March 18, 2011

Estate planning attorney job in San Francisco

An experienced, bright, motivated, personable estate planning is sought to fill out our San Francisco estate planning boutique law firm. Our requirements, in rough order of preference:
a. 3 years of experience seems to be the magic number. Less means we spend too much time on training. More means that your expectations for compensation likely do not fit within our budget, but its possible if you are humble and willing to take compensation that corresponds to your contribution.
b. People-oriented. Estate work requires a firm with a combination of talents. We have some variety here - tax geek, code-head, researcher-type, rainmaker, neat freak, and so forth. All of us share a love of people and their peculiarites.
c. Hard working. Even a "soft" area of law requires that you work evenings and weekends from time to time. We're sorry - but you're the one that chose to go to law school and become a lawyer. So did we. You have to work hard as a lawyer wherever you go. Estate work is no exception.
d. Long time horizon. Estate planning is about building up a client base over a long period of time. Its not litigation. There's no contingency award for a quick policy-limits demand letter. You need to think in terms of decades. That's how our clients think. They don't die every year, only to be born again to die the next year. Dying is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One needs 3000-4000 clients to regularly see repeat business - family events such as deaths, births, marriages, divorces, and of course restatements and changes in tax law. It takes about 10 years to get 3,000 clients, even if you are a rock star.
e. Not afraid to fight. Disputes are inevitable. Ever read King Lear? Consider adding it to your reading list.
f. F is for fun. As hard as this practice area is, it is fun. The fact patterns you see in administration are often bizarre and entertaining. In planning, you must be serious and sober, and treat the client's situation with tremendous dignity and respect, regardless of their issues. There are highs and lows.

Some sub-specialization is inevitable in this field. Our subspecialties include high net-worth, business succession, elder law/MediCal, special needs planning, estate administration, trusts and estates litigation, tax controversy, international law and estate planning, and charitable/exempt entity work. Ideally you will have an interest or skill in one or more of these.

Please send a short (200-300 words) cover letter (the screening partner does not like reading the same old cover letter, but recognizes you need to say the basic platitudes. Just keep those short). Unless you have already written and published a bunch of articles and books, a not-to-exceed-1-page CV or resume should accompany your application.

We pay a very small minimum base salary with most of the compensation in the form of bonuses based on collected receivables attributable to your work.

Compensation: Its never enough.

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