Career prospects in workers’ compensation defense?

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Ab3313

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Career prospects in workers’ compensation defense?

Postby Ab3313 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:00 pm

I could really use some advice from any practicing attorneys on here! I’ve been practicing for just over 3 years. I started my career in medical malpratice and elder abuse defense at a fairly well known and reputable mid-size firm.

While I had plenty of flexibility, the workload was absolutely nuts. I couldn’t handle that or the 200 hour monthly billable. I’m sure some people are perfectly capable of it, but I’m not one of them.

I left the firm after about a year in the hopes of finding a job with just a bit more breathing room. Long story short, I took a med mal/elder abuse position at a small plaintiffs’ firm. To say that it turned out to be even more “over the top” than the defense position would be an understatement. My caseload was massive. I had a minimally useful paralegal, and no real assistance.

In the meantime, I’ve heard from a couple people in work comp defense that it pays well, it’s more relaxed, and it’s a much better lifestyle than civil litigation. From others, I have heard that work comp is a joke and that it is essentially careeer suicide. I was recently offered a position at a large work comp defense firm making quite a bit more money. When I put in my notice at my current job, my managing partner essentially told me I was committing career suicide and urged me to stay on in exchange for a small salary bump. I declined.

To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s just attorneys being attorneys and talking/parroting/repeating nonsense without actually knowing, or if the advice should be taken seriously.

I need advice, please! I understand this is admin vs civil but I am terrified that I could be “killing my career” with this move. Is work comp a dead end, or is that just a bunch of talk?

Ab3313

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Re: Career prospects in workers’ compensation defense?

Postby Ab3313 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:15 am

Does anyone have any advice?

Tyler_Durden

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Re: Career prospects in workers’ compensation defense?

Postby Tyler_Durden » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:08 pm

While I am not personally knowledgeable about the market or career prospects for workers' compensation defense counsel, I can suggest a process. Use google advanced search with the following formula: "name of your law school" ("workers compensation" OR "employment law")

This search will yield alumni from your school who practice in the area. Send them an email along the lines of "I am considering changing practice areas and I would appreciate a few minutes of your time to discuss workers' compensation work." Then ask them about their career and generally whether they are happy about their decision to practice in the area.

Good luck.

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Re: Career prospects in workers’ compensation defense?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:23 pm

Ab3313 wrote:I could really use some advice from any practicing attorneys on here! I’ve been practicing for just over 3 years. I started my career in medical malpratice and elder abuse defense at a fairly well known and reputable mid-size firm.

While I had plenty of flexibility, the workload was absolutely nuts. I couldn’t handle that or the 200 hour monthly billable. I’m sure some people are perfectly capable of it, but I’m not one of them.

I left the firm after about a year in the hopes of finding a job with just a bit more breathing room. Long story short, I took a med mal/elder abuse position at a small plaintiffs’ firm. To say that it turned out to be even more “over the top” than the defense position would be an understatement. My caseload was massive. I had a minimally useful paralegal, and no real assistance.

In the meantime, I’ve heard from a couple people in work comp defense that it pays well, it’s more relaxed, and it’s a much better lifestyle than civil litigation. From others, I have heard that work comp is a joke and that it is essentially careeer suicide. I was recently offered a position at a large work comp defense firm making quite a bit more money. When I put in my notice at my current job, my managing partner essentially told me I was committing career suicide and urged me to stay on in exchange for a small salary bump. I declined.

To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s just attorneys being attorneys and talking/parroting/repeating nonsense without actually knowing, or if the advice should be taken seriously.

I need advice, please! I understand this is admin vs civil but I am terrified that I could be “killing my career” with this move. Is work comp a dead end, or is that just a bunch of talk?


5 years at a CA WC def firm:

1. Great hours. Attorneys are out of the office by 5 everyday.
2. Very low stress. There is no such thing as a tight deadline in WC.
3. Billable hours are not insane.
4. DO NOT DO APPLICANT. Def is great because your clients are professional adjusters who know how to do their jobs.
5. 3 years experience could start you at ~120k+ not including bonuses (major city).

Is work comp dead? Yes, when people stop getting injured at work.

Is it a joke? For those who care about superficial labels and prestige, maybe. For those who want a good paying job, little to no stress and a great salary (for the number of hours), not at all.

Lastly, the idea that performing well in any area of law would be "career killing" is ridiculous. I personally know over a dozen who have lateraled into civil lit and employment law. However, it is wise to compare WC to what else you could be doing and how that fits in with your long term career goals.

Aptitude

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Re: Career prospects in workers’ compensation defense?

Postby Aptitude » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
5 years at a CA WC def firm:

1. Great hours. Attorneys are out of the office by 5 everyday.
2. Very low stress. There is no such thing as a tight deadline in WC.
3. Billable hours are not insane.
4. DO NOT DO APPLICANT. Def is great because your clients are professional adjusters who know how to do their jobs.
5. 3 years experience could start you at ~120k+ not including bonuses (major city).


I'm curious now, since you wrote in all caps. I interviewed at a worker's comp firm once, applicant side, they seemed pretty cool but office was bleak. Didn't know much about it at all until I interviewed. Could you elaborate on #4?



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