Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
AVBucks4239

Silver
Posts: 1095
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:37 pm

Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Thu May 05, 2016 3:24 pm

One thing that has frustrated me in my limited time practicing (almost two years) is how diverse my practice is. I get dragged into all sorts of stuff and am having an almost impossible time settling into a niche. My biggest files right now involve breach of trade secrets, a home construction arbitration, a lawsuit against a couple trustees of a multi-million dollar trust, and a couple PI matters. Add a bunch of random research projects (FLSA, FMLA, easement issues, etc.) and I constantly feel like I'm all over the place and not really learning anything.

Which brings me to an interesting crossroads. A partner who I greatly admire and get along with quite well is retiring at the end of this year and then staying on as a consultant to transfer his book next year. I got beers with him last night and he pretty much said that if I want to become a partner here, I should start thinking about finding my niche. He transitioned this to asking whether I want to inherit his book, and his book is 80% workers' comp defense (both administrative and trial court level) and ERISA defense (with one huge insurance client).

I've already dabbled in ERISA and it's nuanced as all hell. It's really difficult, the client is an absolute nightmare that always waits to approve things until last minute and gives tight-wad budgets on every file.

I've also done a little workers' comp here and there. Workers' comp isn't so bad because about 75% of matters are low mental energy and easy money (here's the issue, here's the date of the hearing, prepare for an hour, go to hearing, get decision, wait for appeal). The other 25% presents a ton of nuanced stuff that I'm not quite sure I'm ready for.

Ultimately, I'm not sure whether I'd be happy doing workers' comp/ERISA, but I'm the only associate here and one of the firm's most successful litigators is basically saying "here, have this incredible job security!"

I'm torn in that I'm aching to niche in something, but I'm not sure if workers' comp/ERISA is right for me. That said, my ultimate goal is to have a labor/employment practice, and I do see workers' comp as a window into meeting our biggest corporate clients and eventually doing their litigation (5-10 years down the road).

What should I do as this year progresses? At least give it a shot?

ballouttacontrol

Silver
Posts: 677
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:00 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby ballouttacontrol » Thu May 05, 2016 5:43 pm

Fuck yes I'd take that in a heartbeat

There's nothing saying u can't drop the client(s) down the road if u wanna do something else

If the book is valuable this is the kinda thing that partners always say they lucked into and made their career.

User avatar
kellyfrost

Platinum
Posts: 6362
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:58 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby kellyfrost » Thu May 05, 2016 5:48 pm

ERISA is a long, tough journey. It can be a successful one, but it is definitely difficult.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
deepseapartners

Bronze
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:49 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby deepseapartners » Thu May 05, 2016 7:40 pm

ballouttacontrol wrote:this is the kinda thing that partners always say they lucked into and made their career.

User avatar
AVBucks4239

Silver
Posts: 1095
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Thu May 05, 2016 8:02 pm

deepseapartners wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:this is the kinda thing that partners always say they lucked into and made their career.

Ya, this is what I'm thinking. Doing workers' compensation isn't glorious or anything, but it gets my foot in the door with several of our 500+ employer clients. Also pretty much gets me a great income stream and some job security that I don't think I have quite yet.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 342775
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 05, 2016 8:16 pm

deepseapartners wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:this is the kinda thing that partners always say they lucked into and made their career.


+1 to Axelrod's logics.


Abbie Doobie

Silver
Posts: 591
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:02 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Thu May 05, 2016 8:50 pm

bruh you need to BUCK UP and learn to like it

skeenbr0

New
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby skeenbr0 » Thu May 05, 2016 10:57 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:I've already dabbled in ERISA and it's nuanced as all hell. It's really difficult, the client is an absolute nightmare that always waits to approve things until last minute and gives tight-wad budgets on every file.

Meh, that sounds like any client. And "nuanced as all hell" and "really difficult" generally = a great niche.

