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Before Accepting a Job Offer

Following are some issues to address before accepting an offer.

  • What is the reputation of the employer? Is it known for having high standards regarding its quality of work and ethical decisions?

  • What are the specialties and major areas of practice?

  • If a private firm, is the firm's financial success tied to many clients or just to a few large ones?

  • Will you enjoy working with the members of the legal staff and support staff?

  • Does the administration of the office seem to be sound and running smoothly? Are there signs of cliques or dissension?

  • What do new attorneys do? How is their work determined and assigned? How do attorneys' responsibilities change over the years?

  • When do new attorneys become specialists, if ever? Who decides? How?

  • What are the methods of compensation? (salary, bonuses, raises, fringe benefits)

  • If a private firm, what emphasis is placed on attorneys bringing in new business to the office? How does this affect compensation? Retention?

  • How is performance judged and by whom?

  • What is the relationship between younger and older attorneys? Are the channels of communication formal or informal?

  • What are the office's attitudes and practices regarding pro bono work, bar association involvement, community service, and government service?

  • Does the office have a friendly atmosphere? Is it a place where people laugh and seem to enjoy themselves? Is there a spirit of cooperation among the lawyers or one of harsh competition?

  • Is the geographic location a good one for your interests and needs? What are the cultural and recreational opportunities, the sense of community, the quality of the school systems, the affordability of housing?


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