Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

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Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:03 pm

Just as the title implies, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get fired from my BL job. My salary was cut because of this pandemic. The head of my group cited low hours as the reason. I had really low hours last year, but still got a small raise (my firm isn’t lockstep after the 3rd year). So did other associates in my group, but the ones that had as low as me were junior associates. I’m a 5th year and have been at my current firm for 3 years. The midlevel associates had higher hours. I had average hours the year before.
The head of my group first said it wasn’t my fault. The work I was hired for never materialized, and he couldn’t get more work now due to the pandemic. When asked how to up my hours, he got defensive and started saying my low hours were because I had performance issues. He said two partners didn’t like working with me. I knew those two didn’t like me. They’re both notoriously hard to work for (they have personality problems if you ask) and most associates try to avoid working for them. One of the partners got multiple formal complaints to HR for poor treatment of associates and staff members, but the head of my group protects him. The other one flip flops back and forth with me. Sometimes, I’m good and sometimes, I’m the worst associate, depending on his mood.
There are 8 partners in the group, and I wanted to know who else had issues with me, so I could go rectify the situation. I got good written reviews minus from one of the crazy partners. He didn’t give me a written review, but came to my review and took a dump on me. The other partners jumped to my defense, because they found the criticism unfounded. This was in 2018. I didn’t have a review in 2019 because I was out on leave.
I asked the head of my group who else had issues with me, and he couldn’t name anyone else and finally named a partner I’m very close with. I called him immediately after and he said he never had a talk with the head of the group about me. I believe him because I worked with him at my previous firm and have known him for 6 years. If he has issues with me, he would tell me directly instead of complaining about me to the head of the group. He is still very willing to work with me and gives whatever work he can.
I’m actively looking for another job, not in biglaw, but it’s not easy in this pandemic. How long do I have given the current circumstances? A month or two? I’m hoping to get some severance. I’m not devastated, because I wanted to leave my job for a while. This is the push I need. I have a baby at home and would like to be paid for as long as possible while looking for a new job.

esther0123

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by esther0123 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:54 pm

Sounds confusing and messy, but not sure if this is a clear sign you're gonna get fired, depending on who else has your back. If you're continuing to get work (and good work, hopefully), maybe not so bad.
The head of the group got defensive but that just sounds like it had more to do with him (low hours = bad business = poor reflection on him) and is deflecting on you. Given that, having so many partners have "performance issues" with you seems problematic, and also what incentive the head of the department has to lie to you about your "mentor" partner having issues with you? I wouldn't necessarily take this as a sign you're gonna get fired but maybe you don't have a long term future at this firm. But anything can change, imo. I'd be interested to hear what others say too.

sparty99

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by sparty99 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just as the title implies, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get fired from my BL job. My salary was cut because of this pandemic. The head of my group cited low hours as the reason. I had really low hours last year, but still got a small raise (my firm isn’t lockstep after the 3rd year). So did other associates in my group, but the ones that had as low as me were junior associates. I’m a 5th year and have been at my current firm for 3 years. The midlevel associates had higher hours. I had average hours the year before.
The head of my group first said it wasn’t my fault. The work I was hired for never materialized, and he couldn’t get more work now due to the pandemic. When asked how to up my hours, he got defensive and started saying my low hours were because I had performance issues. He said two partners didn’t like working with me. I knew those two didn’t like me. They’re both notoriously hard to work for (they have personality problems if you ask) and most associates try to avoid working for them. One of the partners got multiple formal complaints to HR for poor treatment of associates and staff members, but the head of my group protects him. The other one flip flops back and forth with me. Sometimes, I’m good and sometimes, I’m the worst associate, depending on his mood.
There are 8 partners in the group, and I wanted to know who else had issues with me, so I could go rectify the situation. I got good written reviews minus from one of the crazy partners. He didn’t give me a written review, but came to my review and took a dump on me. The other partners jumped to my defense, because they found the criticism unfounded. This was in 2018. I didn’t have a review in 2019 because I was out on leave.
I asked the head of my group who else had issues with me, and he couldn’t name anyone else and finally named a partner I’m very close with. I called him immediately after and he said he never had a talk with the head of the group about me. I believe him because I worked with him at my previous firm and have known him for 6 years. If he has issues with me, he would tell me directly instead of complaining about me to the head of the group. He is still very willing to work with me and gives whatever work he can.
I’m actively looking for another job, not in biglaw, but it’s not easy in this pandemic. How long do I have given the current circumstances? A month or two? I’m hoping to get some severance. I’m not devastated, because I wanted to leave my job for a while. This is the push I need. I have a baby at home and would like to be paid for as long as possible while looking for a new job.
Who knows how long you have, but I would start saving money for an emergency fund ($5,000 a month). The more prolonged the economic certainty means the firm can get rid of any attorneys under the guise of a layoff. If you are let go, severance is always negotiable. They can give it to you or not, but if it is big law I would think they would you some money, perhaps 1 to 3 months of your income. I would certainly apply to new positions, maybe even other big law firms if you truly feel that you might get let go. Places are still hiring, especially government. But everything is more slow and places are being cautious.

