appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

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Anonymous User
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appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:12 am

Is it appropriate to ask partners and other people at a firm, post offer, about the possibility of layoffs and the general financial health of the firm? I assume yes.

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chup
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Re: appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby chup » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it appropriate to ask partners and other people at a firm, post offer, about the possibility of layoffs and the general financial health of the firm? I assume yes.

How do you imagine this working?

Summer Associate: Say, care to talk about your long-term hiring and firing plans with me, a just-rising 2L?
Partner: Oh I'm so glad you asked! We're planning on stealthing at least 2/3 of the class of 2010 within the next six months.

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Re: appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:31 am

I asked every single firm I interviewed with about their relative financial health during both screening interviews and callbacks, and these questions were always well received. Several interviewers indicated that they were surprised that more students didn't bring up this issue. Post-offer, this won't be a problem at all, assuming you tactful.

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chup
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Re: appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby chup » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:43 am

Anonymous Loser wrote:I asked every single firm I interviewed with about their relative financial health during both screening interviews and callbacks, and these questions were always well received. Several interviewers indicated that they were surprised that more students didn't bring up this issue. Post-offer, this won't be a problem at all, assuming you tactful.

Putting tact aside, I just don't see what the point is. Every firm is going to say they are doing well/rebounding nicely/have weathered the storm. Even if they weren't trying to sell you on the SA, they're not going to reveal actual financial health or difficulties like that.

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swc65
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Re: appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby swc65 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:58 am

i see nothing wrong asking the firms what lessons they learned from the recent crisis and how they have changed their practices to make sure they aren't vulnerable to something like that again. If done tactfully, it shows that you have a longer term interest in the firm and the field. It will also show that you have a spine. Yes firms will give you stock answers, but some will give real substantive answers. I would certainly take this into account when choosing a firm (assuming I have options, otherwise I'll just take what, if anything, I can get).

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Re: appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:15 am

chup wrote:
Anonymous Loser wrote:I asked every single firm I interviewed with about their relative financial health during both screening interviews and callbacks, and these questions were always well received. Several interviewers indicated that they were surprised that more students didn't bring up this issue. Post-offer, this won't be a problem at all, assuming you tactful.

Putting tact aside, I just don't see what the point is. Every firm is going to say they are doing well/rebounding nicely/have weathered the storm. Even if they weren't trying to sell you on the SA, they're not going to reveal actual financial health or difficulties like that.


Credited. The typical answer was something to the effect of: "We've taken advantage of the downturn to restructure, etc." Still, I was able to get information about the expected size of the SA class compared to previous years, and the effect of c/o 2009 & 2010 deferrments on the c/o 2011.

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Re: appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:28 am

i feel like any info they would be willing to give you can be found in amlaw...

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Re: appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:35 am

A Hiring partner, during CB lunch/dinner, told me what a great financial shape the firm was in. It wasn't until I talked with a disgruntled mid-level associate, and actively read between the lines that I finally understood what was going on though. I think mid-levels, esp. those are rdy to getting the fuck out, can tell you the true story.

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Re: appropriate to ask partners, post offer, about layoffs?

Postby Anonymous Abuser » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:53 am

Anonymous Loser wrote:I asked every single firm I interviewed with about their relative financial health during both screening interviews and callbacks, and these questions were always well received. Several interviewers indicated that they were surprised that more students didn't bring up this issue. Post-offer, this won't be a problem at all, assuming you tactful.


+1

And while they may all paint a rosy picture, quite a few will set your bullshit meter off.

For example, the following is a real (paraphrased) convo:

Me: "How did you fare in the economic downturn, and what is your outlook?"
Interviewer: "Prior to the economy taking a dive, we had about 140 attorneys. We now have 110, but none were layoffs. Everyone who left left on their own because they felt that their business and hours worked was not up to our expectations."




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