[00:00:00] A lot of people now have been switching positions. And what I'm talking about today is really the reasons that I think it's important either look for or search for a new physician in a law firm. And a lot of people make a lot of mistakes when it comes to this, they will search for jobs when we shouldn't be searching for jobs, they will accept jobs.
[00:00:21] They shouldn't search for. And and many times it's the best decision you can often make is to stay with the law firm humans that you're currently at. That's what I'm going to talk about a little bit today is the reasons you might want to stay or go to a new firm and.
[00:00:37]We counsel people for a living of whether or not to take or accept jobs. And because we're a placement firm, we don't necessarily ever try to sell people on something. We just try to provide information and give not biased advice. Whether or not it's a good move for people to take a new job or look for a job.
[00:00:55] And this is Today's coming the reasons. So the biggest thing that law firms [00:01:00] want to know when when they're trying to hire someone is really why that person's looking for a new job. They they will look at any cover letter you write and so forth that we write or any cover letter that you write.
[00:01:12]They'll look for that information. They'll look for that information. What will be one of the first questions they ask and really when they're when law firms are interviewing, especially when the market's not that hot they're very interested in understanding why the person's moving and and th there's a lot of reasons for that, which I'll go into today, but, your reasons for looking for a new position are very important because the law firm knows that if you're moving for the wrong reasons and you're also going to leave them for the wrong reasons.
[00:01:39] And a lot of times people have. Very trivial reasons for wanting to get a new position. And and then the law firm notes are probably going to have that. And so if you think about it from the standpoint of an employer, trying to build a business, they want to hire people that are gonna stick around.
[00:01:54] And if you're looking for the wrong reasons, it may indicate that, you're not good at your job [00:02:00] or you don't want to be an attorney and I'll start to things. And people, especially young attorneys think that their education and experience is relevant and that will certainly get the firm's attention, but to really get in the door and hired the law firms, always going to want to know why you're looking and there's really no other question that matters.
[00:02:17] And it's the most important by far. And when the law firm decides not to interview you or after they have interviewed you and they stay, they're not going to go forward. Typically they'll just say something like, not enough experience or they'll give very generic explanations for why they're not moving forward with you.
[00:02:36] But really what it comes down to most of the time is that they think you're looking for jobs for the wrong reasons. Now you may not be a good cultural fit and other things, but yeah. For the most of the time, they think it's the wrong reasons. And and if they think you're looking for the wrong reasons, they pro they're going to think that you're probably not going to stay with them either because they want people that are going to be stable, work hard and not be trouble.
[00:02:59] And [00:03:00] and people looking for the wrong reasons are generally going to be there's going to be signs that there's going to be drama and trouble and and and people really want to hire people that are looking for the jobs for the right reasons. It's just very important to understand those reasons and, it's this is probably a the broad thing to say from a guy that's been divorced a couple of times, but.
[00:03:20] Joining the firm as should be decision that's a serious choosing a marriage partner. If you make reckless decisions or you make decisions from a moment, a weakness or you're just not ready for something like that to make a decision, you may pay a terrible price.
[00:03:35]People, for example, get married for a variety of reasons. They may get married from, because they're compatible they may get married because they feel like they can there's there's a mutual support of money or something that, that the, each of them can give each other, their social mobility.
[00:03:51] Sometimes people will move to move up the pecking order. Sometimes people will get together because they're, they think that there's some looks or [00:04:00] attraction or security. Companionship all sorts of things. And, but the thing is that the reasons that people marry a lot of times are wrong and the majority of marriage actually ended divorce.
[00:04:10] And and most attorneys ended up moving firms many times and often several times and ending up in environments where they're not happy. And a job is very important and and if you want to get hired buy it from, you really need to know the reasons for looking for a new job and accepted a new job.
[00:04:28] You have to go into this with a good head on your shoulders and know exactly what it is you're looking for, because if you don't you're going to make mistakes. And I see people make mistakes in, in their job search all the time. And the job search is very important because if you choose correctly you could wind up in a place where you'll be happy.
[00:04:46]And I, it's just very easy to make bad decisions everywhere you look there's people trying to get you bad decisions. And this is one reason at BCG. Like we absolutely do not try to get people to take offers and we'll tell them why it's a good offer, why it's a bad [00:05:00] offer.
[00:05:00] But most of these decisions I Gores and and there's a. Hundreds of thousands of factors that go into people's decisions. So I took them to accept offers or to look for a job and I'm not going to get into all of them. I'll talk about the big ones, but not too long ago, I was looking for a new home and everywhere around me.
[00:05:16]There were people trying to get me to make bad decisions. One real estate station incredibly tried to talk me into purchasing a two bedroom home for three kids, my wife, dog, and a bird which is incredible. Because she, and she actually meant it just because it was her listing.
[00:05:33] She was trying to get a commission a mortgage broker tried to get me go into a dangerous mortgage that would've been very dangerous and hurt me. And other realistic nation got me an offer for my home and told me was the best offer I would ever get. And then ultimately received an offer for $400,000 more.
[00:05:49] And and then also there were lots of homes that I saw that were. Price higher above what they would ever sell for. And then, real estate, of course, we'll show comps and try to help you and make you [00:06:00] justify buying things and get you to make bad decisions. And so it's like that with a job search, like you may be surrounded by friends or family or recruiters or other people that are going to try to get you to take offers because it's in their best interest.
[00:06:13] And but there's all sorts of people that may be trying to get you to make bad decisions and often it's yourself. You may actually have be following some sort of model where you yourself are going to make bad decisions because you will believe that you should be taking a certain type of job or doing something because it's a prestigious firm or it's in a big city and things, and it may not be in your best interest, but you are so programmed to believe that's the cracking do.
[00:06:39]You'll do that. And you know that the marriages are an example. And I'm going to talk about chops too, because when you enter the marriage for the wrong reasons, the results are catastrophic. People will be unhappy all day, every day. You'll get up and happy, go to bed unhappy.
