Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

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Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:41 pm

Have you or anyone at your firm not received a bonus despite having more than 2,000 billable hours?

My firm is a V100 firm and has a tiered bonus structure. The tiers are as follows: 2,000, 2,150 and 2,300. There is a discretionary additional bonus if an associate gets over 2,300 hours. My firm states that an unlimited number of pro bono hours count toward your billable hours.

Last year my fees charged per my peer group were in the middle range (I was slightly in the top half).It is worth noting my billable rates are slightly more given my practice group. I have only two peers in my group and I billed less than them.

I had a significant amount of pro bono hours (170).

Despite showing that my fees charged for the firm were on par with my peer group, the section leader stated that because I was not doing as well as my peer group (i.e. the two other peers in my section) then a bonus is not justified.

Quite disappointed when it occurred several weeks ago. Curious if anyone else ever faced a similar issue.

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rpupkin

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:11 pm

First, that sucks. I'm sorry.

Second, I'd start looking to lateral to other firms. The fact that your "section leader" gave you no bonus is a strong sign that you're not valued. Also, it's a bad sign that the leader felt comfortable telling you that you weren't doing as well as your peers. Don't be surprised if performance issues are raised during your next review. I'd get out in front of that now; start looking elsewhere.

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kalvano

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:26 pm

Yeah, all of that sounds like "the talk" is coming. Start looking now.

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:39 pm

Appreciate the replies. It is difficult b/c I split sections (we are in an odd group and for awhile incoming attorneys were encouraged to split these two particular sections). My two peers did not split: one went full steam ahead with Practice A as he had a background in it and the other lateraled into the firm and straight into Practice B as he also had a strong background in that section.

I have had much better successes with Practice B and following the talk with my section head (with whom I never directly work and who is in a different city) transitioned to solely Practice B. This has certainly increased my performance as I've been able to focus on only one legal area.

Section head also made it clear that while bonus was not warranted, performance actually was on par with rest of the firm (just not my group peers) and did not appear that my job was in any way in danger.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Appreciate the replies. It is difficult b/c I split sections (we are in an odd group and for awhile incoming attorneys were encouraged to split these two particular sections). My two peers did not split: one went full steam ahead with Practice A as he had a background in it and the other lateraled into the firm and straight into Practice B as he also had a strong background in that section.

I have had much better successes with Practice B and following the talk with my section head (with whom I never directly work and who is in a different city) transitioned to solely Practice B. This has certainly increased my performance as I've been able to focus on only one legal area.

Section head also made it clear that while bonus was not warranted, performance actually was on par with rest of the firm (just not my group peers) and did not appear that my job was in any way in danger.


Bruh, they deliberately didn't give you a bonus after billing 2,000 hours.

sparty99

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby sparty99 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:51 pm

F-that. I would still leave.What is going to happen when you are in a recession? NO Bonus.

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:53 pm

I would leave ASAP and never look back. It's not even the fact that you should be concerned about losing your job, but rather the fact that you work at a firm where partners likely make millions a year off your sweat equity and won't even honor the bonus requirements they put in place for associates. It shows how little regard they have for you. Go somewhere else and stop spending your life making these assholes richer.

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby SFSpartan » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:56 pm

As much as you seem to like your current firm, the fact that they gave you no bonus despite the fact that you billed 2,000 hours and still received no bonus is an off-putting sign. I suspect your section head is either (i) lying to your face; or (ii) simply not being completely honest with you. You should continue to do your best work, while also looking for another job, as you are not valued in your current role.

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TLSModBot

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby TLSModBot » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:00 pm

Firms pay people they like/value/want to keep. Period.

Firms are fucking terrible at retention for all sorts of reasons but the one thing they do is throw money at the people they want to keep. If they don't then either they can't pay or they don't want you long term. Either is a bad sign.

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rpupkin

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Appreciate the replies. It is difficult b/c I split sections (we are in an odd group and for awhile incoming attorneys were encouraged to split these two particular sections). My two peers did not split: one went full steam ahead with Practice A as he had a background in it and the other lateraled into the firm and straight into Practice B as he also had a strong background in that section.

I have had much better successes with Practice B and following the talk with my section head (with whom I never directly work and who is in a different city) transitioned to solely Practice B. This has certainly increased my performance as I've been able to focus on only one legal area.

Section head also made it clear that while bonus was not warranted, performance actually was on par with rest of the firm (just not my group peers) and did not appear that my job was in any way in danger.

I stand by my advice. Even if everything you were told is the complete truth (and I doubt it was), that means your firm is incredibly cheap and likes to contrive excuses to deprive associates of compensation. That's not going to change over time.

Npret

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby Npret » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:06 pm

What do they mean that you arent on par?
Did they give specific examples?
You should look for another job. They are pretty clearly saying they don't want you.

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smokeylarue

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby smokeylarue » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:10 pm

I would just cruise for the rest of the year and start looking for a job after the summer. I'm talking billing like 1600 hours, straight up milk them for what it's worth. Then leave at year end and/or beginning of next year. Like the one guy said above, just do it out of principle even if your job is not in danger.

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rpupkin

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:17 pm

smokeylarue wrote:I would just cruise for the rest of the year and start looking for a job after the summer. I'm talking billing like 1600 hours, straight up milk them for what it's worth. Then leave at year end and/or beginning of next year. Like the one guy said above, just do it out of principle even if your job is not in danger.

Don't do this. Finding a good lateral opportunity is not a sure thing. Keep doing your best at your current firm until you find something else.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:17 pm

You're probably gone before the end of the year. Not that you'd want to stay after being slapped in the face anyway.

lolwat

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby lolwat » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:25 pm

rpupkin wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:I would just cruise for the rest of the year and start looking for a job after the summer. I'm talking billing like 1600 hours, straight up milk them for what it's worth. Then leave at year end and/or beginning of next year. Like the one guy said above, just do it out of principle even if your job is not in danger.

Don't do this. Finding a good lateral opportunity is not a sure thing. Keep doing your best at your current firm until you find something else.


rpupkin gives good advice as usual. 100% agree with everything he said in this thread.

Abbie Doobie

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby Abbie Doobie » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:00 pm

out the goddamn firm

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rpupkin

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:02 pm

Abbie Doobie wrote:out the goddamn firm

Don't do this either, OP.

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zhenders

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby zhenders » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:42 pm

OP, remember that your section head for group B also almost certainly had a say in your bonus also; if you were splitting groups, it's doubtful the group A head could have unilaterally pulled your bonus. The fact that you have a delineated, hours-based bonus structure at your firm suggests everyone here is right. Be careful. It's your choice and your future, obviously--but hitting hours but not making bonus at a firm with a clear bonus policy means more than one person dinged you.

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:18 am

OP: You just got told by your boss that even though you met the requirements they are still going to screw you. They will be perfectly happy with letting you continue to plug away at 2000 a year or perfectly happy If you leave. I'd take them up on the latter offer.

gaddockteeg

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby gaddockteeg » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:24 pm

rpupkin wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:I would just cruise for the rest of the year and start looking for a job after the summer. I'm talking billing like 1600 hours, straight up milk them for what it's worth. Then leave at year end and/or beginning of next year. Like the one guy said above, just do it out of principle even if your job is not in danger.

Don't do this. Finding a good lateral opportunity is not a sure thing. Keep doing your best at your current firm until you find something else.


Just do your work and start taking those recruiter calls.

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Pokemon

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Re: Over 2,000 Hours--no bonus

Postby Pokemon » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:25 pm

Move to another firm dude. Your current firm does not respect you. I mean shit we are all associates and we get shit on and frustrated by work etc, but not getting your bonus is on a whole other level.



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