COVID-19’s effect on your practice check in

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COVID-19’s effect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:40 am

With the stock market so volatile, businesses shutting down, quarantines being rolled out, courts suspending new trials, etc. let’s discuss how it’s affecting your work flow.

I’m a Southern California 4th year that does a little bit of all sorts of corporate work.

Not a single one of my deals has gone pencils down.

M&A deals (including one int’l deal) I’m on are still going full speed.

EG financings are still going.

No new cap markets deals (obviously), but this is mitigated for now by proxy season, so that’s creating work since I do company side.

We’ll see how things change. I suspect since my deals are all past the LOI and term sheet stage, they will continue but after this wave of deals it will be verrry quiet. No in person meetings and whatnot will hit EG financings especially pretty hard IMO since I do mostly seed/A rounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if some re-trading on M&A deals given how drastically the market has moved in the last couple of weeks.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:13 am

5th year corporate associate at V50 in smaller secondary market. Was already kind of slow starting the year. Now I have nothing to do after a couple capital markets deals got put on hold for obvious reasons. Been jaded with biglaw for a while now so I'm not exactly losing sleep over this. No debt, $100K cash savings, but I do have a mortgage. Worst comes to worst, I'm just going to collect that severance and take a sabbatical. Thinking about leaving the law entirely.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:26 am

NorCal corporate mid-year. All deals full-speed ahead now, but will see what next month brings. All partners at my firm are freaking out (though they always panic about everything it seems).

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:00 pm

V10 midlevel in restructuring.

We are about to enter the seventh circle of hell.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:V10 midlevel in restructuring.

We are about to enter the seventh circle of hell.
Ugh I’m a corporate associate who occasionally gets roped into restructuring deals for reasons that aren’t worth explaining but they are by far my least favorite type of deal. I know it’s all about to explode and I am not looking forward to it. On the bright side...I have job security. I guess.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:07 pm

EBEC.

Deal-related stuff is starting to slow down but clients keep asking about plan management (fiduciary, ESOP, etc.) issues, so still busy.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:23 pm

Energy 3rd year at one of the big shops in Houston. After a busy start (185 in January, 200 in February), my hours have collapsed. Billed <5 last week. On track for even less this week. Our partners have told us to expect an extended slow period.

I've heard similar stories from other associates in Houston. With oil where it's at, it seems like everything is being put on hold. I know our bankruptcy folks are preparing for the inevitable E&P bloodletting.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:56 pm

Not in legal work. On banking side of MBS/sec now.

We were racing to finish up deals last week. Didn’t happen.

We’re having a meeting today for status updates and on how we can WFH but realistically I don’t think there will be any new business for a while except occasional PE deals associated with PEs buying soon to be distressed properties.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by KunAgnis » Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Energy 3rd year at one of the big shops in Houston. After a busy start (185 in January, 200 in February), my hours have collapsed. Billed <5 last week. On track for even less this week. Our partners have told us to expect an extended slow period.

I've heard similar stories from other associates in Houston. With oil where it's at, it seems like everything is being put on hold. I know our bankruptcy folks are preparing for the inevitable E&P bloodletting.
What do you do during slow billing cycles? I try to reach out for work but otherwise I find myself just browsing reddit tls and twiddling my thumbs
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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by jarofsoup » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:04 pm

Mid level in NY. Bankruptcy. We are all remote but the consensus is that it is going to be very busy. But everyone is teleworking.
Last edited by jarofsoup on Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:06 pm

To those doing debtor-side restructuring, could you elaborate on the increase in work? Is it the type of wave where you think the firm will need incoming first years to fill gaps, or do you anticipate pulling from existing workforce?

I'm a 3L headed to Weil/K&E in September...assuming the bar exam isn't postponed and awarding of diplomas unaffected by all of this, should I be worried at all about drawback of offer? (...should I even be worried that bar postponement would affect hiring patterns for restructuring practices?)

