Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

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Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:23 am

I've been in big law for 2 years and I'm over it. A busy last few months finally broke me, and all my friends are getting destroyed.

Recently got an offer to join a company in a journalistic/editing role for the practice area I had a fair amount of experience in. It pays $140k total on the low end, but I'm beginning negotiations now. It has a great reputation in the community, and not practicing law anymore is attractive to me. The work environment appears laid back, the hours from what I've been told are 9-5, and while I'll inquire more on the benefits they appear fairly standard.

My only hesitation is how this would affect my career down the road, since it's unclear what career paths would be open to me. I suppose other editing/journalism positions, though I'm not sure how plentiful or well paying those are. And from the sounds of it, people also return to practicing law by going in house since they gain a fairly high level subject matter expertise that isn't really gained from practicing law.

Any reason NOT to take this offer? I'm pretty much 99% convinced this is a great exit.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've been in big law for 2 years and I'm over it. A busy last few months finally broke me, and all my friends are getting destroyed.

Recently got an offer to join a company in a journalistic/editing role for the practice area I had a fair amount of experience in. It pays $140k total on the low end, but I'm beginning negotiations now. It has a great reputation in the community, and not practicing law anymore is attractive to me. The work environment appears laid back, the hours from what I've been told are 9-5, and while I'll inquire more on the benefits they appear fairly standard.

My only hesitation is how this would affect my career down the road, since it's unclear what career paths would be open to me. I suppose other editing/journalism positions, though I'm not sure how plentiful or well paying those are. And from the sounds of it, people also return to practicing law by going in house since they gain a fairly high level subject matter expertise that isn't really gained from practicing law.

Any reason NOT to take this offer? I'm pretty much 99% convinced this is a great exit.


Anything 9-5 that pays over 100k is a great exit. Congrats! Most people would be happy with their choice in attending law school to have that opportunity only two years after graduation.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:45 am

Do it, sounds excellent. Congratulations! How'd you get the job? Connections, headhunters?

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:38 am

Thanks to both! I actually just applied on LinkedIn via a recruiter. I hadn't even thought of an exit like this before, but the more I learned about it and met the people it became more and more intriguing.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:49 am

Do it OP, you won't regret it. I did something similar and life is infinitely better.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Damage Over Time » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:02 pm

This sounds like the dream. Go for it!

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've been in big law for 2 years and I'm over it. A busy last few months finally broke me, and all my friends are getting destroyed.

Recently got an offer to join a company in a journalistic/editing role for the practice area I had a fair amount of experience in. It pays $140k total on the low end, but I'm beginning negotiations now. It has a great reputation in the community, and not practicing law anymore is attractive to me. The work environment appears laid back, the hours from what I've been told are 9-5, and while I'll inquire more on the benefits they appear fairly standard.

My only hesitation is how this would affect my career down the road, since it's unclear what career paths would be open to me. I suppose other editing/journalism positions, though I'm not sure how plentiful or well paying those are. And from the sounds of it, people also return to practicing law by going in house since they gain a fairly high level subject matter expertise that isn't really gained from practicing law.

If the bolded is true, I bet it applies mostly to those who had more than just two years of practice before their detour into legal journalism. I wouldn't count on in-house jobs being an option down the road.

I'm not saying don't do it--this sounds like a great job (with excellent pay) for someone who is sick of big law. But your concerns about limiting your opportunities are valid.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby SmokeytheBear » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:12 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've been in big law for 2 years and I'm over it. A busy last few months finally broke me, and all my friends are getting destroyed.

Recently got an offer to join a company in a journalistic/editing role for the practice area I had a fair amount of experience in. It pays $140k total on the low end, but I'm beginning negotiations now. It has a great reputation in the community, and not practicing law anymore is attractive to me. The work environment appears laid back, the hours from what I've been told are 9-5, and while I'll inquire more on the benefits they appear fairly standard.

My only hesitation is how this would affect my career down the road, since it's unclear what career paths would be open to me. I suppose other editing/journalism positions, though I'm not sure how plentiful or well paying those are. And from the sounds of it, people also return to practicing law by going in house since they gain a fairly high level subject matter expertise that isn't really gained from practicing law.

If the bolded is true, I bet it applies mostly to those who had more than just two years of practice before their detour into legal journalism. I wouldn't count on in-house jobs being an option down the road.

I'm not saying don't do it--this sounds like a great job (with excellent pay) for someone who is sick of big law. But your concerns about limiting your opportunities are valid.


Correct as usual.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:17 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've been in big law for 2 years and I'm over it. A busy last few months finally broke me, and all my friends are getting destroyed.

Recently got an offer to join a company in a journalistic/editing role for the practice area I had a fair amount of experience in. It pays $140k total on the low end, but I'm beginning negotiations now. It has a great reputation in the community, and not practicing law anymore is attractive to me. The work environment appears laid back, the hours from what I've been told are 9-5, and while I'll inquire more on the benefits they appear fairly standard.

