Help me think through a job offer

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Help me think through a job offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:26 pm

Help me think through this.

I graduated in the top third of my class from a T-14 and moved to a small southern market big law firm. I'm almost three years in. I started in the low 100k range and senior associates make around 150 with a 10-15% bonus. Not a ton relative to big markets, I know, but the city is fairly cheap and my billable requirement is under 2000 (and associates in my group rarely hit 2000 and aren't unofficially expected to either).

While the hours are good compared to most big law, they're still not good compared to the normal world, and the ebbs and flows of my practice group are such that we have dead periods and it's difficult to take any time off and expect to hit hours (I think I've taken 4 or 5 weekdays off in three years). Second, I'm not crazy at all about the content of the work. Third, the practice area is so niche, the in house exit options are pretty limited, and especially in my market. Finally, I really don't see myself being a partner. Frankly, I'm just not that interested in working as much as they do for the rest of my life.

So, I got a random call from a personal connection offering me nearly the same money as my current job in an even smaller market (but where my husband is from). It has unbelievably good hours (9-5, most days, and 4-5 weeks of vacation per year). In 2-3 years I'd be making in the 150ish range (again, same as I'd be making in my current job as a senior associate). The issues are I'd top out around 150, indefinitely, and, more importantly, it's 100% criminal law. I've never done any criminal law or been attracted to it, really. Again, I've gotten this job offer randomly through a personal connection. The set up seems great, but I don't know about the content and how to even begin thinking this through.

Am I crazy for considering it? Crazy for not taking it? I have no idea? Help.

(Also: please don't fight the facts because it doesn't matter for the sake of helping me think through it. Trust me when I tell you I've verified all of this information.)

Redfactor

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Re: Help me think through a job offer

Postby Redfactor » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:36 pm

Can you be more specific as to the type of criminal law?

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Re: Help me think through a job offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:43 pm

Redfactor wrote:Can you be more specific as to the type of criminal law?

For a while, at least, it'd be pretty general. Everything from DUIs to major felonies.

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Vexed

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Re: Help me think through a job offer

Postby Vexed » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:51 pm

Same pay, better hours, you already don't seem to care about the content or advancement opportunities at your current job... unless it turns out you actively hate crim practice to the point of discomfort, taking the new job seems like a no brainer.

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elendinel

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Re: Help me think through a job offer

Postby elendinel » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:14 pm

Vexed wrote:Same pay, better hours, you already don't seem to care about the content or advancement opportunities at your current job... unless it turns out you actively hate crim practice to the point of discomfort, taking the new job seems like a no brainer.

lavarman84

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Re: Help me think through a job offer

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:38 pm

That seems like a really good opportunity considering your preference for work-life balance. You usually have to choose money or work-life balance. It seems like you err more on the side of work-life balance. Plus, $150,000 is a nice chunk of change.

lolwat

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Re: Help me think through a job offer

Postby lolwat » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:49 pm

Vexed wrote:Same pay, better hours, you already don't seem to care about the content or advancement opportunities at your current job... unless it turns out you actively hate crim practice to the point of discomfort, taking the new job seems like a no brainer.


I almost agree with this and I would probably take it given what you've said about your current job. The only thing holding me back is that the new job strikes me as a dead end even more than your current one. If you go there and end up hating it you'll really need to stars to seriously align with another personal connection's offer again. But 150k in a small market with 9-5 hours and weeks of vacation? Yum.

Redfactor

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Re: Help me think through a job offer

Postby Redfactor » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:41 pm

This is still so generalized that I have no idea what you'd be doing at the new position. Here are some questions I would ask myself before jumping ship:

- Would you be assigned your own cases from the beginning or would you be coverage counsel for pretrial/probation violation/review hearings? (Being coverage counsel seems horrible to me. Those attorneys just get walked all over by clients and, less frequently, judges. But hey, it's good way to get your feet wet and exposed to the fast pace of court.)

- Would you practice in a single courthouse primarily or would you be going to multiple municipal and county courthouses? (Especially as coverage counsel, I envision them in a car half their days just trying to make it to the various courthouses at various points of the day.)

- Does the firm primarily represent clients within a small area or would it take clients throughout the county or multiple counties? Again, a travel-based inquiry.

- Is the firm private and receives its clients the traditional way, or is firm on contract to represent as though it were a PD office? If contracted, how long has it had the contract, when is the contract up, and how long would the next contract be for?

- Would you have to obtain your own clients or would they be assigned to you?

- If assigned, do you have any input whether or not the firm should take them on as a client?

- Do you have the ability to not take certain types of cases, primarily bad DV, sexual assaults, including rape/molestation of children, and child pornography? To me, this is #1 question I would have.

- If not, do you think you can emotionally handle those types of crimes? Question #1A

- Are you ready to answer 2:00AM phone calls about whether or not your drunk client should provide a breath sample?

- Are you ready to answer your phone at odd hours to discuss the case with your client, knowing that you are with your family, etc. It's a client-based service and you have to make yourself available.

- Can you deal with people who just simply don't do the simplest requirements, like show up to court, not going to treatment, or inexplicably contacting the one person they're not allowed to contact?

- Are you the type of person that can easily sway others, or are your clients going to resist your advice at every step of the way?

- As criminal defense, is getting your teeth kicked in at trial regularly going to impact your self-esteem or make you question your ability?



To me, this decision is so much more than simply comparable salaries to what you do now and the promise of 9-5, especially when you're uprooting your family for something you may end up hating -- a lot.



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