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by LaLiLuLeLo » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:27 pm

jarofsoup wrote:Mid level in NY. Bankruptcy. We are all remote but the consensus is that it is going to be very busy. But everyone is teleworking.
I assume all hearings will be telephonic for now, but any other court disruptions?

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To those doing debtor-side restructuring, could you elaborate on the increase in work? Is it the type of wave where you think the firm will need incoming first years to fill gaps, or do you anticipate pulling from existing workforce?

I'm a 3L headed to Weil/K&E in September...assuming the bar exam isn't postponed and awarding of diplomas unaffected by all of this, should I be worried at all about drawback of offer? (...should I even be worried that bar postponement would affect hiring patterns for restructuring practices?)
V10 midlevel.

A bit of both--I'm sure we'll pull from other transaction groups and, depending on how bad this gets and long this lasts, it could be incoming classes. E&P is going to get crushed, but that was likely happening anyway. Current matters in the pipeline are experiencing massive uncertainty, and the extent of the impending downturn could affect multiple segments of the economy. It's such a moving target that it's difficult to predict. Courts are coming up with protocols to handle hearings--most things going telephonically unless absolutely necessary.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To those doing debtor-side restructuring, could you elaborate on the increase in work? Is it the type of wave where you think the firm will need incoming first years to fill gaps, or do you anticipate pulling from existing workforce?

I'm a 3L headed to Weil/K&E in September...assuming the bar exam isn't postponed and awarding of diplomas unaffected by all of this, should I be worried at all about drawback of offer? (...should I even be worried that bar postponement would affect hiring patterns for restructuring practices?)
V10 midlevel.

A bit of both--I'm sure we'll pull from other transaction groups and, depending on how bad this gets and long this lasts, it could be incoming classes. E&P is going to get crushed, but that was likely happening anyway. Current matters in the pipeline are experiencing massive uncertainty, and the extent of the impending downturn could affect multiple segments of the economy. It's such a moving target that it's difficult to predict. Courts are coming up with protocols to handle hearings--most things going telephonically unless absolutely necessary.

It’s a weird balance in bankruptcy. Stuff cannot get to bad or companies won’t lend into the bankruptcy.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To those doing debtor-side restructuring, could you elaborate on the increase in work? Is it the type of wave where you think the firm will need incoming first years to fill gaps, or do you anticipate pulling from existing workforce?

I'm a 3L headed to Weil/K&E in September...assuming the bar exam isn't postponed and awarding of diplomas unaffected by all of this, should I be worried at all about drawback of offer? (...should I even be worried that bar postponement would affect hiring patterns for restructuring practices?)
V10 midlevel.

A bit of both--I'm sure we'll pull from other transaction groups and, depending on how bad this gets and long this lasts, it could be incoming classes. E&P is going to get crushed, but that was likely happening anyway. Current matters in the pipeline are experiencing massive uncertainty, and the extent of the impending downturn could affect multiple segments of the economy. It's such a moving target that it's difficult to predict. Courts are coming up with protocols to handle hearings--most things going telephonically unless absolutely necessary.

It’s a weird balance in bankruptcy. Stuff cannot get to bad or companies won’t lend into the bankruptcy.
V10 mid.

I think you can look at this one of two ways: first, this is a true black swan and that the underlying fundamentals of some of these businesses (e.g., airlines) aren't bad, and that this thing will recover. I can see financial institutions and alternative lenders being willing to lend into that, roll to an exit upon emergence with a well-capitalized company that will (hopefully) rebound when this passes.

Second, the underlying fundamentals of some of these businesses (e.g., retail/E&P) might be bad, but the existing capital structure may be willing to lend into it so they don't get wiped out and maybe get some equity upside.

