{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Seriously struggling to figure out what it is I want to do with my career. All I know as a first year in big law is this ain’t it. I’ll give it a year, but I want to start thinking about other career paths outside of big law. Any advice? Genuinely open to any and all suggestions. Considering a move to government or public interest. Would like to stay in NY region.", "post_id": "605a14d01aea5f002605c68f", "reply_count": 29, "vote_count": 22, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Seriously struggling to figure out what it is I want to do with my career. All I know as a first year in big law is this ain’t it. I’ll give it a year, but I want to start thinking about other career paths outside of big law. Any advice? Genuinely open to any and all suggestions. Considering a move to government or public interest. Would like to stay in NY region.

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My path out of big law was having 3 babies in 4 years. It wasn’t exactly a well-thought out plan.

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This is literally my plan. Except two babies in two years.

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I’ve only worked for the public interest and I highly recommend it. Check out your states attorney general’s office or city jobs (city jobs tend to pay more from my experience). Great work life balance and interesting work. Best of luck to you!

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I work for a county attorney and love it! It pays decently with great benefits, I have variety in my practice, and I work a standard 40 hour week.

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Are you me? I could have written this post. No advice other than to say you’re not alone!

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Yep!

I’m at a small firm and 4 months in I feel like “this ain’t it” either. The paper pushing and dealing with my boss 1 on 1 day in and day out is really getting to me

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Definitely not a good feeling, sorry you’re going through it too!

Following because same

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Smaller firm; in-house; IRS if you’re a tax attorney. Start networking now

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Unfortunately not a tax attorney. Any suggestions for how to network virtually?

Recruiting. You make as much a 7th year in big law and zero stress

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A8, yes I think so. Wondering how common it is for them to be this successful.

I’ve been in small law and big law as a first year this past year (and also worked at midsize in law school), and the one thing I do not suggest doing is going to a smaller firm. They generally have less resources, pay you a lot less, and same billable hour requirement. Yes you may not get an email at 8 pm asking you to do something, but it’s not worth it. If you’re looking to stay in a firm, midsize might work for you or just a different firm / group maybe.

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I can confirm that in small law you may still be getting emails at midnight and be expected to work a lot. And A5 is correct that your support may be little to none at times. I spent most of my 9 to 5 in meetings with prospective clients - which left me catching up on my substantive work after hours and on the weekends.

You know how there is that one annoying partner that everyone tries to stay away from? It’s hard to do that at a small firm because wherever you go, there they are.

There are some good small law offices as well. It’s really important to vet them through inside sources if you can to get a real feel for what it is like before you jump ship. I would hate for you to end up with the same demands on your time and far less pay and still unhappy.

Find a career coach/life coach that can help you figure out what you want to do.

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In-house is awesome work with great work life balance, good pay, and opportunities to grow and advance. I’ve never worked in big law but worked as a litigator in a mid size regional firm and from there took a leap of faith into the in-house space and never looked back. One of the best parts is being part of the business and getting to wear two hats with one for legal and one for business.

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If you end up in a tech transactions practice group you can get out to an in house position at a tech company pretty quickly. Pay and lifestyle balance is good and you get to work with very smart people.

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End of second year worked for me. I left at 1 year seven months.

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Legal Aid and government are much closer to 9-5 and you can sleep at night. My org right now is hiring attorneys like crazy because of the impending eviction boom as soon as Cuomo lifts his rent moratorium.

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I think a really important question for you to answer is: what do you actually like? Is there anything you like about your current job, and if so, what? What are things that you wish you could be doing, but aren’t? All of that is helpful information and will give you some direction.

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This is great advice, thank you!

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Definitely give it time. I’d wager to say we all hated it for first year or so

I worked in government before law school and, when I graduated and passed the bar, I knew I wanted to return to government. The benefits are great, you don't take your work home with you in most cases, and you're not overworked (again, in most cases). In my opinion, the only downfalls are 1. You take a pay cut and 2. Depending on where you end up (state, federal, even the entity/agency), salaries may be capped pretty low. For example, the highest salary at the state agency I worked at before law school was ~$120,000. So that's something to consider.

I saw you ask about networking virtually in a comment. I recommend Clubhouse if you have an iPhone. There are some great law clubs, and people genuinely want to help if they can! It is invite only, so you may have to ask around until you find someone who can send you an invite.

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Additional Posts (overall)

An observation: I realized today that unless someone mentions their gender identity, I assume every post/comment I read on FB is written by a woman (apparently my default lawyer is woman) EXCEPT the whiskey bowl, where I assume posters are male. Implicit bias is weird. (Whiskey bowl not only lawyers, so maybe that's part of it.)

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I’m going to a friends house who just had a baby. I’m going to bring dinner that they can store in the fridge or freezer for a few days worth of meals but I also wanted to bring her/baby a small gift - what’s something that you would have personally loved as a gift right after giving birth and what’s something to bring the baby?? I did already give baby shower gift and send flowers right after she had baby - this is more of a friend bringing something to brighten their day kinda thing.

likeuplifting

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Can anyone recommend a company which sells good well priced bras?

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If you refuse to share salary info with fellow women lawyers, especially while benefitting from them sharing with you, you’re part of the problem.

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