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A labor and employment associate at a small law firm contacted me. They were interested in moving to a larger law firm. The attorney attended a top law school where they finished at the top of their class. In addition, the attorney was a summer associate at a major American law firm and also received an offer from that firm. During the attorney’s third year of law school, a partner the attorney worked for during the summer, left to start their own law firm. They called the attorney and asked her if she would like to join them and, incredibly, she did even though they offered her a drastically lower compensation in addition to the risk of going to a brand-new firm.
Despite that risk, during the two years the attorney worked within the firm, she was able to get substantial experience, including arguing important motions, writing substantive dispositive motions and taking several depositions. While she obtained essential experience, this attorney decided she would prefer to join another major law firm.
What I respect about this attorney’s background is she held more interested as a young attorney in the quality of the experience than better compensation. She worked for less money than she would have otherwise made, but also received very good experience. By the time she was ready to join another large law firm, she knew exactly what to expect if she joined a large law firm.
This attorney did not have to look for a new position very long. Within a short time several law firms took interest in her. One major law firm that had a highly regarded labor and employment practice, interviewed her and made her an offer shortly thereafter. This attorney was very likable and fun to work with during her search. She was always in a good mood and a real pleasure to speak with. I’m confident she will have an excellent career at her new law firm.
What was unusual about this attorney is the fact that she started off at a small law firm. Most attorneys do the opposite and start off at large law firms only to move to smaller boutique law firms later. Despite the offer given to her to work in a large law firm during her law school education, this attorney chose to work in a smaller law firm first and then move to a larger law firm after she received a convincing amount of experience.