First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 316360
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:47 pm

V10 NYC. First year (full first year -- not stub year). No bonus (not even partial). Low hours. Review emphasized that "all your reviews are excellent, we absolutely see you progressing and advancing in this firm, don't get discouraged by the low hours and next year should be better, but there's no way to make the numbers work to pay you out a bonus this year."

Is that just a talking point they're always going to drop even when they're planning to shitcan you? Should I be getting ready to paper the town here?

User avatar
Lincoln

Silver
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Lincoln » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:50 pm

Why were your hours so low?

User avatar
smokeylarue

Silver
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby smokeylarue » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:52 pm

Sounds like a very positive review to me. Not everyone makes their hours, particularly easy to miss it during your first year too, wouldn't worry.

jd20132013

Silver
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:04 pm

how far were u from bonus and what is ur practice area

Anonymous User
Posts: 316360
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:51 pm

Run of the mill large corporate/transactional groups.

Reason why missed: rotated through three groups throughout the year and the staffing didn't quite line up (i.e., would finish something up 2 weeks before I rotated out so would be left unstaffed, then new group would take 3 weeks or so to staff me post-rotation, so suddenly I have 5 weeks with no work --- multiply it happening three times, then include 4 weeks vacation that I took all the same, and you have an aggregate of nearly 5 months where I was almost entirely unproductive). Everyone in the firm rotated but everyone else also seemed to hit their hours (or near it) so mine were particularly awful.

We're talking like 1350 on the year.

Incidentally this is the first time I really did the math on how many weeks I was unproductive. yowza/ouch.

ETA - thanks for the reassurance, all. Will take it to heart, but hopefully I'm not just being naive.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
jkpolk

Silver
Posts: 1180
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:44 am

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby jkpolk » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:51 pm

smokeylarue wrote:Sounds like a very positive review to me. Not everyone makes their hours, particularly easy to miss it during your first year too, wouldn't worry.


Agree with the above. 1350 hours from a 1st year corporate associate is not unheard of. Sounds like the firm over-hired and you got fucked (depending on your perspective) by deal flow. You may also be under billing (reading e-mail is billable).
Last edited by jkpolk on Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tls2016

Silver
Posts: 715
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:58 am

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Tls2016 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:53 pm

You worked a full year and they aren’t giving you anything? I’ve honestly never heard of that happening.

User avatar
smokeylarue

Silver
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby smokeylarue » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:03 pm

Tls2016 wrote:You worked a full year and they aren’t giving you anything? I’ve honestly never heard of that happening.


Many (most?) Biglaw firms have a minimum hours target you have to hit to be eligible for a bonus.

User avatar
Br3v

Gold
Posts: 4273
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Br3v » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:22 pm

Hard part first: you took 4 weeks vacation as a first year? That's a little excessive. Especially on top of the 5 weeks of slow time. Only real exception I could think is a honey moon then random holidays.

Better part: seems like the review is very positive. They know you will freak out and worry about low hours and no bonus so it seems like their language talking about you progressing, etc is their way of saying they do not plan to let you go anytime soon so chill.

Edit: accidental anon

Anonymous User
Posts: 316360
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:34 pm

How do y'all bill reading email?

User avatar
LaLiLuLeLo

Silver
Posts: 635
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:54 am

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How do y'all bill reading email?


Turn on timer. Read email. Turn off timer.

“Review email re: [issue]”.

bk1

Diamond
Posts: 20072
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby bk1 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:39 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How do y'all bill reading email?


Turn on timer. Read email. Turn off timer.

“Review email re: [issue]”.

Maybe even class it up with a little "review correspondence re X."

How is this even a question?

User avatar
Br3v

Gold
Posts: 4273
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Br3v » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:41 pm

Electronic memorandum

User avatar
sublime

Diamond
Posts: 17386
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby sublime » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hard part first: you took 4 weeks vacation as a first year? That's a little excessive. Especially on top of the 5 weeks of slow time. Only real exception I could think is a honey moon then random holidays.

Better part: seems like the review is very positive. They know you will freak out and worry about low hours and no bonus so it seems like their language talking about you progressing, etc is their way of saying they do not plan to let you go anytime soon so chill.

Edit: accidental anon


Fuck that though. Obviously try not to take vacation during busy times and don’t fuck your hours to do it but use the vacation they give you if you can.

User avatar
Br3v

Gold
Posts: 4273
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Br3v » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:51 pm

sublime wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hard part first: you took 4 weeks vacation as a first year? That's a little excessive. Especially on top of the 5 weeks of slow time. Only real exception I could think is a honey moon then random holidays.

Better part: seems like the review is very positive. They know you will freak out and worry about low hours and no bonus so it seems like their language talking about you progressing, etc is their way of saying they do not plan to let you go anytime soon so chill.

Edit: accidental anon


Fuck that though. Obviously try not to take vacation during busy times and don’t fuck your hours to do it but use the vacation they give you if you can.


Idk, 4 weeks as a first year? Just seems like a lot. No judgement from me if you can swing it though.

User avatar
sublime

Diamond
Posts: 17386
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby sublime » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:53 pm

Br3v wrote:
sublime wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hard part first: you took 4 weeks vacation as a first year? That's a little excessive. Especially on top of the 5 weeks of slow time. Only real exception I could think is a honey moon then random holidays.

