Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Should I leave my job?

Hey all - First time, long time. Looking for advice. I'm slippinjimmy01/03/19
Slippin Jimmy, I work in RE, and it took me a while to fi nycatt01/05/19
"My wife sold her company and got $$ and paid off my loan wi jeffm01/07/19
I am not sure if you are married, but if not, if you can fin nycatt01/07/19
I understand your current job is lousy. But, the few folks toooldtocare01/03/19
There are no "guarantees" per se, but I am certainly attract slippinjimmy01/03/19
While I understand you've got good reasons for disliking you toooldtocare01/04/19
I'd do a docket search to see what kinds of cases the new fi tcpaul01/03/19
Before you leave, you could leverage this information at you blakesq01/03/19
Respectfully, I've never known this to work out well. tcpaul01/03/19
Yeah... That person always gets screwed over if they stay. T triplesix01/03/19
Agree, especially for a minion as OP describes him/herself. wutwutwut01/04/19
Agree with all of the above: do not do this. toooldtocare01/04/19
300 fewer billables with a 5k raise is a pretty big improvem flharfh01/03/19
My s/o works biglaw in the city where we live, which makes i slippinjimmy01/03/19
double post flharfh01/03/19
5k seems like a small increase. You live in a big city. You lolwutjobs01/03/19
That commute tho.... Personally not worth it at all. That's smallyer01/03/19
The commute will be rough. The "greater responsibility" wil jeffm01/04/19
You've got some valuable information from this offer: you ne orgdonor01/04/19
The new job doesn't really seem to work out on paper, all th wutwutwut01/04/19
I would stay and work towards getting out of ID in general i mtbislife01/04/19
People seemed to miss one important statement you made - "my jd4hire01/04/19
Please teach me how to land a med mal carrier lolwutjobs01/04/19
Pretty big stroke of luck...my LS classmate had graduated an jd4hire01/06/19

slippinjimmy (Jan 3, 2019 - 3:57 pm)

Hey all - First time, long time. Looking for advice.

I'm a 2nd year attorney at a mid-to-large ID firm in a big city. I currently work long hours (2200+/yr) for relatively little pay (~$75K/yr) doing low-value MVAs and slip-and-falls. We're talking bottom-of-the-barrel cases. I complain about my job a lot. Nonetheless, I do get some decent experience (deps, arbs, etc.), I can walk to work, and like 2 or 3 of the people here are pretty cool.

I was recently offered a new job at a boutique ID firm in a neighboring city that handles "higher end" stuff. I was told that I'd be getting a lot of responsibility on some high-profile cases which, presumably, will boost my resume. The new place is also offering lower hourly expectations (1900/yr), a $5K pay bump, and the potential for $10K-$20K in bonuses. The "cons" of the job are that I'll have a 45-60 minute commute, and the location is "less prestigious" than where I'm at now. I should also mention that the boutique firm is fairly new and unknown, although I'm told they have a big book of business.

Is it worth the extra money/lower hours to leave my very crappy ID job for a marginally better ID job? I don't anticipate staying at the new job for longer than 3 years. Should I just suck it up at my current job so I don't get labeled as a flight risk?

Any thoughts would be appreciated - Thanks!

(PS- No need to remind me that I am comparing two sh*tlaw jobs and that I should have quit law school 5 years ago.)

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nycatt (Jan 5, 2019 - 1:46 pm)

Slippin Jimmy,

I work in RE, and it took me a while to figure out who the players in RE were, and eventually i made my way to the top after toiling many years in, let's say, sub optimal conditions. Or, let's say, soul destroying ptsd conditions. When it comes to making moves, you don't want to do it just to get a small bump. You need to have a goal in mind. For me, I wanted to work somewhere that would pay more and the environment would not be toxic. I did my homework, met people at all the big firms, learned my industry, cultivated the relationships at the exact firm I wanted, and I made it there after about 6 or 7 years in the industry and only one prior jump. I would recommend doing the same thing for PI. You need to figure out who the top players, and out of those, where is working not a hell pit. Get to know people. Get to know PI extremely well. Trust me on this - there will be further opportunities down the line. For now, I would talk to the people that work at this place. Go out to lunch with some of the one that are near your year and hear what they really think. If its a good place, go there. And move to avoid the commute.

Edit - I just saw that your SO is in Big law. That is a nice money-train for her, but its not going to help you unless you are planning on getting married. Could it help you? Sure. My wife sold her company and got $$ and paid off my loan with cash. Not gonna lie, it was hot. If you are gonna marry her, stay in town and work on getting to the best firm in town. But if this lady isn't the one, you need to work like hell to get yourself to a firm that pays ok and is going to be ok to work there long term, and be ready to move 45 minutes to get there.

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jeffm (Jan 7, 2019 - 9:38 am)

"My wife sold her company and got $$ and paid off my loan with cash. Not gonna lie, it was hot."

Does she have a sister?

