How long should you take to decide that your current firm is not right for you?

Q: How long should you take to decide that your current firm is not right for you? I am a new attorney and I have been at a law firm for almost 5 months. It's not what I expelected. Although the people are great, the work is not very interesting or challenging. In addition, there is not much work in the practice area that I hope to develop a practice in. Other firms have expressed interest in me. I am considering pursuing other options, but I am concerned that I have not given my current firm a fair chance and that I am being disloyal.

A: If you have already discovered that the work at your firm is not challenging and that there is little work generally available in your preferred practice area, I think you're ready to move on. I would encourage you to continue pursuing the other firms that have expressed an interest in you, but I would perform a thorough "due diligence" review before you accept another position. I would check your information and perceptions against those of other lawyers who have been with the firm longer, but I don't think loyalty should keep you there. Legal employment is a business transaction rather than a family tie; there are risks involved for both parties to the deal, and you are always free to choose whether to stay or go. I say "go," but keep your eyes open to avoid a repetition of the same mistake.