Is it foolish to go to a small firm right out of school?

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Is it foolish to go to a small firm right out of school?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:08 pm

I am a graduating third-year with an offer from a small firm in a small to mid-size market. The firm is defense lit (maritime and insurance) with 7 attorneys. The partners seems like great people who are very invested in training new attorneys. The billable are reasonable and incentivized with monthly growth. I am just concerned that working a small firm right out of school may be limiting. Does anyone have advice on this? My city has two or three satellite offices of biglaw firms, but other than that it is mostly firms with 25-40 attorneys or 5-10 attorneys. Thanks in advance!

BrainsyK

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Re: Is it foolish to go to a small firm right out of school?

Postby BrainsyK » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:26 pm

What do you want to do? What are your alternatives?

BasilHallward

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Re: Is it foolish to go to a small firm right out of school?

Postby BasilHallward » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:33 pm

Of course it will be limiting. You're most likely not going to go from a small insurance defense shop to a big law firm. It's a small firm in a small to mid-sized market. I'm thinking St. Louis/Ft Worth or the like. On the plus side, if you have connections in the market, you can build a nice practice for yourself in a low COL city. And to echo the previous posts, what are you alternatives? If there are none, it sounds like you should be working there or risk not having a job out of law school.

nixy

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Re: Is it foolish to go to a small firm right out of school?

Postby nixy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:22 pm

Yeah, it's more foolish to turn down a job than to go to a small firm right out of school. You can accept the offer and keep looking elsewhere.

That said, "limiting" depends on what you want to do. I went to law school in a market that sounds a bit like yours, and if the vast majority of lawyers in that market work in those kinds of firms, and you want to stay in that market, I don't think it's going to "limit" you, it sounds like a realistic outcome for your context. And I'd rather be at a small firm with good people/work than a big firm with bad people/work.

r6_philly

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Re: Is it foolish to go to a small firm right out of school?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:54 pm

It is limiting in the sense that you will not be trained and exposed to certain things at a small, specialty firm. But if that is an area you can see yourself practicing then it is not a bad place to be. My advice: specialty and insurance defense isn't for everyone, so be sure you want to do that.

km0ney

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Re: Is it foolish to go to a small firm right out of school?

Postby km0ney » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:19 pm

Depends on your goals. What are they?
Last edited by QContinuum on Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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Re: Is it foolish to go to a small firm right out of school?

Postby QContinuum » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:43 am

BasilHallward wrote:And to echo the previous posts, what are you alternatives? If there are none, it sounds like you should be working there or risk not having a job out of law school.

This can't be emphasized highly enough. OP, if you're going to be graduating in May 2019 and this is your only offer on the table, you should absolutely take it. The legal job market is rough even for the strongest 3L candidates: Most employers (aside from BigLaw/BigFed) prefer to hire folks who can start right away, which means hiring folks who're already admitted to the bar.



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