Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

What are the consequences of leaving a job after 6 months?

I am a first year associate who works for a solo practitione tex677603/07/18
A lot of my answer would depend on where you practice - rura jd4hire03/07/18
Do what's best for you. If you can get a better job, take it triplesix03/07/18
Perfectly fine if you get a better job. Happens all the time fettywap03/07/18
I feel like it's not uncommon to move from a firm early on i 3lol03/07/18
Not a problem. jeffm03/07/18
Work the current gig while interviewing for another and then isthisit03/07/18
He leveled with you saying he can’t keep you on if he lose khazaddum03/07/18
I think you’ll be fine. It’s not great as most people sa ambulancechaser201303/07/18
You can do it once and sell it (not a good fit, job wasn’t therover03/07/18
As long as you stay at your new job for awhile, you'll be fi thirdtierlaw03/07/18
Death. tcpaul03/08/18
I run a small firm and I've given an identical speech to my napoleone03/09/18
This is a good point. tex677603/09/18
How long do you keep a typical associate in a small firm? My khazaddum03/09/18
If you leave before the one year mark try to stay at least a somefed03/09/18
No issues at all. I had 4 jobs within my first 3 years. Peop shikes03/09/18
I always think it's a good idea to stay at your job for at l parlance03/10/18
tex6776 (Mar 7, 2018 - 9:00 am)

I am a first year associate who works for a solo practitioner. I make $50,000 per year. I get quite a few interviews and I am positive that I could make more money. However, money is not necessarily the reason why I want to switch jobs.

I am concerned that my current job is not stable. We have one major client that brings in all of the work. If we lose this client my boss has made it clear that he will no longer be able to afford me. This client has a history of switching lawyers. I am afraid that my days are numbered.

With that being said, is it a bad idea for me to change jobs only after six months? Should I wait it out and take the risk so that it doesn't reflect poorly on my resume?

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jd4hire (Mar 7, 2018 - 9:03 am)

A lot of my answer would depend on where you practice - rural county or large metropolitan area and whether your boss is an influential member of the bar in your area. Based on what you've said, it doesn't seem like he would be that influential if his book of business rests on one large client.

You gotta do what you gotta do. Your concerns are legitimate. If he's mad at you or attempts to screw you on down the road, it would be irrational. As long as you have a decent reason for leaving...I don't see an issue.

I left an insurance carrier staff counsel after five months and nothing came of it.

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triplesix (Mar 7, 2018 - 9:32 am)

Do what's best for you. If you can get a better job, take it. Don't worry about what old caacks gonna do. You need to get paid and move up. Let the bottom feeders worry about turnover, maybe they will learn a lesson haha

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fettywap (Mar 7, 2018 - 9:34 am)

Perfectly fine if you get a better job. Happens all the time in law firms.

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3lol (Mar 7, 2018 - 9:44 am)

I feel like it's not uncommon to move from a firm early on in your career. One of the realities of being a new lawyer is that you might have to work for low pay/psychotic bosses in whatever job you can get to get experience after law school. It likely changes once you resume shows that you've moved several times in a short period of time, but its not inconceivable to move early on for better conditions or even to get in a different practice area.

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jeffm (Mar 7, 2018 - 10:09 am)

Not a problem.

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isthisit (Mar 7, 2018 - 10:13 am)

Work the current gig while interviewing for another and then switch. It's not a big deal.

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khazaddum (Mar 7, 2018 - 10:24 am)

He leveled with you saying he can’t keep you on if he loses the flighty client. He knows or should know you are now seeking more stable work.

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ambulancechaser2013 (Mar 7, 2018 - 11:28 am)

I think you’ll be fine. It’s not great as most people say you should be there for 1 year, but I think the market is strong enough for it not to matter. Just don’t get fired in the process.

Also don’t let this situation psyche you out.

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therover (Mar 7, 2018 - 2:49 pm)

You can do it once and sell it (not a good fit, job wasn’t as promised, instability). But if you do it more than once, you risk being seen as a flight risk.

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thirdtierlaw (Mar 7, 2018 - 5:06 pm)

As long as you stay at your new job for awhile, you'll be fine. This is especially true because it is solo with an associate. People will be able to guess what was happening. I'd be willing to bet that when you are looking for job number 3 they won't even ask.

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tcpaul (Mar 8, 2018 - 8:12 am)

Death.

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napoleone (Mar 9, 2018 - 1:15 am)

I run a small firm and I've given an identical speech to my associates on several occasions. If you interpret this speech as a sign of instability you are mistaken. Private practice is always a constant state of paranoia of bringing in new clients, getting the work done, and collecting.

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tex6776 (Mar 9, 2018 - 6:39 am)

This is a good point.

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khazaddum (Mar 9, 2018 - 8:53 am)

How long do you keep a typical associate in a small firm? My firm has 48 lawyers and 3-4 years seems average for our best hires. The average hire either leaves before year 2, or stays forever like me..

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somefed (Mar 9, 2018 - 11:19 am)

If you leave before the one year mark try to stay at least a year at the next place. You do not want to have a pattern of job hopping on your resume. A lot of places eliminate the job hopper candidates since they assume they will train them and then get burned when the person quits.

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shikes (Mar 9, 2018 - 8:05 pm)

No issues at all. I had 4 jobs within my first 3 years. People leave for different reasons, the legal profession typically understands this, and job hopping is the new norm of millenials. Do what you need to do thats best for you. I unfortunately learned the hard way that you need to do whats best for you because will not lose much sleep doing whats best for them while giving you a half-hearted "Sorry, we just need to go this route" speech.

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parlance (Mar 10, 2018 - 9:16 am)

I always think it's a good idea to stay at your job for at least a year to make it look like you gave it a chance and that you were good enough to hold down a job for an adequate period of time.

A classic young person's mistake in their career is that they think they can leave as soon as they're unhappy or dissatisfied regardless of how brief their stint has been. It's not true. You have to put in a certain amount of time to establish your career path (and not incidentally a solid marketable skill set/area of expertise) before you move on to something supposedly better. I wish I had understood this 15 years ago when I entered the working world.

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