Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

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Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:38 am

Really cannot decide. Need guidance.

I have an offer from a large firm that pays 160k. It is in a market I do not want to work in, but the firm is well known so it would have good lateral prospects.

I also have an offer from a smaller firm that pays 130k. It is a market I like. But, since it is small and new, I do not think it would provide me much, if any, real opportunities if I left.

What should I do here? Accept the higher paying and more well-known firm for the SA? Or go with the smaller firm despite its lower pay/exit ops, but living in an area I enjoy and doing the work I enjoy?

It is very difficult to decide; one pays more and has better exits, the other is in an area I want to live. Personal preference v. Business/career decision. I would be happier in the short run at the smaller firm, but I do not want to jeopardize my future! Help!!!!!

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MKC

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby MKC » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:48 am

I'd be more concerned about making sure you get an offer. Is the large firm a 100% offer firm? Has the small firm given you any sense of how likely you are to have a job after you graduate?
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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star fox

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby star fox » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:49 am

Go with the city you want to be in and live your life. You can't worry about prestige that much when you'll live somewhere you don't want to be.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby lavarman84 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:46 am

I don't think it's a hard decision unless you think the smaller firm won't give you an offer.

You haven't even started the job yet. A bit too early to be basing decisions on perceived exit options. Especially when things are very clear.

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Toni V

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Toni V » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:28 am

If you accept at the small firm and things do not work out it could prove to be difficult to land somewhere to your liking. Think of it as bypassing a T14 for a tier 2 because of location, etc.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:31 am

Do you want to do corporate or litigation? If you want to do Lit the smaller firm may actually be better for your career in the long run.

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:11 am

Ask about offer rates, but I'm inclined to say go with the smaller firm. You said not only will it be in the area you want to live, but the work you want to do. So, presumably, the bigger firm would have you doing stuff you don't really want to do? If that's the case, then you risk pigeonholing yourself in an area of law you're not interested in.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:51 am

MarkinKansasCity wrote:I'd be more concerned about making sure you get an offer. Is the large firm a 100% offer firm? Has the small firm given you any sense of how likely you are to have a job after you graduate?


Both 100%

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MKC

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby MKC » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:I'd be more concerned about making sure you get an offer. Is the large firm a 100% offer firm? Has the small firm given you any sense of how likely you are to have a job after you graduate?


Both 100%


Take the small firm job. It sounds like it's the one you actually want to work at. Depending on the firm, you may not even want exit options. Small firms don't generally push people out by default like large firms do, and a lot of people from large firms end up at smaller firms after a few years in biglaw. Don't move to a place you don't want to be to do work you don't want to do in order to have hypothetical exit options down the road if you have a good job staring you in the face now.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:28 pm

Highly likely you enjoy the work at the small firm more. Partners much more invested in your development and you will likely have more opportunities to do substantive work.

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Prana-9

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Prana-9 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:36 pm

Smaller firms tend to no-offer much more, so it is in a way a higher risk.

Contact past summer associates to get a feel of their experience and offer rates.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:42 pm

OP here.

I want to do the smaller firm as well. Better work, work I like, and in a city I like. It is just very hard to justify it and take 30k less per year.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Prana-9 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

I want to do the smaller firm as well. Better work, work I like, and in a city I like. It is just very hard to justify it and take 30k less per year.


Is the smaller firm in a smaller market? If so, 30k may be not that much of a difference.

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MKC

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby MKC » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

I want to do the smaller firm as well. Better work, work I like, and in a city I like. It is just very hard to justify it and take 30k less per year.


Taking a job you want in a city you like is definitely worth 30k over taking a job you'll probably hate in a city you don't want to live in.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:56 pm

Prana-9 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

I want to do the smaller firm as well. Better work, work I like, and in a city I like. It is just very hard to justify it and take 30k less per year.


Is the smaller firm in a smaller market? If so, 30k may be not that much of a difference.


Yeah, keep in mind cost of living differences. If the bigger firm is in New York, then that 30k will probably not offset the much higher rent.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:56 pm

Prana-9 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

I want to do the smaller firm as well. Better work, work I like, and in a city I like. It is just very hard to justify it and take 30k less per year.


Is the smaller firm in a smaller market? If so, 30k may be not that much of a difference.


Just the opposite. Small firm is in LA. Large firm is in a very low-cost secondary market.

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MKC

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby MKC » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Prana-9 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

I want to do the smaller firm as well. Better work, work I like, and in a city I like. It is just very hard to justify it and take 30k less per year.


Is the smaller firm in a smaller market? If so, 30k may be not that much of a difference.


Just the opposite. Small firm is in LA. Large firm is in a very low-cost secondary market.


Well that certainly makes the money more relevant. If it were me, I'd still take the job I wanted in the place I wanted to live, but that could be because TLS has really driven home for me that people in biglaw are mostly miserable even when they were initially excited about it.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

s1m4

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby s1m4 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:14 pm

Please consider after tax income when considering this as well!

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:17 pm

OP here. I definitely understand your point; it is just hard to put my personal preference above money/resume builder firm. Part of me says that I'll have more than enough money with 130k, and I'll be happy and enjoy my life. The other side of me sees school debt, later employment opportunities, etc, more money to make the misery of not living where I want less harsh.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby lavarman84 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I definitely understand your point; it is just hard to put my personal preference above money/resume builder firm. Part of me says that I'll have more than enough money with 130k, and I'll be happy and enjoy my life. The other side of me sees school debt, later employment opportunities, etc, more money to make the misery of not living where I want less harsh.


It's your decision. But I'm not seeing a tough choice here. Especially if you know the small firm will give you an offer.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Prana-9 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:27 pm

lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I definitely understand your point; it is just hard to put my personal preference above money/resume builder firm. Part of me says that I'll have more than enough money with 130k, and I'll be happy and enjoy my life. The other side of me sees school debt, later employment opportunities, etc, more money to make the misery of not living where I want less harsh.


It's your decision. But I'm not seeing a tough choice here. Especially if you know the small firm will give you an offer.


Does he know this though?

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby gregfootball2001 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:42 pm

Prana-9 wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I definitely understand your point; it is just hard to put my personal preference above money/resume builder firm. Part of me says that I'll have more than enough money with 130k, and I'll be happy and enjoy my life. The other side of me sees school debt, later employment opportunities, etc, more money to make the misery of not living where I want less harsh.


It's your decision. But I'm not seeing a tough choice here. Especially if you know the small firm will give you an offer.


Does he know this though?


Yep.

Anonymous User wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:I'd be more concerned about making sure you get an offer. Is the large firm a 100% offer firm? Has the small firm given you any sense of how likely you are to have a job after you graduate?


Both 100%

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Prana-9

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Prana-9 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:56 pm

Then, it's not a tough choice. 130k is pretty good for a job you will like and in the city you want to practice.

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:06 pm

Prana-9 wrote:Then, it's not a tough choice. 130k is pretty good for a job you will like and in the city you want to practice.


OP here. I should probably contact someone in the firm and ask about what the average bonuses are...

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Accept SA at Big Firm or Smaller Firm?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Prana-9 wrote:Then, it's not a tough choice. 130k is pretty good for a job you will like and in the city you want to practice.


OP here. I should probably contact someone in the firm and ask about what the average bonuses are...


OP are you lit or trans. If lit I'd go with the smaller firm. If trans I'd go with the larger one.



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