Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

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Npret

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Re: Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

Postby Npret » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Npret wrote:Why did you make the moves you've made? Did you have an overall plan or goal? What brought you to this firm in the first place? You know you won't ever be a partner.

Looking at your overall path might help you figure out where to go next.

I wouldn't let the 5 month thing keep me from looking hard for another job. I hope you don't need a recommendation from him but it is what it is and you need to leave.

Who knows maybe the hiring freeze will work itself out.


The firm has internal published realistic partnership metrics, so it was sort of an option. I also knew that I eventually wanted to either go in-house or into a better paying government job. As a DA/PD in a major city, I was making so little money I had incurred credit card debt, on top of student loans. I moved to a small firm to get the experience I needed, but quickly realized I was underpaid for the work I did and still couldn't dent my loans (I work the same hours at my biglaw firm now and make more than twice as much - also as stated above, the hours are not my concern). The biglaw firm offered the "name brand" for me to hopefully make one last career jump to a good in-house or government job (preferably federal). We all know how lawyers are about "pestige," and no one wanted a "small firm lawyer" because you apparently don't get the same "biglaw lawyering skills" at a small firm (completely false, btw).

It's hard to move up having not started in biglaw, so I am greatful for having been given the opportunity. The environment is bad, though... really really bad. Almost all of my work (85%) comes from this partner, and he will screen other work partners want to give me before I can work on it.

How hard did you look for this current job? Did you have other offers?

This is a tough situation. Maybe work hard on your stress management skills. I worked with difficult people but kind of let it roll off my back. It's not easy to do though

Start looking. You can always spin a plausible reason for a move. Get an interview and then worry about it.
Last edited by Npret on Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

iliketurtles123

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Re: Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

Postby iliketurtles123 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:35 pm

Npret wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:Easier said than done but..
if your entire office hates him (or at least it seems like that), why not stick together and plan to talk to him/upper management as a group?

Rainmaker or not, if an entire group has a problem, I'm sure there will some changes that will be needed to be made on his part. They can't fire everyone.

Actually they can. And they would if the rainmaker partner wanted them to do so. Most lawyers are fungible commodities.


Ok I should clarify.

Obviously depends on the situation and how much the partner is bringing in but...

From a financial perspective, yeah, it makes sense to keep the rainmaker. And yeah they can fire everyone... but they most likely won't.
You fire an entire group including support staff, but you're understaffed for who knows how long. Hiring a new associate doesn't cost X amount of salary + benefits + etc. That's just the financial aspect. It takes months to get an associate up to speed. If the entire department is gone, it's much harder to train new associates. What good is having a rainmaker who brings in new clients if you don't have a group who can do the work?

Sure you can bring in new associate laterals immediately. But immediate hires mean a) you can't effectively screen them b) you have to explain why your whole office is gone without scaring the new hire away c) you need to find associates who are trained to do exactly what your practice area does and has experience in the same type ofwork because no one else can train them d) reputation in the legal industry and among your clients will take a huge hit (your firm will definitely be on ATL) e) your firm's immediate client work will suffer/may not meet deadlines f) etc, etc, etc.

You can also transfer existing associates from other departments to cover the damage but the transition will definitely hurt the business by one or more ways.

It's going to be a headache no matter what to fire everyone. It makes much more sense for the managing partners to try to work this out as amicably as possible for the reasons mentioned above than to just blindly please the rainmaker with whatever he wants. Firing everyone will be the last resort.

I'm not saying the group should tell the managing partners "fire him or we quit". I'm saying you should have a civil, calm discussion... and it's easier for a group to do this than one person, since in the latter case, it's much easier for the rainmaker to say "you're gone". You also have to understand the rainmaker is human and there's a good chance he's not pure evil... meaning if his whole office is asking him to be a little more reasonable, he might actually finally understand what an assfuck he's being.

Of course there is always the risk that the rainmaker will say "I want this entire group gone or I'm gone" but hey, who's to say he's not fed up with everyone already and won't do this tomorrow?
Last edited by iliketurtles123 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Npret

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Posts: 1355
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

Postby Npret » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:43 pm

iliketurtles123 wrote:
Npret wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:Easier said than done but..
if your entire office hates him (or at least it seems like that), why not stick together and plan to talk to him/upper management as a group?

Rainmaker or not, if an entire group has a problem, I'm sure there will some changes that will be needed to be made on his part. They can't fire everyone.

Actually they can. And they would if the rainmaker partner wanted them to do so. Most lawyers are fungible commodities.


Ok I should clarify.

Obviously depends on the situation and how much the partner is bringing in but...

From a financial perspective, yeah, it makes sense to keep the rainmaker. And yeah they can fire everyone... but they most likely won't.
You fire an entire group including support staff, but you're understaffed for who knows how long. Hiring a new associate doesn't cost X amount of salary + benefits + etc. That's just the financial aspect. It takes months to get an associate up to speed. If the entire department is gone, it's much harder to train new associates. What good is having a rainmaker who brings in new clients if you don't have a group who can do the work?

