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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ggocat

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby ggocat » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:08 am

magnum_law wrote:Are checks frowned upon?
Would think it's more presentable than cash and more flexible than giftcards

Certainly doesn't beat the look of crisp $100 bill(s), IMO.

vbalenciaga wrote:not trying to get off topic from OP's question but does anyone know how the answer changes for judicial assistants?

Kinda depends on how whether the assistant works for you, how much you make, how much the assistant makes, how many people the assistant works for, and what those people are giving.

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landshoes

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby landshoes » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Color me one of the weirdos who thinks giving cash is really weird. And I work in NYC biglaw and have lived in NYC my entire life.

At my firm we give paras cash too. Seems even more weird.

Paralegals make like $60k a year with OT in NYC big law. Giving them a $100 xmas bonus just seems ridiculous. It's not even the money. It's just principle. I'd happily spend $200 on a gift. But I can't help but think cash is weird.

I suppose it's less weird for your secretary because he/she doesn't make as much. But still. I think it's very strange to give anyone who works in an office desk job cash as a holiday bonus. Cash is for people who do physical labor and people who rely on tips and bonuses as part of their income.

Like, why shouldn't a senior associate give me (a junior) a cash holiday bonus too? I'd prefer to have cash than some gift too. But if I actually got one I'd not only think the person giving it to me was really weird but I'd actually feel insulted. I imagine I'd feel the same way as an admin or para, even if I'm making less.

Rant over.


You do get cash for the holidays. It's called a bonus. It's just too big to put in an envelope.

Cash is for people who do physical labor and people who rely on tips and bonuses as part of their income.


Meh, lots of different service workers get cash, not just this subset of people.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby nerd1 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:50 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NYC2012 wrote:Not to be a dick, and I am all about gift giving - but it is hard to imagine giving my secretary $100 when I started ~one month ago and she hasn't even done a single thing for me yet. I doubt she ever will, I do everything myself?


I agree with this as a stub year. The assistant I was assigned just changed last week and I never asked the first one to do anything for me. I have yet to talk to my new assistant who's office is not close to mine. I will wait to give a gift until next year.

Just give them $100. You haven't done anything useful for anyone as a stub, and yet you make $180,000 and will probably get a pro-rated bonus.


At some firms, like mine, many stub years work so much billing over 230 or 250 hours a month. It's not all that easy as you think doing so much work with little knowledge and experience. This whole "stub years don't work much" nonsense is a flame.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:21 pm

landshoes wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Color me one of the weirdos who thinks giving cash is really weird. And I work in NYC biglaw and have lived in NYC my entire life.

At my firm we give paras cash too. Seems even more weird.

Paralegals make like $60k a year with OT in NYC big law. Giving them a $100 xmas bonus just seems ridiculous. It's not even the money. It's just principle. I'd happily spend $200 on a gift. But I can't help but think cash is weird.

I suppose it's less weird for your secretary because he/she doesn't make as much. But still. I think it's very strange to give anyone who works in an office desk job cash as a holiday bonus. Cash is for people who do physical labor and people who rely on tips and bonuses as part of their income.

Like, why shouldn't a senior associate give me (a junior) a cash holiday bonus too? I'd prefer to have cash than some gift too. But if I actually got one I'd not only think the person giving it to me was really weird but I'd actually feel insulted. I imagine I'd feel the same way as an admin or para, even if I'm making less.

Rant over.


You do get cash for the holidays. It's called a bonus. It's just too big to put in an envelope.

Cash is for people who do physical labor and people who rely on tips and bonuses as part of their income.


Meh, lots of different service workers get cash, not just this subset of people.


I'm the quoted anon.

Sure I do. But it's all but guaranteed. Sure it COULD change depending on the financial success of the firm. But realistically, we know what we're going to get and if we ever got different, it would be more, not less. It's essentially part of our income. A 4th year associate who claims he makes $235k instead of $300k would be very disingenuous. Even at firms with min. hours thresholds, the bonuses are set marks. It's totally different when the amount, if anything, of your bonus is completely dependent on the whims of the associates you're working for this year, in a job with lots of turnover.