Neff

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by Neff » Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:22 pm

If there wasn't a pandemic going on right now, I would say 100% don't stress it, don't let some biglaw boomer dickheads mess with your sense of self-worth because, even in a "worst case" scenario, you should easily be able to find something else inside or outside of biglaw (and never forget that there are a million ways to make a good living in this world). Given the current situation, I would still double down and say the exact same thing except you may need a few more months to find something than you otherwise would. Don't know what your personal finances look like, but just keep accumulating cash and you will be fine. Given what you are describing, I can say with strong conviction that the worst case scenario (getting laid off) will in hindsight seem like the best case scenario (transitioning to something better). Best of luck.

malibustacy

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by malibustacy » Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:30 pm

No you ARE going to get fired. Surprised you stuck 3 years in that firm with all those red flags. It's not a good lateral market right now, but I'd start contacting your friends or acquaintances in other firms and start circulating your resume. Don't resign prematurely or anything until you land something.

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ghostoftraynor

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by ghostoftraynor » Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When asked how to up my hours, he got defensive and started saying my low hours were because I had performance issues.

I asked the head of my group who else had issues with me, and he couldn’t name anyone else and finally named a partner I’m very close with.

I called him immediately after and he said he never had a talk with the head of the group about m
Not really what you asked, and what is done is done, but I'd highly recommend not doing stuff like this. The first part could be fine, but just set up the whole mess. You know how to get more hours (ask around, see if helping other groups is a possibility). Not sure poking head of group in the eye about how business is down will lead to anything productive. The other two are pretty no go areas. If this is part of a broader pattern, I'd take a look at it.

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:25 pm

Op here. I don’t think I was being rude when I asked the head how to get more hours. He just got defensive and turned it on me. I wanted to leave last year, but due to some personal reasons and hence why I was on leave during last year’s reviews, I decided that it was best that I stayed put.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by Lacepiece23 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Op here. I don’t think I was being rude when I asked the head how to get more hours. He just got defensive and turned it on me. I wanted to leave last year, but due to some personal reasons and hence why I was on leave during last year’s reviews, I decided that it was best that I stayed put.
Yeah that feedback was weird and not even what you asked for. I agree that no one can tell when the axe will come. Just that it’s likely it will.

But it might not be the end of the world. If you’re lit, you can do doc review for a while, do appearances when courts open up, or get on one of those services to write briefs. That’s just until you find your next thing. It won’t be biglaw money, but you likely won’t starve.

Gov jobs take time, so if you haven’t started applying you absolute should.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by objctnyrhnr » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:46 am

If it were me I would have been looking already. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get fired.

plurilingue

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Re: Probably going to get fired from Biglaw soon

Post by plurilingue » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:15 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:If it were me I would have been looking already. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get fired.
+1

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