Our Resignation Best Practices Guide

Resigning from one role to transition to another is an integral part of elevating your legal career. You can employ best practices – below – to make the transition as smooth as possible.


Resignation Timing

You’ll probably feel like there is never a great time to leave your current role. Sometimes, you don’t have a choice in timing. But if you do have the luxury of choosing when to go, strategically align your resignation during a work downturn (e.g., summer).  Your employment contract may have a clause suggesting the amount of time you need to give before your resignation; however, the standard notice time is two weeks. There is nothing like being off the work grid; we highly encourage our candidates to take off time between jobs! A week without work email is the perfect way to recharge your batteries to be as refreshed as possible for your new work chapter.


Whom to Tell & How to Do It

The formal way to give your resignation is by writing a formal letter and telling your manager in person (although, in today’s age, phone/video conference is also a good option). Refrain from any colorful language or sentiments in your communication – suffice to say, an Above the Law resignation email story will not be helpful to your career!


What to Say

Keep your resignation letter concise. The letter’s contents can include why you’re leaving, the timeline and date of your last day, and gratitude for your current role. In addition, you may provide your personal contact information for future communication if you feel comfortable.


What to do after the Resignation

Maintaining professional behavior following your resignation is incredibly important. Perhaps this is obvious, but depending on the circumstances, it may be challenging. Nevertheless, if possible, be mindful and strategic not to burn bridges with your soon-to-be former employer.

Once your manager and colleagues know about your resignation, it is essential to coordinate a transition plan with the firm. This will include setting aside time to close out your billing and projects and ensure all of your reimbursements/expenses have been submitted. Depending on your employer, there may be an exit interview. If asked, it is wise to provide constructive feedback and remain receptive to any feedback that the firm may have. At this time, you can also coordinate the removal of your name from the website and professional listings.

Lastly, say goodbye to your colleagues, update your LinkedIn, and celebrate the next step in your career journey!

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