The Hallway - Getting Fired

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The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:51 pm

Most people can understand how shitty it feels to be fired in biglaw, an occurrence that is way more prevalent than most believe. What people don’t understand is the daily battle and awfulness that exists when a firm tells you that you have 3 months to find another job but need to keep working.

While it is preferable to no severance of course, it is a special kind of hell. You have to wake up every day and see your colleagues, many of whom are your friends in the hallways and whatnot knowing that they know you have been fired. They almost pity you, they feel bad being around you and you can feel it. You are reminded by their faces and demeanor every time you see them of your situation and failures. It is extremely uncomfortable. Then you have to do some small shitty assignments that no one else wants to do knowing it doesn’t matter, won’t help you and that you are a dead man walking; someone on borrowed time.

Dealing with this, in addition of course to feeling like shit for being fired and worrying about becoming homeless, it’s hard to keep showing up and staying positive. Just got to power through.

Npret

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Npret » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:15 pm

Hold your head up high and remain friends. Don’t hide ffs. Getting fired doesn’t mean you should accept being ashamed or feel like a pariah.

People get fired all the time. It’s just a blip. It’s better to stay friend with people if you can. Most of them will be gone from that firm too in the next few years.

Your job is not your identity and the shitheads who fired you are even less of an evaluation of your identity.

dabigchina

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by dabigchina » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:27 pm

Serious question - when you are given x months to find a new job, do you still need to show up and bill? Would they just straight up terminate you if you stopped showing up to work?

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:37 am

dabigchina wrote:Serious question - when you are given x months to find a new job, do you still need to show up and bill? Would they just straight up terminate you if you stopped showing up to work?
Each firm does it differently, some don't require you to show up. The ones that ask you to show up and work, who knows what they will do if you peace out.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:55 am

OP - I am in the same situation. I have been hustling to get interviews at other firms. The change is scary but also feels good. It’s a weird time to be wavering without a job, but I hope it all works out for us.

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Npret

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Npret » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:29 am

OP- I want to add that what you are feeling is normal. Don’t project your feelings on to others though. Try to be positive as much as you can. Maybe they can even help you with contacts or with venting a little. Like I said, they will be gone soon too.

Did you get any placement assistance?

You might also look for a therapist to talk to about it.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by papermateflair » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:55 am

OP, I wouldn't assume everyone knows you've been fired - maybe it's made it through the rumor mill, but maybe it hasn't. Apparently someone has been fired in my practice group but I legitimately do not know who it is. If someone hadn't told me someone was fired, when the person leaves I would have no idea that it was a firing and not just the associate leaving for greener pastures. Also, if two people end up leaving, I'll still not know which one was fired, unless someone tells me. Maybe the sad looks of pity you're getting are legit, but also your associate friends could be totally clueless and just looking sad because being an associate sucks, or because they've also been secretly fired.

You're going to land on your feet. This is a minor setback - tons of people get fired from biglaw, and because firing are so sneaky, you have no idea. Partners don't talk about how they got "told to leave" their first firm like, 20 years ago, you just assume they lateraled in as an all-star 3rd year and have had never-ending success. You'll be fine.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by mvp99 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:11 pm

Why be ashamed of what happens to 98% of associates one way or another. It’s the system.
Last edited by QContinuum on Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:55 pm

Is it common for firms to fire associates and have them work during their severance period?

At my firm, I am not fully sure but I think the second years that got fired didn't have to show up to work.

To me it doesn't make sense to have them keep working. As stated in the OP, it is depressing to have to keep working knowing that it's not going to matter and that some of those who know you were fired will look down you. For the firm, it's not in their interest to have those depressed folks keep working unless they are very short-staffed.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:03 pm

I'm the OP. I asked, they said all the partners in the group know, which is a lot. I assume its slowly spreading through the associates. Either way it almost feels like they want me to show up and pretend all is normal to keep moral up and stop some of the associates from finding out.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:40 pm

I nearly got fired after slaving away for several months billing lots of hours with little sleep. Never work for your firm. These dickheads never appreciate you. Do it for yourself. Do it for your own career.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Npret » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm the OP. I asked, they said all the partners in the group know, which is a lot. I assume its slowly spreading through the associates. Either way it almost feels like they want me to show up and pretend all is normal to keep moral up and stop some of the associates from finding out.
To me having a routine and structure is more motivating than being at home and working from Starbucks in your sweatpants. I exaggerate a little. You need to stay on this. Put your energy into finding another job instead of worrying about what people know or don’t know.

Lots of people have been fired from your firm. Lots more will be fired or pushed out eventually. I know it’s not easy. Stay focused on being positive and finding a job.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by AVBucks4239 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:31 pm

OP, pick your head up. Lots and lots and lots of people get fired.

I can promise you that I'm an absolute nobody with pretty average credentials (I'm sure worse than yours), and things have turned out alright for me.

