Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

How much money to leave current job

I work in a major southern city in a niche field of law whic railingrailing01/09/18
When you say "amount of money you need" to leave your job, d brassica701/09/18
The loophole closes gradually over the next few years, but I railingrailing01/09/18
About what you're paid now, maybe up to $20k more, for someo tacocheese01/09/18
Good to know. Thanks! railingrailing01/09/18
Hmm I would only leave for $125,000.00 with advancement oppo cocolawyer01/09/18
This confirms my hesitation. railingrailing01/09/18
I think you are asking the wrong question. A few thought 2tierreality01/10/18
I am in-house, but I totally understand what you are saying. railingrailing01/10/18
Curious, do you have opportunities in-house to learn other p superttthero01/10/18
It does. I'm taking on more responsibilities doing general c railingrailing01/10/18
railingrailing (Jan 9, 2018 - 4:29 pm)

I work in a major southern city in a niche field of law which will not be viable in a few years. I have 5 years of experience in various non-litigation, corporate/regulatory-type work, and my current income is about $90,000.

Pros:

I basically come in between 9 and 10 and work till about 6-630 p.m.

I have no daily oversight as long as things keep moving.

I get 13 days PTO, but can duck out for family stuff, etc, without questioning.

I can goof off on the internet when I want as long as I get stuff done.

I like the people at work. I have a cool bro I chit chat with.

No overtime unless I need to meet personal deadline.

I can watch Netflix/blast music while I do my work.

Cons:

The field is only viable for the next few years or so due to closing loophole.

Occasional stress of personal liability.

Client's expectations are often unrealistic and cannot be achieved with methods available to me; my hands are tied by client, but it wants results that could only be achieved with full force.

Opportunity cost of working here knowing the median for my experience, etc, is far higher.

I'm thinking of the future (I'm in my mid-thirties with two kids so the need to just dawned on me) and trying to figure out what would make financial/personal sense. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out the optimal amount of money that it would take for me to leave current job. Please advise!

P.S. I posted this on another legal board and got joke answers. lol. Just need some serious/somber responses here.

Reply Like (0)
brassica7 (Jan 9, 2018 - 4:38 pm)

When you say "amount of money you need" to leave your job, do you mean an amount in savings you should have before quitting? Do you mean the salary necessary to make you leave your current job for another?

Either way, just start applying to jobs now. I don't think you should quit your current job without another lined up, unless you had enough saved to retire. It's easier to get a new job when you have one than when you are unemployed. If you were asking about how much a salary cut you should take to change industries, I might say a job paying $75,000+, in a good industry with advancement potential, would be competitive. I don't know your family's fixed expenses though.

I think it is good that you are looking to change industries now, rather than in a few years. If the loophole you mention above closes (or is about to in 6 or so months), there will be a flood of people like you looking for a new job. It's good to be proactive and get ahead of the pack.

Good luck!

Reply Like (0)
railingrailing (Jan 9, 2018 - 4:44 pm)

The loophole closes gradually over the next few years, but I don't want to start from scratch. I'm just curious about what the fair wage for a tenured lawyer is. I really don't know what is out there besides big law paying a lot for stress and solo/small law paying nothing for nothing if that makes sense. What is a reasonable wage or benefits expectation? Just curious.

Reply Like (0)
tacocheese (Jan 9, 2018 - 6:29 pm)

About what you're paid now, maybe up to $20k more, for someone with your years of experience at a "good" insurance defense form. More billing and stress though.

Reply Like (0)
railingrailing (Jan 9, 2018 - 7:07 pm)

Good to know. Thanks!

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 9, 2018 - 8:13 pm)

Hmm I would only leave for $125,000.00 with advancement opportunity. Here is why. As pay goes up, so does expectations and hours. You will be sacrificing some of lassie fair lifestyle for more of a grinder one. Your hours will increase PTO probably decrease to like 10 days. I would expect a higher billable expectation.

It comes with the territory.

Reply Like (0)
railingrailing (Jan 9, 2018 - 9:18 pm)

This confirms my hesitation.

Reply Like (0)
2tierreality (Jan 10, 2018 - 10:39 am)

I think you are asking the wrong question.

A few thoughts:

-Sounds like you are, and your career track is, permanent associate/senior attorney (non-owner). Nothing wrong with that. Note: at mid-thirties, you usually "top out" on this scale. No matter what the field, your base+bonus is typically 1/4 to 1/3 of your billings.

-If the field is going to "dry up" in a few years, then you need to determine the exit now. If you don't, when the work dries up, they'll just walk in one day and let you go, since the partners who "feed" you the work will eventually all be in survival mode.

-If I were you, my focus would to be shifting field of practice. To me, maintaining salary/lifestyle would just be part of that analysis.

Edit: I assume you are at a firm, not an in-house position. Regardless, my advice is mostly the same.

Reply Like (0)
railingrailing (Jan 10, 2018 - 1:24 pm)

I am in-house, but I totally understand what you are saying. The thing is I want to gain, in terms of compensation, lifestyle, and career trajectory, when I shift rather than start from scratch. I know my current compensation is okay, but I could have been making more with some luck. This job's good, but I also know I accepted it because I was not swimming in options at the time. Knowing that I have a bit of time to make the switch, I am just curious about what the next step should look like so I don't jump at the first thing that comes along even if it's not the right move.

Reply Like (0)
superttthero (Jan 10, 2018 - 2:05 pm)

Curious, do you have opportunities in-house to learn other practice areas, join other groups?

I understand if this is a very small company and this area is the bulk of legal, then you're SOL there, but do you have the chance to start doing some work for others and eventually transition to a new role at your place?

A place that gives you that kind of flexibility (2+ weeks PTO and no questions ducking out for your kids' doc appointments) are hard to find.

Reply Like (0)
railingrailing (Jan 10, 2018 - 3:27 pm)

It does. I'm taking on more responsibilities doing general corporate stuff, but more than 60% of my work is on the area of law that is diminishing. I enjoy general corporate stuff - i.e. vendor agreements, contract review, counseling, employment law, litigation management, etc. Most jobs I see though are more specific. e.g. In-house IT contracts lawyer. Am I wrong on that? I'm working on making my skills transferable, if you know what I mean.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread