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2 job offers - Choose Mid-sized or boutique law firm?

jerichosmom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
240
I've never posted in this section so forgive me if I break any rules...but I really need some outside opinions on this. Thanks in advance.

My husband is leaving a very toxic work environment for something hopefully better. Here are his options. We need to decide in the next few days as both firms are expecting an answer. He's currently an income partner at a very large (top 10) law firm that is quietly shutting down his practice group.

Option 1 - Mid-sized firm only 6 miles away from home. 27 attorneys, coming an as income partner. The firm seems to have a very strong core group of experienced attorneys and steady corporate clients. In 2 years, they will revisit his offer and adjust accordingly...meaning he may be up for equity partner and will get a much bigger share of profits. Gets 15% of whatever he brings in plus a base salary. He's never worked (or even heard of) this firm so it's unchartered territory.

Option 2 - Small, boutique firm consisting of only 2 partners and 3 associates of which he's worked with and has known the partners for almost 20 years. Same salary as above but will revisit the arrangement in 6 months and possibly be a named/equity partner within a year. Work load seems to be consistent but DH will really have to hustle to bring in clients which he's never had to do before. My concern is the lack of solid associate help unlike option 1 and the constant stress of finding new business. If he makes equity/named partner, his share of profits could be at the 50% level since there is so little overhead.

DH is very risk adverse when it comes to personal situations which is why Option #1 is an ideal. But, it will take years (if it even happens), for him to reach the same career and financial level that Option #2 presents.

Please give me your thoughts.
 

jerichosmom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
240
PS Moderator, can you move his thread to Hangout? I just realized that this is in the wrong subforum. Thanks
 

JGator

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
1,422
I would go with option 1 to avoid having to bring in his own clients which will add a huge layer of stress.
 

SMC

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
2,035
jerichosmom|1436913266|3902860 said:
PS Moderator, can you move his thread to Hangout? I just realized that this is in the wrong subforum. Thanks
You have to hit "Report Concern" (button on the upper right of your orig post) and select "Wrong Forum" to request the move.
 

packrat

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
10,615
I too would choose Option 1.

There's something to be said for steady work and not having the added stress. Money's great, sure, but..it's not everything. A smaller firm like that I'd be concerned w/not having the associate help that he is used to-that's added stress.
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
From a big firm to a boutique - I think he'd have a lot of culture shock on top of the other changes too. Less support and staff, less free spending on random things like retreats and donuts every Thursday, as well as a smaller marketing budget, etc. They're not necessarily bad things - keeping expenses lower and more reasonable (and justified), but he does have to prepare himself for that change.

I'd pick No. 1 for him. If he's never client developed before, he'll soon see that those types of activities take time - to develop relationships, get the word out that you are doing X, Y, Z, etc. He has to get his mojo going for it too, because client development does take a lot of time and it's a skill he has to grow and practice too.

Just because the boutique will re-evaluate within six months doesn't mean he'll likely make equity partner. His position in the firm can go down too if they see he cannot bring in enough work to cover himself, plus expenses. On the other hand, even though the mid-size says they'll re-evaluate in two years - if he does really well and is bringing in a lot of business, there's no reason why he couldn't approach them for a re-evaluation earlier.

I would investigate the mid-size more though. Have him talk to other colleagues and people who have worked there in the past. It's a bit concerning that he's never heard of this firm before. Sometimes it's just big firm blinders, but he should get around and look into them more. There's always a lot of promises on the table when they're trying to attract potential partners and a book a business. You'll never fully know the situation until you get in there sometimes, but I always find interesting bits talking to people who have left an employer for other opportunities, and why.

Anyway, let us know what he chose. ;-) Good luck to you both!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,356
I would pick #1 as well. There is something to be said about a shorter commute, and it's easy to go down from large to small firm, but not so easy the other way around.
 

blingbunny10

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
848
In addition to what posters have mentioned above, I would also consider what future career opportunities he would have coming out of Option 1 vs Option 2, which probably depends in part on his specific practice group. Would going to a mid-law level firm close off or open up any options of particular interest for him? Would choosing the boutique firm mean that he's in it for the long haul and can't get back to working for mid- or large- law firms?

Being risk averse myself, I would go with Option 1, but if Option 2 were to open more doors long-term, it would certainly be a much tougher choice.
 

tina sparkle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
171
A lot of this depends on your situation in life. Are you secure financially, or do you need the guaranteed benefits and income from job number 1? Sometimes it's hard to be your own rainmaker but may pay off in the end. Only you two can decide. Good luck.
 

HegemonyCricket

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 20, 2014
Messages
282
Jerichosmom, any updates on this? I would have suggested option #1 as well, but I understand how difficult these decisions are. Hope it worked out for you all.
 
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