No one who makes $40k+ a year factors a $100 xmas bonus into their yearly salary. It's nonsensical. You give a holiday gift because it's a nice gesture to let someone know they're appreciated. To that end, paras at my firm ALREADY get a holiday bonus from the firm, the same way I do. The cash bonus everyone gives them is just gravy on the top. It's even more of a reason not to tip them cash.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby ur_hero » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NYC2012 wrote:Not to be a dick, and I am all about gift giving - but it is hard to imagine giving my secretary $100 when I started ~one month ago and she hasn't even done a single thing for me yet. I doubt she ever will, I do everything myself?


I agree with this as a stub year. The assistant I was assigned just changed last week and I never asked the first one to do anything for me. I have yet to talk to my new assistant who's office is not close to mine. I will wait to give a gift until next year.

Just give them $100. You haven't done anything useful for anyone as a stub, and yet you make $180,000 and will probably get a pro-rated bonus.


At some firms, like mine, many stub years work so much billing over 230 or 250 hours a month. It's not all that easy as you think doing so much work with little knowledge and experience. This whole "stub years don't work much" nonsense is a flame.


I'll second the stub-year comment. Sure, I didn't really know what I was doing yet (and still can't claim to a year later - although I've come a long way) but stub years CAN get a ton of work whether it's grunt work or just difficult because you're new to it and figuring things out. IF you don't have work, it's no cause to stress . . . But I assume MANY subs work aggressively and nonstop with the adrenaline of starting the job new, provided there's work to do.

---------

On the secretary comment...You may not have asked your secretary to do anything yet, but in most cases (1) associates either WILL have to ask for help with administrative tasks; or (2) SHOULD be asking for help to be more efficient and make their lives easier when it's really busy. Your secretary may also be doing things for you that you don't even know.

I'm not saying you HAVE to give them a gift, but just keep this in mind - - - as well as the fact that you may be working with them for the next year. If it's customary in your office to give bonuses to secretaries, then they may remember and hold it against you when it comes to putting in real effort to help you when you need it.

REGARDLESS of all of this, it's a kind gesture that shows appreciation and will be meaningful to them.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
landshoes wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Color me one of the weirdos who thinks giving cash is really weird. And I work in NYC biglaw and have lived in NYC my entire life.

At my firm we give paras cash too. Seems even more weird.

Paralegals make like $60k a year with OT in NYC big law. Giving them a $100 xmas bonus just seems ridiculous. It's not even the money. It's just principle. I'd happily spend $200 on a gift. But I can't help but think cash is weird.

I suppose it's less weird for your secretary because he/she doesn't make as much. But still. I think it's very strange to give anyone who works in an office desk job cash as a holiday bonus. Cash is for people who do physical labor and people who rely on tips and bonuses as part of their income.

Like, why shouldn't a senior associate give me (a junior) a cash holiday bonus too? I'd prefer to have cash than some gift too. But if I actually got one I'd not only think the person giving it to me was really weird but I'd actually feel insulted. I imagine I'd feel the same way as an admin or para, even if I'm making less.

Rant over.


You do get cash for the holidays. It's called a bonus. It's just too big to put in an envelope.

Cash is for people who do physical labor and people who rely on tips and bonuses as part of their income.


Meh, lots of different service workers get cash, not just this subset of people.


I'm the quoted anon.

Sure I do. But it's all but guaranteed. Sure it COULD change depending on the financial success of the firm. But realistically, we know what we're going to get and if we ever got different, it would be more, not less. It's essentially part of our income. A 4th year associate who claims he makes $235k instead of $300k would be very disingenuous. Even at firms with min. hours thresholds, the bonuses are set marks. It's totally different when the amount, if anything, of your bonus is completely dependent on the whims of the associates you're working for this year, in a job with lots of turnover.

No one who makes $40k+ a year factors a $100 xmas bonus into their yearly salary. It's nonsensical. You give a holiday gift because it's a nice gesture to let someone know they're appreciated. To that end, paras at my firm ALREADY get a holiday bonus from the firm, the same way I do. The cash bonus everyone gives them is just gravy on the top. It's even more of a reason not to tip them cash.


Do secretaries really only make $40k per year? A lot of ours get a pretty consistent amount of overtime, and I was under the impression that some of the best ones are in the $80-100k range. I guess I have no basis for that, just a google search.

