{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I want to start a thread about important questions to ask before accepting a job offer. For example, before accepting a job offer I will generally respond to the offer asking the following questions: \n\n1. Health insurance (insurer name, deductibles, my portion of the premium) \n2. 401 K (company match?)\n3. Bonus structure \n4. Required billable hours\n5. My office hours \n6. Partnership track\n7. Will I have an assistant/paralegal? \n8. Will I have my own office? \n\nPlease add to this!", "post_id": "5faa2eab7887d400208078a9", "reply_count": 33, "vote_count": 33, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }
null

I want to start a thread about important questions to ask before accepting a job offer. For example, before accepting a job offer I will generally respond to the offer asking the following questions:

1. Health insurance (insurer name, deductibles, my portion of the premium)
2. 401 K (company match?)
3. Bonus structure
4. Required billable hours
5. My office hours
6. Partnership track
7. Will I have an assistant/paralegal?
8. Will I have my own office?

Please add to this!

likehelpful
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Add to #1 with the pandemic - when do benefits kick in? Some places it’s one or more months before it does.

Add to #3- Bonus year dates (so you can plan accordingly for your start date), bonus payout date and whether you get a full bonus your first year as employee even if you aren’t there the full year

Add to #4 - typical/average billables for associates in your practice group.

Anticipated raises/future bonuses (including at counsel/partnership level if you’re senior and thats near term)

Firm financial health

Management style for your seniors (e.g., will partners be MIA? Will they micromanage? Do they have hourly requirements/Will they hoard hours?)

Staffing system (e.g., how will you get work, are you allowed to say no to work, will you be able to get junior help if you’re more senior)

Vacation

If relevant, ask about policies around:

Maternity/paternity leave
Relocation
Bar exam/bar course/bar leave

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This is great! Never thought to ask about firm financial health, management style, and if I can decline work.

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1. What makes (an associate) successful at this firm?
2. What are you looking for in an associate (I interviewed somewhere that said “availability” which meant available ALL THE TIME- I confirmed with an associate)
3. What are bad habits you notice from laterals?
4. What do you normally do for lunch? (if they stay at their desk- bad news)
5. What do you enjoy about your practice?

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Recent IconRecent

What is the turnover like in terms of associates for your practice group?

Or to put it bluntly, how many have left and how many have they hired in the past 6 months.

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Also ask what people are leaving for. Leaving for similar firms in the same geographic market is not the best sign. Leaving for different geographic market, in house etc is normal.

likefunny

I ask about diversity and inclusion - this speaks volumes about the firm and their ‘awareness’, and if they have any programs that help attorneys and other employees that are women, POC or LGBTQ etc.

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Management style is a key question. Reporting structure, feedback, rules of engagement, beyond hours how will you determine if I am meeting expectations. Your supervisors make or break your experience get clear on what you are getting into.

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Holiday days

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I’ve never had PTO be an issue. With high billable requirements, and if you are trying to advance in the firm, you will not be taking anymore PTO than absolutely necessary. If you are looking for a 9-5 with plenty of PTO you are unicorn wrestling.

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Laptop, cell and electronic policy. Firm provided or stipend or nothing.

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Are salaries lockstep?

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Retention. How many people are lifers at the firm? How long does the average associate stay? Do people leave for a government job and come back?

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Back in the day I would want to know if the firm allowed flexible work from home. I think you need to add life insurance too.

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What the PTO is, and if any days carry over.

What the office structure is like.

What experience can you anticipate.

Growth in career.

Networking and CLE opportunities

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Cell phone policy - reimbursed or requirements to give cell phone number to clients

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Marketing allowance or stipend. Payment of bar fees, and CLEs. Are there admin billing codes to account for non-billable tasks? This way the attorney can track the non-billable tasks they are assigned and the time commitment. Origination fees or percentage. Conflict check process (this may show the firm is lax about ethical rules, which is a hard no for me)

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How did they respond to the pandemic?

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What about questions that are worth asking for people that don’t have the ability to negotiate? Think maybe more “see what I’m getting into” questions for those who graduated bottom-tier schools at bottom-rank.

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Life insurance. Short term and long term disability policies. Vision or dental. Gym discount or membership.

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What is the severance policy? I left a position with significant security and with a great severance plan. I joined a place that “seemed” secure but is not. Severance would make it much less nerve-wracking.

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If you take a day/a few days off, is there an expectation for you to work the next following nights and weekends to make up for the time you spent on vacation?

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- Business Dev support, what sort of things does firm do to support it
- related to billable hours, does firm include any bus dev hours towards billables
- what practice group or partner(s) will you be assigned to
- parking paid?

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If you are replacing an attorney (an attorney is leaving and you are filling the spot) ask to speak with the attorney leaving. Find out why the attorney is leaving.

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