Many attorneys remain for decades in the same firms, and there are characteristics that uniformly seem to characterize these attorneys. While I am a legal recruiter
, I have a great deal of respect for attorneys who, in this day and age, are able to "stay put" at firms for long periods of time and remain at single firms throughout their careers.
None of this is to say there are not very good and solid reasons for leaving a law firm or other legal environment if the going gets impossible. I will be the first to admit that there are legal employment environments that can be intolerable for many. Nevertheless, you need to keep in mind that if a legal employer has been around for 30-plus years, there is a chance the employer is doing something right. Before leaving, it is often wise to take inventory of yourself.
There are certain qualities that tend to characterize attorneys who stick with the same legal employers for long lengths of time and also certain qualities that characterize the sorts of employment situations that make this possible. These qualities are discussed below.
Attorneys Who Remain with the Same Firms for Long Periods of Time Are Generally Very Committed to Their Jobs.
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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.