[00:06:55]Your life will be filled with hostility. If a marriage ends, it may, [00:07:00] divorce can last for years, one partner maybe cheating on you all the time and not happy and withdrawn people around the people that are the couple could be unhappy, children and friends and emotion, there's emotional and psychological trauma that some people just never get through.
[00:07:15]I've seen, all sorts of bad things happen and. And then and then people are often held back and their careers and their lives by having that negativity of being consumed with problems. And it's just, it's not a good, when you're with the wrong person or where you're with the wrong job, it's just a very harmful thing.
[00:07:33] And you often don't even realize it because you're just blocking things out. You'll block out a bad job, or you're a block out a bad relationship. And then when people are in bad marriage, they they may suffer money problems. He may suffer health problems. They may suffer substance abuse problems.
[00:07:49] And there's just all sorts of suffering that goes along with making bad decisions that frankly, isn't there. If you've ever been in a really bad relationship and a really good relationship, there's [00:08:00] some differences. There's differences in terms of how you care, what you feel about yourself and how life is for you.
[00:08:06] And that's a big deal. It's all about compatibility and how things click for both. So I've, it's the same thing with jobs, unfortunately, and, and people, so many people join the wrong firms and and they have the same issues and it can be just, I get these calls and they come in quite frequently where, someone needs to talk and they're just at this kind of breaking point.
[00:08:30] And and they and they're often partners and they have never talked to anyone and they're very upset and their lives are falling apart and it's all because of, many times just being in the wrong location around from, or with the wrong people. And, so I talked to a career summit.
[00:08:46]Attorneys about their careers I've been doing so. For just about my entire career. And one of the things I have seen, like I said, is that moving to the wrong firm or being in the wrong firm or the wrong environment can be just as bad of a [00:09:00] choice as a bad marriage partner, can, it can literally destroy your life.
[00:09:03] And I know lots of attorneys that by the time I was in my thirties, I started seeing attorneys that were in their late thirties and early forties dying of of heart attacks and all sorts of things that I don't think they would have had in other professions. And the thing is if an attorney moves to the wrong reason the odds are pretty good that they'll be doing it again.
[00:09:23] And again, And and that's the thing is that if you're moving firms, the law firm, you may be doing it for the wrong reasons. And law firms will see that and and pick up on it. And, just as someone who's been married four times for like the divorce again. So two, one attorney who's been married four times likely move again.
[00:09:41] I heard it something very funny. And I think I might've told this a couple of weeks ago, but. My, my mother had a really good friend that had been married like seven or eight times. And the final time he got married was to his very first wife. And and she said, that's incredible. You married the first person you married again.
[00:09:59] And and he said, [00:10:00] yeah, because I figured. Here at out that every relationship is pretty much the same and the same problems are following me because a lot of them are caused by me. So some of the time, that you might have things that you need to work on that are creating problems and making you unhappy.
[00:10:14] But other times it is the environment you're in. And most of the time, I think it is the environment. I don't think it's the person bringing the problem to it. Sometimes it is. So I think and I, again, I move, I get attorneys, I make placements daily. And so the thing I would say is that I'm all for moving firms and but you have to do it for the right reasons.
[00:10:34] And and when you do move you able to. B need to be able to give law firms the right reasons that you're moving. And and I w I'm going to discuss in a minute, and wrong reasons from women farms. But you just need to understand that, you need to really move for the right reasons and not the wrong reasons.
[00:10:52] And and that's important. And and if you're moving for the wrong reasons then you shouldn't do it. He just, you need to be very careful about the [00:11:00] reasons that you're moving and you need to always understand what the right reasons are at when they are the right reasons.
[00:11:07]I tell people to move, but when they're not the right reasons you need to be very careful and about moving because you're often going to do yourself a lot of harm. So here are the right reasons to move and when you should move. So the right reasons are generally related to an ambition to make more of yourself or to disk, to escape a toxic environment.
[00:11:27]And that is really no fault of your own. Now at the outset, I want to be very clear that that many environments are always going to be will be toxic. So there are certain environments that are toxic, but many times wherever you go is going to have.
[00:11:43]Level of toxicity. So you just need to be aware of that and understand that if you're going to do well then you need to make sure that you're able to adapt to different types of environments and get along in different types of environments. And there are attorneys that, go to the most toxic firms imaginable, but are able to do well [00:12:00] because of the way they conduct themselves in the way they interpret the way environments, the rent.
[00:12:04] But there's often positions where you actually do need to leave. And but what I believe is that the most important thing that law firms want to see, and, but almost always gets people hired. It's when the attorney is trying to move upward. There's something about the firm that they want to go to.
[00:12:19] That represents a natural progression of the attorney's career. Either. They started at a smaller firm. I went to a medium one and did really well there and now want to move to a larger one, or they're going to a smaller one to get more expertise and focus in their practice area. There's just needs to be something.
[00:12:35]That shows people that that law firm is, can do very well. If the person can do very well at that law firm. And and that they're trying to really improve themselves because that sort of ambition can be channeled. And especially when that isn't in the specific practice group and when the person's trying to get ahead, because the law firm wants people that are hungry and to get ahead and want to get ahead.
[00:12:59] And to [00:13:00] one, the wanting to get more work, they want to be challenged more. They want to work with better attorneys and get into bigger legal markets and all that sort of thing. So if the attorney has all that, and it was really trying to do that and that's really honest and so forth, and the attorney can then law firms typically like that, and those are good reasons to move.
[00:13:16] If you feel you can go someplace where you can not only make a much better salary, but you can have more opportunity or you can get better, you can do much better in your practice area. Then the law firm is going to be very interested in you and so you need to make sure that you're doing whatever you can to get into the best firms and to, move ahead.
[00:13:37] And if that's really what is driving you? And another thing that I think is is important is many times if you have a connection that's can also be a really good thing. So law firms will like hiring people if there's a connection there.
[00:13:50] So you, many times you may have a friend who has a connection at the firm you may know someone and that connection means that the law firm will [00:14:00] typically protect you during ups and downs. I know. People that have, have family connections and so forth at certain law firms that have done the most often and have been able to survive inside of large law firms.