How much do paras make?

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ggocat

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby ggocat » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:23 pm

PorscheFanatic wrote:Do secretaries really only make $40k per year? A lot of ours get a pretty consistent amount of overtime, and I was under the impression that some of the best ones are in the $80-100k range. I guess I have no basis for that, just a google search.

When I started as a lawyer at my current state gov job, the secretaries made more than me; experienced ones make over $60K.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NYC2012 wrote:Not to be a dick, and I am all about gift giving - but it is hard to imagine giving my secretary $100 when I started ~one month ago and she hasn't even done a single thing for me yet. I doubt she ever will, I do everything myself?


I agree with this as a stub year. The assistant I was assigned just changed last week and I never asked the first one to do anything for me. I have yet to talk to my new assistant who's office is not close to mine. I will wait to give a gift until next year.

Just give them $100. You haven't done anything useful for anyone as a stub, and yet you make $180,000 and will probably get a pro-rated bonus.


At some firms, like mine, many stub years work so much billing over 230 or 250 hours a month. It's not all that easy as you think doing so much work with little knowledge and experience. This whole "stub years don't work much" nonsense is a flame.

I didn't say you don't work much, I said you haven't done anything useful. I was a stub and I worked a lot, and I work with stubs now and know how useful their work is. I'm obviously being hyperbolic - stubs aren't completely useless - but my point is you're not worth 180k a year and so you should understand how entitled and whiny it seems to shortchange staff a hundred bucks because you don't think they've earned it from you.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:23 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NYC2012 wrote:Not to be a dick, and I am all about gift giving - but it is hard to imagine giving my secretary $100 when I started ~one month ago and she hasn't even done a single thing for me yet. I doubt she ever will, I do everything myself?


I agree with this as a stub year. The assistant I was assigned just changed last week and I never asked the first one to do anything for me. I have yet to talk to my new assistant who's office is not close to mine. I will wait to give a gift until next year.

Just give them $100. You haven't done anything useful for anyone as a stub, and yet you make $180,000 and will probably get a pro-rated bonus.


At some firms, like mine, many stub years work so much billing over 230 or 250 hours a month. It's not all that easy as you think doing so much work with little knowledge and experience. This whole "stub years don't work much" nonsense is a flame.

I didn't say you don't work much, I said you haven't done anything useful. I was a stub and I worked a lot, and I work with stubs now and know how useful their work is. I'm obviously being hyperbolic - stubs aren't completely useless - but my point is you're not worth 180k a year and so you should understand how entitled and whiny it seems to shortchange staff a hundred bucks because you don't think they've earned it from you.


I am the anon you are referring to. Where is this entitlement schtick coming from? I never said anything about staff members. I will say now I think it doesn't make much sense for stubs who never had much contact with legal assistants to be dispensing a "bonus" to the extent bonuses are meant to recognize past work and encourage future good work. It's a tradition probably started out by partners and we are just doing it because of tradition (because everyone else is doing it).

And what do you mean by "you are not worth 180k"? The usefulness of stubs' work is not worth 180k. That's how compensation works. You overpay juniors when they are learning and the gap between pay and marginal productivity increasingly diminishes as you get experience (as you become 4th years, 5th years etc) and after some point, the firm may be actually underpaying you. But if we are talking about price of labor, we are worth 180k because that's the market salary.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:22 pm

Read the thread, pay your secretaries, and count your blessings that you're overpaid.

Danger Zone

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:33 pm

Yo fuck all of you bah humbug scumbags who are seriously arguing about giving money to your support staff. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Toni V

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Toni V » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:04 pm

In addition to a cash gift card, other than liquor, any other suggestions for a packaged gift?

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby nerd1 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:22 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Read the thread, pay your secretaries, and count your blessings that you're overpaid.


Just three points.
1. They are already paid by their compensation package. I am not sure if their compensation is highly dependent on tips like waiters'. Especially for the stubs that started in mid or late October or even November and have not yet had any contact with their legal assistants at all, there is no justification for them to make a donation other than tradition and peer pressure. And I think gift giving is good in and of itself as long as it is for people who you actually know and worked with.
2. It's not a "blessing" that stubs are overpaid when many of them have no life outside of firm work. The 180k compensation is given to stubs because law firms operate in a competitive market. To the extent that there's overpayment, the firms are doing it because that's in their best interest and they are not doing it because they care about us.
3. Nobody has the time to read through this thread in detail.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Read the thread, pay your secretaries, and count your blessings that you're overpaid.


Just three points.
1. They are already paid by their compensation package. I am not sure if their compensation is highly dependent on tips like waiters'. Especially for the stubs that started in mid or late October or even November and have not yet had any contact with their legal assistants at all, there is no justification for them to make a donation other than tradition and peer pressure.
2. It's not a "blessing" that stubs are overpaid when many of them have no life outside of firm work. The 180k compensation is given to stubs because law firms operate in a competitive market. To the extent that there's overpayment, the firms are doing it because that's in their best interest and they are not doing it because they care about us.
3. Nobody has the time to read through this thread in detail.

lmao yeah based your immediate multiple paragraph responses to justify not giving someone a hundred bucks you seem really strapped for time. Good anon posting, good attitude, good freshman libertarian rhetoric, great stuff all around. Happy holidays, bud.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Read the thread, pay your secretaries, and count your blessings that you're overpaid.


Just three points.
1. They are already paid by their compensation package. I am not sure if their compensation is highly dependent on tips like waiters'. Especially for the stubs that started in mid or late October or even November and have not yet had any contact with their legal assistants at all, there is no justification for them to make a donation other than tradition and peer pressure. And I think gift giving is good in and of itself as long as it is for people who you actually know and worked with.
2. It's not a "blessing" that stubs are overpaid when many of them have no life outside of firm work. The 180k compensation is given to stubs because law firms operate in a competitive market. To the extent that there's overpayment, the firms are doing it because that's in their best interest and they are not doing it because they care about us.
3. Nobody has the time to read through this thread in detail.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but yours makes you an asshole.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby PorscheFanatic » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Read the thread, pay your secretaries, and count your blessings that you're overpaid.


Just three points.
1. They are already paid by their compensation package. I am not sure if their compensation is highly dependent on tips like waiters'. Especially for the stubs that started in mid or late October or even November and have not yet had any contact with their legal assistants at all, there is no justification for them to make a donation other than tradition and peer pressure. And I think gift giving is good in and of itself as long as it is for people who you actually know and worked with.
2. It's not a "blessing" that stubs are overpaid when many of them have no life outside of firm work. The 180k compensation is given to stubs because law firms operate in a competitive market. To the extent that there's overpayment, the firms are doing it because that's in their best interest and they are not doing it because they care about us.
3. Nobody has the time to read through this thread in detail.


I agree you're entitled to your opinion, just know that the rest of us (on here, at your firm, living in your house, or ever interacting with you at all) find your opinion wrong/stupid and that you seem like a selfish cheap bastard. Your attitude will take you a long way in a large law firm.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby OneTwoThreeFour » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:17 pm

Danger Zone wrote:Yo fuck all of you bah humbug scumbags who are seriously arguing about giving money to your support staff. You should be ashamed of yourselves.


Danger Zone wrote:Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but yours makes you an asshole.


Not the OP, but I plan on sucking it up and paying up. That being said, this is a dumb practice. Stub years don't know support staff and many of us are strapped with depressing amounts of loans. During the holidays some of us like buying presents for family and friends, some of us like travelling a bit, and I personally donate and volunteer to a local food bank. For you (and others) to say that staff bonuses, which should be paid by partnership, is so important that it should basically be mandatory, is dumb. How people allocate their personal finances should not be subject to shame and ridicule. And you are dumb for saying it. So very dumb.

I'm sure following "tradition" blindly will make you a great lawyer though. This seems to be an industry of lemmings willing to blindly jump when they're told.

PorscheFanatic wrote:I agree you're entitled to your opinion, just know that the rest of us (on here, at your firm, living in your house, or ever interacting with you at all) find your opinion wrong/stupid and that you seem like a selfish cheap bastard. Your attitude will take you a long way in a large law firm.


lol this sounds unhinged. "living in your house"

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:23 pm

I agree that the partnership should be in the business of giving bonuses to the staff. But they don't.

