5 Tips to Make the Best Decision for Your Legal Career When Evaluating a Job Offer


By Jamy J. Sullivan, J.D., Robert Half Legal

If you are looking for a new job in today’s candidate-driven market, you may be in the position of having received than one offer. While this can be a good problem to have, how do you make the right choice?  Here are five tips to consider that can help you make the best decision for your legal career.

1. Evaluate total compensation.

A key concern as you advance your career in the legal profession is compensation. While salary is clearly important, you should also take a look at the overall value equation.

Factor in your job offers’ respective benefit packages. Examine how insurance benefits are structured and what employee contributions are required. Are the retirement savings plans comparable? Are bonuses and/or incentives offered? How much paid time off will you get? Think holistically and take each factor into account when evaluating offers.

2. Weigh work-life balance.

While compensation and benefits are important pieces of the puzzle, work-life balance is an important consideration. For instance, schedule flexibility may be very important to you. Do any of your potential employers offer you the ability to work remotely? The ability to work from home when it is possible is a highly sought-after perk in today’s job market.

Legal careers can be time-intensive, so you should compare the offers while considering the likely demands on your time. Different employers follow different schools of thought. Your potential employer’s expectations can be a significant factor when you are making your decision.

3. Think about job satisfaction and growth opportunities.

Being true to yourself is the best career advice anyone can ever give you. Think about the big picture and base your decision on what is going to make you happy. When comparing offers, identify your career goals and consider the opportunities to reach them. If growth is a priority, you should evaluate the prospects for advancement within each firm.

Growth potential can be viewed as the ability to assume increasing levels of responsibility, but area of specialization is another important consideration. Is one firm offering a better opportunity to work in your preferred area of the law? As the saying goes, you will never work a day in your life if you are doing what you love to do.

4. Compare corporate cultures.

Companies have clearly defined and different cultures. Many provide statements or offer examples of how they engage with employees and the community. A job description can be informative, but you have to interact with coworkers every day, which can be challenging if your work style or preferences clash with your prospective employer’s culture.

5. Get a fresh perspective.

When you are completely immersed in the job offer evaluation process, you may not see every angle clearly. People you know and trust may be able to provide career advice from fresh perspectives. Recruit a mentor, family members, friends or other trusted associates as sounding boards when you are weighing competing offers.

When offers are coming in, your job search has been successful. You should feel great about what your efforts have yielded and savor the moment before moving forward with confidence on the next stage of your career journey.


Jamy J. Sullivan is executive director of the legal practice at Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm. Robert Half offers contract, temporary and permanent placement solutions, and is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm. Visit RobertHalf.com.