A few months in firm job - too soon to apply to new firm?

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A few months in firm job - too soon to apply to new firm?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:42 pm

I am in a unique job situation. I am a first year staff attorney at a reputable regional big law firm. When I originally applied to the firm, they did not have a job opening and they told me that they did not need think that they would need a new associate from a long-term perspective. However, they liked me and one of their attorneys would be out on medical leave for a few months. They told me that I could start as a staff attorney, and in about 6 months to 1 year, they would reassess their needs to see if I will be promoted to a regular associate. At that point, the firm would either promote me or let me go. The firm said that they don't like having staff attorneys.

I've been at the firm for a few months and have been super busy. The partners and attorneys I have worked with have been great, and I have only received positive feedback for my work product. If things keep up at the current pace, I feel confident that I will get a permanent offer. However, I have been burned by similar promises in the past (got no-offered at another firm because lack of work). Plus, my "review" coincides with the return of the attorney on medical leave.

I saw a job posting for another big law firm for an associate with my level of experience. The firm has a national rep but only recently opened an office in my state. The firm also pays less than my current firm, but has similar billable hour requirements.

My initial thought is that there is no harm in me applying. If I got an offer, I thought I could use it as leverage at my current firm to see if they would go ahead and promote me. However, there is always a risk that my current firm would find out that I am applying to other firms. Additionally, I don't know how it would look to the hiring firm if someone with only a few months is already applying to a new firm.

Jumping ahead, if I got an offer I don't know if I should accept it. I really like my current firm and it is well-known in my region. Plus, the pay is better and the firm has been very profitable in the past few years (the associates got significant bump in bonuses this year).

I realize that I am over-thinking this, but I'd like to hear an outsider's perspective on this.


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Re: A few months in firm job - too soon to apply to new firm?

Post by jarofsoup » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:57 pm

Apply to the job. See what happens.


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Re: A few months in firm job - too soon to apply to new firm?

Post by dixiecupdrinking » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:53 pm

You're a staff attorney with no promise of permanent employment. You absolutely should be pursuing every opportunity you can.

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Re: A few months in firm job - too soon to apply to new firm?

Post by BarbellDreams » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:13 pm

A couple of things:

1. Your firm would drop you in 30 seconds if they didn't have the need or budget, you don't owe them anything. Especially being someone who got no offered before, you should know that. I can't tell you how badly I messed up OCI trying to be "loyal" until my firm rescinded the offer later on. This is a game, and you're only playing for yourself.

2. I know a guy who started at a small firm (~4 attorneys), lateralled 3 months later into a slightly bigger small firm (~10 attorneys), and then lateralled 6 months later into midlaw for double the salary. He had canned good responses to why he wanted to leave so soon (family, wife got job, other bs like that) but he did it the right way. He only looked out for himself and didn't care how "bad" it looked to his current firm. I suggest you do the same.

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Re: A few months in firm job - too soon to apply to new firm?

Post by 2014 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:26 pm

Apply and use it as leverage if successful.


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Re: A few months in firm job - too soon to apply to new firm?

Post by maxmartin » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:55 am

Apply, apply, apply until you had an offer in your hands.

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