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 I have been working at a small law office for 5 years now. I also worked at a Bay street bank for half the year in a Legal position. I also worked at a mid-size firm. This was all during my undergrad. I am 21 and just got accepted into law school. 

The small office I've worked in is family to me at this point. I got offered to work there during my summer/articling terms and be hired as a partner once im out.. Every single day at work I get *emotionally manipulated* and reminded that I am working there forever. Imagine the worst type of manipulation possible- and that's what I experience. While I am thankful for the offer I don't think I want to work at a small office or work for myself. I work 15 hours a day, drive 1.5 hours to get there, and get paid VERY VERY VERY LITTLE. It's also a small town that I absolutely hate. Lastly, I dont want to place my bets on them and once I'm out of law school, and have them pay me half of what a Bay street/mid-size firm would pay me as a lawyer when I will do the SAME AMOUNT OF WORK.

I JUST WANT SOME ADVICE!! Am I being too naïve to quit this job? They're handing me these things in a silver platter, but I dont want it. I just dont. Am I stupid for not wanting it? I feel so much pressure on my back because I feel like everyone is counting on me. I just want to be free and go into law school free.. Should I be worried about the job market? It's probably a lot harder to get a job than I think it is? Idk anything anymore.

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Why don’t you leave on good terms before you go off to law school so you don’t burn the bridge (you’re obviously not going to work for them during lawschool anyways). And then if you end up getting a good 2L summer job elsewhere just politely tell them you got a good job offer somewhere else. And if you don’t then you still have them as a backup 

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6 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

They offered to make you a partner right after articling?

"Hired as a partner" according to the OP; not sure what that means. Salary or fee split, but partner in name only? Or, an equity partner, meaning an investment into the firm itself. 

The latter could definitely be a red flag, as maybe they are desperate for a cash infusion. 

Then again, it looks like the OP has not even started law school yet. For some reason, he's hanging onto this position desperately. And his employer appears to be holding "partnership" out in order to get the OP to work for little money in poor conditions. 

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@harveyspecter993 the lawyer really wants to retire so she said as soon as I'm done articling and training at the courts she will retire and she will hire me as a partner. But the thing is, she will probably still seek a percentage of profits and i will still have atleast 2 legal assistants to pay. I also know another student thats at the office right now that shes offering this deal to. Knowing the work ethic there (I work 9am-9pm everyday),  I think we will expand to nearby towns and become really successful. But, that means that for like the first 5 years of my career as a lawyer, I dont expect to be making more than 60k. Also, it means that for the next couple of summers and as an articling student, I'll probably get paid very little.. Like is it even worth it long term, when I can just nest at a mid-size law firm for the rest of my life, make decent money and grind just as hard? Or even going to Toronto. 


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2 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

Then again, it looks like the OP has not even started law school yet. For some reason, he's hanging onto this position desperately. And his employer appears to be holding "partnership" out in order to get the OP to work for little money in poor conditions. 

I agree!!!! I feel like my employer is making me work for little money in poor conditions. I literally work 9am-9pm everyday and worked 30 hours during school terms. I deserve better pay and a better contract. And im holding on with the hope that I will get it post-law school but if my employer is already treating me like shit right now, why wouldnt she be when im out of law school? Things dont just "change"

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13 minutes ago, Lawstudent97 said:

Why don’t you leave on good terms before you go off to law school so you don’t burn the bridge (you’re obviously not going to work for them during lawschoolanyways). And then if you end up getting a good 2L summer job elsewhere just politely tell them you got a good job offer somewhere else. And if you don’t then you still have them as a backup 

I think I will stick to this, this is probably the best idea. And tell them I cant work next summer because I need to work somewhere that pays me more so I have some savings for law school. Thanks!

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Why are you working 12 hours per day as a non-lawyer?  There are surely better jobs out there.

I'm just making some educated guesses here, but I'm thinking your boss has no retirement savings, wants to quit, but her only "asset" is the law practice.  That's why she is offering to hire you before you've even stepped into law school, and why she's making similar offers to others.

The question is - is her law practice actually worth anything?  If you wanted to, after being called to the bar could you not just open up your own office and likely pick up all of her clients once she retires, all without having to pay a percentage to anyone?

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3 minutes ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Why are you working 12 hours per day as a non-lawyer?  There are surely better jobs out there.

I'm just making some educated guesses here, but I'm thinking your boss has no retirement savings, wants to quit, but her only "asset" is the law practice.  That's why she is offering to hire you before you've even stepped into law school, and why she's making similar offers to others.

The question is - is her law practice actually worth anything?  If you wanted to, after being called to the bar could you not just open up your own office and likely pick up all of her clients once she retires, all without having to pay a percentage to anyone

for sure, even the past 2 legal related jobs I had were better work conditions, hours and pay. I think im just working there bc I see them as "family" and we talk about future plans a lot. But its not worth it. I need to focus more on reality.. I havent really had much time to think about this with LSATS, school & Law school Apps.

