10 Biggest Career Mistakes Big Firm Attorneys Make
 

In this article, you will learn the unwritten rules you need to follow to survive and thrive in a big law firm at time when the option of leaving practicing law is considered by more and more attorneys.


Here are some interesting observations:
 
  • The majority of attorneys who join large law firms out of law school may never make as much money (adjusted for inflation) ever again. That's right. Even in smaller firms. In New York and Los Angeles, a young associate can make $200,000+ a year. The average attorney with 15 years of experience does not even make that much. Many in-house and government jobs pay senior attorneys less than $100,000 a year.
  • Most attorneys who join large law firms out of law school never work at firms as prestigious ever again. Attorneys generally move a few times (to large law firms) before finally stepping out of a large law firm into something smaller or different. Once they do this, the odds are greater than 95% that they will never work in a large law firm ever again.
  • Only half of the attorneys who join large law firms out of law school are likely to be practicing law in 10 years, while over 85% of the attorneys who join small law firms are likely to still be practicing in 10 years. I have no idea why this is. Maybe the attorneys who were in large firms became burned out and demoralized. What I do know is that most attorneys I see who join large law firms end up leaving the practice of law.
  • The majority of attorneys who join large law firms out of law school will never work on matters as large or for clients as important again. Most attorneys will never have the experience of working on as important matters ever again as they had in the large law firm. For the most part, the rest of their careers (if they stay practicing law) will be dedicated to servicing smaller clients.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
 

The fact that the future for most large law firm attorneys holds (1) less money, (2) less prestige, (3) less important work, and (4) the strong possibility they may even stop practicing law says something. Big firm life is not for everyone; however, I sincerely believe that many people who should be in large law firms are not because they do not understand how to keep those jobs.


 

See the following articles for more information: