Author Topic: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?  (Read 45218 times)

BradminOxt19

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #300 on: January 13, 2020, 06:51:18 PM »
What a great thread / journal. 

I think you can't lose with any decision you make.  If you take the city job, it will work out well, and if it doesn't, you'll go back to your practice and still do well.  I know several lawyers who jumped between working for the city and private practice and it never impacted them negatively.

In life most decisions are not one way streets, as you found out leaving your first firm working for the psycho lawyer lady from hell.  You were able to leave in a few months and set up shop and get into a great place on your own.

I don't think you need any of us to tell you what to do.  Personally, any choice you make will be the right one.

I've been down this road many times, in another industry.  I turned down high paying jobs for lower paying jobs that were more balanced for me, and long term I ended up doing just as well, if not better, than taking the alternate path.  Life is full of choices and there should be no regret. 

You and the many other lawyers in this thread seem incredibly sharp and wise.  I enjoyed reading this thread a lot.

One item - regarding health care...this is the one thing I am concerned with.  I have been in a couple of car accidents, one as a passenger, and one where another driver struck me head-on going the wrong way.  Thankfully I was mostly fine in those cases, but I would be very leery to not have healthy insurance.  I have over $50k in HSA funds, but I still prefer to pay for insurance, not just for me, but my family as driving is the most dangerous activity we do every day, as passengers or drivers.

All it takes is one accident to cause major injury and medical bills, and most state liability insurance limits are a joke, plus there is a significant population of people who carry no auto insurance so you are on the hook for the medical bills.  Life is full of risks, but not having medical insurance with the danger of injury in car accidents is not one I would risk willingly. 

Good luck on your decision and I look forward to more updates!

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #301 on: January 13, 2020, 08:37:45 PM »
Thanks for the recent posts @BradminOxt19 , @Malum Prohibitum , and @FIREby35 .

Apparently I've built a reputation on here (in other threads) for "JADE" -- justify, argue, defend, explain.  I'm not sure how you engage in a forum about personal decisions like this without doing this, but I'll try not to do that here while also trying to articulate my rationale.

To outsiders, mid-60s sounds like a nothing salary.  But I'm in a LCOL rustbelt town.  Some figures:
-My 1,100 square foot ranch with a finished basement cost $127,000. 
-The average *household* income in my county is $42,000. 
-I know for a fact that associates with 3+ years at the "big" firms in town (20ish attorneys) start at around $55,000.

Accepting a job at $68,000 effectively guarantees my wife and me a gross income of about $113,000 before I earn anything from my private practice -- PLUS amazing benefits.  It's really, really hard to turn down.  Especially with a 10-month old son.  And especially when my wife is begging me to take this job so she has more security.

***

I haven't shared my struggles with my practice on here, because I don't want to complain.  But as it's grown, it's been a lot.  The work has felt suffocating at times.  Especially the administrative work.  A lot of that will go away when I scale it down.  My mileage log will be 1/20th of what it was.  For local hearing coverage, no more downloading hearing packets, reviewing files, driving there, and filling out hearing reports.  For appointment cases, no more administrative work and fee slips.  Also, no more small matters, which are more work than I bill for. 

I tried to hire someone else, but that fell through twice.  Then I tried to have my wife help out, and I just don't like taking her away from my son.

My gross receipts were $117k this year.  I could probably do better with case selection and the like, but trust me -- I hustled to earn this much.  An extremely successful lawyer who I used to office with says that the ceiling, most years, is around $200-225k.  He knows maybe 3-4 lawyers who do better.  There's just not that much work to go around.  And trust me -- this guy works like a dog.  We're talking 70-80 hour weeks.  I don't want to be like him.

I view this as a cleansing of sorts.  I can turn it back on if I want, but the goal is to just do $200/hour work moving forward.  If that increases to the point the city job is not worth it, GREAT.

***

The interesting thing here is that my local city is small enough that departments do not have HR departments.  The police, fire, parks and rec, sanitation, city counsel, mayor's office, health department, prosecutor's office, etc., do not have HR departments.  The Law Department *is* the HR department.  So a lot of experience that goes well beyond the city can apply to my practice.

***

At this point I've talked about this with my wife, my dad (also a lawyer), my best two clients, my best referral source, and about five other attorneys.  Their advice was unanimous to take the job and see what happens.  Most people in the know seem to think extremely good experience and connections can be made at the law office.

***

I went for my second meeting today.  I confirmed in no uncertain terms that I can keep my practice going.  I stayed until 4:02 and, sure as shit, not even a mouse was in the office past 4:00, including the other attorneys.

I drove to my office and finished my most important project for the day, and was home by 5:35.  Not bad.

***

I have to meet the mayor tomorrow, but it seems to be a formality at this point.  I'm going to give it a shot.  Maybe it will be a bad decision, but my experience in working for that "psycho" lawyer, as another poster described it, taught me one thing -- the worst case scenario is never as bad as you think.  I think this is especially true now that I have my practice to fall back on.

I really, truly appreciate everyone's advice and comments.  I've weighed it all heavily on several long walks over the last few days, especially those who think this is a bad decision.  Honestly, this thread is one of the only reasons I haven't just deleted my account on this forum.  I appreciate all of your advice.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 08:45:36 PM by ReadySetMillionaire »

Dicey

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #302 on: January 13, 2020, 10:57:09 PM »
What a great thread / journal. 

I think you can't lose with any decision you make.  If you take the city job, it will work out well, and if it doesn't, you'll go back to your practice and still do well.  I know several lawyers who jumped between working for the city and private practice and it never impacted them negatively.

In life most decisions are not one way streets, as you found out leaving your first firm working for the psycho lawyer lady from hell.  You were able to leave in a few months and set up shop and get into a great place on your own.

I don't think you need any of us to tell you what to do.  Personally, any choice you make will be the right one.

I've been down this road many times, in another industry.  I turned down high paying jobs for lower paying jobs that were more balanced for me, and long term I ended up doing just as well, if not better, than taking the alternate path.  Life is full of choices and there should be no regret. 

You and the many other lawyers in this thread seem incredibly sharp and wise.  I enjoyed reading this thread a lot.

One item - regarding health care...this is the one thing I am concerned with.  I have been in a couple of car accidents, one as a passenger, and one where another driver struck me head-on going the wrong way.  Thankfully I was mostly fine in those cases, but I would be very leery to not have healthy insurance.  I have over $50k in HSA funds, but I still prefer to pay for insurance, not just for me, but my family as driving is the most dangerous activity we do every day, as passengers or drivers.

All it takes is one accident to cause major injury and medical bills, and most state liability insurance limits are a joke, plus there is a significant population of people who carry no auto insurance so you are on the hook for the medical bills.  Life is full of risks, but not having medical insurance with the danger of injury in car accidents is not one I would risk willingly. 

Good luck on your decision and I look forward to more updates!
Thanks for chiming in on this. I know I'm not a special snowflake. Shit happens to unsuspecting, undeserving people every minute of every day, but I didn't have the interest or energy to argue with the previous poster any more. Thank you.

I hope you've made a full recovery.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #303 on: January 14, 2020, 02:38:19 AM »
Great update RSM. Just to be clear, Iíd donít think people are arguing against the job, but the idea of doing both. One thing, youíre smart and industrious and seem to have your priorities straight. I hope this works out exactly as you want and you have time for yourself and your family. All the best!

FIREby35

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #304 on: January 14, 2020, 09:02:24 AM »
What a great thread / journal. 

I think you can't lose with any decision you make.  If you take the city job, it will work out well, and if it doesn't, you'll go back to your practice and still do well.  I know several lawyers who jumped between working for the city and private practice and it never impacted them negatively.

In life most decisions are not one way streets, as you found out leaving your first firm working for the psycho lawyer lady from hell.  You were able to leave in a few months and set up shop and get into a great place on your own.

I don't think you need any of us to tell you what to do.  Personally, any choice you make will be the right one.

I've been down this road many times, in another industry.  I turned down high paying jobs for lower paying jobs that were more balanced for me, and long term I ended up doing just as well, if not better, than taking the alternate path.  Life is full of choices and there should be no regret. 

You and the many other lawyers in this thread seem incredibly sharp and wise.  I enjoyed reading this thread a lot.

One item - regarding health care...this is the one thing I am concerned with.  I have been in a couple of car accidents, one as a passenger, and one where another driver struck me head-on going the wrong way.  Thankfully I was mostly fine in those cases, but I would be very leery to not have healthy insurance.  I have over $50k in HSA funds, but I still prefer to pay for insurance, not just for me, but my family as driving is the most dangerous activity we do every day, as passengers or drivers.