[00:14:11]And because of that personal connection on people that have been brought in by friends and so forth that have done well, so personal connection it's a good thing. And and it actually feeling protected and at your job being around people that you believe will help you understanding that that, there's people that are, available that can get things done for, that can have your back and look out for you is very good.
[00:14:34] And I know lots of attorneys that have spent their entire careers at, one firm basically, or two firms or three firms following the same people and maybe having the same boss and that can often get you jobs and, yeah. Those connections are important. I really believe in them and I think that if you have connection somewhere and it can't just be like another associate, for example, or someone, it needs to be someone that really can advance your career, but that can [00:15:00] make a difference.
[00:15:00]Connections are also very important. I, this is not a very good example, but my grandfather was in the college friend of Thomas Dewey, who is the founder of a law firm called through the Ballantine. And when I brought this up in an interview they seem to like it and I ended up getting a job with the firm.
[00:15:15]Is that a connection? Not really, but it's, some sort of connection. And so you need to have connections can get you jobs, but you need to be careful. And and yeah, and that's just something that law firms like. So if you do have a connection and there's a place where you feel like you there's people that will protect you and you can do well there, then I often do recommend that you moved to those firms.
[00:15:36] Sometimes it's not always, and a lot of times people want to achieve something on their own before they move someplace and user connection. But I think that can help quite a bit. Then the final thing that I brought up began, but I just want to talk about it real quickly again, is that, you want to work in a more prestigious firm.
[00:15:52]This is often the right reason. Sometimes it's not now the generally if you work in a more [00:16:00] prestigious firm and then what you can ultimately accomplish. And I have to, be real careful about how I say this, but you can often accomplish more. But it's going to be much more difficult to accomplish and you could at a smaller firm and there's no reason to move just because of firms more prestigious.
[00:16:15] But if you're ambitious and up for the challenge, then it often is a good idea to move and. And I look very favorably personally on attorneys that are starting out at smaller firms and go through a series of moves to get into moves, to get into more prestigious firms. I think that that's a very admirable thing and very very few people really set out with that level of enthusiasm and keep trying.
[00:16:38] But if you keep trying you can often, and you keep improving yourself. You can continually move to more and more prestigious firms. There's countless attorneys out there that, move into AmLaw and Hunter and AmLaw 50 firms that. Started out and, doing personal injury as solo practitioners is all sorts of things that you would never expect them to do, but they just kept improving.
[00:16:59] And [00:17:00] you, the nice thing about being an attorney that I really is it doesn't really matter where you start out. It doesn't matter where you go to law school. It doesn't matter how well you did in law school. It doesn't matter. The initial experience you have, you literally can work your way up into the very top of the legal profession, except for a few firms, maybe, 20, 30 firms.
[00:17:21]You can get into those firms. If you Excel enough as an attorney, And and that's exciting. And so if you really are trying to get ahead then law firms are love that and they can harness that ambition and and they can, your drive they'll put into hours, they'll put into you getting business and then become a more profitable and how they want that spirit.
[00:17:40] If you look around you. And attorneys, you work with that attorneys you're in law school with and so forth. You can tell who has sex period and who doesn't. And that spirit is the enthusiasm for the practice of law, the enthusiasm for growing that is what law firms want. And, if you think about it who would you want representing you?
[00:17:59] Would you want a [00:18:00] spirit, an attorney, or would you want an attorney that didn't have that kind of spirit? And I certainly would be someone that would want a very spirit attorney and I've made the mistake before of hiring attorneys who didn't have that spirit. And it's definitely a harm me. So think about that.
[00:18:15]If you can get enthusiastic and you really want to work in a better firm, then you need to hold on to that and you need to continually, not let that go because that's going to take you very far and a prestigious firm, if that's what you want and you are enthusiastic, will carry more weight and you can do more ultimately there, then you can at a lot of smaller firms many times, but not always.
[00:18:37]Sometimes there's a lot more advancement potential in smaller firms than there are large firms, but, just as someone that got into Yale law school would probably be crazy to go to Vanderbilt instead, generally. And this is not always, but generally you're going to be much better off taking a position at the most prestigious firm.
[00:18:54] If you're planning on spending your career at a more prestigious firm. And if you feel like you're strong enough [00:19:00] to survive and prosper there, and if you don't then then that's another question, most people will do the best that they can. And then you'll who arrives through the level.
[00:19:09]That you're capable of and you'll stay at the lower you're capable of. That's one of the good reasons to move arms another good reason to move firms, doesn't always involve working in the most prestigious. Many people believe that moving to a procedures firms is a good idea, but sometimes I think moving to a less prestigious firm actually quite often is a good idea because if you move to a less prestigious firm, there's often going to be a lot more opportunities for advancement.
[00:19:31] And and if you think about it there's so many firms out there where it's almost virtually impossible to become a partner, at least as a worker bee. It's and even bringing in business in those firms is exceptionally difficult because of the caliber of clients they expect.
[00:19:47] So if you're in a position where there's not an opportunity for advancement your current firm, because you're at this major firm where even making counsel is next to impossible, then one of the smartest things you can do is move [00:20:00] to a smaller firm. If you moved to a smaller firm, you can suddenly be a big fish in a small pond.
[00:20:05] You can use your background to attach a bigger plan, to attract bigger clients, and you can do all sorts of things to advance yourself. And and that it's an important factor. Now I did put this in the presentation of parentheses, but one of the things that happens is the largest procedures firms will often, delay making partners, even their very best attorneys for a long time, because they want to weed people out that are just don't have the the stain power.
[00:20:31] So you, and you never know. They want to see who really wants it. And and many attorneys, you go to smaller firms than house and so forth might actually have been com partners if they stayed. Which is pretty funny when you think about it, but yeah. Once people leave before they're ever evaluated.
[00:20:47] And but if you they're there before they ever really have the opportunity to come a partner, but if you're ambitious and you are able to feel like you're not being held back at your current firm, then you may be an [00:21:00] excellent choice. You may be able to advance into a much larger firm.
