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10 Reasons Attorneys Are Ruining Their Futures in Law Firms
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Summary: There are endless reasons as to why attorneys are risking their jobs at law firms, often without even realizing it. Here are just 10 reasons.

Were you aware that there are hidden dangers that jeopardize your current job or a potential job at a law firm? These dangers are not always in the control of the attorney or a mistake they intentionally make. Read “Top 32 Reasons Attorneys Lose Their Jobs Inside of Law Firms” to ensure you don’t make those mistakes, causing you to lose your job. Harrison Barnes points out that most attorneys will lose their job at a law firm at some point in their career. Losing your job at a law firm can be devastating to your career. Taking steps to prevent that from happening is crucial.


Be aware of these 10 warning signs before it is too late:

1. Hours – If your billable hours are lower than others in your same position, you need to find a way to fix that quick. Be the first one in the office and last one to leave. If there is a lack of work, go to a partner asking for work you can do or go out and find clients you can do work for. When you still cannot find work that is a sign that the law firm or your specialty is struggling so you should be looking for a job before you get laid-off or fired. In the end, you want to make sure you have the most hours of all those you are working with so that it can’t be used against you as a reason to be fired.

2. Business – Attorneys with little to no business are not going to make in any law firm. Law firms rely on their attorneys to bring in business so that the firm can survive. An attorney that relies on their law firm for work will eventually find themselves out of work.

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3. Qualifications – When things get slow at your law firm, they will start cutting the least qualified attorneys from each class. To make sure you are not one of those, you need to come from a prestigious law school with top marks.

4. Last Hired – If were the last one of your class to be hired by the law firm, chances are you might be the first to go when things slow down. Attorneys with more seniority are going to be looked at last during a purge.

5. Undermine Superiors – Undermining a superior at the law firm is pretty much a guaranteed way to kiss your job goodbye. Your superiors want to feel that their job is secure so when you come in and shake things up, they will react strongly. Undermining comes in many forms including questioning an assignment, not billing the maximum hours on a project, taking credit from your superior, questioning the entire firm, talking behind a superior’s back, and more.

6. Anger – Taking out your frustrations on management gets you nowhere. Attorneys often turn against management for issues with pro bono commitments, lack of promotions, being asked to work too many hours, compensation, bonuses, and more. Law firms want attorneys that are agreeable and will always work hard. They don’t mind hearing concerns and even criticism but when that turns into a constant struggle, they won’t stand for it.

7. Senior – You may be getting too senior for the law firm. An attorney that has a lot of experience but no business gets to be too expensive for the firm. They have high billing rates but no justification for the rates when they aren’t actually bringing in the work themselves.

8. Ego – Attorneys often develop egos that are too big for law firms. Egos get in the way of young attorneys from learning and growing. Attorneys that often have egos that are too large are from top law schools, from prestigious law firms, major markets, and think they are smarter than those around them.

9. Priority – Making it obvious that being an attorney or working at the law firm is not your top priority will put the future of your job at risk. Attorneys must be committed and confident in their job and abilities if they want to keep their jobs.

10. Outside Work – You don’t have a personal life when you work at a major law firm. If you do anything that could reflect badly on the law firm, they will not hesitate to penalize you. These outside activities could be a Facebook post, criminal activity, or other personal details that are not a good indicator of professional conduct.

Read 22 more reasons attorneys lose their jobs in law firms in this article:

Top 32 Reasons Attorneys Lose Their Jobs Inside of Law Firms

To learn more about how to make it as an attorney, read these articles:


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