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Attorneys Need to Keep Working with the Best Law Firm as Long as Possible
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Summary: An attorney will only have success if they keep working in the best law firm possible and do not give up on their career.

Leaving a top law firm or any law firm is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. Harrison Barnes explains why it is so important for attorneys to get the best experience they can in the article “Don’t Give Up! Why You Should Work with the Best Law Firm You Can as Long as You Can.” The majority of attorneys decide to drop out early on and even late in their career without exhausting all their options and truly weighing the consequences.


Attorneys put a lot of work into getting where they are. Undergraduate, law school, and passing the bar exam are no easy feats to get through. Once an attorney gives up, it is nearly impossible to get back in the game. The best advice Barnes can give is to do whatever is possible to get a position with the most prestigious law firm as possible and to stay employed with them as long as possible.

In order to be successful, you need to surround yourself with those that are successful and sophisticated. Attorneys that are in big law firms will be surrounded by others that are succeeding in their careers. Put your best efforts forward to make yourself look the best possible. You don’t necessarily have to be the smartest person to attend top schools and get positions in the top law firms; you just have to work the hardest.

The best law firms are very careful about who they hire. Many of the best firms won’t even hire lateral attorneys from other firms because they don’t want an outside source bringing in a “sickness” that will infect their carefully selected attorneys. Law firms receive their prestige because of the type of attorneys they have working for them, not because of the work they do.

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Attorneys get one chance with prestigious law firms, if they give up or turn down the opportunity when it arises, they won’t get that chance again. Law firms will see the attorneys break as a lack of commitment. As Barnes explains, “Actions speak louder than words.” An attorney that does not have summer associate experience, takes a job out of law school not practicing law, goes in-house, or leaves a top law school for a smaller one shows future law firms that the attorney has other priorities.

Working for a major law firm also brings greater job security because they have clients that are paying big bucks. Big companies cannot forgo on their legal needs just because the economy takes a downturn, whereas smaller law firms will have clients that can no longer afford to pay for legal work.

Big law firms allow for attorneys to focus on a specific skill that makes them stand out from others. Attorneys at small firms have to be able to do everything well enough, but not great. Attorneys that wish to focus on a specific practice area will do better in a big law firm because they can receive the training and be happy about their success.

Law firms want their attorneys to be independent sources of income. They want to see you take the initiative to bring in your own business to help support the firm. Moving to other forms of law like in-house and government does not allow for independence. Those attorneys become dependent on their employer for work.

To learn more about what it takes to be a successful attorney, read these articles:



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