[00:21:04]You may be better off going to a firm where there's a lot more advancement opportunity. The other thing is that many partners will move to firms that may offer them more cross selling opportunities. So for example at a lot firms that only does patent prosecution attorney may want to move to a firm that also does patent litigation corporate and other types of works so that they turn, it can maintain a close relationship with our clients and not worry about those clients being poached by their law firms with more resources to handle those sorts of legal matters.
[00:21:35] So that's often a very legitimate reason for moving law firms as well. And and something you need to think about. And there's also a many law firms that seem to be constantly experienced periods of turmoil because of various reasons. Law firms you may want to have more stability.
[00:21:51] That's another reason for moving firms. A law firm many law firms have lots of are having major problems for tons of partners are leaving. They're [00:22:00] losing lots of clients. They're having Yeah. Being known as a very difficult place to work there so it becomes in the attorney's best interest to move firms and and an attorney really needs to be in a position of putting down roots with the expectation that they'll be able to be there for the future.
[00:22:15] And so there are law firms most law firms, by the way, almost all of them go through lots of ups and downs. There's no law firm out there that hasn't. People haven't forecast doom and gloom for in the past. And some of it is real and some of it isn't, but if the law firm's not stable on having serious ongoing problems, then there's often going to be very good reasons that you may want to leave.
[00:22:37] And, when the law firms getting ready to go out of business and have all sorts of issues, you can, you, you often can tell and it's not just the media, but it's, major partners of the best people and that sort of thing. And so that's happened in your firm many times, it's smart leaf.
[00:22:51]And the other thing is a lack of stability does not always mean that the law firms having temporary problems. The law firms, like I said, go through ups and downs and so forth, [00:23:00] but many times law firms have issues and people start leaving. If the law firm is growing quickly.
[00:23:07]So the law firm is putting systems into place and people will leave because of that. If the market is slow many times there's going to be layoffs if a lack of stability may mean that the law firm is coming apart at the seams or constantly seems to be going out of business.
[00:23:20] And if this is the case they're generally signs. These are often signs you should be looking elsewhere. Another reason that a good reason to move firms is also if you want more work. So what tends to happen is if there's not a lot of work and the work slowdown at your firm has been fairly con Consistent and going on over time then that's a sign of trouble if you don't have things to do and bill and if you're constantly asking for work and if there's not a lot of work and everybody's complaining, there's not a lot of work then then typically what'll happen at any firm is they will lay people off eventually.
[00:23:56]And they will often do so very quickly. The larger firms [00:24:00] tend to act very quickly, the smaller firms, not as quickly, but if you're not profitable for them that they will often let you go now larger firms. But I sit in the larger firms, the largest firms typically are, have very numbers driven and understand exactly what's going on many times, medium to smaller firms aren't as numbers driven.
[00:24:19] So they don't always is here. Let me just see one second. I'm sorry. I'd have to grab some.
[00:24:25]sorry about that. Yeah, so the access to work is obviously w one of the most important things, and it's a reason that a lot of people leave other things that can happen to you at firms as well are many times an attorney can get frozen out. So if the law firm doesn't like you typically what they will do.
[00:24:43]You just say, we'll stop giving you work and you don't know why that is. It can be because you did a bad job on an assignment. It could be because they've decided that they just have no use for you. You often don't even know, but law firms will often freeze people out in an attempt to get them to leave because [00:25:00] the unspoken rule in every law firm is that if you're not getting work, then they think that you will start looking for a job.
[00:25:07]The other thing too is if you're following partners and the people that you tend to work for them most closely don't have work. That's also not a good sign. And law firms don't have work for a variety of reasons sometimes it's because they do bad work sometimes because of the rates are too high.
[00:25:21]Sometimes because the attorneys aren't aggressive enough in beginning work, but you need to be in an environment that sustains you. And I believe that the most important thing that an attorney needs to be aware of is to always have access to work. The more access to work you have the better off you're going to be.
[00:25:38] So you always need to do whatever you can to have access to work. And that, in my opinion is one of the most important reasons for looking. And it's not to say that you should leave when work slows down. However, anytime there's a consistent lack of work, it's a bad sign because it means your jobs risk.
[00:25:54] I've seen some of the most the largest firms in the country. Anytime there's a work [00:26:00] slowdown, whether that means that corporate slows down because there's not enough deal flow coming in, whether it means they settled two or three cases in a row. And then all of a sudden, no one's working.
[00:26:09] What that, what happens at all those times is almost all big law firms will suddenly start letting people go. And then and it also means that there's fewer advancement opportunities. So there's fewer advancement opportunities for partners associates and others. And the more here, the more you're able to.
[00:26:26]Getting to get access to work the better off you'll be. The other thing is another reason to move is for wanting better compatibility with the people that you're working with. So some attorneys simply are not compatible with the people that they're working with. So different people have different personalities.
[00:26:41]If an attorney doesn't fit in with one group of people, then they're going to be much better off. Working with other people that they might be more compatible with. There's nothing wrong with moving jobs or switching firms if you're not compatible with a group of attorneys, but sometimes you're just not gonna get along with certain types of people.
[00:26:58]There's different firms [00:27:00] have different personalities and ways of thinking and operating and you just you need to be around people that you feel comfortable with, and you're not always going to be comfortable with different types of attorneys. And if you're not, then it often makes sense to leave and look or new position.
[00:27:16] And I, this it's the thing is that, there's, there are certain environments that are very conservative. There are certain environments that are very liberal. There's certain environments where. The people have all known each other for a long time or they get together and they're friends outside of work and you may not be part of that group.
[00:27:32] And if you don't feel compatible with the attorneys you're working with, there's nothing wrong with leaving. And if you find a group that you're going to be more compatible with you just, you really want to be around people that you feel comfortable with. So I think that's a, also a very good reason to have.
[00:27:47] Another thing that's important is being closer to home. I think that a lot of attorneys should be moving closer to home. I think that many times working in the market, you grew up with as a very good decision or [00:28:00] an a market you're comfortable with. But I speak to attorneys all the time that drive two and a half hours to work each day.