Sure you can bring in new associate laterals immediately. But immediate hires mean a) you can't effectively screen them b) you have to explain why your whole office is gone without scaring the new hire away c) you need to find associates who are trained to do exactly what your practice area does and has experience in the same type of because no one else can train them d) reputation in the legal industry and among your clients will take a huge hit (your firm will definitely be on ATL) e) your firm's immediate client work will suffer/may not meet deadlines f) etc, etc, etc.

You can also transfer existing associates from other departments to cover the damage but the transition will definitely hurt the business by one or more ways.

It's going to be a headache no matter what to fire everyone. It makes much more sense for the managing partners to try to work this out as amicably as possible for the reasons mentioned above than to just blindly please the rainmaker with whatever he wants. Firing everyone will be the last resort.

I'm not saying the group should tell the managing partners "fire him or we quit". I'm saying you should have a civil, calm discussion... and it's easier for a group to do this than one person, since in the latter case, it's much easier for the rainmaker to say "you're gone". You also have to understand the rainmaker is human and there's a good chance he's not pure evil... meaning if his whole office is asking him to be a little more reasonable, he might actually finally understand what an assfuck he's being.

Of course there is always the risk that the rainmaker will say "I want this entire group gone or I'm gone" but hey, who's to say he's not fed up with everyone already and won't do this tomorrow?


Have you ever worked at a biglaw firm? Without going through your entire post I would just like to politely say that you may not understand the power of serious rainmaking partners. But, this is off topic for OP.

The last thing OP should do is try to cause any change in the situation. A screamer partner isn't a secret to anyone in firm management.

Voyager

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Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 2:52 pm

Re: Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

Postby Voyager » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:46 pm

OP! Dude! You are going to need to stick this thing out for 2 years. Otherwise recruiters and firms will look sideways at you. After 2 years you can easily move to a new firm. After 4-5 you can probably go in house

Your situation sucks and is super common. You also aren't going to be able to get him to change. And if you try, he will destroy you.

Advice: try to make this guy happy. If you succeed, he will see you as a super valuable resource and your will do well at the firm. Why? Because I bet he hates all of the associates and they hate him.

God biglaw sucks. Holy poop. You know what happens to executives in the F500 who act like this? They tend to get canned.
Last edited by Voyager on Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:48 pm

iliketurtles123 wrote:
Npret wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:Easier said than done but..
if your entire office hates him (or at least it seems like that), why not stick together and plan to talk to him/upper management as a group?

Rainmaker or not, if an entire group has a problem, I'm sure there will some changes that will be needed to be made on his part. They can't fire everyone.

Actually they can. And they would if the rainmaker partner wanted them to do so. Most lawyers are fungible commodities.


Ok I should clarify.

Obviously depends on the situation and how much the partner is bringing in but...

From a financial perspective, yeah, it makes sense to keep the rainmaker. And yeah they can fire everyone... but they most likely won't.
You fire an entire group including support staff, but you're understaffed for who knows how long. Hiring a new associate doesn't cost X amount of salary + benefits + etc. That's just the financial aspect. It takes months to get an associate up to speed. If the entire department is gone, it's much harder to train new associates. What good is having a rainmaker who brings in new clients if you don't have a group who can do the work?

Sure you can bring in new associate laterals immediately. But immediate hires mean a) you can't effectively screen them b) you have to explain why your whole office is gone without scaring the new hire away c) you need to find associates who are trained to do exactly what your practice area does and has experience in the same type of because no one else can train them d) reputation in the legal industry and among your clients will take a huge hit (your firm will definitely be on ATL) e) your firm's immediate client work will suffer/may not meet deadlines f) etc, etc, etc.

You can also transfer existing associates from other departments to cover the damage but the transition will definitely hurt the business by one or more ways.

It's going to be a headache no matter what to fire everyone. It makes much more sense for the managing partners to try to work this out as amicably as possible for the reasons mentioned above than to just blindly please the rainmaker with whatever he wants. Firing everyone will be the last resort.

I'm not saying the group should tell the managing partners "fire him or we quit". I'm saying you should have a civil, calm discussion... and it's easier for a group to do this than one person, since in the latter case, it's much easier for the rainmaker to say "you're gone". You also have to understand the rainmaker is human and there's a good chance he's not pure evil... meaning if his whole office is asking him to be a little more reasonable, he might actually finally understand what an assfuck he's being.

Of course there is always the risk that the rainmaker will say "I want this entire group gone or I'm gone" but hey, who's to say he's not fed up with everyone already and won't do this tomorrow?