Five summers ago I got no-offered. That sucked. I had your attitude. All I can remember from end of that summer to start of school is smoking weed and watching Planet Earth for hours. I guess life that wasn't that bad.

Anyway, getting no-offered led me to apply for a career grant ($2,000 for three months of full time work!), which led me to using that career grant at a very reputable hometown firm with 20-25 lawyers, which led me to becoming an associate there for four years. And I've used the education and reputation from that firm to go out on my own and have a reasonably successful solo practice.

I would have laughed in your face if you told me things would have worked out like this after I got no-offered.

So life will go on, but it will only get better if you get yourself out of your rut. Nothing is going to fall in your lap. You have to make it happen.

Enjoy the weed and David Attenborough narration for a week or two. Then get at it. You'll be fine. Cheers.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:44 pm

Don't feel ashamed. I'm in the sh*t hole at my firm for billing 2,700 hours. I busted my butt but they still had bones to pick with me. It happens to all of us. As long as we do right by our conscience, legal ethics, and whatever else that governs your soul. We're good. Consider it 3 months of watching others stress while you just walk in do some basic stuff and kill some time. Work on the job search though!

QContinuum

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by QContinuum » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Don't feel ashamed. I'm in the sh*t hole at my firm for billing 2,700 hours. I busted my butt but they still had bones to pick with me. It happens to all of us. As long as we do right by our conscience, legal ethics, and whatever else that governs your soul. We're good. Consider it 3 months of watching others stress while you just walk in do some basic stuff and kill some time. Work on the job search though!
Wait, you're in the shit hole for billing 2,700 hours? What, are they lambasting you for not hitting 3,000?!

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:41 am

QContinuum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Don't feel ashamed. I'm in the sh*t hole at my firm for billing 2,700 hours. I busted my butt but they still had bones to pick with me. It happens to all of us. As long as we do right by our conscience, legal ethics, and whatever else that governs your soul. We're good. Consider it 3 months of watching others stress while you just walk in do some basic stuff and kill some time. Work on the job search though!
Wait, you're in the shit hole for billing 2,700 hours? What, are they lambasting you for not hitting 3,000?!
They blasted me for the weirdest shit. Oddly, they didn't lambast me for not hitting 3,000. I was thinking that very thought when they said it in reviews in December. Instead they blasted me for hitting the bonus marks (aka $ cheddar) and thereby increasing costs for the firm. Honestly, I don't get it. Meanwhile they gave raises to other Associates who failed to meet their minimums.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by dabigchina » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Don't feel ashamed. I'm in the sh*t hole at my firm for billing 2,700 hours. I busted my butt but they still had bones to pick with me. It happens to all of us. As long as we do right by our conscience, legal ethics, and whatever else that governs your soul. We're good. Consider it 3 months of watching others stress while you just walk in do some basic stuff and kill some time. Work on the job search though!
Wait, you're in the shit hole for billing 2,700 hours? What, are they lambasting you for not hitting 3,000?!
They blasted me for the weirdest shit. Oddly, they didn't lambast me for not hitting 3,000. I was thinking that very thought when they said it in reviews in December. Instead they blasted me for hitting the bonus marks (aka $ cheddar) and thereby increasing costs for the firm. Honestly, I don't get it. Meanwhile they gave raises to other Associates who failed to meet their minimums.
what in the actual fuck is wrong with this profession.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Don't feel ashamed. I'm in the sh*t hole at my firm for billing 2,700 hours. I busted my butt but they still had bones to pick with me. It happens to all of us. As long as we do right by our conscience, legal ethics, and whatever else that governs your soul. We're good. Consider it 3 months of watching others stress while you just walk in do some basic stuff and kill some time. Work on the job search though!
Wait, you're in the shit hole for billing 2,700 hours? What, are they lambasting you for not hitting 3,000?!
They blasted me for the weirdest shit. Oddly, they didn't lambast me for not hitting 3,000. I was thinking that very thought when they said it in reviews in December. Instead they blasted me for hitting the bonus marks (aka $ cheddar) and thereby increasing costs for the firm. Honestly, I don't get it. Meanwhile they gave raises to other Associates who failed to meet their minimums.
I'm the anon that posted right below Npret's second post in this thread. As stated, I also didn't get a full bonus after working and billing more than my peers in the same class year. Not a single major mistake in my work products. Mostly heard good things about my work products. I think my firm may have done the same thing to me. I am not sure though.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:40 am

I am sorry you still have to come to work. You know what I'd do? I'd go straight to a shrink, say you have extreme anxiety that's causing insomnia, and get him or her to put you on medical leave. Two can play this game.