[00:28:06]I was speaking to an attorney not too long ago that lived in LA and was commuting to Fresno for work. Fresno is I don't know how far it is. It's three and a half, four hours. So he was, he thought the only job he could give us in Fresno. So he was commuting from LA to Fresno and he didn't do it each day.
[00:28:21] He had an apartment there, but then he would come home and see his families on the weekends. And this is just, if you're doing something like that, it doesn't make sense. You can definitely get a job closer to home. Do you know, a lot of attorneys that will fly home each weekend to be with their families as if the only job available for an attorney is, you need to fly in a plane.
[00:28:39]If you're at a firm, you know where the, the firm's too far from your home, then, relocate into a location is more convenient. It's more convenient, it's acceptable. There's nothing wrong with relocating. It'd be close to home. If you can't move. Now, generally I advise attorneys to live close to their jobs, but if you can't get a location there, then that's just something to think about.
[00:28:59]The [00:29:00] other thing is that better management, so many law firms are very poorly managed or they're going through a major changes due to. The management and the management affirm makes a big difference. Yeah, w there's cycles that happen in law firms. So what will happen is the managers, people that are managing the firm will, will get older.
[00:29:19]And they'll continue to get older. They'll pay a lot of the older attorneys there. They don't have business, a lot of money. Then the younger people will be frustrated and want to make more money. So they'll get on in management roles and then they'll start letting Deadwood. Dead weight go and making things more difficult for creating higher our expectations and so forth.
[00:29:39] So all law firms go through different management cycles. That's just one of them, but there's all sorts of them. And there's always good reasons for attorneys who are not happy with different changes in their law firms to move. But if a law firms better managed, it can definitely create a security for its attorneys and Myers more opportunities and other advantages.
[00:29:58] And if the law firms not. [00:30:00] Managed it can often lead to a very toxic culture. So that's also a good reason to move. Another reason is just to spend more time with your family and have a better work-life balance. There are law firms that actually do have a decent work-life balance.
[00:30:12] Most of the time the firms that are like that they're in different markets than major markets. And sometimes they're in major markets, but most of the law firms that have a good work-life balance are in markets where every firm kind of has a, that work-life balance and there's nothing wrong.
[00:30:28]With wanting to be a part of a family where affirm and so forth, where you can have a good work-life balance. And and that's perfectly acceptable, but and many people do that. I see people all the time move from major markets to smaller markets and they can't believe how much better their lives and careers are since doing that.
[00:30:46]And that's a good reason to move, to spend time with your family and so forth, if you don't want to work in a major, very hectic firm. And that can be a good reason. And then the other reason another good reason is also to easily generate so [00:31:00] many law firms will have billing rates that are so high, that the only types of clients that would possibly ever be interested are giant corporations.
[00:31:07]And it can be very difficult for a young attorneys, especially to generate work that at that if they don't, have they built a network of largest companies. And so many times he'll go to work in smaller firms that have lower billing rates. And other attorneys may make a decision to do that each year.
[00:31:24] And I, that I work with work with go to much smaller firms so they can generate clients. And if you're able to bring in clients that gives you a lot more freedom. And and you can become a much more successful attorney doing that. So if you really do have a plan to bring in more clients and you can often do that at a much smaller firm.
[00:31:44] If you have the flexibility to do that another reason to move is that if you want a lot more money, so money is not the only reason to move firms, but it can be a very good reason. And, sometimes the pay differentials are just absolutely [00:32:00] astronomical. So a, some large law firms may pay two or three times what a smaller law firm does or even for in a smaller market.
[00:32:08]In, in in a large market. Money alone should not be a good reason to move firms, but it can be a huge factor. And. And if you receive an offer from a firm where the pay is just so dramatically different than you were making than you're making now that it's definitely something serious to think seriously, I think about, but one of the things I would say is that in terms of money I'm often very concerned about money because when you go to the most prestigious firms, many times what you're doing is you're, front-loading your compensation earlier in your career.
[00:32:37] So even though you may be making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as a young attorney that amount of money that you're making you're probably not gonna be able, you often will not go into a partnership role at that firm. And then many of those attorneys end up going in house so that if they had been at a smaller firm, many times, they would have probably become a partner and made a lot more money later on in their [00:33:00] career.
[00:33:00] It was just an interesting economical tidbit. Oh, another thing is that if you want more mentoring, so there are law firms that provide mentoring and training to attorneys and and there's some that don't, and that training a mentor can make can be a huge difference. Having people that are training you and not just treating you like a commodity to do work, but actually encouraging you and showing you how to develop business and how to meet with clients and how to.
[00:33:28] Do depositions and do deals and trials and all this sort of stuff. It can be a huge advantage. And and some firms are very good training grounds and others aren't. But if the law firms were willing to invest in you and train you and wants to see you become a better attorney, that's a very positive thing.
[00:33:44] And it can help you. I had some very good mentors early in my career and they were very helpful. One of the smartest things I did was a clerk for a judge because I learned a lot of very good habits and so forth working for him that I wouldn't have learned in other types of environments.
[00:33:58] And so mentoring can be [00:34:00] a real advantage. Another reason would be political reasons. There's lots of political reasons to move firms. Sometimes law firms become very political with these different groups fighting about things and they, these fights may involve money client conflict.
[00:34:15] So you just never know. And if you're on the wrong side of these politics, this politics. You can be dangerous to your future. Sure. I, at least these political fights inside of law firms happen all the time. And you just never know w what's going to happen. I personally don't recommend taking part in them at all or taking sides, but if you get involved in these things, those can be reasons to move.
[00:34:35] Now, another reason is to want more challenge at work. There are firms were challenging and where you may be given very meaningful task or meaning meaningless task. And and and you have to ask yourself whether or not that's it's, there's nothing wrong with being given kind of menial things when you start your career, but over the long run if that continues then it may be something that you [00:35:00] make gives you a reason for wanting to move firms.