All it takes is one accident to cause major injury and medical bills, and most state liability insurance limits are a joke, plus there is a significant population of people who carry no auto insurance so you are on the hook for the medical bills.  Life is full of risks, but not having medical insurance with the danger of injury in car accidents is not one I would risk willingly. 

Good luck on your decision and I look forward to more updates!
Thanks for chiming in on this. I know I'm not a special snowflake. Shit happens to unsuspecting, undeserving people every minute of every day, but I didn't have the interest or energy to argue with the previous poster any more. Thank you.

I hope you've made a full recovery.

Dicey, I didn't mean to seem like arguing. Some of us don't have pre-existing health issues or access to affordable health insurance.* That conversation (and others) had me thinking about how I am sensitive to the insurance thing. You are not the special snowflake - you are the normal one! I'm the one who has the contrarian point of view, but for that I often get negative comments (like that suggesting insurance shouldn't be top priority is f'd thinking). I'm so far down the rabbit hole, no one really ever wants to engage in the analysis of exactly what risks exist and whether there are alternative ways to address them - maybe I need to make friends with an actuary? Anyway, please consider this comment a peace offering. I'm not here to cause anyone to feel bad.

Fact for prior poster: this is a good reason to understand your auto insurance. I recommend high bodily injury limits, high medical payments and an umbrella. Auto accidents are, statistically speaking, the most likely way a catastrophic accident can happen to a person. Your auto insurance bodily injury limits will help you (as long as it was the other persons fault). If you have a high bodily injury limit (like 250k+) and an umbrella (One million) you have a lot of protection for a decent price. Usually the most you can get for medical payments is 10k. Medical payments are important because they do not rely on the event being the other person's fault and can be used to get access to see specialists/follow up care. In car accident situations, health insurance is most useful for access to treatment after the initial ER/ICU (which everyone gets and is billed for later and, often you could negotiate a better reduction than your health insurance if your health insurance has not already paid) and, of course, for any injuries from an accident you yourself caused. Auto insurance mitigates risk for accidents caused by the negligence of others (except for medical payments which is helpful no matter who caused the accident). You auto insurance will also help in the event the other person causes the accident but is uninsured or has low limits.

If you understand your auto insurance, you understand that it mitigates risk for a significant portion of the risk probabilities for a catastrophic accidents.

The other way to mitigate that risk is to drive less. Costs nothing and saves money :)

* When I last checked (it has been years), the plan available was $1,700 for my family of five, with 15k deductible and 50/50 until I was 20k out of pocket (20 of the first 25k). To me, that is not worth 20k a year in premiums. Instead, I have lots of auto insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, medical bill sharing and cash. I also speak Spanish and have geographic arbitrage at my disposal (i.e. I can get medical treatment at a fancy hospital in Mexico City for a fraction of the cost depending on the situation). Anyway, that is what I've got, it's not like I reject the entire concept of insurance :)


RSM: You are fine to work at the city. You don't have to justify. What you said before is right, it is a vast improvement from where you were. Also, your take home in a LCOL area (I live in one as well) is a very nice life. If you wife really wants the insurance, even better to make decisions that make her happy. Like I said above, a happy marriage is priceless.

robartsd

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #305 on: January 14, 2020, 09:24:39 AM »
For chronic conditions or slow moving disease, you are allowed to register with pre-existing conditions annually. I also have medical bills sharing which I am comfortable using as a much lower cost substitute. Cash can be used to secure medical treatment in such a situation.
Are you referring to one of the health share ministries? These seem to be effectively like the catastrophic medical insurance plans that were available prior to the ACA (using an argument of religious freedom as a loophole allowing them to exist). While these aren't technically insurance (they have no legal obligation to pay any claims) they are intended to fill the role. I expect they would be effective at mitigating the impact of an unexpected healthcare costs up to the low 7 figure range (similar to the maximum lifetime benefit of insurance before the ACA). If I were not covered by an employer plan, I might consider one of these.

FIREby35

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #306 on: January 14, 2020, 09:34:10 AM »
For chronic conditions or slow moving disease, you are allowed to register with pre-existing conditions annually. I also have medical bills sharing which I am comfortable using as a much lower cost substitute. Cash can be used to secure medical treatment in such a situation.
Are you referring to one of the health share ministries? These seem to be effectively like the catastrophic medical insurance plans that were available prior to the ACA (using an argument of religious freedom as a loophole allowing them to exist). While these aren't technically insurance (they have no legal obligation to pay any claims) they are intended to fill the role. I expect they would be effective at mitigating the impact of an unexpected healthcare costs up to the low 7 figure range (similar to the maximum lifetime benefit of insurance before the ACA). If I were not covered by an employer plan, I might consider one of these.

