Gift Giving

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Gift Giving

Poll ended at Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:01 pm

Gift Card
14
61%
Packaged Gift
5
22%
Some Packaged, some card
4
17%
 
Total votes: 23

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sublime

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby sublime » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:14 pm

And senior associates don't give cash. A better comparison would be a partner giving you cash. And they do. It comes in the form of a bonus check. Do you dislike that practice as well?

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jchiles

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby jchiles » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:19 pm

Does biglaw not give bonuses to staff?

PorscheFanatic

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:19 pm

nerd1 wrote: You talk like $100 is nothing. Well, my firm and many others pool money for giving a gift to assistants. No stub year, as far as I know, paid that much. In fact, $50 was the standard for all juniors (not just stub years). I've heard some donate $100 or more but they are not stub years.

If you are just rich and so think 100 is nothing, get out of your bubble. If you are a very altruistic person, good for you! Personally, I would rather give that much money to my parents or siblings.


See comments above. You're basically just cheap if you think this $100 is onerous. Sorry if that makes me one of the "upper class" or "in a bubble". I have over $200k in debt, but I also take home enough by working Biglaw to max my 401k, pay down my loans, and live a pretty fucking enjoyable life. I figured my secretary would appreciate the $100, and she absolutely did.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:24 pm

I’ve seen people talk about the $100x class year other places than TLS, too.

Obviously if your firm has a different practice then do whatever your firm does.

EliotAlderson

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby EliotAlderson » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:39 pm

landshoes wrote:And who cares if it's a tip? So it's a tip. So what. I am in no way opposed to giving people tips for Christmas. Christmas is one of the few times of the year where you can buy people's affection and gratitude without looking like a condescending weirdo and I am fully in favor of taking advantage of that fact. Call it a tip, call it a cash gift, call it a gratuity, call it a bribe. I do not care. It is a mutually beneficial exchange of money for goodwill, which leaves no one worse off, and I am all about that.


Lol. And I completely agree.

GGMcSwift

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby GGMcSwift » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:31 pm

landshoes wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
landshoes wrote:
Of course your admin would PREFER cash. Everyone who has ever received a non-cash gift would prefer cash. Even if it's a gift you really like, you could have just bought it yourself if you had gotten cash. And if it's a gift you hate, well then it's a no brainer that cash would have been better. The only person who doesn't prefer cash is someone who thinks it was weird or insulting that they were given cash, and that is kind of the point.

But preferences be damned. I'd prefer to be 3 inches taller, but we can't always get what we want. Just because they'd like it better and/or it's the most convenient doesn't make it appropriate or socially acceptable. If it did, then giving cash would be acceptable as a gift in all situations, always. And it isn't.

So I will give my admin some very nice, non-cash gift. And if she doesn't like it, well, good thing she wasn't counting on it as part of her comp package.


No, people wouldn't prefer cash if it's socially unacceptable to gift/give cash. But they would prefer cash in this case, because it's both socially acceptable and generally more convenient for everyone for you to give cash.

If your argument is that it's socially unacceptable, so it doesn't matter if it's more convenient, fine, but that's not the situation here. It's socially acceptable to give cash, so just give cash like everyone else does and stop having a weird tantrum about it.


Same anon as before...

It's only "socially acceptable" in big law. It is not socially acceptable in any of the other industries I have worked in, and all of my friends who work in non legal white collar professions agree with me that giving your secretary cash is weird.

And I disagree with you. I think a senior associate giving me $100 cash is weird and inappropriate. I'd still prefer it as far as gifts go than something dumb they picked out for me that I don't want. But the point of gifts, contrary to what was suggested by someone else above, is not always receiver focused. It's often about the giver--to show someone you care; that you put in some effort/thought and took the time out of your day to do something for them.

Nothing says I couldn't be bothered to waste any more time on you than is humanly necessary than a few 100 dollar bills in an envelope. Unless you like in bumblefuck, your admin isn't going on a shopping spree with the couple hundred you give her. That's why it's not a bonus. It's an "I appreciate you gift."


Ok so what's your point? It's socially acceptable. I don't care about your friends in other fields. We are in this field. So what's the problem? It sounds like you think it shouldn't be socially acceptable because you should care more/know more about your secretary. And you argue that recipients prefer purchased gifts over cash. But you yourself have argued that recipients prefer cash at all times. (Not true, but you yourself said it). You also already said that you don't care enough about your secretary's subjective preference for cash to comply with that preference. How could it be more thoughtful to give someone a gift that they prefer less? You're not even planning to give a cash gift plus something that shows you care. Instead, you plan to bypass the recipient's preferences entirely. So your assertion that your distaste for the practice is about the recipient's feelings seems specious.