[00:35:02] And then this is a reason that I think is extremely important, is wanting more focused work or a work that is more relevant to your experience or goals. So attorneys and many different types of firms may often find themselves doing work that they're not interested in doing or trained to do.
[00:35:19]So I've seen patent attorneys with, by, backgrounds in biology and so forth working like patents, for example, to work on I've seen corporate attorneys have to do litigation work when there's not corporate work available on period of time.
[00:35:35]I've seen. Other attorneys that, maybe interested in doing a certain type of work or have the background or a certain type of work they're getting at their current firm Frank's example would be like entertainment litigation or white collar intellectual property litigation that may not be available at their current firm and they want to do that.
[00:35:52]And so sometimes the desire to do a different type of work is if compelling is often a good reason for an attorney to move law firms and ones that [00:36:00] law firms will accept for that person moving as well. Many attorneys also will get bad reputations at their current firms for a variety of reasons.
[00:36:08]These can be related to having made a bad mistake something they said or did that was inappropriate because people didn't like them. So if you get a bad reputation, your current firm that often you often just can't recover from those mistakes. One example I saw as an attorney con a reporter and talking about confidential, talking about some confidential client information that got reported in the paper.
[00:36:30]I saw another attorney get drunk and grab the breast of a company client like a major client at a party. I've seen people lose cases because they forget to attach a document. People sleeping in and missing an important meeting People getting in fights with other associates and causing them to seen people lying about things or, talking negatively about people are getting sued for sexual harassment.
[00:36:53]All these sorts of things getting sued for malpractice and I saw a partner get a associate pregnant. Who, how did [00:37:00] they baby? These are just can give you a sense of kinds of the kinds of things that can happen and damage the reputation. And some of these are fixable, others are, but what happens to a lot of attorneys is after these things happen, they end up believing and and and other firms and they typically will give other reasons, but sometimes you just can't recover from something that happens most of the time time is on your side and you do recover.
[00:37:25]So if enough time goes by, people forget about things, but sometimes you can't. The other thing that a lot of young attorneys do is they, the, and this is fairly common, but they're young they're learning all sorts of lessons and they're learning how to practice law and they're making mistakes.
[00:37:40] And and they're doing dumb things and they're saying dumb things. And they don't really understand how the law firm works. And most attorneys law firms just call them green and there's nothing wrong with that. But a lot of times the attorney just feels so much shame about having been talked to negatively and made mistakes that.
[00:37:58]They often want to go to a new firm [00:38:00] where they can craft a new image for themselves as a more competent attorney and hardworking attorney and so forth look like they're in a much more positive light. And that, that can be a smart thing to do. But I don't know that it's always necessary.
[00:38:11]There's people are, like watching you develop as an attorney. And so even if you're not the best attorney when you start they can see you compared to the last person you were, six months ago or two years ago or three years ago the law firm actually can feel good about your another thing that is a sign yeah, probably should leave is if you're getting consistently bad reviews, so a bad review.
[00:38:34]Review without them giving you really any positive feedback. Who can you some positive feedback then that's good, but a bad review means that the law firm is consistently giving you bad reviews. So one bad review is not a bad thing. Typically if you've gotten some of your first reviews the way that reviews typically work and most law firms as a summer associate will get a bad first review and then they'll improve and get a good second review.
[00:38:56]Or young attorney will get a fairly [00:39:00] bad reviews for their first year. And then after they're very competent, like after a year or two years, they'll start getting glowing reviews that that are just very good because the law firms making money off at the moment. So I'm to stay. And then if they're doing a very good job, then there subsequent reviews, like fifth year, six year, we'll start saying things like, you're on track.
[00:39:22] And then and then you're going into your seventh and eighth year, they start getting even more weird where he might start getting criticized again, or they may even just tell you, we don't think it's gonna work out. You should look for a new job, even though your performance hasn't changed from when you were getting a good reviews as a mid-level.
[00:39:38] So it's just it's, that's just the process of it, but if you're getting bad reviews for, if you've been at a law firm for a couple of years and consistently getting bad reviews if you're you. Proving your work and still getting bad reviews then then you know, then something then the law firm probably doesn't like you and wants you to go, but not always you just, you don't always know.
[00:39:57] And sometimes improving and [00:40:00] response from reviews. Most of the time, improving your response to bad reviews is a smart thing to death. And then if you have a realistic fear of losing your job, that's also a very good reason to leave. One of the things you'll see many times is and at firms where there's trouble is people losing their jobs, you'll see people losing their job because of lack of work.
[00:40:17] They'll see of getting bad reviews people that have don't have mentors or connections and if you've seen a lot of that going on and you feel like you're about to lose your job too, and it's probably smart for you to just start looking around. It's it's difficult, more difficult to find a job.
[00:40:34]If you leave your current firm without our new job, then if you then if you look when you're currently employed. So if you see a lot of people losing their job, Especially in your department in your practice area, then at your level, then you just need to be careful you, your firm needs to be given you a kind of warm, fuzzy as to some extent they're gonna, the more, more serious and corporate the firm, the less you're going to get them, but you do need to have [00:41:00] realize, be told by people that you're okay.
[00:41:02] At some point, if you see a lot of people losing your job, and then I brought this up earlier, but some firms are just in serious trouble and and most of the time, if your from sincere as child, we going to read in the paper and all that sort of thing, and not, you don't really need to worry too much about it, but if your firm looks like you're in serious trouble and going out of business, which is very rare, it doesn't happen to most firms, but, certainly branch office is closed and all sorts of things happen.
[00:41:28] If you see something like that, then it may make sense to look as quickly as possible. Another thing is if you have too much work I see attorneys all the time where they have way too much work and and there's nothing wrong with having too much work and your first couple of years of practice but some people are have so much work that the firm and staying there, it's just for your health and sanity, it doesn't make any sense.
[00:41:52]And you may be able to handle it and it can be good for you in a lot of different levels having a lot of work, but it can also be very bad. And if you [00:42:00] don't have if you just can't handle all the work, then it may make sense for you to look around and define something else because it's just it reaches a point where many people just can't handle it and it's okay.