Yes, this is what I am talking about. Yes, it is meant to fill the role my prior health insurance filled. That insurance no longer existed after ACA was implemented. Lots of people have a fear of medical bill sharing not being insurance and, therefore, pay a lot more for health insurance. Also, it is not available to those with pre-existing conditions. But yeah, that is exactly what I think.

BradminOxt19

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #307 on: January 14, 2020, 10:21:46 AM »
Auto insurance is very important but it has many gaps.  For instance I rent cars often or am in Uber / Lyft, and my auto insurance may not cover me in all those situations.  My family may ride in other people's cars (family / friends / co-workers / fellow students etc), and I have little control over what other people's auto coverages are.   Auto insurance also has gone up in cost in many areas as well due to the increasing injury and property damage, and dealing with an indifferent claims adjust can be a pain.  I had to contact legal representation at the cost of 1/3 of my settlement to get a settlement on some of my injury claims and that was no fun.

This is why I feel medical insurance is critical for all but the most affluent people. All it takes is one little accident, medical diagnosis, to threaten or wipe out your financial security.

Dicey

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #308 on: January 14, 2020, 02:28:32 PM »
What a great thread / journal. 

I think you can't lose with any decision you make.  If you take the city job, it will work out well, and if it doesn't, you'll go back to your practice and still do well.  I know several lawyers who jumped between working for the city and private practice and it never impacted them negatively.

In life most decisions are not one way streets, as you found out leaving your first firm working for the psycho lawyer lady from hell.  You were able to leave in a few months and set up shop and get into a great place on your own.

I don't think you need any of us to tell you what to do.  Personally, any choice you make will be the right one.

I've been down this road many times, in another industry.  I turned down high paying jobs for lower paying jobs that were more balanced for me, and long term I ended up doing just as well, if not better, than taking the alternate path.  Life is full of choices and there should be no regret. 

You and the many other lawyers in this thread seem incredibly sharp and wise.  I enjoyed reading this thread a lot.

One item - regarding health care...this is the one thing I am concerned with.  I have been in a couple of car accidents, one as a passenger, and one where another driver struck me head-on going the wrong way.  Thankfully I was mostly fine in those cases, but I would be very leery to not have healthy insurance.  I have over $50k in HSA funds, but I still prefer to pay for insurance, not just for me, but my family as driving is the most dangerous activity we do every day, as passengers or drivers.

All it takes is one accident to cause major injury and medical bills, and most state liability insurance limits are a joke, plus there is a significant population of people who carry no auto insurance so you are on the hook for the medical bills.  Life is full of risks, but not having medical insurance with the danger of injury in car accidents is not one I would risk willingly. 

Good luck on your decision and I look forward to more updates!
Thanks for chiming in on this. I know I'm not a special snowflake. Shit happens to unsuspecting, undeserving people every minute of every day, but I didn't have the interest or energy to argue with the previous poster any more. Thank you.

I hope you've made a full recovery.

Dicey, I didn't mean to seem like arguing. Some of us don't have pre-existing health issues or access to affordable health insurance.* That conversation (and others) had me thinking about how I am sensitive to the insurance thing. You are not the special snowflake - you are the normal one! I'm the one who has the contrarian point of view, but for that I often get negative comments (like that suggesting insurance shouldn't be top priority is f'd thinking). I'm so far down the rabbit hole, no one really ever wants to engage in the analysis of exactly what risks exist and whether there are alternative ways to address them - maybe I need to make friends with an actuary? Anyway, please consider this comment a peace offering. I'm not here to cause anyone to feel bad.

Fact for prior poster: this is a good reason to understand your auto insurance. I recommend high bodily injury limits, high medical payments and an umbrella. Auto accidents are, statistically speaking, the most likely way a catastrophic accident can happen to a person. Your auto insurance bodily injury limits will help you (as long as it was the other persons fault). If you have a high bodily injury limit (like 250k+) and an umbrella (One million) you have a lot of protection for a decent price. Usually the most you can get for medical payments is 10k. Medical payments are important because they do not rely on the event being the other person's fault and can be used to get access to see specialists/follow up care. In car accident situations, health insurance is most useful for access to treatment after the initial ER/ICU (which everyone gets and is billed for later and, often you could negotiate a better reduction than your health insurance if your health insurance has not already paid) and, of course, for any injuries from an accident you yourself caused. Auto insurance mitigates risk for accidents caused by the negligence of others (except for medical payments which is helpful no matter who caused the accident). You auto insurance will also help in the event the other person causes the accident but is uninsured or has low limits.

