You finally found a position that you thought would be your "dream job." The partners liked you and promised to put you right to work in litigation, an area in which you are desperate to gain experience. However, it has been six months and you have yet to touch your first case. Instead, they have you in the corporate department, spending your days up to your elbows in mind-numbing paperwork and boring meetings.
This scenario is not as uncommon as you might think. The only way to "compel" a law firm to allow you to do the work you want to do is to have in hand a written contract specifying that you will be allowed to perform certain tasks, and most law firms are simply not going to give you this when you are hired. Far more firms rely on a "gentlemen's" (or ladies') agreement and a handshake to specify your job duties.
Do you have any recourse when you find that your dream job is not what you thought it would be? There is, of course, the possibility of quitting, but most lawyers these days are just glad they have found work and are reluctant to give up their jobs. Should you suffer in silence? Actually, there are ways you may change practice areas, but they require you to understand a few basic rules about working in a law firm.
While it is important to get experience in the areas in which you want to specialize, it is also important to maintain your integrity while job seeking. If you do decide to leave, be sure to give plenty of notice and finish the cases to which you are assigned.
Rifkin Consulting can help you when the time comes to change jobs by finding the right law firm and position to match your skills and preferences.