3 Months into this associate position, not sure where to go

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Garinold
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 6:07 pm

3 Months into this associate position, not sure where to go

Postby Garinold » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:58 pm

So I got this job offer in January. This firm in Florida was opening a new office in New Jersey. The offer was for a part-time position at $50 per hour. I was supposed to be doing plaintiff-side insurance litigation. Once I started billing more then 40 hours per week on a consistent basis, the owner of the firm and I would renegotiate my contract to place me on a permanent salary. I am the only attorney in the NJ office and I handle all legal matters that come through the door.

Unfortunately, things haven't worked out all that well these last couple months. There has been hardly any litigation that has come in. I have only filed one complaint to date, and will most likely file three more next week. All of the said complaints are for the same client. Most of the work I've been doing is document drafting (LLC op agreements, other contracts) and legal research. I wouldn't have much objection to this work if there was more of it at least. I haven't been getting many hours at all. I thank God every day I don't have debt issues. People at the firm keep telling me there they will be getting cases in, and that things will speed up. They're good people, but three months of listening to them without significant progress has worn me out. The way I see it, I have two options.

Option one, I start applying for new jobs.

Option two, I build the firm on my own. As bad as the situation is, the firm owner is actually a really cool guy. He has said that he is open to new ideas and building the firm in NJ for the long-term (the insurance litigation will only be short term). I could pick a different area of law, bring in clients, and expand the firm's practice in another direction. I could effectively "hang a shingle" within this firm, and either stick with it or break off and start my own firm down the road. I use this firm as an incubator for my future firm.

I like option two better. But I don't know what area of law to practice in. I was thinking of pursuing assignment/pool work and breaking into criminal defense work (criminal was the area of law I wanted to do originally). But I'm not sure. I'm open to pretty much anything. What do you guys think?

Anonymous User
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Re: 3 Months into this associate position, not sure where to go

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:11 pm

Why can't you do both? Apply for jobs, and wait for this to develop and cut bait if you get something better? If there are no other options this doesn't seem terrible, and it seems like you can grow this practice while gaining experience at a decent hourly rate. Is the firm established in FL? Is the lawyer advertising at all in the new market?

If you don't mind my asking what's your rank and school range?

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: 3 Months into this associate position, not sure where to go

Postby sparty99 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:47 pm

Garinold wrote:So I got this job offer in January. This firm in Florida was opening a new office in New Jersey. The offer was for a part-time position at $50 per hour. I was supposed to be doing plaintiff-side insurance litigation. Once I started billing more then 40 hours per week on a consistent basis, the owner of the firm and I would renegotiate my contract to place me on a permanent salary. I am the only attorney in the NJ office and I handle all legal matters that come through the door.

Unfortunately, things haven't worked out all that well these last couple months. There has been hardly any litigation that has come in. I have only filed one complaint to date, and will most likely file three more next week. All of the said complaints are for the same client. Most of the work I've been doing is document drafting (LLC op agreements, other contracts) and legal research. I wouldn't have much objection to this work if there was more of it at least. I haven't been getting many hours at all. I thank God every day I don't have debt issues. People at the firm keep telling me there they will be getting cases in, and that things will speed up. They're good people, but three months of listening to them without significant progress has worn me out. The way I see it, I have two options.

Option one, I start applying for new jobs.

Option two, I build the firm on my own. As bad as the situation is, the firm owner is actually a really cool guy. He has said that he is open to new ideas and building the firm in NJ for the long-term (the insurance litigation will only be short term). I could pick a different area of law, bring in clients, and expand the firm's practice in another direction. I could effectively "hang a shingle" within this firm, and either stick with it or break off and start my own firm down the road. I use this firm as an incubator for my future firm.

I like option two better. But I don't know what area of law to practice in. I was thinking of pursuing assignment/pool work and breaking into criminal defense work (criminal was the area of law I wanted to do originally). But I'm not sure. I'm open to pretty much anything. What do you guys think?


You posted a while back and I always thought this "job" sounded like shit. I would be looking to leave immediately. Being a nice guy doesn't help pay your rent.

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Garinold
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 6:07 pm

Re: 3 Months into this associate position, not sure where to go

Postby Garinold » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:53 pm

sparty99 wrote:
Garinold wrote:So I got this job offer in January. This firm in Florida was opening a new office in New Jersey. The offer was for a part-time position at $50 per hour. I was supposed to be doing plaintiff-side insurance litigation. Once I started billing more then 40 hours per week on a consistent basis, the owner of the firm and I would renegotiate my contract to place me on a permanent salary. I am the only attorney in the NJ office and I handle all legal matters that come through the door.

Unfortunately, things haven't worked out all that well these last couple months. There has been hardly any litigation that has come in. I have only filed one complaint to date, and will most likely file three more next week. All of the said complaints are for the same client. Most of the work I've been doing is document drafting (LLC op agreements, other contracts) and legal research. I wouldn't have much objection to this work if there was more of it at least. I haven't been getting many hours at all. I thank God every day I don't have debt issues. People at the firm keep telling me there they will be getting cases in, and that things will speed up. They're good people, but three months of listening to them without significant progress has worn me out. The way I see it, I have two options.

Option one, I start applying for new jobs.

Option two, I build the firm on my own. As bad as the situation is, the firm owner is actually a really cool guy. He has said that he is open to new ideas and building the firm in NJ for the long-term (the insurance litigation will only be short term). I could pick a different area of law, bring in clients, and expand the firm's practice in another direction. I could effectively "hang a shingle" within this firm, and either stick with it or break off and start my own firm down the road. I use this firm as an incubator for my future firm.

I like option two better. But I don't know what area of law to practice in. I was thinking of pursuing assignment/pool work and breaking into criminal defense work (criminal was the area of law I wanted to do originally). But I'm not sure. I'm open to pretty much anything. What do you guys think?


You posted a while back and I always thought this "job" sounded like shit. I would be looking to leave immediately. Being a nice guy doesn't help pay your rent.



Being a nice guy most certainly doesn't pay my rent. I was hesitant at first and wanted to give them a chance to get the practice rolling. It was for a good cause, and the pay is decent. However, things certainly haven't worked out and now I just need either make it work for me or get out. I could do both options and probably will. I know however that there is an opportunity here to hang a shingle. I want to exploit it for everything it is worth if there is a workable angle.




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