If you understand your auto insurance, you understand that it mitigates risk for a significant portion of the risk probabilities for a catastrophic accidents.

The other way to mitigate that risk is to drive less. Costs nothing and saves money :)

* When I last checked (it has been years), the plan available was $1,700 for my family of five, with 15k deductible and 50/50 until I was 20k out of pocket (20 of the first 25k). To me, that is not worth 20k a year in premiums. Instead, I have lots of auto insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, medical bill sharing and cash. I also speak Spanish and have geographic arbitrage at my disposal (i.e. I can get medical treatment at a fancy hospital in Mexico City for a fraction of the cost depending on the situation). Anyway, that is what I've got, it's not like I reject the entire concept of insurance :)


RSM: You are fine to work at the city. You don't have to justify. What you said before is right, it is a vast improvement from where you were. Also, your take home in a LCOL area (I live in one as well) is a very nice life. If you wife really wants the insurance, even better to make decisions that make her happy. Like I said above, a happy marriage is priceless.
Okay, you say you're not arguing, but then it continues...
1. Nobody has a pre-existing condition, until they do. Revel in your health...for as long as you have it.
2. Sounds like your examples are pre-Obamacare. Things have changed for the better since, though clearly nothing in the future is guaranteed, thanks to the current administration.

FIREby35

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #309 on: January 15, 2020, 09:22:55 AM »
Dicey - you are right :)

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #310 on: January 15, 2020, 03:32:19 PM »
Thanks for the recent posts @BradminOxt19 , @Malum Prohibitum , and @FIREby35 .

Apparently I've built a reputation on here (in other threads) for "JADE" -- justify, argue, defend, explain.  I'm not sure how you engage in a forum about personal decisions like this without doing this, but I'll try not to do that here while also trying to articulate my rationale.

To outsiders, mid-60s sounds like a nothing salary.  But I'm in a LCOL rustbelt town.  Some figures:
-My 1,100 square foot ranch with a finished basement cost $127,000. 
-The average *household* income in my county is $42,000. 
-I know for a fact that associates with 3+ years at the "big" firms in town (20ish attorneys) start at around $55,000.

Accepting a job at $68,000 effectively guarantees my wife and me a gross income of about $113,000 before I earn anything from my private practice -- PLUS amazing benefits.  It's really, really hard to turn down.  Especially with a 10-month old son.  And especially when my wife is begging me to take this job so she has more security.

***

I haven't shared my struggles with my practice on here, because I don't want to complain.  But as it's grown, it's been a lot.  The work has felt suffocating at times.  Especially the administrative work.  A lot of that will go away when I scale it down.  My mileage log will be 1/20th of what it was.  For local hearing coverage, no more downloading hearing packets, reviewing files, driving there, and filling out hearing reports.  For appointment cases, no more administrative work and fee slips.  Also, no more small matters, which are more work than I bill for. 

I tried to hire someone else, but that fell through twice.  Then I tried to have my wife help out, and I just don't like taking her away from my son.

My gross receipts were $117k this year.  I could probably do better with case selection and the like, but trust me -- I hustled to earn this much.  An extremely successful lawyer who I used to office with says that the ceiling, most years, is around $200-225k.  He knows maybe 3-4 lawyers who do better.  There's just not that much work to go around.  And trust me -- this guy works like a dog.  We're talking 70-80 hour weeks.  I don't want to be like him.

I view this as a cleansing of sorts.  I can turn it back on if I want, but the goal is to just do $200/hour work moving forward.  If that increases to the point the city job is not worth it, GREAT.

***

The interesting thing here is that my local city is small enough that departments do not have HR departments.  The police, fire, parks and rec, sanitation, city counsel, mayor's office, health department, prosecutor's office, etc., do not have HR departments.  The Law Department *is* the HR department.  So a lot of experience that goes well beyond the city can apply to my practice.

***

At this point I've talked about this with my wife, my dad (also a lawyer), my best two clients, my best referral source, and about five other attorneys.  Their advice was unanimous to take the job and see what happens.  Most people in the know seem to think extremely good experience and connections can be made at the law office.

