Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

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Anonymous User
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Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:17 am

I double clerked, and just started at the firm I was a summer at 4 years ago (d. ct. clerkship was for 2 years). Today, one of the head guys at the local USAO called and told me there was an opening coming up for one of the emergency positions they're allowed to fill and that I had a "very good" chance of getting the job. I always figured I'd do 3-4 years of biglaw before going to the government. I also always considered a AUSA job as my ultimate dream job. Should I do it? How bad does it looks to have a few weeks (or however long it takes before I actually have to leave here) at one place before quitting?

KidStuddi
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I double clerked, and just started at the firm I was a summer at 4 years ago (d. ct. clerkship was for 2 years). Today, one of the head guys at the local USAO called and told me there was an opening coming up for one of the emergency positions they're allowed to fill and that I had a "very good" chance of getting the job. I always figured I'd do 3-4 years of biglaw before going to the government. I also always considered a AUSA job as my ultimate dream job. Should I do it? How bad does it looks to have a few weeks (or however long it takes before I actually have to leave here) at one place before quitting?


Did they give you a clerkship bonus? If so, I've gotta imagine you'd be giving that back, right?
If you're just on straight salary and were given no bonuses / drew no advances, you're probably saving them more money by quitting now than after they've spent a year or two training you on how to practice at a firm.

HeavenWood
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I double clerked, and just started at the firm I was a summer at 4 years ago (d. ct. clerkship was for 2 years). Today, one of the head guys at the local USAO called and told me there was an opening coming up for one of the emergency positions they're allowed to fill and that I had a "very good" chance of getting the job. I always figured I'd do 3-4 years of biglaw before going to the government. I also always considered a AUSA job as my ultimate dream job. Should I do it? How bad does it looks to have a few weeks (or however long it takes before I actually have to leave here) at one place before quitting?

Use some common sense here.

09042014
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:24 am

HeavenWood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I double clerked, and just started at the firm I was a summer at 4 years ago (d. ct. clerkship was for 2 years). Today, one of the head guys at the local USAO called and told me there was an opening coming up for one of the emergency positions they're allowed to fill and that I had a "very good" chance of getting the job. I always figured I'd do 3-4 years of biglaw before going to the government. I also always considered a AUSA job as my ultimate dream job. Should I do it? How bad does it looks to have a few weeks (or however long it takes before I actually have to leave here) at one place before quitting?

Use some common sense here.


If he quits now, he can just leave it off his resume.

Do not quit unless you actually have an offer.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:30 am

HeavenWood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I double clerked, and just started at the firm I was a summer at 4 years ago (d. ct. clerkship was for 2 years). Today, one of the head guys at the local USAO called and told me there was an opening coming up for one of the emergency positions they're allowed to fill and that I had a "very good" chance of getting the job. I always figured I'd do 3-4 years of biglaw before going to the government. I also always considered a AUSA job as my ultimate dream job. Should I do it? How bad does it looks to have a few weeks (or however long it takes before I actually have to leave here) at one place before quitting?

Use some common sense here.


I tend to agree. The shitty thing is that if the opening came up 2 months ago I never would have started at the firm. As a matter of fact, the only reason the guy called me now is because I specifically called him up and said "hey, I'm about to go to a firm, but I want to go there. is there any way I could get in there." And he told me no, but I'd be a ood candidate if something opened up.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:33 am

Desert Fox wrote:
HeavenWood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I double clerked, and just started at the firm I was a summer at 4 years ago (d. ct. clerkship was for 2 years). Today, one of the head guys at the local USAO called and told me there was an opening coming up for one of the emergency positions they're allowed to fill and that I had a "very good" chance of getting the job. I always figured I'd do 3-4 years of biglaw before going to the government. I also always considered a AUSA job as my ultimate dream job. Should I do it? How bad does it looks to have a few weeks (or however long it takes before I actually have to leave here) at one place before quitting?

Use some common sense here.


If he quits now, he can just leave it off his resume.

Do not quit unless you actually have an offer.


The problem is that (in my limited experience from when I was an extern at a USAO) these openings can have notoriously long interview periods and background check periods, so if things are drawn out, I wouldn't start until November or December in my estimation. I think I'd have to put 3-4 months of work on my resume.

