{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Any staff attorneys/hourly attorneys willing to share their experiences? I’m partnership track in BigLaw but am so interviewing for a staff/hourly position at a different BigLaw firm for the work/life balance. I just am hoping I’m not trading one hell for another!", "post_id": "61ae7644d89016002d406c16", "reply_count": 19, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5da622fd02d22c00246d5fc2", "bowl_name": "Law Exit Opportunities" }

Any staff attorneys/hourly attorneys willing to share their experiences? I’m partnership track in BigLaw but am so interviewing for a staff/hourly position at a different BigLaw firm for the work/life balance. I just am hoping I’m not trading one hell for another!

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Not a staff attorney, but there’s gotta be better options than this, no? Like a smaller firm, in-house, government, something else…I’ve never seen someone actively seek out a staff attorney position at a firm.

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At the Big Law firm I work at, the staff attorneys get paid considerably less, often work more than some of the associates, and the work tends to be a lot of document review.

Staff attorneys at my prior firm seemed to work the same amount as full associates and were paid about $85k regardless of experience whereas associates started at 100-115 out of law school (amount changed over the 5 years I was there)

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Was a prior staff attorney. Made slightly less salary-wise than comparable class associates, but not by much. The bonus is where I saw a real distinction - I still got one, but was way less than associates’; although, this may have been because I almost never hit my billable req (which was same as associates’) - no other repercussions to this though. For work-life balance, I think that’s dependent on your goal as a staff attorney. If goal is to be promoted to associate, then you’d probably want to bill as if you were one; however, if this isn’t your goal, then the hours would probably be better. If you do want to be promoted, however, keep in mind that staff attorneys are normally brought on for specific reasons (I.e. to tailor to one client, do specific assignments, or assist specific partners), which may make it hard to get enough hours or experience to justify being promoted.

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OP, are you sure you don’t want to try looking for firms that pay less, but have some actual work/life balance?

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Message me. I spoke with someone at a very nice firm in that market last week. Thanks.

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Depends so much on the particular firm and role. In general, you will probably be slightly to very underpaid for what you do, but you might also be buying back a huge amount of your time (but again, very dependent on the specific role and the firm).

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I am looking to transition to a new position and this is my current dilemma - trading the same situation for another just at a different firm. Among other things, I would assess the size of the staff attorney team, whether they have any associate staffing issues as staff attorneys will be used to supplement, and reach out to staff attorneys (even if former) at the firm if you are able to connect about their experiences.

I would be hesitant to take a staff attorney position only because it can carry a negative connotation of not good enough for associate (not saying that is accurate) that would make it harder to move to other positions down the line. Much better to find a position in-house or government that won’t be seen as such a step down.

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