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nycatt (Jan 7, 2019 - 10:46 am)

I am not sure if you are married, but if not, if you can find a woman with all the things you are looking for and happens to be rich, I would not hesitate.

When I married my wife, I was the major breadwinner, and neither of us had much money. Our wedding venue cost $800. We were very happy, although when the first baby came, money got tight. To all of a sudden get a very sizable chunk of money. Well, wow. The money stress just kind of melted away.
We didn't change anything about our life style except we paid off our education loans and put a very sizable down payment down on a house to avoid a jumbo loan and get a very moderate monthly payment. I can't reiterate how good it felt, and really, how good it feels, not to worry about money. In any event, its too hard to do what I did and marry for love and luckily have the woman become rich, so maybe just go right for the rich ones?

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toooldtocare (Jan 3, 2019 - 4:40 pm)

I understand your current job is lousy.
But, the few folks I know doing ID seem to work harder each year, with stagnant pay and ever-increasing hours. My point: what guarantees do you have with the boutique? It would seem that as a new firm, they'd be scrambling for business, which could lead to financial issues for them-and you. Is there more, or less, or the same job security(or lack thereof) in both jobs?
More directly: the commute: I have had a lengthy commute for years, and to go from walking to work to driving 60 minutes each way is a big change. When you say "walk to work" how long does it take you? And where do you live? Is it socal, with ever reduced chances of rain? Or is it upstate NY, where you strap on show shoes? If it's a pleasant relatively brief walk, I'd think a long time about buying 2 hours a day in a car.
So let's say you do drive; yes, gas is cheap now, but you'll start worrying about gas prices if things change, and whether it's an hour on the freeway or an hour driving city streets, you'll wear out your car faster. Or are you talking mass transit?

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slippinjimmy (Jan 3, 2019 - 5:04 pm)

There are no "guarantees" per se, but I am certainly attracted to the idea of a big bonus and the possibility of handling more significant cases. I also presume that I will be working more independently as opposed to just being a minion to the partners (like I am at my current firm). I would think that experience would eventually make me a more attractive candidate down the road? Contrarily, I am worried that having two jobs in the matter of three years could be a red flag to future employers.

My current walk to work is great; 10-15 minutes at most. I am also located in a very lively area where many of my close friends work, and we get lunch often. I have never had a commuter job, so I haven't really considered the drawbacks. I would take mass transit, which would cost about $150/month for a pass.

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toooldtocare (Jan 4, 2019 - 11:44 am)

While I understand you've got good reasons for disliking your current job, I'd recommend you stay. That's based on:
1. A bit concerned that the new firm, with no history, is painting a very rosy-and perhaps unrealistic picture-of what their business will be. Because of this, maybe no bonus, and maybe they have to increase billables to keep money coming in.
2. Location where you are currently sounds as if it would offer more opportunities for you to move.
3. Quality of life: I've had a long commute for years, and I despise it. If you can get together with friends for lunch on a regular basis now-well, in addition to the additional travel, there would be no chance of meeting anyone for lunch. Sounds as if seeing your friends is understandably good for your mental health-this is a big consideration.

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tcpaul (Jan 3, 2019 - 4:46 pm)

I'd do a docket search to see what kinds of cases the new firm is actually handling. If they are better cases, I'd definitely make the jump. Better pay with less hours is a huge change in quality of life. The commute isn't great but I don't mind a commute myself. It allows me to wake up in the morning and decompress in the afternoon. Good luck; I hope you make the best decision for yourself.

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blakesq (Jan 3, 2019 - 4:50 pm)

Before you leave, you could leverage this information at your current firm to get a raise and better hours. Something to consider.

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tcpaul (Jan 3, 2019 - 5:08 pm)

Respectfully, I've never known this to work out well.

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triplesix (Jan 3, 2019 - 5:48 pm)

Yeah... That person always gets screwed over if they stay. There is no negotiating with job creators, they would rather choke on a penny or give it to someone else but never let some loser negotiate it from them.

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wutwutwut (Jan 4, 2019 - 7:24 am)

Agree, especially for a minion as OP describes him/herself.

I have seen it work out fine in the case of one paralegal who was truly a superstar, and there were some extraordinary other circumstances going on at the same time.

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toooldtocare (Jan 4, 2019 - 11:39 am)

Agree with all of the above: do not do this.

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flharfh (Jan 3, 2019 - 5:28 pm)

300 fewer billables with a 5k raise is a pretty big improvement. That's like six hours less work per week for more money, meaning it's a big raise in terms of $/hr. But obviously all the time saved would just be spent commuting.

Would you be able to move closer to the new job if its working out after a few months? That's what I would consider doing.

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slippinjimmy (Jan 3, 2019 - 5:40 pm)

My s/o works biglaw in the city where we live, which makes it hard to justify moving for my sake. It also makes it slightly easier to justify leaving money on the table.