***

I went for my second meeting today.  I confirmed in no uncertain terms that I can keep my practice going.  I stayed until 4:02 and, sure as shit, not even a mouse was in the office past 4:00, including the other attorneys.

I drove to my office and finished my most important project for the day, and was home by 5:35.  Not bad.

***

I have to meet the mayor tomorrow, but it seems to be a formality at this point.  I'm going to give it a shot.  Maybe it will be a bad decision, but my experience in working for that "psycho" lawyer, as another poster described it, taught me one thing -- the worst case scenario is never as bad as you think.  I think this is especially true now that I have my practice to fall back on.

I really, truly appreciate everyone's advice and comments.  I've weighed it all heavily on several long walks over the last few days, especially those who think this is a bad decision.  Honestly, this thread is one of the only reasons I haven't just deleted my account on this forum.  I appreciate all of your advice.

It sounds like you have put a lot of consideration into this.  Please update us from time to time on how your plan is working out.  You have several interested persons following. 

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #311 on: April 20, 2020, 06:16:22 AM »
To follow up on a couple months ago, I did end up accepting the city job.  Pay was a little lower than I thought ($66k) but that wasn't going to sway me. 

One of the best benefits I didn't know about was deferred comp.  It's basically a 401k but I can access the money penalty free as soon as I leave the city job.  I am maxing that at $19,500 per year.

Overall the city job is exactly what I thought -- good staff (I already knew everyone), much more laid back than private practice, but also engaging.  I am enjoying the work and the people so far. 

***

Perhaps it is fate, but I am so, so, so fortunate I took this job. I started on February 18 and everyone was sent home around March 16 due to a city employee contracting the virus.  I have been working at my regular office and staying busy doing city work remotely.

This fixed income has been so important.  Due to Ohio House Bill 197, which effectively stayed all legal deadlines, my practice (and everyone else's) has basically dried up.  I did not send invoices on April 1 and I probably won't on May 1 either. Also, my wife's hours have been cut from 25-30 per week to maybe 5-10. 

This timing was so, so fortunate for me.

***

The obvious downside here is that I still have not developed any sort of routine with managing the city job *and* my law practice.  Oh well.  That is a small mental burden to carry.  We (the city law department) have an all-hands-on-deck meeting tomorrow. 

***

I have been busy with the city though, and one thing I am returning to is whether to have case management software.  A year ago, I decided just continuing my Google setup was adequate because I had time to manage various self-created spreadsheets, and manually integrate between different platforms.

Now, with the city job, I have considerably less time, and I am finding that my setup is falling apart.  For instance, when I get a new client, it's just too burdensome to manually do an intake, put that client into my "active matter" spreadsheet, draft and send the client a fee agreement, monitor their retainer balance, put their contact info into Google Contacts, put their contact info into Quickbooks, and then add it to my time-tracking sheet. And this is just my new client stuff.

I think I am going to go with Clio Suite (case management plus intake software).  I figure with my practice basically ground to a halt by HB 197, now is the perfect time to at least do a free trial and see if this really does save me time.

Total cost for the year is $1,000.  I think I've reached a point where I'm willing to pay $1,000 to avoid this constant headache.

***

Lastly, some numbers so far for this year.  I'm off to a great start:

Income: $38,961

Expenses: $6,690

Net Profit: $32,271

My goal used to be $100,000 in profit, but now I'm shooting for $75,000.  Obviously extremely difficult to predict right now, but still need that goal.

Hoping to send $12,000 in invoices on June 1 and then hopefully we are back to normal by then.

Dicey

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #312 on: April 20, 2020, 06:49:45 AM »
Re: Those open invoices. Would you have time to send out a letter stating that under the circumstances you are holding off billing until June 1? Lets them know you're giving them a breather but that you haven't forgotten what's owed. This will create some goodwill, and remind people that their bill is still going to come due. It also gives you time to sort out who will be able to pay and who's going to need some kind of payment flexibility. The ones that can pay are more likely to do so promptly, which will help you juggle the ones that can't more easily.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 07:40:28 AM by Dicey »

BuffaloStache

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #313 on: April 20, 2020, 07:05:15 AM »
To follow up on a couple months ago, I did end up accepting the city job.  Pay was a little lower than I thought ($66k) but that wasn't going to sway me. 

