{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I am thinking of switch from plaintiff side work to defense work in employment litigation. Has anyone made this switch? Did you regret? We’re billable hours too much to handle? More in comments.", "post_id": "5e572a18cf12b50024329c08", "reply_count": 21, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

I am thinking of switch from plaintiff side work to defense work in employment litigation. Has anyone made this switch? Did you regret? We’re billable hours too much to handle? More in comments.

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Depends where you are going. I’ve heard bad things about defense firms that do primarily insurance work. Insurance companies are terrible and soul sucking. I do defense side employment in a mid-size firm. Generally work 50-60 hours a week, more sometimes when things get busy. I think it will widely vary based on the firm culture, your coworkers, billable requirement, clients, etc.

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I second the comment about firm culture being paramount. I made the switch, and I am very happy with my decision so far. I worked at a very toxic small firm. I was working insane hours, but I was making great money. I also gained invaluable experience. Now I make less money, but my sleep has significantly improved, I spend more time with my family, and I only work on the weekends if I want to (which is close to never). The biggest hurdle has been keeping my work plate full at all times. At a successful plaintiff firm, you’re usually swamped with potential clients. On the defense side, you have to find partners who can consistently funnel you work. Happy to discuss further if you want to DM me. Good luck!

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I worked for a small plaintiffs side employment firm and made the switch to employment defense a couple years ago. I went to a great firm and am very happy with the decision I made - but I’m sure that’s not the case with everyone. Depends on the stability of where you currently are and where you are thinking of going.

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I have only ever worked for small plaintiff side firms, so I have no idea what to expect in terms of billable hours. I think I am paid at market rate right now, and I am also not sure whether increase in pay (if any) will be worth it. I work about 50 to 60 hours per week now and make about 95k before bonuses every year ranging from 1k to 5k.

We get a referral fee if we bring on a case to the firm, but other than that no commission. My market is NYC.

How many years have you been in practice? And where? Your salary seems low. Have you considered plaintiffs PI?

You have a point but I don’t know if he was hired as a first year or intern and what he was making at the time and what kind of raise he got if any. Also he posted asking for salary advice and if he’s considering a move then he’s obviously not very happy with it. Supply and demand goes both ways. If he finds something better he’s free to leave. If he’s really good and they want to keep him then they should offer more so he’s not job hunting.

Do you hate making money or something?

I made the opposite switch and it was the best thing I ever did for myself even taking a big pay cut. But my old firm culture was miserable and now it’s fairly tolerable so that’s why I switched.

I’d also look into your potential for advancement where you are now. Is this a growing firm and will there be room for you to continue once you’re more experienced and making more and even handling your own case load and getting a cut? Or do the partners just need a young associate to handle the boring stuff and when you get too expensive they’ll let you go and hire another fist year? I’d recommend looking at larger plaintiffs firms before switching to the defense, but it always depends on the firm itself. Not all P and D firms are the same, at all.

Maybe it’s just time for you to try and renegotiate your deal. My junior associate makes more than you and doesn’t work 50-60 on a regular basis.

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