In fact, given the wide range of arguments that you are forwarding here, which are contradictory, it seems like you have no rational reason for disliking this practice. Instead, your issue stems from a totally irrational personal distaste for this particular practice.

It's fine for you to have a personal distaste for this practice. I, personally, do not care how you feel about it. You do you. But where you err is when you try to twist your personal distaste into some kind of reasoned moral argument against the practice. The reality is that cash is valued highly as a gift in this scenario because it's both socially acceptable and convenient for the recipient. Your personal feelings about it are completely irrelevant to its acceptability as a practice. Furthermore, to the extent that you plan to deprive your secretary of his/her preferred gift, and instead replace it with something that you think he/she should want, you're being kind of a dick.



I never argued that recipients prefer purchased gifts over cash. Quite the opposite, as you weirdly say in the next sentence. Sorry, but the most thoughtful gift (or a more thoughtful gift, if most is too extreme) is often NOT what the person prefers. I am starting to sound like a broken record, but lots of people would prefer cash as gifts in many scenarios and don't get it, because it would be weird to get and/or give it.

My distaste for the practice is not just about the recipient's feelings, but mine as well. I feel belittling and insignificant when I give such a gift, and that is regardless of the fact that it may be expected or welcomed by my admin.


You're the one who seems to be making contradictory arguments. My reasons seems quite rational. They're all in my first post. Read them again. The summary is that in no industry is it normal to give someone who makes a non-fastfood salary and sits at a desk in an office all day a cash holiday bonus, unless the person giving it is the company itself. No reason why law should be different.

And by the logic of your last sentence, the world is full of dicks then, since people often give non cash gifts when cash in inappropriate, and the recipient would rather have cash. What goes on in big law is a faux-social acceptance. It's generally weird, and only socially acceptable inside the confines of the big law community. Unlike you, my word, morals, and general psyche extends well outside of the big law community, and so I feel weird and embarrassed about this "socially acceptable" practice.

And as I mentioned before, I will likely participate in it too, because I'm not going to be able to change it. That doesn't negate the point that it should be changed.

Danger Zone

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:36 pm

LOGIC

REASON

ANALYSIS
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:37 pm

People REALLY need to stop posting anon on this topic.

carsondalywashere

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby carsondalywashere » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:02 pm

kellyfrost wrote:If you are giving cash as a gift in a situation such as this, you should shoot for an amount that actually makes the receiver feel uncomfortable accepting. This amount will obviously vary from person to person.

I literally laughed out loud and have people staring at me

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kellyfrost

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby kellyfrost » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:31 pm

carsondalywashere wrote:
kellyfrost wrote:If you are giving cash as a gift in a situation such as this, you should shoot for an amount that actually makes the receiver feel uncomfortable accepting. This amount will obviously vary from person to person.

I literally laughed out loud and have people staring at me



:o
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

alclaw10

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby alclaw10 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:20 pm

One of our assistants is collecting cash for our mail addentant, any idea how much to contribute?

nerd1

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby nerd1 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:23 pm

PorscheFanatic wrote:
nerd1 wrote: You talk like $100 is nothing. Well, my firm and many others pool money for giving a gift to assistants. No stub year, as far as I know, paid that much. In fact, $50 was the standard for all juniors (not just stub years). I've heard some donate $100 or more but they are not stub years.

If you are just rich and so think 100 is nothing, get out of your bubble. If you are a very altruistic person, good for you! Personally, I would rather give that much money to my parents or siblings.


See comments above. You're basically just cheap if you think this $100 is onerous. Sorry if that makes me one of the "upper class" or "in a bubble". I have over $200k in debt, but I also take home enough by working Biglaw to max my 401k, pay down my loans, and live a pretty fucking enjoyable life. I figured my secretary would appreciate the $100, and she absolutely did.


Most of your peers must be cheap too then assuming you are in biglaw. I told you the standard for (we pool) a junior at my firm has been $50. I know this. I am not making shit up.

I don't care if some person I don't know much likes me or not. I am not the type that gives out money to homeless people.

I never asked you how enjoyable your life is. None of my business.