Only partially joking on both points. Talk to your mentors and other older attorneys and ask them how they ended up doing what they do. Chances are most of them didn't really intend to go where they ended up when they graduated from law school. Clients are generally pain-in-the-ass tight-wads, but one that you can keep happy and that pays a monthly bill is a really good thing. Don't sniff at being handed one, as well as a chance to be the guy in the know on complicated questions, unless the thought of doing ERISA work kills you on the inside.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


User avatar
AVBucks4239

Silver
Posts: 1095
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri May 06, 2016 9:46 am

skeenbr0 wrote:
AVBucks4239 wrote:I've already dabbled in ERISA and it's nuanced as all hell. It's really difficult, the client is an absolute nightmare that always waits to approve things until last minute and gives tight-wad budgets on every file.

Meh, that sounds like any client. And "nuanced as all hell" and "really difficult" generally = a great niche.

Only partially joking on both points. Talk to your mentors and other older attorneys and ask them how they ended up doing what they do. Chances are most of them didn't really intend to go where they ended up when they graduated from law school. Clients are generally pain-in-the-ass tight-wads, but one that you can keep happy and that pays a monthly bill is a really good thing. Don't sniff at being handed one, as well as a chance to be the guy in the know on complicated questions, unless the thought of doing ERISA work kills you on the inside.


The thought of workers' comp intrigues me. The thought of doing ERISA defense work makes me want to die. Maybe I can split the baby here?

Anonymous User
Posts: 342775
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 06, 2016 11:20 am

I came here to post essentially this same thing from a 3L perspective. Not trying to hijack your thread, but it's good to hear people saying you should take the offer.

I've clerked in a small/mid-sized firm for a year now doing insurance defense and employment law. I really gravitated toward employment law and thought insurance defense, while not glamorous, was good litigation experience. The firm just offered me an associate position, and when we were well into talking about it, they threw me a curveball that I'd be doing work comp defense with some civil lit on the side.

I've been sick to my stomach for a few days, terrified that I'll only ever be able to be a comp defense attorney if this is my first gig. I have no idea if that's what I want to do with my career because I've never done comp at all.

I probably need to buck up, be happy I'll graduate with a job, and if I don't like comp, hopefully I can at least leverage my experience dealing with employers into building the practice I want over the course of my career.

Moral of the story: I think we should be happy with the good fortune that fell upon us. It's a great starting point with a lot of security, and it gives you a strong book of business while you tailor the practice to what you really want to do.

mvp99

Silver
Posts: 1459
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby mvp99 » Fri May 06, 2016 11:40 am

couldn't OP eventually, if he becomes really good at what he does, hire someone else to dump the stuff OP doesn't like to do on the new attorney? Free up some some time expand OPs practice? Think big OP.

User avatar
AVBucks4239

Silver
Posts: 1095
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri May 06, 2016 12:31 pm

mvp99 wrote:couldn't OP eventually, if he becomes really good at what he does, hire someone else to dump the stuff OP doesn't like to do on the new attorney? Free up some some time expand OPs practice? Think big OP.


Ya I mentioned that in my OP. Maybe 5-10 years from now I can transfer all the administrative bullshit work to an associate and only handle the appeals to the trial court (which is normal civil lit and up my alley).

Then this work could lead me to getting some bigger corporate clients, etc.

I think I'm going to pull the trigger.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


User avatar
lacrossebrother

Platinum
Posts: 7150
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:15 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby lacrossebrother » Fri May 06, 2016 12:37 pm

Isn't Erisa pretty easy? "They didn't exhaust." Dismissed. I'd def do that.

User avatar
lacrossebrother

Platinum
Posts: 7150
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:15 pm

Re: Should I Try to Inherit a Retiring Partner's Practice If I'm Not Sure I'll Like It?

Postby lacrossebrother » Fri May 06, 2016 12:39 pm

But yea also pursuing "passion" is flame see cal Newport

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...




Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.