[00:42:12]There's nothing wrong with leaving your firm if there's too much work. Now, if you're an associate like a young associate and you're, two or three years in, you should be okay, Working very hard for your first couple of years, that all that experience will make you a very good attorney later on.
[00:42:26] And and getting all that work and repetition is is actually a blessing. Many people never get that and holds them back their whole career. Every time you're billing 2,500 hours or more per year you're just ingraining all these habits and think thought processes and becoming smarter and faster and more competent than people that don't.
[00:42:46]There is a rule that says, takes about 10,000 hours to learn something. And I think that in the practice of law whatever your practice area about 10,000 hours is what it takes to become a reasonably competent. And so the nice thing about [00:43:00] a lot of large firms is you will get that experience early on.
[00:43:03] And if you're doing this at a younger, young age, meaning in your twenties it's much better to get it out of the way then but you don't want to burn yourself out. And and you do need to force yourself to give yourself breaks, but if you just can't handle it, like you've been doing it for six or seven years, and there's just no end in sight and you don't see the opportunity then I personally wouldn't stick around, but that's You know me I like also and that, that would be also if you're not enjoying yourself.
[00:43:29] So sometimes, like the job that I have right now doing this, like I very much enjoy it. I'm up at the crack of Dawn and work as hard as I can. And and now I'm engaged in it. So there's nothing wrong with the work that I'm doing, but, if I wasn't doing what I'm doing, Then then that would be a problem.
[00:43:45]If I didn't enjoy what I'm doing, so there's nothing wrong with a lot of work, but if the work is just not something you enjoy and it's taking energy from you rather than giving it, that's a bad thing. Another thing is sometimes if you're moving home, like for example, where you were from or raised that can be a very good reason to [00:44:00] move.
[00:44:00]I always encourage the attorneys, if you can, to look for jobs wherever you grew up. Now, that doesn't mean if you grew up in a horrible area of the country that you want to move back there. But many times if you have a family and a network of people there that's good. And especially when you're trying to raise a family, if people, you can get business there and all sorts of things.
[00:44:19] So I think many times moving to where you're from is a good thing. Okay. And the next one that I'm going to cover here is wrong reasons to move firms. I'm going to take a two minute break. I had a someone show up here to, for, to put an interview at the wrong time.
[00:44:36]So I'm going to go talk to them real quickly. But I'll be like one or two minutes and I'll come back and do that. And then we'll take questions
[00:44:42]upstairs, the Chinese guy.
[00:44:44]Okay. That's better.
[00:44:46]Wrong reasons to move firms. And I did want to point out to everyone in terms of the right reasons that. One of the reasons I did get, bring up was the finance reason and is a right reason. Not that would be more of a personal reason. Typically with [00:45:00] law firms, you don't always want to bring up compensation as a reason for moving because they will know that if you bring that up, that you're likely.
[00:45:08]To leave. If someone offers you more compensation, so compensation shouldn't really be your driving factor. One of the other things I would say is most, very serious attorneys, like when they become partners and all that sort of thing. They really ended up not moving firms because of anything ever to do with compensation.
[00:45:27] So they will. Leave because of compensation, but if someone's offering an attorney, so two or $300,000 or even 500 or many times they won't leave. The way that most sophisticated attorneys think about compensation is they think about it as something, what does the firm that's offering me less compensation, offer me more other types of opportunities.
[00:45:48] Meaning am I more likely to make partner? Am I more likely to be able to bring in business? Do I like the people more? I'm going to be more effective and happier at work. So it's just when you choose a, like someone to marry [00:46:00] you, do you want to choose someone who's going to look very good on paper?
[00:46:04] Or do you want to choose someone who is nice to you? You have to decide, what works for you. And and so that's the same thing with the job. Now there's always going to be cost for moving law firms. And and this is something that's very important for everyone on this call and understand because leaving a firm is not necessarily a terrible thing.
[00:46:23]But there's always going to be cost and the cost can be very significant. So the first thing is that there's a loss connections. And and so w when you're at an existing firm, you have connections with people there. And and yeah, you have political capital and all sorts of things that you may have built up if you're not being forced out that that you're not going to have your new firms.
[00:46:42] So someone leaves a firm after 10 years or 15 years is to some extent, been protected at that farm. And you go to a new place and you're not going to have that same level of protection. And and the dangerous is if you leave, you're going to be perceived as job hopper and if you don't like your new form, either because she could be a one [00:47:00] from another.
[00:47:00]Once you're perceived as someone that doesn't stick at firm, stick around a firms a long time, then most new firms you joined, aren't going to trust you. And we're going to think that you're going to leave them too. So that's just something you need to be very aware of. And you'll start being perceived as a soldier of fortune and not someone who settles down as part of a team in most large law firms.
[00:47:19] There's always a contingent of people that were also summer associates there. The law firm tends to think a little bit highly of them more highly of them compared to people that lateral and at a latter time because they're just seen more as part of the original, community and they're more indoctrinated into the way.
[00:47:35] So the firm, so every time you leave a firm, it's going to be harder for you. Oh, to get hired again. And because law firms are gonna think you'll leave them too. So that's just something to keep in mind. There. Ha that's the benefit of leaving your firm has to be very strong. There has to be and find a new position.
[00:47:51] There has to be some real positives, outweigh the negatives and and and if there aren't, when you, a new opportunity comes along, that really [00:48:00] is a good out where you, the law firm may have a hard time believing, that you're a good fit, that you know that you really want to move.
[00:48:07]So I brought this up on, on multiple webinars before, but all law firms want to hire people. They believe are going to be with them longterm. If you have a few bad moves on your resume, that suggest you're not a team player then it's always going to be harder for you to get into a position. Law firms will always.
[00:48:26]Avoid people that have too many moves, they will also higher people that have fewer moves. So other than, fewer moves rather than more moves when they're, and they're making hiring decisions. When you get hired, if you had a lot of moves, they also won't trust you. And therefore it's very important.