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flharfh (Jan 3, 2019 - 5:28 pm)

double post

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lolwutjobs (Jan 3, 2019 - 9:09 pm)

5k seems like a small increase. You live in a big city. You can't find a 90k, 1800 job for biz lit by leveraging your gen. liability experience?

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smallyer (Jan 3, 2019 - 9:58 pm)

That commute tho.... Personally not worth it at all. That's 2 hours a day, 10 hours a week, 500 hours a year of your life that you will never get back. If you want to find a different job find something local.

If you're in a big city then that 45-60 minute commute is probably only 25 miles. 50 miles a day, 250 miles a week, 12,500 miles a year. The 2018 IRS rate is $0.545 per mile (estimating fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle), so it will cost you $6,812.50 per year to take that job just for the drive not counting your time. For a 5k pay increase??? You lose money taking this job.

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jeffm (Jan 4, 2019 - 12:20 am)

The commute will be rough. The "greater responsibility" will eventually turn into "dull work," although it will give you a spike and renewed vigor for a while, at least, assuming all else goes smoothly.

The bonus possibility is just that. High-dangling fruit, except to the extent there is a proven history of what amounts people have actually been getting.

You have to decide what you are really after. If it is experience over money, then jump ship.

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orgdonor (Jan 4, 2019 - 1:19 am)

You've got some valuable information from this offer: you need a better job. The billable hours requirement doesn't match the pay.

But commuting SUUUUUCCCKKKKS. If you're a laid back guy who likes lunching with friends do not underestimate how bad it will make your life.

Find a different new job closer by. You're being abused where you are.

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wutwutwut (Jan 4, 2019 - 7:31 am)

The new job doesn't really seem to work out on paper, all things considered.

But to more directly answer one of your questions, as a hiring manager seeing a resume where the lawyer moved to a new job after only 2 years at her first job - not a red flag by itself. Unless the lawyer then proceeded to move to a 3rd job after only 2 years at the second, etc.

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mtbislife (Jan 4, 2019 - 11:38 am)

I would stay and work towards getting out of ID in general instead of taking a slightly less crappy ID job in exchange for a longer commute and all the other uncertainties that go along with starting a new job.

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jd4hire (Jan 4, 2019 - 3:19 pm)

People seemed to miss one important statement you made - "my s/o works biglaw."

If that's the case, marry your s/o (if you love them and want to) and find a job that provides immense quality of life and do what you can to support your s/o.

All of the above points are valid. A couple of things I'd add - I've worked at 2 ID firms. Both handled a wide array of cases, but the second had a much better concentration of higher end ID work - employment, med mal, significant injuries, interestingly academic coverage matters, etc.

I too was attracted to the more sexy litigation. At the end of the day, it kind of sucks. You can be a little fast and loose on the lower end cases and get more leeway. The reporting requirements, attention to detail and caring about your client and the outcome of their case is more important as the exposure grows. Banging out a 3 page report of counsel on a $50,000 MVA is relatively straightforward. Putting together a 40 page initial report to AIG after analyzing 5,000 pages of meds sucks. If you're representing low-end MVAs, you know that your client doesn't give two craps about the litigation and just wants it to stop so they don't have to get docs, sign ints, prep for a deposition, etc. The real client (the carrier) does care but only in the aggregate(except the young adjusters who are bitter at the shakedown artists). When the client is a doctor and their professional reputation is at issue (and potentially personal assets) they and the carrier will care deeply.

Also, I've been promised more responsibility and have come up empty. I'd try and talk to an associate at the new place. In my experience, the higher value the case, the less likely a partner is to give you significant responsibility. I would think this would be especially true at a relatively newer firm as they may not have longstanding relationships with the carriers. Also, partners are normally more reluctant to involve associates (or delegate the fun tasks) to associates on high-value cases as one screw up could lose them a book of business ranging in value from $50,000 to 2 million. I managed to pull in a med mal carrier at my last firm. The managing partner treated the client as his (he gave me all the credit and I was rewarded financially) but he did it to build the relationship and trust (I'm young and he had the experience). I was very picky about any other associates doing work as I didn't want the client to be overbilled, get bad work product etc.

P.S. I love the error message when you include a dirty word - "Posts with an expletive, expletive, racial term, expletive, ethnic slur, etc will not be tolerated."

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lolwutjobs (Jan 4, 2019 - 5:17 pm)

Please teach me how to land a med mal carrier

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jd4hire (Jan 6, 2019 - 10:34 am)

Pretty big stroke of luck...my LS classmate had graduated and went to work as a litigation specialist for the carrier (fancy term for adjuster). I cold called him and he said "as a matter of fact, our defense counsel for your two jurisdictions just retired and we were looking for someone to fill that role." About a month later, I got my first case. They started flowing in after that. That was going to provide the best opportunity for partnership, but I bailed for high-end plaintiff work (hopefully a better long-term opportunity...we'll see).

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