"Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

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ComatoseClown
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"Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby ComatoseClown » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:21 am

1. Is it true that most positions in law firms -- of any size -- are "at-will", meaning that the Firm can terminate an attorney at any time, with or without notice, for any reason?

If so, I was thinking: how awful and heartbreaking it would be be after all the exhaustive job-hunting & interviewing (not to mention graduating law school in the first place), etc. and then to be fired early on (in the initial "overwhelming" period), by perhaps an aggressive, fastidious, Partner or other higher-up. Does anyone know of cases where this has happened?

If it's not the case that Firm employment is typically "at-will", how generally then are the employment policies at firms? Which positions are notunder employment-at-will? My guess based on my limited knowledge would be ones in the likes of as Partner or Of Counsel.

2. How generally are the employment policies for attorneys in public interest?

3. Clerkships?

Renzo
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby Renzo » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:20 am

Why are you so worried about being fired? I'd be worried about getting a job in the first place, if I were you.

HBK
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Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby HBK » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:36 am

Have you had any other jobs before?

Have you ever been fired before?

Why?

ComatoseClown
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:00 pm

Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby ComatoseClown » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:53 am

I've not had a job yet; I based my question after reading this http://www.law.com/jsp/llf/PubArticleLL ... 4948247090, specifically Point #5, which was alarming.

Can anyone actually answer the original question in the first post?

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JDeterminedF
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Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby JDeterminedF » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:32 am

Well, if you're not under contract, I believe ALL jobs are "at will" if I’m not mistaken. I can't speak on the specifics but I imagine you'll be fine so long as you perform the duties you were hired to do...

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LLB2JD
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Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby LLB2JD » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:38 am

Most jobs are "at will". I must say though that most employers would not just fire you without some sort warning (if the firing offense were performance related).


Renzo
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Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby Renzo » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:47 am

Partners are not employees, so they can't be "at will." Outside of that, almost all jobs in all sectors, including all legal jobs, are at-will.

Hell, in the last couple years, associates have had their offers rescinded, so they were basically fired before they actually got one day on the job.

concurrent fork
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Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby concurrent fork » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:40 am

Were you expecting to negotiate a 10 year contract with a termination fee?

iiifly
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Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby iiifly » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:47 am

I guess you did not take employment law (not that I've taken, but my knowledge comes from the consulting firm I work at). Almost everyone is "at will" - unless there's a contract then its pursuant to that. Performance is always good excuse to fire anyone. No pressure!

:)

Edit: Appears everyone else stated the same thing and I piled on.

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ggocat
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Re: "Employment at will"--is this how it is at Firms? & Clinics?

Postby ggocat » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:44 pm

ComatoseClown wrote:1. Is it true that most positions in law firms -- of any size -- are "at-will", meaning that the Firm can terminate an attorney at any time, with or without notice, for any reason?

If so, I was thinking: how awful and heartbreaking it would be be after all the exhaustive job-hunting & interviewing (not to mention graduating law school in the first place), etc. and then to be fired early on (in the initial "overwhelming" period), by perhaps an aggressive, fastidious, Partner or other higher-up. Does anyone know of cases where this has happened?

If it's not the case that Firm employment is typically "at-will", how generally then are the employment policies at firms? Which positions are notunder employment-at-will? My guess based on my limited knowledge would be ones in the likes of as Partner or Of Counsel.

2. How generally are the employment policies for attorneys in public interest?

3. Clerkships?


I think a strong argument could be made that some clerkships are not at-will. (Of course partners are not employees).

Almost everything is at-will. You asked about being fired early; maybe you are not aware of the many law school graduates who were fired before they even started? (i.e., employment offers rescinded)

But in practice, I've been told that most large firms give you a year to see how things pan out unless you are a complete screw up. (e.g., if your billables are low in the beginning, they usually give you a bit of time to bring them up).




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