I don't think 100 dollars in itself is onerous but it is to whom you are giving it to that's important. Many firms like mine have remote assistants systems so that you don't even see your assistants. Giving 100 (rather than say 50) dollars to someone who helped me with some very minor task on one or two occasions is to me, too much. I would happily spend 200~300 or more for people who I really care.

Edit: And I am talking about the system where there are 6~8 associates for a team of assistants. In other contexts where I would actually know my assistants more then I would actually care more about them.
Last edited by nerd1 on Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alclaw10

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby alclaw10 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:29 pm

Also, I am in Nyc biglaw (2nd year) but a small group (8 lawyers). We have two seceretaries in my group but I only use one. However, I feel like I should get something for the other one. Is there an acceptable amount to give for her? There are no juniors in my group and I don’t feel comfortable asking this to a partner.

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TFALAWL

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby TFALAWL » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:36 pm

I do Amazon cards. Everybody seems happy.

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TFALAWL

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby TFALAWL » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:37 pm

alclaw10 wrote:Also, I am in Nyc biglaw (2nd year) but a small group (8 lawyers). We have two seceretaries in my group but I only use one. However, I feel like I should get something for the other one. Is there an acceptable amount to give for her? There are no juniors in my group and I don’t feel comfortable asking this to a partner.


Similar situation -- I got $50 for my main secretary and $25 for each of the other two that help me on occasion.

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sublime

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby sublime » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:39 pm

alclaw10 wrote:One of our assistants is collecting cash for our mail addentant, any idea how much to contribute?


For something similar (trash and recycling lady) I just asked my assistant what people were generally doing and did that. Was $20 each.

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soj

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Removed

Postby soj » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:55 pm

.

dabigchina

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby dabigchina » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:06 am

I've had profs that came from NYC biglaw tell me it's 100x class year, so I don't think it's flame. That being said, these people practiced in an era when Cravath Scale was paying 35k bonuses to first years and people graduated with way less debt, so I personally think the continued insistence on this tradition for juniors is kind of stupid.

https://abovethelaw.com/2007/10/cravath ... otherwise/

hlsperson1111

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby hlsperson1111 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:57 am

This isn't hard. There are 2 rules:

(1) You give $100 per class year.

(2) Image
Last edited by hlsperson1111 on Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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goldenflash19

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby goldenflash19 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:57 am

I'm a stub, and I had no problem spending $100 on my secretary. I did a combination of a $50 gift card to the restaurant she gets lunch at every week and gifts that I knew she would like. She was elated - her reaction led me to believe that spending this much isn't common at my non-NYC firm.

My secretary is absolutely awesome, and I can't think of a day I haven't had her do something for me since maybe the second or third day I was at the firm. I think you're really missing out and are being inefficient if you don't use your secretary. I have had her proofread a lot of the important stuff I have worked on, and she catches a lot of mistakes I miss. That alone has been worth $100.

I have a lot of debt and will have a negative net worth for a while, but $100 of the $4300 paycheck I brought home for the last two weeks of worth definitely wasn't too much. I also bought $25 pre-paid Visa for three of the other staff members who really helped me out with a major project. In the scope of things, it's nothing.

I didn't really think of it as something I had to do but rather as something I wanted to do. I didn't come from much and am making more than the rest of my parents and brothers combined - my parents were the ones receiving gifts this time of year. I want to be someone with whom people are happy to work with, and spending $175 of the $30+k I made in my stub definitely wasn't too much.

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emkay625

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby emkay625 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:09 am

$250 cash in a pretty card.

(I'm a 2nd year in Texas.)

Those of you saying you don't use your secretary—why on earth not? Why not utilize the person who is there to make your job easier? Expense reports, making travel arrangements, printing out cases for hearings, etc.

FSK

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby FSK » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:57 am

The solution to gift giving is to go big fed. Too many ethics rules to do much more than yankee swap
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

shock259

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby shock259 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:43 pm

Never heard the $100/class year thing until now. I just give $100 to my assistant (even though she's worthless) and $100 to paralegals.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:59 pm

Do you generally give to other secretaries too? I work in a small group at a big firm and there is one secretary who isn't assigned to me but helps my group a lot. Not sure what to give.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you generally give to other secretaries too? I work in a small group at a big firm and there is one secretary who isn't assigned to me but helps my group a lot. Not sure what to give.


Have the same thing and gave her the same as my designated secratary ($100, I’m a stub). She was thrilled, so I’m happy I did.



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