Giving gifts to staff has nothing to do with tradition and everything to do with appreciating people and your place as a member of the upper middle class.

And yes, you can do whatever you want with your finances, but if you do shameful things with it, you absolutely should be subjected to ridicule. Try not tipping a waiter while you're out with a group of friends and see what they think. Then try explaining to them that you prefer to donate to charity.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby OneTwoThreeFour » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:38 pm

Danger Zone wrote:I agree that the partnership should be in the business of giving bonuses to the staff. But they don't.

Giving gifts to staff has nothing to do with tradition and everything to do with appreciating people and your place as a member of the upper middle class.

And yes, you can do whatever you want with your finances, but if you do shameful things with it, you absolutely should be subjected to ridicule. Try not tipping a waiter while you're out with a group of friends and see what they think. Then try explaining to them that you prefer to donate to charity.


I don't really think anyone would call your average stub year a "member of the upper class." Well-compensated, yes. But I don't know of any stub years who have a positive net worth, although I'm sure they exist.

And your tipping analogy is in tension with your statement that holiday cash bonuses aren't a tradition. We only tip in this country because restaurant managers are cheap assholes who won't pay waiters a good base salary. It's a tradition founded upon the greed of management.

Regardless, I do agree it's dumb to overthink it. It's a thing we all do because it's a thing we all do. Pay up and shut up is probably a good policy. But when you do start thinking about it, I personally think it's a messed up tradition (that I will nevertheless blindly follow).

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:41 pm

You think it's all "tradition"; I think it's not being an asshole to people who have it way tougher than you. Call it whatever makes you feel better, but make sure you do it.

Also I'm not going to get into a line drawing argument about the UMC and cost of living in NYC and blah blah blah but just know that you are empirically wrong about that, since $180k (not even including your bonus) puts you in the top quintile of earners in NYC.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby PorscheFanatic » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:01 pm

Danger Zone wrote:You think it's all "tradition"; I think it's not being an asshole to people who have it way tougher than you. Call it whatever makes you feel better, but make sure you do it.

Also I'm not going to get into a line drawing argument about the UMC and cost of living in NYC and blah blah blah but just know that you are empirically wrong about that, since $180k (not even including your bonus) puts you in the top quintile of earners in NYC.


This. Also, why is it that all you cheap fucks are anonymous?

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:43 pm

PorscheFanatic wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:You think it's all "tradition"; I think it's not being an asshole to people who have it way tougher than you. Call it whatever makes you feel better, but make sure you do it.

Also I'm not going to get into a line drawing argument about the UMC and cost of living in NYC and blah blah blah but just know that you are empirically wrong about that, since $180k (not even including your bonus) puts you in the top quintile of earners in NYC.


This. Also, why is it that all you cheap fucks are anonymous?

They have shame, but we must not shame them. God forbid.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby PorscheFanatic » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:00 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
PorscheFanatic wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:You think it's all "tradition"; I think it's not being an asshole to people who have it way tougher than you. Call it whatever makes you feel better, but make sure you do it.

Also I'm not going to get into a line drawing argument about the UMC and cost of living in NYC and blah blah blah but just know that you are empirically wrong about that, since $180k (not even including your bonus) puts you in the top quintile of earners in NYC.


This. Also, why is it that all you cheap fucks are anonymous?

They have shame, but we must not shame them. God forbid.


Maybe I'm just getting tired, but I lol'd haha.

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BaiAilian2013

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:48 pm

Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!

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Re: Gift Giving

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:02 pm

BaiAilian2013 wrote:Godammit, every damn year this thread just makes me lose hope.

Here's an idea, learn to use your damn assistant because it'll make you a better lawyer. Stop by and exchange words once in a while because it'll make you a better person.

And this is not a "tip" (!!!), it is not part of their compensation package, it is a HOLIDAY GIFT for a person who is in your life. And yes, it is sort of expected, which is not all that weird because so are a lot of holiday gifts! And no, cash (or gift card) is not a "weird" gift, it's the best call for a lot of people outside your friends and immediate family, just like when you give your nephew $25 because who the hell knows what 11 year old boys want nowadays. Why is this so hard?!

It's really not, but our profession is filled with robotic sociopaths who don't understand basic societal norms
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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