One of the best benefits I didn't know about was deferred comp.  It's basically a 401k but I can access the money penalty free as soon as I leave the city job.  I am maxing that at $19,500 per year.
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Perhaps it is fate, but I am so, so, so fortunate I took this job. I started on February 18 and everyone was sent home around March 16 due to a city employee contracting the virus.  I have been working at my regular office and staying busy doing city work remotely.
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The obvious downside here is that I still have not developed any sort of routine with managing the city job *and* my law practice.  Oh well.  That is a small mental burden to carry.  We (the city law department) have an all-hands-on-deck meeting tomorrow. 
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I haven't been here in a while, and just finally caught up. Congrats on the job, RSM! It definitely seems like you were methodical in considering it and made the decision that was right for your family. Also, it's amazing and really great that you can continue your private practice on the side, even if it's skimmed down to only the work that you know gives you the biggest bang for your buck. The deferred comp is a great benefit! I wish my job had something that.

Also, the timing was definitely lucky for you. Stay safe!

Finally, don't worry about a routine just yet. Things are so weird and not normal right now, you'll have plenty of time to establish a routine later. As Dicey said, definitely check in from time to time and let us know how it's going!

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #314 on: April 20, 2020, 08:51:49 AM »
Re: Those open invoices. Would you have time to send out a letter stating that under the circumstances you are holding off billing until June 1? Lets them know you're giving them a breather but that you haven't forgotten what's owed. This will create some goodwill, and remind people that their bill is still going to come due. It also gives you time to sort out who will be able to pay and who's going to need some kind of payment flexibility. The ones that can pay are more likely to do so promptly, which will help you juggle the ones that can't more easily.

I sent out an email in mid-march letting all clients know I would not be sending out invoices on April 1 due to the circumstances.  I got a lot of very positive feedback from this and will likely do so again near May 1.

My email did let them know "service would be uninterrupted, and that I am staying on top of your case."  So they know the bill is coming due.

***

I'm like 12/10 excited to start my Clio trial.  It's something I probably should have done a year ago but I can't wait to just feel like I can offload this to software.

God I'm a dork.

Dicey

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #315 on: April 20, 2020, 10:37:45 AM »
Re: Those open invoices. Would you have time to send out a letter stating that under the circumstances you are holding off billing until June 1? Lets them know you're giving them a breather but that you haven't forgotten what's owed. This will create some goodwill, and remind people that their bill is still going to come due. It also gives you time to sort out who will be able to pay and who's going to need some kind of payment flexibility. The ones that can pay are more likely to do so promptly, which will help you juggle the ones that can't more easily.

I sent out an email in mid-march letting all clients know I would not be sending out invoices on April 1 due to the circumstances.  I got a lot of very positive feedback from this and will likely do so again near May 1.

My email did let them know "service would be uninterrupted, and that I am staying on top of your case."  So they know the bill is coming due.

***

I'm like 12/10 excited to start my Clio trial.  It's something I probably should have done a year ago but I can't wait to just feel like I can offload this to software.

God I'm a dork.
Maybe, but you're our dork and we love you.

robartsd

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #316 on: April 21, 2020, 10:58:02 AM »
457 deferred compensation plans are a great perk for public and non-profit sector employees interested in FIRE. Glad the timing of the new job worked out so well for your family. I hope you are able to hit your goals this year. Having your own office already set up must be quite nice, lots of people are struggling to figure out how to create effective workspaces in their homes with little to no notice and with a limitation on resources availible.

lhamo

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #317 on: April 21, 2020, 02:39:11 PM »
Sounds like just setting up a new client in your old system would be 1-2 hours of work. If the software cuts that in half and you bill at $100/hr you will quickly "earn" that money back because you will have more time available to spend on billable matters rather than the admin.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #318 on: April 22, 2020, 06:50:03 AM »
Sounds like just setting up a new client in your old system would be 1-2 hours of work. If the software cuts that in half and you bill at $100/hr you will quickly "earn" that money back because you will have more time available to spend on billable matters rather than the admin.

That's exactly my thinking.

Previously, I had *all day* to work at my practice.  Yes, I could save time with software, but there literally was not enough billable work day in, day out, that I would need to be billing all day.  That left me with admin time, and I actually liked that time.

But that space for admin time has now disappeared.  I'm working 35 hours a week for the city, and while I've scaled my practice back, I still have 15-20 hours per week at my practice.  I need to *work* when I come in on Saturday, not do invoices or update spreadsheets. Thus, saving that admin time is much more critical now than it was previously.

The support here thinking it's a good idea means I'm going to pull the trigger on this...today.