You seem pretty naive

At my firm (sadly) a partner could absolutely do this. Every partner is a revenue generator, and everybody else is roughly the equivalent of furniture. Obviously no managing partner would be happy with this, but when push comes to shove you better believe they will fire the associates before the rainmaker. There is no realistic way this could be pulled off anyway, at least one person wouldn't have the balls to do it and go crying back to the rainmaker before this wannabe "strike" was executed

Tip for any law students or people looking to get into big law: law firms are not a democracy. every partner is a dictator. some are benevolent dictators, sure, but every partner is a pretty powerful being as far as your career goes. and they will totally fuck you in the ass instead of suffer one bit

Voyager

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Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 2:52 pm

Re: Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

Postby Voyager » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:
Npret wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:Easier said than done but..
if your entire office hates him (or at least it seems like that), why not stick together and plan to talk to him/upper management as a group?

Rainmaker or not, if an entire group has a problem, I'm sure there will some changes that will be needed to be made on his part. They can't fire everyone.

Actually they can. And they would if the rainmaker partner wanted them to do so. Most lawyers are fungible commodities.


Ok I should clarify.

Obviously depends on the situation and how much the partner is bringing in but...

From a financial perspective, yeah, it makes sense to keep the rainmaker. And yeah they can fire everyone... but they most likely won't.
You fire an entire group including support staff, but you're understaffed for who knows how long. Hiring a new associate doesn't cost X amount of salary + benefits + etc. That's just the financial aspect. It takes months to get an associate up to speed. If the entire department is gone, it's much harder to train new associates. What good is having a rainmaker who brings in new clients if you don't have a group who can do the work?

Sure you can bring in new associate laterals immediately. But immediate hires mean a) you can't effectively screen them b) you have to explain why your whole office is gone without scaring the new hire away c) you need to find associates who are trained to do exactly what your practice area does and has experience in the same type of because no one else can train them d) reputation in the legal industry and among your clients will take a huge hit (your firm will definitely be on ATL) e) your firm's immediate client work will suffer/may not meet deadlines f) etc, etc, etc.

You can also transfer existing associates from other departments to cover the damage but the transition will definitely hurt the business by one or more ways.

It's going to be a headache no matter what to fire everyone. It makes much more sense for the managing partners to try to work this out as amicably as possible for the reasons mentioned above than to just blindly please the rainmaker with whatever he wants. Firing everyone will be the last resort.

I'm not saying the group should tell the managing partners "fire him or we quit". I'm saying you should have a civil, calm discussion... and it's easier for a group to do this than one person, since in the latter case, it's much easier for the rainmaker to say "you're gone". You also have to understand the rainmaker is human and there's a good chance he's not pure evil... meaning if his whole office is asking him to be a little more reasonable, he might actually finally understand what an assfuck he's being.

Of course there is always the risk that the rainmaker will say "I want this entire group gone or I'm gone" but hey, who's to say he's not fed up with everyone already and won't do this tomorrow?



You seem pretty naive

At my firm (sadly) a partner could absolutely do this. Every partner is a revenue generator, and everybody else is roughly the equivalent of furniture. Obviously no managing partner would be happy with this, but when push comes to shove you better believe they will fire the associates before the rainmaker. There is no realistic way this could be pulled off anyway, at least one person wouldn't have the balls to do it and go crying back to the rainmaker before this wannabe "strike" was executed

Tip for any law students or people looking to get into big law: law firms are not a democracy. every partner is a dictator. some are benevolent dictators, sure, but every partner is a pretty powerful being as far as your career goes. and they will totally fuck you in the ass instead of suffer one bit


Partners at firms who bring in business can do pretty much whatever they want. I have horror stories from my friends on this one. It won't end well for you if you go complain.

Only exception is if the partner is doing something you can sue the firm over. Then you have something to work with.

But make no mistake: you play that card and you better start looking for a new job because the firm is going to blacklist you. at least they will give you a bunch of money, though...

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:36 pm

I'm surprised we're having lengthy discussions over whether or not to "confront" a partner. Whether he's a junior partner, senior partner, whatever partner - the bottom line is you don't confront him or her. That' the reality. if you don't like the rules of the game, then bounce and go to midlaw, PI law or whatever pleases you. You will always get the short end of the stick because as ppl have pointed you - you're pretty much furniture to them and they can replace you with a young eager beaver associate desperate for your FATpaycheck in a heartbeat. That's biglaw life. Do we really think a managing partner will tell a rainmaking partner to take a hike because he/she is mean? Only one thing matters to any biglaw firm - $$$$. It's that plain and simple. All this talk about standing up for yourself, banding with other associate to approach upper management, etc is just plain silly.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324977
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Advice needed... miserable lateral after 5 months

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:12 am

Even at large ID firms, where partners bill at 220, you are just a tool. They dont give two shits about you. My boss had like 6 staff and 5 associates quit in 1 year. Plus there is an employment lawsuit against the partner. Management could not care less because this partner has a growing book of business. That's just how it is.

All we can do is just shake our heads and try to find a way out. Sorry op.



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