Anonymous User wrote:I need advice. 2014 grad--I have a small firm offer on the table. I'm currently working as a "law clerk," really a full-time paralegal doing paralegal and intermittent attorney work. I'm being paid around $45k for this work with benefits, under the assumption by my bosses that I will be looking for attorney work and be out the door as soon as I find it. The small firm is offering pay by percentage of billing, with far fewer benefits than my current position.
The small firm offer is close to the work I want to do, but not exactly; while my current law clerk position is much closer to what I want to do--but absolutely no hope of an attorney position opening up.
The small firm will start me out with some billable work for the first month, then I'm expected to be finding mostly my own clients. I'm scared to death of the percentage billing so early without a base salary to speak of or fall back on. . . .I'm just having trouble finding any alternative and am worried that if I continue to be a "law clerk" for much longer, that I'll lose any marketability. I'm searching everywhere, applying everywhere, all over the country. . . but getting no bites (everything wants 3-7 years experience as an attorney).
I would stick with the base salary and keep looking for other work. I know you are scared of the "law clerk" stigma but you also have to pay bills. You are also not that far removed from graduation. Maybe someone else can weigh in and tell you otherwise but I don't see much upside in jumping ship where you have no guarantee you can even pay rent after the first month. It sounds like you would basically be going solo without the overhead at the new place, which seems pretty risky unless you are confident you have a good book of business you can bring to the table.