loans, so debt is not an issue.


You're getting legit answers here, but you keep reframing the question to get the response you want. Let me break it down for you so you understand, I'll hold your hand like a small child: you are a 3L who presumably did not land an offer from 2L OCI. The next few years will be critical to your overall career trajectory as an attorney, and the most critical part of this critical portion will be solid references from attorneys who can adequately judge your work-product. You will have the chance to do the work this clinical does again, if you so desire, if your legal career takes adequate shape. But you will not necessarily again have the chance to build solid attorney bona fides early in your career in a firm environment. Under no circumstances should you quit this job.

Caveat: if you are independently wealthy and have no need to work in exchange for compensation, you can/should disregard this advice.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I figured I would get these kinds of responses. Does it change anything if I tell you that I would work in the field I am doing now if I didn't end up with anything better, but the clinic happens to be in the field I actually want to pursue long-term?


Again, which is more likely to lead to a job? It's romantic to say things like "I'd rather be broke and happy, than well off doing something I don't like." Reality is though, that if working in a firm is your goal, and you don't acheive that goal, you'll very likely be unhappy.


I'm not sure it is my goal. I'd like to work in the govt and I have no loans, so debt is not an issue.



Well, do what makes you happy... Seems to be what you want to hear. You don't want to work at a firm, so there really is little need to consider it in that respect. Your only real issue is the reference thing....If you're comfortable with burning that bridge, then go right ahead. Just be honest with the firm about everything, and have the conversation in person. They may be a bit upset, but I think they'll at least respect you for that. Maybe.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I figured I would get these kinds of responses. Does it change anything if I tell you that I would work in the field I am doing now if I didn't end up with anything better, but the clinic happens to be in the field I actually want to pursue long-term?

You seem really set on ending up unemployed.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 am

Kohinoor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I figured I would get these kinds of responses. Does it change anything if I tell you that I would work in the field I am doing now if I didn't end up with anything better, but the clinic happens to be in the field I actually want to pursue long-term?

You seem really set on ending up unemployed.


Kohinoor, your posts are always smug, curt, and hilarious. I like it.

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MrKappus
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby MrKappus » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:47 am

Kohinoor wrote:You seem really set on ending up unemployed.


I have to second the "Kohinoor's hilarious" post. ITT, I lol'd.

EngineeringLawyer
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby EngineeringLawyer » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:57 pm

Why is it so odd to just talk to your employer? Assuming they know what they're doing in the legal field they should realize how much experience you'd get in the clinic and give you leeway on your promise to work all 3 years (if they agree), especially since you're already giving 3 months. Conversely, it may be worth getting that promise out of them while you have something to do if they're not willing to give it to you. In other words, tell them if they want you to stay on after graduation, you need to start hearing an offer otherwise the clinic would be your best shot at getting a job somewhere else.

1Levening2013
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby 1Levening2013 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:07 pm

i'm curious how you turned your SA gig into a full year gig? its an interesting route for full time workers going to school part time, but not wanting to have no job for their 4L year if they quit their job for an SA gig

Aqualibrium
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:03 pm

But the clinic isn't his best shot at getting a job anywhere else.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:26 pm

Do what you want... If you don't really want to work at that law firm after graduation (e.g. if you don't want to practice in the areas that it practices, etc.), then it doesn't make a lot of sense to work there during the school year. I have a friend here who actually turned down a job offer from a smaller law firm (and I'm guessing this is a smaller firm that you are working at now considering that no large law firms typically have students work for them during the school year) because she didn't really like it and wanted to something PI related. Most smaller firms don't really pay all that much more than PI/Gvt anyways and are a lot shittier to work at right out of law school because you're going to work a shitload of hours for not a lot of money (e.g. working 55-60 hours a week for $50K /year). You'll definitely get better practical experience in the clinic. However, if this is the type of law firm you think you ultimately want to work at then it doesn't make a lot of sense to quit (even if they don't make you an offer by the end of the school year, at least you will have experience at a law firm similar to the one you want to work at). I guess the exception is if you want to work there after graduation, but don't think that they will make you an offer anyways AND they are just using you as a bitch where you aren't getting any real practical experience (a lot of smaller firms seem to do this -- e.g. if they are using you as a file clerk and to do shit like retrieve cases for attorneys, etc.).

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spanktheduck
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby spanktheduck » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:31 am

Factors you need to consider:

What are the odds you will actually work in the clinic practice area? Highly selective clinic, tells me that it is something cool like appellate work or something for which there is no real legal market for. Obviously if this is the case, I would say screw the clinic, as you probably won't be getting a job in that field.

Is the law firm in a market you want to practice in? If it is, then the contacts from that will probably be more important. And, if you quit, you will need to be extra careful, especially if it is a small market. If not, then it probably is a wash with regards to references from the clinic and the firm. You obviously will not be using the firm as a reference, and since you only worked there for 3 months, you could easily just leave it off your resume.

Ignore the posters saying that you already agreed to work there for a year. This is a job, while the firm will not be happy, you would not be the first employee to leave suddenly. Unless you signed a contract, you have no obligation to stay any specific length of time. Just don't expect a reference out of it.

I would honestly rather work at the firm simply b/c firms are better connected to the legal community than the law school is with regards to legal hiring. I think that given the current state of the economy, you are best maximizing your chances at getting ANY legal job. For me, a law firm is better than a clinic for that, at least generally. Obviously, I do not know your specific situation.

irishman86
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby irishman86 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:32 pm

Stay at the job. The clinic is good for gaining pro bono experience and hands-on work but it won't get you a job.

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Noval
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Re: Does quitting job = career suicide for 3L??

Postby Noval » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:54 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:But the clinic isn't his best shot at getting a job anywhere else.


Like getting a job for Gvt was easy anyway...

He should shut his mouth, do the clinic, do a year or two in the first if he gets a full-time job and try to compete against the cream of the crop for a Gvt job.




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