Leave Big Law to go into Big Fed (Advancement and Lifestyle Questions)

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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:47 pm

Leave Big Law to go into Big Fed (Advancement and Lifestyle Questions)

Post by walkthegoose24 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:06 am

I have spent 5 years in Big Law doing a variety of corporate and securities work. I like the money but dislike the work and lifestyle. A friend has put me forward for a job at Treasury in a policy role (no J.D. required). The job is in the range of GS-13 Step 10/GS-14 Step 5. It would be a sizable pay cut from a 5th year Big Law salary and require a move to DC, which has a very high COL. I have a wife and two kids, zero student debt and enough money saved to put down a good down payment on a house in the DC area. My friend has told me that it is relatively easy for people working on the policy side who have law degrees to move over to the OGC at Treasury. Since I would be going in at relatively low pay, I'm not sure that any GS pay increase (from moving to OGC) would yield very much of a pay increase, however.

Questions: (1) What kind of promotions/pay increases can someone expect (a) by staying in such a policy job or (b) moving over to the OGC? (2) What kind of lifestyle do people generally have at Treasury? My understanding is that there are different work/life balance expectations at different agencies. (3) What kind of exit options are available if I want to go in-house or return to private practice? (4) Am I crazy for considering this? I'm pretty tired of Big Law, but it's a sizable pay cut and would require a move to a high COL area. Any advice and recommendations would be very appreciated. Thank you!

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