On the other hand, sometimes they're quick to fill.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
HeavenWood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I double clerked, and just started at the firm I was a summer at 4 years ago (d. ct. clerkship was for 2 years). Today, one of the head guys at the local USAO called and told me there was an opening coming up for one of the emergency positions they're allowed to fill and that I had a "very good" chance of getting the job. I always figured I'd do 3-4 years of biglaw before going to the government. I also always considered a AUSA job as my ultimate dream job. Should I do it? How bad does it looks to have a few weeks (or however long it takes before I actually have to leave here) at one place before quitting?

Use some common sense here.


If he quits now, he can just leave it off his resume.

Do not quit unless you actually have an offer.


The problem is that (in my limited experience from when I was an extern at a USAO) these openings have notoriously long interview periods and background check periods, so I wouldn't start until November or December in my estimation. I think I'd have to put 3-4 months of work on my resume.



Probably not.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:44 am

well, I'll think about it. i know it's what I want to do. I feel like my resume is already a little choppy because my last few jobs were term clerkships, a semester-long externship, a 2L summer associate job, and a split 1L SA job at midlaw and a plaintiffs firm. Lots of different jobs in the last few years. All were climbing the ladder in my opinion, and in that sense they were the right call, but I still feel like my resume already screams flight risk.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:well, I'll think about it. i know it's what I want to do. I feel like my resume is already a little choppy because my last few jobs were term clerkships, a semester-long externship, a 2L summer associate job, and a split 1L SA job at midlaw and a plaintiffs firm. Lots of different jobs in the last few years. All were climbing the ladder in my opinion, and in that sense they were the right call, but I still feel like my resume already screams flight risk.


Isn't being an AUSA a four-year commitment? Coming right on the heels of two previous two-year commitments? I think that screams dedicated public servant, not flight risk.

uci2013
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby uci2013 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:well, I'll think about it. i know it's what I want to do. I feel like my resume is already a little choppy because my last few jobs were term clerkships, a semester-long externship, a 2L summer associate job, and a split 1L SA job at midlaw and a plaintiffs firm. Lots of different jobs in the last few years. All were climbing the ladder in my opinion, and in that sense they were the right call, but I still feel like my resume already screams flight risk.



That looks like a normal recent law grad resume to me.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:well, I'll think about it. i know it's what I want to do. I feel like my resume is already a little choppy because my last few jobs were term clerkships, a semester-long externship, a 2L summer associate job, and a split 1L SA job at midlaw and a plaintiffs firm. Lots of different jobs in the last few years. All were climbing the ladder in my opinion, and in that sense they were the right call, but I still feel like my resume already screams flight risk.


Isn't being an AUSA a four-year commitment? Coming right on the heels of two previous two-year commitments? I think that screams dedicated public servant, not flight risk.


well only the d.ct. clerkship was a 2 year clerkship. The coa one was 1 year. I didn't know USAOs had commitments. What do they do if you break them (not that I would, I'm just curious). Would they just give you a bad recomendation? They're not going to chain you to your desk.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:55 am

You will likely permanently burn bridges at your firm. If that's acceptable to you, then take your dream job.

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IAFG
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:03 am

vanwinkle wrote:You will likely permanently burn bridges at your firm. If that's acceptable to you, then take your dream job.

I can't imagine blowing off an opportunity like that just because the firm would be mad.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:well, I'll think about it. i know it's what I want to do. I feel like my resume is already a little choppy because my last few jobs were term clerkships, a semester-long externship, a 2L summer associate job, and a split 1L SA job at midlaw and a plaintiffs firm. Lots of different jobs in the last few years. All were climbing the ladder in my opinion, and in that sense they were the right call, but I still feel like my resume already screams flight risk.


Isn't being an AUSA a four-year commitment? Coming right on the heels of two previous two-year commitments? I think that screams dedicated public servant, not flight risk.


well only the d.ct. clerkship was a 2 year clerkship. The coa one was 1 year. I didn't know USAOs had commitments. What do they do if you break them (not that I would, I'm just curious). Would they just give you a bad recomendation? They're not going to chain you to your desk.


I can only speak with confidence about the D.C. USAO but it's an at-least-four-year commitment there. I presumed it just worked that way everywhere, but it occurs to me now that USAO is possibly different since they do all of the prosecuting for every crime that occurs in D.C..

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gotmilk?
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby gotmilk? » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:38 am

Number one rule of biglaw: look out for yourself, not the firm. Pursue the job and take it if you get it. While the firm surely expects you to stick around longer, people leave all the time and people at your firm will totally respect you for taking a coveted AUSA job (even if "the firm" as an institution is upset and bridges are burned). Good luck.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:44 am

IAFG wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:You will likely permanently burn bridges at your firm. If that's acceptable to you, then take your dream job.

