Legal Career Resources

Quitting a Legal Job Before Acquiring Another Position Could End Your Career
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Summary: Leaving your current position at a law firm can be a wise choice but only after lining up another position to take its place.

There is nothing riskier or crazier than quitting your job at a law firm before getting another job. Harrison Barnes explains how it is career suicide for an attorney to quit their job before having another legal job, of any kind, lined up.


Law firms look for attorneys that are employed. Being unemployed makes finding a new job nine-times harder but it can be done. When they see that an attorney is unemployed, they assume that the attorney was fired. The thought process that goes through a firms mind when they see you are unemployed is that you were not busy, had to of been lazy, did something terrible, and not worth the risk.

One way to position yourself to have an excuse for being employed is to move to where family and loved ones are. This type of excuse can give you up to six months of unemployment that is acceptable. Moving to a new state also gives you time to study for a bar exam before looking for a new job.

Another excuse that will not be dismissed by law firms is when you take time off to care for a sick or dying loved one. When these excuses cannot work for you, enroll in a LLM program or get a clerkship without delay.

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