[00:48:44] And when for the right reasons, I, yeah. I interview people all the time that you know and I can see how people with a lot of jobs make it through because we usually, what happens is when I interview someone they've already been interviewed by, at our company, by several people. So when they get to me, like I'm interviewing them and [00:49:00] I'm not necessarily the last person to interview them, but then someone that always thinks are really good.
[00:49:04] And so when I interviewed that person, like I noticed a lot of times where people will get through that have had a job every year for the past five or six years or seven years. And I don't, it could be for any random position and, if they come here, they're going to leave too. So you just, you can't.
[00:49:19]Hire people like that. And they're just not it's not smart, but they make it through and they get hired and you can get hired too. I'm not saying it's impossible, but if you've had several jobs, you're probably gonna move. And and some people are able to do it and get jobs. So just like I'm showing the people make it through and even listen human resources company.
[00:49:36]There are people that, make it through that. I ended up talking to it, but I certainly don't hire them. And if I did hire them, I would believe that they were going to leave later on. And people get jobs when there's compelling reasons for each move. So if you've had four jobs in five years
[00:49:52]moving to better and better firms, you switched cities, or you moved to the partner from your firm Granada. That may be okay, especially when you're moving to better firms. [00:50:00] But if there's not a lot of upward mobility these are some of the reasons that I don't think are good to move.
[00:50:06]One of the reasons people move is that they get bored. They get bored with their law firms and the routine. This is never a reason for moving. A lot of times you go to a new environment and you think it's exciting. But if you're bored in your job, you're probably bored with the practice of law itself.
[00:50:19]A lot of people. I just don't like the routine you've gone in the office and working and doing what they're doing. And there's nothing wrong with not liking it, practice a law. If you don't like it, you can do something else. I know plenty of attorneys that have become very successful doing all sorts of things, whether it's opening pizza parlors or selling things or starting businesses, selling collectibles.
[00:50:39]I can think of a million different things people have done and and and it's just, it can be fun. And there's attorneys are so skilled and, but you need to enjoy whatever you're doing. It doesn't mean necessarily the firm. If you're bored, practicing law, it's the subject matter of what you're doing, this your interest.
[00:50:56] You're not just. The job and the subject matter [00:51:00] sign interest in you, then there's something wrong. You should, and I hate to say this, but you should enjoy it regardless of what you do. You shouldn't enjoy the minutia of it. The the things that people don't think are fun, the things that people think are fun.
[00:51:12]If you're a litigator, you should enjoy discovery. You should enjoy writing briefs. You should enjoy going to court and doing most of the things that you do now, you don't have to enjoy all those things. Some attorneys don't want to go to court, which is fine, but you should enjoy aspects of your job a lot.
[00:51:25] And and they should be fun for you. And you should look at them as creative exercises and things to improve, add, and so forth. And if you don't then then if you don't like the subject matter, and that's a problem years ago, a friend of mine called me and told me I should go work at his firm because they were a bunch of entertainment attorneys walking around doing all these deals running around on the convertibles, talking on cell phones.
[00:51:47] This is before cell phones were common. I need to go to movie deals and so forth. And that sounded like a lot of fun. But when I got to the firm, I discovered that it was just the same thing as every other law firm, just a bunch of attorneys [00:52:00] sitting behind desks, doing different types of, the same type of work.
[00:52:03] And it just looked like everywhere else. And it didn't, I was bored and took the interview. One of the things I've noticed too. So just remember that most firms it's about the work certainly there's places that are more exciting through the weekend, but most firms it's going to be about the work.
[00:52:18] Another thing, a reason to look for a job is the people look for jobs and I don't think it's a good thing is because I need attention and validation. I have all sorts of problems. I'd like to shop for cars and trade cars in every, once every several years, I like doing that.
[00:52:34] I don't know why you can pretty much drive a car forever now, so there's no reason to, but I enjoy the process of looking at cars. That's not a smart thing. Some people enjoy the process of looking for jobs and, and some people are constantly doing a job search and and when they get out there they're validated.
[00:52:50] And and it's exciting getting interviews and getting people to like you and a new interview can change, right? Offer can change your life. But it's not [00:53:00] healthy. It's like getting married and constantly searching for a new companion or constantly searching for a new car when your car is perfectly fine.
[00:53:07]It's just, sometimes you're better off just being happy with what you have and you don't need that validation. And and that's something that I would think about if you're just get, you need attention validation, or you feel like you're not being treated well.
[00:53:20] So you find a firm that will treat you better. That's something people do too. Another thing is a lot of times people are afraid of failure. So I see a lot of times attorneys move from firm to firm because they're afraid of failure. And and I, and actually think about it. I I think I may have done that in the past too.
[00:53:38]Where I moved firms because I wanna, I don't want it nothing but positive feedback and, and and I think and sensing, the possibility of not getting an all positive feedback made me want to move. And so I think people have done that. I think a lot of people do that and especially very highly motivated people they're very perfectionist and they don't want to be criticized or, and their identity is [00:54:00] based to being very good at what they do.
[00:54:01]Th it's a little bit far out when I'm saying, but one of the things I would say is that, most attorneys start out, they start out in large prestigious firms leave before they ever had the opportunity to be considered for partner. Yeah. My wonder a lot of that has to do with, they're just afraid of failing.
[00:54:18] They don't want to fail. And I think that's definitely a possibility that they don't want to invest in the machine themselves intuitive fail. And I just remember. Myself personally, when I was at a great firm, I want to start off my career and and getting very positive feedback.
[00:54:34] And then and then I was worried what was I worried about? Oh, I was worried about some discovery or something that I'd been on in a case not going to as well as I thought it should be. Cause I was supposed to be suffering. I think I'm supervising all these people doing a document review.
[00:54:48] And so I was just worried about that and so I, I allowed that worry in the back of my mind to, create tension where there shouldn't have been no one ever even said anything to me about it. So I think many times people are afraid of failure and [00:55:00] and most attorneys, by the way, join large law firms declaring that they're going to be partners.
[00:55:03] So they're going to be partners in this law firms and and some of them Go in his failure s