So I was recently called to the bar and have been trying to secure an associate position. I am currently in talks with a reputable midsize firm in Toronto who have offered me to begin my own practice with them in a specific legal area. As you might have guessed they are not willing to pay me a salary because they simply don't have enough work in that legal area. So the idea is that it would be up to me if I can bring in clients while they'd provide me with the resource (e.g. office space, mentorship and etc.). I will get to work with other lawyers in the same legal area, who will help me startup my practice and secure clients.
Currently, the firm does not have any lawyers who speak the languages I do, so the partner sees the potential in me being able to attract a specific clientele, especially in light of the specific legal area and the targeted market. Initially, I would not have to pay anything for using their office space, but as my practice becomes established they'd take a chunk of the retainer fees, which I think is pretty standard.
Right now I have two would-be clients who are willing to give me work, but I don't expect to make anything substantial from the work they have. There's also some potential in me getting work from other lawyers and then billing them for it. But this is a huge "if". The partner also said I can work with other lawyers in the same legal area who would help me with marketing.
I do want to start my own practice some day, but I am not sure if making this risky move right now is a good idea, mainly because of my not-so-good financial position. So I guess I am reaching out for advice to see if someone has been in a similar situation and if I should just stick to finding a salaried position. I was also thinking that maybe I should try to negotiate with the partner to have a low base salary that'll be independent of the files I bring in? Maybe this can come from me doing work for other lawyers in different practice areas? I doubt this will go well though.
I would welcome any advice that you guys might have, perhaps from your own experience or from someone you know. Thank you!