My only hesitation is how this would affect my career down the road, since it's unclear what career paths would be open to me. I suppose other editing/journalism positions, though I'm not sure how plentiful or well paying those are. And from the sounds of it, people also return to practicing law by going in house since they gain a fairly high level subject matter expertise that isn't really gained from practicing law.

If the bolded is true, I bet it applies mostly to those who had more than just two years of practice before their detour into legal journalism. I wouldn't count on in-house jobs being an option down the road.

I'm not saying don't do it--this sounds like a great job (with excellent pay) for someone who is sick of big law. But your concerns about limiting your opportunities are valid.


That makes a lot of sense. And to be perfectly frank, I think once I leave legal practice, I have no intention of going back. I just don't find it interesting in the slightest. So while I am somewhat concerned about flexibility down the road, not being able to go in house isn't exactly something that makes me sad either.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:58 pm

Bro just do it. Wtf

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby lolwat » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:34 pm

jd20132013 wrote:Bro just do it. Wtf


Normally I agree with this sentiment but... doing it is gonna close off a career path and go into sort of an unknown. OP doesn't seem interested in the legal practice, so that's a big factor in favor of taking it -- but OP is right to worry about his future.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby QContinuum » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:36 pm

OP is also right to worry about his future in this particular case because journalism in general doesn't have the rosiest prospects.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:39 pm

OP here.

Those were my exact hesitations. I think it's still a great opportunity, but when making such a big jump career-wise, it's nice to run these things by people first.

I also received an initial offer (verbal, no written offer letter yet), for an in-house position at a bank. The people seemed nice, but my biggest concern is whether it would actually be a significant lifestyle improvement (the compensation would be similar to the writing position). One of the people I interviewed with claimed that it can be 9-5, but if I'm ambitious I can put more hours into it (he said he gets in 8 and leaves 630 or 7). Obviously it's unclear exactly what that means. For example, would they fire me if I was "unambitious" and just did 9-5? I figured I can call the most junior person on the team that I interviewed with on Monday and see if I can get some corroboration/clarification on the hours front.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Those were my exact hesitations. I think it's still a great opportunity, but when making such a big jump career-wise, it's nice to run these things by people first.

I also received an initial offer (verbal, no written offer letter yet), for an in-house position at a bank. The people seemed nice, but my biggest concern is whether it would actually be a significant lifestyle improvement (the compensation would be similar to the writing position). One of the people I interviewed with claimed that it can be 9-5, but if I'm ambitious I can put more hours into it (he said he gets in 8 and leaves 630 or 7). Obviously it's unclear exactly what that means. For example, would they fire me if I was "unambitious" and just did 9-5? I figured I can call the most junior person on the team that I interviewed with on Monday and see if I can get some corroboration/clarification on the hours front.

With the exception of certain government jobs, totally predictable 9-5 jobs that pay decently don't really exist for junior attorneys.

I know folks who work in-house who make good money and who go through periods of working 8 hours a day (or less), but they also have patches where they have to work longer hours, depending on what's going on. (This isn't a "law sucks" thing; it's true of professional jobs generally.) And if you really do encounter an in-house gig where none of the lawyers seem to be working very much, there's a substantial risk that you'll be laid off soon. In general, business folks are even less loyal to in-house attorneys than partners are to associates. The legal department is an expense that some gunner is always looking to cut.

Anyway, the short of it is that I wouldn't get too hung up on the goal of working 9-5 hours.

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Re: Any reason NOT to take this big law exit?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:04 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Those were my exact hesitations. I think it's still a great opportunity, but when making such a big jump career-wise, it's nice to run these things by people first.

I also received an initial offer (verbal, no written offer letter yet), for an in-house position at a bank. The people seemed nice, but my biggest concern is whether it would actually be a significant lifestyle improvement (the compensation would be similar to the writing position). One of the people I interviewed with claimed that it can be 9-5, but if I'm ambitious I can put more hours into it (he said he gets in 8 and leaves 630 or 7). Obviously it's unclear exactly what that means. For example, would they fire me if I was "unambitious" and just did 9-5? I figured I can call the most junior person on the team that I interviewed with on Monday and see if I can get some corroboration/clarification on the hours front.

With the exception of certain government jobs, totally predictable 9-5 jobs that pay decently don't really exist for junior attorneys.

I know folks who work in-house who make good money and who go through periods of working 8 hours a day (or less), but they also have patches where they have to work longer hours, depending on what's going on. (This isn't a "law sucks" thing; it's true of professional jobs generally.) And if you really do encounter an in-house gig where none of the lawyers seem to be working very much, there's a substantial risk that you'll be laid off soon. In general, business folks are even less loyal to in-house attorneys than partners are to associates. The legal department is an expense that some gunner is always looking to cut.

Anyway, the short of it is that I wouldn't get too hung up on the goal of working 9-5 hours.


This all makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the reality check and wisdom, this is all very helpful. I'd imagine the guy I interviewed with was blowing a bit of hot air then, and at the very least I'd have to match other junior attorney schedules, or his schedule.



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