Better part: seems like the review is very positive. They know you will freak out and worry about low hours and no bonus so it seems like their language talking about you progressing, etc is their way of saying they do not plan to let you go anytime soon so chill.

Edit: accidental anon


Fuck that though. Obviously try not to take vacation during busy times and don’t fuck your hours to do it but use the vacation they give you if you can.


Idk, 4 weeks as a first year? Just seems like a lot. No judgement from me if you can swing it though.


Yea, I took less than a third of that but others my class year used it all. Obviously varies by firm, but I don’t really think it’s unreasonable to use the vacation time you have been given.

Hutz_and_Goodman

Gold
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 am

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:30 pm

I wouldn’t worry. There are people in my class (3rd year) who have significantly missed hours every year and are highly regarded. A firm is not going to fire someone good who missed hours (and didn’t turn down work) unless it’s an extreme situation like 2008.

jd20132013

Silver
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:30 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How do y'all bill reading email?


Turn on timer. Read email. Turn off timer.

“Review email re: [issue]”.


I was thinking more on the lines of the bs that clutters your inbox that's for a case but lacks a through line...:@ there isn't one single issue. Obviously if there's a single issue you bill the issue.

User avatar
Br3v

Gold
Posts: 4273
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Br3v » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:54 pm

jd20132013 wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How do y'all bill reading email?


Turn on timer. Read email. Turn off timer.

“Review email re: [issue]”.


I was thinking more on the lines of the bs that clutters your inbox that's for a case but lacks a through line...:@ there isn't one single issue. Obviously if there's a single issue you bill the issue.

Use your best judgement and apply that time to the appropriate issue. Certainly you have been emailed for some reason.

User avatar
Mullens

Silver
Posts: 1045
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:34 am

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Mullens » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:39 pm

Br3v wrote:
sublime wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hard part first: you took 4 weeks vacation as a first year? That's a little excessive. Especially on top of the 5 weeks of slow time. Only real exception I could think is a honey moon then random holidays.

Better part: seems like the review is very positive. They know you will freak out and worry about low hours and no bonus so it seems like their language talking about you progressing, etc is their way of saying they do not plan to let you go anytime soon so chill.

Edit: accidental anon


Fuck that though. Obviously try not to take vacation during busy times and don’t fuck your hours to do it but use the vacation they give you if you can.


Idk, 4 weeks as a first year? Just seems like a lot. No judgement from me if you can swing it though.


Aren’t there some NY V10 firms that pretty much make you take it?

User avatar
Br3v

Gold
Posts: 4273
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Br3v » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:44 pm

Mullens wrote:
Br3v wrote:
sublime wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hard part first: you took 4 weeks vacation as a first year? That's a little excessive. Especially on top of the 5 weeks of slow time. Only real exception I could think is a honey moon then random holidays.

Better part: seems like the review is very positive. They know you will freak out and worry about low hours and no bonus so it seems like their language talking about you progressing, etc is their way of saying they do not plan to let you go anytime soon so chill.

Edit: accidental anon


Fuck that though. Obviously try not to take vacation during busy times and don’t fuck your hours to do it but use the vacation they give you if you can.


Idk, 4 weeks as a first year? Just seems like a lot. No judgement from me if you can swing it though.


Aren’t there some NY V10 firms that pretty much make you take it?


I don't know of any that make you take 4 (I've heard of 2) but I think that was Sublime's point about "varies by firm," which I agree with.

User avatar
Desert Fox

Diamond
Posts: 18302
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:08 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I wouldn’t worry. There are people in my class (3rd year) who have significantly missed hours every year and are highly regarded. A firm is not going to fire someone good who missed hours (and didn’t turn down work) unless it’s an extreme situation like 2008.


1350 is probably barely profitable. I know people who 1800’d their way to senior associate, but if OP doesn’t at least get close to 2000 they’ll likely let him go.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SportsFan

Silver
Posts: 727
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:26 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby SportsFan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:50 pm

On the other hand, could be that OP is underbilling and so not many of his hours have been written off compared to others who may have billed more (or, rather, attempted to). In which case things aren't so bad anyway.

bk1

Diamond
Posts: 20072
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby bk1 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:13 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I wouldn’t worry. There are people in my class (3rd year) who have significantly missed hours every year and are highly regarded. A firm is not going to fire someone good who missed hours (and didn’t turn down work) unless it’s an extreme situation like 2008.


1350 is probably barely profitable. I know people who 1800’d their way to senior associate, but if OP doesn’t at least get close to 2000 they’ll likely let him go.

This. I don't doubt that at some places you'd be fine. But there are definitely places where you wouldn't be fine.

Anonymous User
Posts: 316360
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: First Year Missed Bonus -- Should I Be Polishing Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:15 pm

Related question: 3L, and going into a field that has a lot of slow times (for juniors especially.) In a similar situation, is the solution pro bono? CLE? If you're not getting work what can you do to look "productive" and keep this kind of thing from happening?

EDIT: assuming that the problem isn't a total lack of work or shitty work product, but instead deal flow/other structural issues with getting you work



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.