Why Most Lawyers Should Not Work in Large Law Firms: The Only Three Reasons Any Attorney Should Work in a Large Law Firm

Regardless of the stage of your legal career, there are only three reasons you should work in a law firm:

(1) To learn a marketable skill that is in demand in the business world and that you can later use to get clients;
(2) To utilize the law firm as an entrepreneurial platform to solve problems encountered by businesses; and
(3) To learn how to run a business and sell your services to businesses willing to pay law firm prices for those services.

Working in a large law firm for any other reason is insanity. However—incredibly—most attorneys are working inside of law firms for other reasons.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
The Wrong Reasons to Work in a Large Law Firm

Many attorneys work in major law firms for money. Far too many attorneys are under the strange impression that working in a law firm is a good path to wealth. They apparently do not realize that anyone motivated enough to work the sorts of hours demanded of a law firm associate, counsel, or income partner would make far more money doing something else like being a real estate agent or starting a restaurant. At least in those cases, the person would be building something, cultivating a skill, and have returning clients—and not sitting anonymously behind a desk all day, facing the pressure of making mistakes, and worrying constantly about losing his or her job.