Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

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Apply for New Jobs?

Yes, look for a new job
16
94%
No, stick it out for at least a year
1
6%
 
Total votes: 17

Anonymous User
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Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:24 pm

In December, I left a regional mid-law firm for a small firm with three attorneys (two partners and one associate) that specialized in a practice area I was interested in. I vetted this firm and the partners by meeting with four other attorneys in the area, and all said how busy the firm was, that they had good reputations, etc.

Well, it's been three months now, and things are just batshit insane. I feel like I'm swimming in ethical violations and eventually going to get caught up in this shit. I don't want to get too much into details, but basically, partners NEVER return any calls, partners never follow up anything, and the partners just generally try to run this firm remotely (they haven't covered a single hearing since I've been here). I feel like I'm covering my ass more for malpractice than actually practicing.

One quick representative example: Former client called, her husband died, and she wanted a copy of deed with joint rights of survivorship that was supposed to be filed in 2012. I go check the file--the deed never got recorded, there's no bill in the file, and there's no fee agreement. I bring this up to the partner, he has me create a bill out of thin air, and then we have to jump through all these hoops to record the deed (now that one of the signors died).

It was *almost* classic malpractice. Note--I've been here for three months and I seemingly run into a situation like this every two weeks or so. God knows what's lurking around the corner.

So, I told my dad (also an attorney), and he seems to think I need to get my ass out of dodge and look for jobs already. He says the potential taint of working somewhere for just three months will be irrelevant long term, and that my first priority is to just cover my ass, protect my license, and get a job at a more reputable firm.

Any thoughts?

minnbills

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby minnbills » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:43 pm

Get outta there

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby objctnyrhnr » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:09 pm

That’s bad. Get out

gregfootball2001

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby gregfootball2001 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:10 pm

minnbills wrote:Get outta there

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:04 am

OP here. Just curious, how will this effect getting a new job? Only staying three months at a firm is a bad look. I never like to disparage an attorney or law firm, but is the only way to handle this to be honest with subsequent potential employers and tell them that I thought there were ethical violations going on?

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby Subban_Fan » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Just curious, how will this effect getting a new job? Only staying three months at a firm is a bad look. I never like to disparage an attorney or law firm, but is the only way to handle this to be honest with subsequent potential employers and tell them that I thought there were ethical violations going on?


Say it was a "bad culture fit", then go from there. Say culture is really important to you and once of the most important thing to a law firm's future success and growth.

omar1

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby omar1 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:20 pm

Subban_Fan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Just curious, how will this effect getting a new job? Only staying three months at a firm is a bad look. I never like to disparage an attorney or law firm, but is the only way to handle this to be honest with subsequent potential employers and tell them that I thought there were ethical violations going on?


Say it was a "bad culture fit", then go from there. Say culture is really important to you and once of the most important thing to a law firm's future success and growth.


^This

Plus, I think in some states, you have to report ethical violations to the bar, so I would try to disclose as little as possible about the "ethics" of the firm.

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:58 pm

omar1 wrote:^This

Plus, I think in some states, you have to report ethical violations to the bar, so I would try to disclose as little as possible about the "ethics" of the firm.


That's kind of my concern. I'm very wary of disclosing any of this to anyone, and I'm in a relatively small legal community. Leaving my boss's office so suddenly is going to be pretty alarming to potential employers.

Alternatively, I'm wondering whether to just go out on my own, which I've thought about a lot before. I've been practicing for 4-5 years now, and while I know I'm not an expert, I have a pretty good handle on civil litigation and the process. I also have three big civil litigation files that came with me, so I know they would leave with me from here. I'm also in my hometown, so I think I have enough contacts to at least get some practice churning through the door.

jd20132013

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:17 pm

Give a four week notice now and worry about next steps later. You need to get out yesterday

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:30 am

Thanks all for the replies. My boss is on vacation this week, and I have a vacation the following week, so I am going to put in my notice in mid-April.

jd20132013

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:59 pm

Put in your notice on day one of your vacation

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:27 pm

jd20132013 wrote:Put in your notice on day one of your vacation


Wouldn't this be in bad form? As much as I'm frustrated with this job I don't want to do anything unprofessional.

jd20132013

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:55 pm

Who cares, the whole firm is bad form.

If you care so much then cancel the first day of your vacation and give the notice

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby Mr. Archer » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:49 pm

Don't delay leaving a place that puts your license in jeopardy because of "bad form." Try to go back to the old job if you have to.

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Re: Just Three Months in and Thinking About Applying to Other Firms (Tag: Not Big Law)

Postby Jackoose » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:08 pm

The whole looking bad because you left a firm early is overplayed I think. I left as a first year after 6 months to a better firm. Not because it was better but because of the toxic environment at the first firm.

You can tell your new firm why your are leaving (don't tell the old firm, just say its a bad fit) but talk about it as little as possible.



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