[The following question is a composite of several questions asked by several different candidates. The name of the firm has also been changed.]

Evaluating a job offer non-financial issues.

Q. I have received a job offer from Smith & Jones and I would appreciate any insights that you have about the firm. In particular, I was wondering what you can tell me about the work environment, the hours and the chances of making partner. Also, how quickly do I need to respond to their offer?

A. At some point in almost every lawyer's career, the time will come to move to another job. Changing jobs is a well-established reality in the rapidly changing business and legal environment in which we live.

In the midst of this continuous change, it is now more important than ever to know how to assess a new job. So here are some thoughts to help you make the "right" decision.

The starting point in evaluating any new job opportunity should always be "you." If you know what you want, what your goals are and what steps you need to take to achieve your goals, you will be in a much better position to evaluate opportunities. You are the only one who can really set your own career agenda.