—Seeking Alternatives, Washington, DCAnswer:
Dear Seeking Alternatives,
Your friends are right. Don't quit your day job until you have another position lined up. There are several exceptions to this rule (which I will discuss below), but first let me explain why it is important to have a job when you are looking for a job.
Being employed by a respected law firm provides you with an air of credibility that you should not give up without understanding the consequences. Putting it another way, being unemployed is a stigma that will make it harder for you to find new work. Employers have little objective information to go by when making hiring decisions. Therefore, employment status can become an important factor in helping a prospective employer weigh the likelihood that you will make a good hire.