But yeah, if this thing goes super south, then none of this will matter.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:23 pm

L&E midlevel - a lot of advice and counseling for COVID-19. But I do litigation. Things are getting pushed and I kind of want to use this as a time to take a mini-mental vacation while I WFH. Deadlines get pushed in litigation all the time though, so things feel mostly the same.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:57 pm

Big law, labor & employment. Midlevel.

I’m a litigator and have had all upcoming deadlines kicked— but as someone mentioned, that happens all the time (and so far only affecting deadlines in the next month or so). Hoping my practice can weather this storm, as it did during the crisis... and expecting RIF work and lawsuits related to employee terminations to start springing up in the next six months.

That said, other than the kicked deadlines, no changes to my day to day workload. So far.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:10 pm

Biglaw, corporate (M&A). Still on fire - no discernible slowdown yet, though if this really drags on for multiple weeks, I'm sure eventually work will dry up.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:15 pm

Niche asset finance group here...on fire as clients try to draw on credit facilities. Once these dry up I expect a big slow down.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:25 pm

Biglaw mid level in a somewhat niche corporate practice. There's been a rush in the last few weeks to get things completed before there's too much market turmoil, end of Q1, etc. So no slowdown there. And my group has been bleeding associates for months with no new hires. So I don't expect things to get particularly slow, at least until summer when things are always slow in the financial world and the market turmoil starts to spook investors.

I suspect that this will be the death knell for a lot of asset managers who were already struggling to stay afloat. Larger practices with big name clients will be fine. Deals will need to get done regardless.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:31 pm

Plaintiff-side employment junior here. Lit deadlines are getting pushed since there is no way we are taking any depos soon. Worried that the pre-suit settlement machine will be grinding to a halt b/c I'm assuming paying off disgruntled (ex-) employees is not top of the list for most companies in the months to come. We're sizable (nat'l firm) so I hope there is enough cash on hand to keep this place in operation for the foreseeable future.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:32 pm

L&E midlevel - a lot of advice and counseling for COVID-19. But I do litigation. Things are getting pushed and I kind of want to use this as a time to take a mini-mental vacation while I WFH. Deadlines get pushed in litigation all the time though, so things feel mostly the same.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Raiden » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Plaintiff-side employment junior here. Lit deadlines are getting pushed since there is no way we are taking any depos soon. Worried that the pre-suit settlement machine will be grinding to a halt b/c I'm assuming paying off disgruntled (ex-) employees is not top of the list for most companies in the months to come. We're sizable (nat'l firm) so I hope there is enough cash on hand to keep this place in operation for the foreseeable future.
What are examples of national plaintiff-side employment firms? I didn't really know that was a thing.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Niche asset finance group here...on fire as clients try to draw on credit facilities. Once these dry up I expect a big slow down.
I'm in a finance group and expect there to be very little origination and a ton of distressed lending/BK workouts in the next few months, but don't have much visibility beyond then. A lot of my early-phase stuff is crickets, although I'm worried that if we all show back up in the office in six weeks people are going to want to move really fast on everything that was floating. One of the nice things about finance is that your legacy stuff tends to come back a lot and keep you from bottoming out to hard, so think we should be in better shape relatively to other groups.

I'll guess that we are going to see significant consolidation in the E&P space as a result of this, which will create legal work at some point with the caveat that having a bunch of E&Ps running around was good for Tex biglaw associates generally.

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Re: COVID-19’s affect on your practice check in

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:34 pm

Raiden wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Plaintiff-side employment junior here. Lit deadlines are getting pushed since there is no way we are taking any depos soon. Worried that the pre-suit settlement machine will be grinding to a halt b/c I'm assuming paying off disgruntled (ex-) employees is not top of the list for most companies in the months to come. We're sizable (nat'l firm) so I hope there is enough cash on hand to keep this place in operation for the foreseeable future.
What are examples of national plaintiff-side employment firms? I didn't really know that was a thing.
I think there's exactly two firms that fit this description; I work at one of them. We're not truly national like defense side firms of course, but you'll find us on both coasts.

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