2 +yrs out of law school. @ Civ defense firm; high case load; no mentoring; do I take 15k cut offer from reputable firm promising lower case load, focus on mentoring, promising first chair exp?

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Depends how bad that 15k cut hurts and how much faith you have in the mentoring/first chair offer, but I’d say probably yes. In my experience most firms are absolutely terrible at mentoring or getting their associates first chair experience - but it does exist

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I would take those promises with a grain of salt. But if you’re unhappy enough where you are that it doesn’t matter if all of what the new firm is promising you is real or not, then go for it.

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For that much of a cut I’d go plaintiff side

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I would stay where you are and attempt to solicit more mentoring from a senior associate/partner. Seek permission and support to join and engage with your local defense organization or DRI and seek mentoring from those.

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