Congratulations! The hard part is over - you've gotten through the interview process and have a job offer in hand. You are now faced with an important decision - should you stay or should you go? How do you know if this offer is the right offer for you? It could be a no brainer - maybe this is your ''dream firm'' - the place you've been dying to work at since law school. You may just have a gut feeling that this is the right place for you. Perhaps you have several friends who work at this firm and you know what you are getting yourself into. But what if none of the above scenarios apply to you? We all know that lawyers tend to over analyze and making an important career decision can seem overwhelming. So how do you effectively evaluate a job offer and decide if accepting the position it is the right career move? First, spend some time thinking about what you are looking for in your next job. Once you have identified what is important to you, you should evaluate your potential employer to see how they stack up. Consider the following factors when evaluating your job offer.
1. Compensation - Even if money isn't the driving force behind your job search, you probably want to be compensated fairly and at market value. Your recruiter can provide you with accurate salary data and inform you on how your offer compares to what other attorneys are making at your level, in your practice area, in your region and at a firm that is similar in size. There are other aspects of compensation to consider and evaluate besides salary. Be sure you have adequate information on the following:
- Bonus: Is there an annual bonus? Is it guaranteed? Is the bonus performance based, hours based or a combination of the two? What is the hours requirement for a bonus? When are bonuses paid out? Are you eligible for a prorated bonus if you start in the middle of the bonus year?
- Salary: When will you be eligible for a salary review? What have the increases in salary been historically for the position, and are they based on performance and/or hours billed?
- Other: Does the firm offer reimbursement for moving costs, bar admission, CLE classes?