I want you to know that a year ago, yes, exactly a year ago, I was on month 4 of having 4 months to get out. I was actually a complete rockstar of an associate (yes, really!) but a nasty partner who (a) had a drug problem and (ii) had literally exposed himself to female associates and f-ed a copy girl who was an underpriveleged youth trainee had it out for me when I complained to management. And he spread false rumors about me. I was well above pace, involved on a ton of matters, and right after I had KILLED myself on a horrible M&A deal, a deal upon which the client was so happy at closing that he sent me, and only me, a case of wine, I was $hitcanned from biglaw with the good ol' 3 month runway.

A firm I had interviewed with in Month 3 of "three month lifeline" called me and offered me a job. I started that month, so there was no gap on my resume. New firm had actually bumped salaries, unlike shitty Philadelphia biglaw firm which pretended it was biglaw, but wasn't really.

Fast forward seven months. New firm wanted to second me to a client because ^^^ see above, I was actually an awesome associate. I got seconded. Company I am seconded to thinks I am literally the best thing since sliced bread and offersme biglaw salary (which is certainly above market for my area) and options that are worth between 600K and $6MM, if the company keeps growing at its current rate. So yeah, I traded biglaw and all the shit with it, for biglaw salary and a bonus of at minimum $150K.

I tell you this story not to make you think you're not in a shitty situation. You are. But seriously--YOU ARE AWESOME. YOU WILL PREVAIL. THESE F-ERS WILL BE MERELY A BLIP IN A LONG AND PROSPEROUS CAREER. DO NOT WASTE EMOTIONAL ENERGY ON THEM. SPEND ALL YOUR ENERGY LOOKING.

Use your (non-law) friends to lean on during this $hit time. Everything will get better. I promise. Leave at 5. Do only the minimum. They've already showed you they don't care for you. Quit the charade and pound the pavement. YOU GOT THIS. YOU WILL BARELY EVEN THINK OF THESE F-ERS A YEAR FROM NOW. I PROMISE.

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by Xochi » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am sorry you still have to come to work. You know what I'd do? I'd go straight to a shrink, say you have extreme anxiety that's causing insomnia, and get him or her to put you on medical leave. Two can play this game.

I want you to know that a year ago, yes, exactly a year ago, I was on month 4 of having 4 months to get out. I was actually a complete rockstar of an associate (yes, really!) but a nasty partner who (a) had a drug problem and (ii) had literally exposed himself to female associates and f-ed a copy girl who was an underpriveleged youth trainee had it out for me when I complained to management. And he spread false rumors about me. I was well above pace, involved on a ton of matters, and right after I had KILLED myself on a horrible M&A deal, a deal upon which the client was so happy at closing that he sent me, and only me, a case of wine, I was $hitcanned from biglaw with the good ol' 3 month runway.

A firm I had interviewed with in Month 3 of "three month lifeline" called me and offered me a job. I started that month, so there was no gap on my resume. New firm had actually bumped salaries, unlike shitty Philadelphia biglaw firm which pretended it was biglaw, but wasn't really.

Fast forward seven months. New firm wanted to second me to a client because ^^^ see above, I was actually an awesome associate. I got seconded. Company I am seconded to thinks I am literally the best thing since sliced bread and offersme biglaw salary (which is certainly above market for my area) and options that are worth between 600K and $6MM, if the company keeps growing at its current rate. So yeah, I traded biglaw and all the shit with it, for biglaw salary and a bonus of at minimum $150K.

I tell you this story not to make you think you're not in a shitty situation. You are. But seriously--YOU ARE AWESOME. YOU WILL PREVAIL. THESE F-ERS WILL BE MERELY A BLIP IN A LONG AND PROSPEROUS CAREER. DO NOT WASTE EMOTIONAL ENERGY ON THEM. SPEND ALL YOUR ENERGY LOOKING.

Use your (non-law) friends to lean on during this $hit time. Everything will get better. I promise. Leave at 5. Do only the minimum. They've already showed you they don't care for you. Quit the charade and pound the pavement. YOU GOT THIS. YOU WILL BARELY EVEN THINK OF THESE F-ERS A YEAR FROM NOW. I PROMISE.

I know you’re trying to be helpful but you come off as a tremendous douchebag.

QContinuum

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Re: The Hallway - Getting Fired

Post by QContinuum » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:04 pm

Xochi wrote:I know you’re trying to be helpful but you come off as a tremendous douchebag.
You're a new poster, so I'll refrain from issuing an official warning, but try not to attack other posters on a personal level, especially not with inflammatory rhetoric like "tremendous douchebag" and the like. It's absolutely fine to disagree with others, and even to disagree strongly, but attack the content, not the person's character.

I think that anon's story was very inspiring. It shows that getting fired from BigLaw isn't the end of the world. It isn't, standing alone, a reflection on one's personal or professional skills. It can be a cold world out there, and sometimes (often) bad things happen to good, qualified people. But it's possible to come back from it.

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