I do think her law practice is worth a lot.. she has an incredible client base & is making lots of money..But I think instead of focusing on post-law school I need to start focusing on now. And right now I really feel like its not worth my time and energy when I have offers at other firms.

Thats kind of the vibe I'm getting from everyone's post above.. thanks!



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Why do you see them as family if you're admitting they're emotionally manipulative? Appears as if they've convinced you to believe they're family in order for you to feel as if you owe them something, which you do not. If they treat you like shit why would you agree to work there before you've even tested the waters elsewhere. Also, if this lawyer wants to retire, who is to say his or her clients even want you as their lawyer? Doesn't seem like such a perfect offer to me.

Edited by FingersCr0ssed

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Just now, FingersCr0ssed said:

Why do you see them as family if you're admitting they're emotionally manipulative? 

Doesn't this question answer itself? Just me? To the psychologist - awayyyy!!

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1 hour ago, nepca9 said:

 Every single day at work I get *emotionally manipulated*

They're handing me these things in a silver platter

Apart from the hilariousness of being "hired as partner" as soon as you're done articling...I must say...is this really that much of a silver platter

Edited by Disputes

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26 minutes ago, nepca9 said:

for sure, even the past 2 legal related jobs I had were better work conditions, hours and pay. I think im just working there bc I see them as "family" and we talk about future plans a lot. But its not worth it. I need to focus more on reality.. I havent really had much time to think about this with LSATS, school & Law school Apps.

I do think her law practice is worth a lot.. she has an incredible client base & is making lots of money..But I think instead of focusing on post-law school I need to start focusing on now. And right now I really feel like its not worth my time and energy when I have offers at other firms.

Thats kind of the vibe I'm getting from everyone's post above.. thanks!



This whole thread is strange... Calm down, you haven't started law school yet. You don't need to decide anything about your career now.

Working 30 hours a week while in law school is definitely not going to work. Also, how do you have offers at other firms when you haven't started law school yet? 

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You definitely don't need any legal experience or legal connections before you've even gone to law school, in order to have a very successful career afterwards. We don't know all the facts, but assuming you're not going to Bond/the UK or similar for law school, why would you be so desperate as to hold onto a (potential) job for 4 years from now, a job that you actually hate? 

There must be more to this story.

Edited by QuincyWagstaff

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11 minutes ago, nepca9 said:

I do think her law practice is worth a lot.. she has an incredible client base & is making lots of money..But I think instead of focusing on post-law school I need to start focusing on now. And right now I really feel like its not worth my time and energy when I have offers at other firms.



"Her" law practice is worth a lot... with her as the owner.  But how much would it be worth once your boss steps away?  That "incredible client base" would still have legal work that needs doing, and could easily cross the street to someone else once she's gone.

Look, this is all third-hand information as I've never purchased a law practice (or run my own practice).  Standard disclaimer: be wary of taking business advice from a public servant.  But I recall talking to former partners at a firm I'd worked at who expressed regret at ever having purchased someone else's practice: they felt those client would have come to them in any event.

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Jeezus H. Christ. 1.5 hours to get to a job you're overworked in, in a town you hate, and you're paid very little to boot? Assuming it takes you about the same amount of time to get back home I think you should see law school as a way to get the hell out of this situation ASAP.

Look, here's my $0.02.

It makes some sense to keep your options open with this place for the summer of 1L because most students don't end up getting law jobs and it seems like you're practically guaranteed one. But the flip side of that is not only will your working conditions likely be the same, it'll be hella awkward to ask your current boss for a reference letter when you do want to get another job. 

My thoughts are, try to land something different for 1L summer, something you can score a reference letter from. Maybe a legal clinic, and aim to participate in OCI's in 2L, network like crazy.

Anecdotally, I had a buddy who articled with a sole practitioner who promised him his clients when he retired. The lawyer kept delaying retirement until my friend eventually realized that the transition was never going to happen. My friend ended up opening his own shop and he's doing well now. But it took a minute. Moral of the story: words promising you untold riches mean precious little if there's nothing in writing.

Law school is your way out of your current predicament. Take it.

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17 minutes ago, TheAEGIS said:

Law school is your way out of your current predicament. Take it.

This. IMO, law school should be about opening doors for you. Given what you've told us, it sounds like this person is doing everything they can to essentially box you in before you've even started.

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This is predatory behaviour. You know it. They know it.

The sooner you cut ties the better. Don’t look to them for a 1L summer job - the sense of obligation will only mount. 

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On 12/19/2019 at 1:03 PM, nepca9 said:

I do think her law practice is worth a lot.. she has an incredible client base & is making lots of money..But I think instead of focusing on post-law school I need to start focusing on now. And right now I really feel like its not worth my time and energy when I have offers at other firms.

 

How do you have offers at other firms if you have not yet begun law school? 

This thread is very odd to me.

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On 12/19/2019 at 1:24 PM, FingersCr0ssed said:

Why do you see them as family if you're admitting they're emotionally manipulative? 

Isn't that the definition of family? 🤣

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