A: Dial the law firm’s main number and ask to speak with someone who handles new lawyers. Ask questions like “What are the types of cases that you get?” or “How many new lawyers do you hire each year?” You might be surprised by how much interest they show in your career path. Of course, don’t talk about why you want to leave your current job—even if it is a bad one. It would sound suspicious if an attorney suddenly announces he wants to go work for this firm, after having had no desire prior to that point.
Q: What should I tell my boss when I quit my job? How long before I can start looking for another position?
A: If possible, give your employer at least two weeks notice so that there isn’t any awkwardness between employee and employer as both try to figure out what happened and how best to coexist going forward. But once you’ve given notice, it’s time for action! Don’t hesitate—you’re not obligated (or even encouraged) to wait around until HR has found someone else for the job; instead take matters into your own hands and find something better immediately or whittle down your list of possibilities quickly. Remember: anybody can walk into a law firm today and apply online; all they need is an idea of what kind of lawyer they’d like (and then some!).