Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

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I should...

Stay at current firm
2
25%
Accept offer
6
75%
 
Total votes: 8

Anonymous User
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Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:29 am

I am going on my fourth year at my current firm. I've posted here about it before, but it's given me a lot of stress and anxiety for various reasons, so I've kept my eyes and ears open for any and all possibilities. That led to me being recommended to a reputable solo attorney in town, and we had dinner and drinks last night. We got along very well and she indicated that she would be sending me a compensation proposal by Friday.

Now, I'm really torn as to what to do, so I was hoping TLS could weigh in with its thoughts.

Current Firm
-Currently going on my 4th year at my current firm, which is located in a relatively small town but has 30-35 lawyers.
-Make approximately $50k with good benefits

Pros
-Very reputable firm
-Good partner track (5-6 years)
-Offers good benefits
-I just got a raise here this summer

Cons
-Corporate politics here bother the shit out of me
-The staff absolutely blows
-I'm 99% sure only 1-2 guys here actually rake in a decent salary, and the rest make somewhere between $80-90k despite working pretty damn hard
-Think I should be making more
-I'm being shoved into two areas of law (life insurance defense being one of them) that I don't want to do
-I think I have a scarlet letter with some partners for various reasons (which I think are dumb), so I'm worried about partnership track

Possible New Job
-Would be hired by a very reputable solo attorney
-She has three offices, is very successful, and is looking to transition her practice

Pros
-If things worked out, I would probably make more money both short and long term
-Higher cieling
-Much more autonomy (completely fine with me working from home, or spending the day in the library to learn about how to try a particular case)
-Would do more civil litigation as opposed to the stuff I'm doing now
-By her indications, salary would be similar to what I currently make, and compensation would include a percentage of receipts

Cons
-Very, very nervous to hitch my career to one attorney, even despite her great reputation
-Would have to do some areas (domestic, bankruptcy) that I really don't want to do
-Reduced benefits (no health or 401k, but does offer SIMPLE IRA and other reimbursements)


I should note that I passed on a similar opportunity this summer, and the person who ended up with the job was a friend of mine. She is doing LIGHTYEARS better than me now. This is almost certainly some sort of bias in my head, but I can't help but think I should take this opportunity before becoming a lifer here.

Thoughts?

ETA: poll

kyle1978

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby kyle1978 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:03 pm

I would not jump ship if I were you. First, you did not tell us exactly how much the solo attorney would pay you; did she not tell you? Red flag. Second, I fully agree that, at your stage, it seems mindless to attach your career to a solo attorney. Third, the reputation of your current firm could open better opportunities down the road. Fourth, you indicate youre in your fourth year and partnership opens up in year 5 or 6 - why leave now?

These just come to mind.

Anonymous User
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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:10 pm

kyle1978 wrote:First, you did not tell us exactly how much the solo attorney would pay you; did she not tell you? Red flag. Second, I fully agree that, at your stage, it seems mindless to attach your career to a solo attorney. Third, the reputation of your current firm could open better opportunities down the road. Fourth, you indicate youre in your fourth year and partnership opens up in year 5 or 6 - why leave now?

These just come to mind.


As to the bolded, she said she was going to put together a compensation package by Friday. By all indications it seemed I would be making a similar salary (maybe a slight decrease) but would get a percentage of my receipts, which would put me well over my current earnings.

This is obviously subject to what she offers, but the impression I got was that this would be a pretty decent raise.

Anonymous User
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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:15 pm

OP UPDATE

The practitioner called and gave me an official offer. She offered to match my current salary plus 10% of receipts. This is negotiable, so now I'm probably looking to raise the salary even more.

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jchiles

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby jchiles » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:24 pm

Does she have enough work to keep you busy and justify your salary and is that work consistent? How comfortable are you with generating new business? Because you are going to have to do that sooner rather than later

ClubberLang

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby ClubberLang » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:26 pm

You should take the new offer. 50k for a fourth year is ridiculous.

gregfootball2001

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby gregfootball2001 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:46 pm

You say that some partners don't like you and may not make you partner. Is there a trusted partner you can talk to about this? If you're really not going to make partner and will have to move anyway, that should factor in.

When you say the solo is "looking to transition," you mean move her work to a new attorney? That sounds like a good opportunity. However, what are these clients like? If it's a lot of domestic work, as you said, it could be a number of one-off clients who aren't repeat customers. That would mean you'd have to sell - a lot. Are you comfortable with that?

How does she have three offices as a solo?

Generally, it seems like you're not that happy and you may be stuck. If you're set on staying in your location, this may be a good opportunity.

sparty99

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby sparty99 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:11 pm

$50,000 for a 4th year associate is a horrible pay and I wouldn't want either of the jobs.

Anonymous User
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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:38 pm

100% take the new job. But I would negotiate a progressive pay structure? Like, if the firm does really well, then increase pay etc.

Note that autonomy is very important to me. Also, you can make 50k managing a starbucks.

Damage Over Time

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby Damage Over Time » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:45 pm

Are you committed to staying in this town? Is the cost of living like absurdly low? $50k for a fourth year sounds insane

Anonymous User
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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:48 pm

Damage Over Time wrote:Are you committed to staying in this town? Is the cost of living like absurdly low? $50k for a fourth year sounds insane

Yes on staying here for a long time. Both my wife's family and my family live here. We're talking central PA (closer to Pittsburgh but not really close to anything), so $50k is pretty decent for a single income.



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