The Top 15 Reasons Attorneys Should Leave Their Law Firm Jobs and Look for a New Job
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

The decision to leave any law firm can have positive or negative consequences, so it is important to evaluate it carefully. Leaving a smaller law firm to move to a larger, more prestigious one could drastically increase your salary and career prospects. On the other hand, leaving a large, prestigious law firm to join a smaller firm, or to go in-house, will make it difficult for you ever to get into a major law firm again. Whenever you make a decision to leave a law firm, you make a decision that will either take you one step closer to being successful and happy, or that will take you one step further away from the sort of career and life you are seeking.

The Quality of Your Life Is Proportional to the Quality of Your Decisions

A person’s success is largely a product of that person’s decisions—good and bad. When you look at the most successful people in any profession, you can see that a large part of what made them successful was the decisions they made. Your decisions in your life and career will determine who you become and what you achieve. It is all about making good decisions.

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If you are an attorney, there is often no better way to get ahead, achieve more, and find happiness than by leaving your current law firm and moving to a new one. As a legal placement professional, I believe I am in the self-improvement industry because I am trying to help people improve their happiness, careers, and lives. Since we spend the majority of our lives at work, there is no more important place to do this than through our jobs. While there are plenty of good, solid arguments to be made for staying at your current law firm, there also are many reasons why it makes sense to look around and find a new position.
  1. To Get into a More Prestigious Law Firm.
In my profession, there are two types of attorneys who move law firms: (1) those who are motivated and trying to trade up and (2) those who are trying to trade down (or anywhere). Law firms like attorneys who are trying to trade up. If a law firm thinks you are trying to trade down, the firm will view you with suspicion due to “the law of momentum”—once an attorney starts trading down, he or she will generally not stop that downward slide and will leave the profession, or the law firm environment shortly. Prospective firms will think the attorney is just trying out an “experiment” and will soon make yet another move.