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Should I Apply to the Boutique Firm?

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Apply or Leave It Alone

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:04 am

I am a 2016 grad (T1, Top 15%) that went back to work at my midlaw firm in early-mid August. I worked at this firm full time during 1L and 2L summer and part time (20 hours/week during 2L and 30-40/week during 3L). I do emerging companies work as part of a small corporate group, though most of the firm's attorneys are litigators. The firm has had some financial troubles recently, resulting in the firing of a service partner and about 10% of the firm's support staff - I also suspect that two midlevels that recently left were stealthed. For the most part, I am not concerned about my own hours - corporate has been extremely busy, and I will be at or near 300 hours in my first month back.

A highly regarded emerging companies boutique recently posted a job opening for a junior associate, and am wondering if I should apply. The job would be a significant pay raise (I currently get paid well below market), the boutique's roster of clients appears to be more diverse than my current firm's, and given my current firm's financial issues (which I'm not going to get into the specifics of), I'm worried my current job won't be around next year. However, I am concerned that (i) my firm will find out that I am looking for a lifeboat and I will either get fired or have work diverted away from me; and (ii) that I will burn bridges with the partners I work for. The latter is a particular sticking point for me, as I really like the partners I work for and feel guilty for even thinking about leaving.

Should I apply to the boutique firm? Or should I count my lucky stars that I have a job, keep my head down, and focus on doing impeccable work in my current role? Any upsides or downsides to either approach that I'm leaving out/failing to consider here?


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