{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Got an offer from a big firm. I’m currently working at a small firm. The pay increase would be about 20% not including bonus. My concern with big law is obviously the stress level and billable hours but the small firm life concerns me long term because there’s only currently 6 lawyers and we just lost an office.", "post_id": "5f99f62f250159002f398776", "reply_count": 11, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law" }

Got an offer from a big firm. I’m currently working at a small firm. The pay increase would be about 20% not including bonus. My concern with big law is obviously the stress level and billable hours but the small firm life concerns me long term because there’s only currently 6 lawyers and we just lost an office.

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I made the jump from small law to big law and I 100% recommend it. My small firm kept losing attorneys and there was always stress in the air about whether they would make it long term. I realized I didn't want to end up being personally invested in that kind of stress, so I left. I'm really enjoying the different types of work offered by biglaw, the stability, the benefits, and my colleagues. The billables are higher but my small firm only gave credit for billed hours and didn't give credit for pro bono, so I'm working that much more. I feel much more optimistic about my career now and I really do like to actively fight the "big law is a swirling vortex of doom" narrative.

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Need more info to really help. Your year? Age of other lawyers? Whose business is it and what will happen when rainmakers retire? It’s almost impossible to inherit business in big law - too mich competition and other factors. Much easier in a small firm. If you can inherit the business in your small firm, you will have security you will never have in biglaw, unless you are very lucky and develop business in biglaw.

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I would definitely make the jump, now, early in your career. Remember too that despite the bad reputation big law seems to get for stress/hours, not everyone has the same experience and culture varies within firms and practice areas. What are your hours now? And....you can always go back to a smaller firm. If there is business to inherit at your current firm with an actual legacy plan in place, that’s a different story.

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Make the jump. You can always go back to the mid size firm. I made the jump to big law in year 5 and I regret not doing it 3 years earlier when the firm reached out to recruit me.

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Thanks for you’re input!

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Just suggesting to really think about the stress level concern it before jumping. Big law will be your life, for better or worse. If you acknowledge that commitment and still want to do it, go for it!

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Thanks!

There are some real benefits to being at a large law firm early in your career. The main one is resources, such as: 1. A wealth of example documents at your fingertips to look at and start from 2. Access to a variety of research assistance (multiple research databases, a staffed library, etc.) 3. People! Having access to a people with different expertise and backgrounds is amazing. Being able to bounce ideas around is huge. 4. Access to more work to get more reps on issues, deals, or cases. 5. Access to more interesting/complex work. I’ve also been able to bring in a couple of clients because I know that I have a support system to help me meet the client’s needs, which I probably would not have felt comfortable doing in a smaller firm. Is it the right fit for your whole career? Maybe, maybe not. There are certainly cons. But, early on, I think the training and resources really are incredible and will set you up to do more with your career later.

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Awesome insight. Thanks so much

Do it! Not every big law firm is terrible. It often depends on the local office you’re in. Mine is great even with the long hours

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