I can't imagine blowing off an opportunity like that just because the firm would be mad.

Honestly, neither can I; I just want him to be aware of the consequences.

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LazinessPerSe
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby LazinessPerSe » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:59 am

Is this "emergency position" temporary? If so, how likely is it you're offered a full-time spot when there is no more emergency?

How much are you in the hole? Does it matter to you how fast you pay off your debt?

Questions to ask yourself.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:45 am

LazinessPerSe wrote:Is this "emergency position" temporary? If so, how likely is it you're offered a full-time spot when there is no more emergency?

How much are you in the hole? Does it matter to you how fast you pay off your debt?


Yea these are good questions.

But my two cents is this: would the firm actually be upset? I seriously doubt my firm would be upset, but I don't know the people at yours. They JUST let you take three years off to clerk and it wasn't any sweat off their back. Associates are fungible and they can get them left and right. If anyone knows how hard it is to get a job as an AUSA, it's other biglaw attorneys - they'll understand.

Most importantly, what biglaw partner would cut ties to an AUSA they used to work with, no matter for how long? More likely they put on their website that they are connected to the USAO and that their associates become AUSAs. How is it in the interest of an income-generation machine (aka a biglaw law firm) to cut ties to one of the most important civic positions in the area?

As to flight risk, give me a break. If AUSA is your dream job, why do you need to be shopping your resume anyway? Also, employers would look past the 3 month biglaw job to the FACT THAT YOU'RE A FUCKING AUSA, which makes everyone want to hire you.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:02 am

Go through USAO interview process. If you get the job, quit the firm. Start dream job, profit. Leave firm off resume, no one will care about a 2 month gap on resume. "I was waiting to start job with USAO," if anyone even asks which they won't.

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Royal
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Royal » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:33 am

If you get the offer, take it. You don't owe anything to the firm -- they'd throw you in a dumpster behind the building to up PPP if they wanted to. Do what's right for your life. That said, I wouldn't take the clerkship bonus before leaving if you'd only be there for a few weeks.

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Loose Seal
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby Loose Seal » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:46 am

I agree with some of the others in this thread that you have to take this job. Hiring at the USAO is so unpredictable that you can't bank on a spot being available a few years down the line. Don't say anything to your firm until it's in the bag, but if you do actually get the offer just go. It will not hurt your resume as long as you stay with the USAO for a few years.

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby anon168 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:55 am

Take th AUSA gig. No brainer.

EllaLemry
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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby EllaLemry » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:58 am

Loose Seal wrote:I agree with some of the others in this thread that you have to take this job. Hiring at the USAO is so unpredictable that you can't bank on a spot being available a few years down the line. Don't say anything to your firm until it's in the bag, but if you do actually get the offer just go. It will not hurt your resume as long as you stay with the USAO for a few years.


This. You could easily leave your big law job off your resume. I would actually say any job you're at for only a few months ought not to appear on resume. The burn is really dependent on your firm. I think half the firms would be understanding. Half would hold it against you. Entirely dependent on culture. But, it isn't as if you could come back to your firm if you got fired from USAO or something anyway. Even if a partner took you out for a drink after you broke the news, you firm almost certainly wouldn't rehire you if something didn't work out at the USAO. Once you get the job (fingers crossed, knock on wood), just take it. If it was in the firm's best interest, they would lay you off. If it's in your best interest to quit, do it. It's capitalism. They have their big boy pants on.

Lastly, this would be kind of shitty thing to do for a mid law firm paying market that had 6 summers and planned to give offers to everyone. If you're in a typical big law firm, the cost you incurred is marginal and you could have gotten no offered just based on 2012-2013 projections. I wouldn't lose any sleep over this. Good luck !!

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Re: Can I quit biglaw job after 2 weeks to take dream job?

Postby chasgoose » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:30 pm

Agree with others that you should wait until you get the job before you do anything and that you should make sure that the "emergency" position won't go away once the emergency is over. If its only temporary it might make things difficult for you in finding another job since you would probably have to go back to big law and it might look bad that you were willing to leave after they held an offer for four years for only a temporary position. That said there probably exists a law firm out there that would want a litigator with 4 years of clerkships and some AUSA experience.

If you can afford the pay cut, and you haven't spent your clerkship bonus yet, I would probably do it.




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