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Regardless of your chosen career, odds are, you’ve had to face the dilemma of accepting an offer or gambling on a better offer that may or may not come.  This is especially true in the legal field.  Young attorneys find themselves in these positions often.  Newly graduated and a license to practice opens up a lot of doors, and at times, it can become overwhelming, according to lawyer and founder of founder A. Harrison Barnes.  It’s not uncommon for lawyers to submit their resumes to law firms that greatly differ in sizes and areas of practice.  While you may want to work for a larger firm that provides exposure in several different areas, it might be that a smaller firm that has a more concentrated focus on a particular specialty is the first one to contact you.  Now what?  There is an argument to be made for both waiting and accepting one of those first offers.  There are also a lot of considerations that are important, too.

The founder says it’s important to listen to what your own instincts are telling you.  You may have family members and friends encouraging you to accept the less than perfect position; their intentions are good, but you have to remember you’re the one who has to live with the decision.  Ultimately, it rests on what you believe is best for you and your career.  Of course, there are likely financial considerations, too.  Unless you’re independently wealthy, odds are, the bank account will be a strong factor.  Don’t let that become your primary consideration, warns Barnes.  “If you’re a good lawyer, the money will come”, he says.

It might be that you can gain a lot from the firm that’s not your first choice.  For instance, in a smaller practice, you might be able to get closer to the goings-on, which will be good for gaining important experience.  “Smaller law firms can sometimes equate to more personal working relationships”, says A. Harrison Barnes.  And that personal touch will serve you well throughout your career.  You’ll likely be afforded a slower pace and even if you know it’s not going to keep you satisfied in the long run, it’s also a great way to get your legal career kicked off.

Bottom line, before making the decision, you owe it to yourself to consider all of the factors and not focus on just one or two.  The money’s important, but it’s not your only consideration, especially if you’re a recent grad and looking for experience.

Regardless of what you decide, don’t forget the thousands of career opportunities from law firms of all sizes and specialties and located throughout the country that are available right now on  Pick up some career advice, browse the available positions and even get help with your resume.

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