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Do you think I'm about to get the talk?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:55 pm
by Anonymous User
First year corp associate at a V20 in a secondary market.

We submitted our evaluation stuff last week, and I'm set to be reviewed this week. I'm not sure if I should be worried about the speed of the review process, since it seems very quick for all of the relevant partners and associates to already have submitted feedback. I'm concerned that they're going to stealth me for sort of low hours.

I don't think my firm is doing bad financially, but I think corporate work has been dead. My hours are pretty low (for the rating period, averaging around 110 hours a month), and probably pretty average work product (normal for a first year, with goofs, but never gotten any negative feedback).

Not sure if I should be freaking out. I think in normal times I'd be fine, but these aren't normal times.

Re: Do you think I'm about to get the talk?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:04 pm
by KM2016
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:55 pm
First year corp associate at a V20 in a secondary market.

We submitted our evaluation stuff last week, and I'm set to be reviewed this week. I'm not sure if I should be worried about the speed of the review process, since it seems very quick for all of the relevant partners and associates to already have submitted feedback. I'm concerned that they're going to stealth me for sort of low hours.

I don't think my firm is doing bad financially, but I think corporate work has been dead. My hours are pretty low (for the rating period, averaging around 110 hours a month), and probably pretty average work product (normal for a first year, with goofs, but never gotten any negative feedback).

Not sure if I should be freaking out. I think in normal times I'd be fine, but these aren't normal times.
Relax. Evals take only a couple of minutes to complete (basically just picking numbers on a numeric scale unless evaluators opt to provide substantive feedback). There is zero correlation between speed of reviews being completed and job security. If your group is as slow as you say it is, it's likely the partners and senior associates also had spare time to get to these relatively quickly. Also, first years rarely get axed.

Re: Do you think I'm about to get the talk?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:26 pm
by Anonymous User
OP here. Thanks, I've had no experience with biglaw reviews so wasn't sure. Appreciate it.

Re: Do you think I'm about to get the talk?

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:26 am
by Anonymous User
I say this as a biglaw senior, reviewer and reviewee, and someone who has received "the talk" before: I would bet very heavily that some in your class are going to get fired. Whether that's you or not, I don't know. Almost every review cycle I've been a part of takes weeks if not months to fully complete. A turnaround in a week strongly suggests to me that management is trying to push people out on an expedited schedule. Something similar happened at my current firm where push outs have happened much more quickly since COVID-19 hit. At ~65% utilization and a generally slow group, that could be you. Or you could make it through safely while others don't.

Not trying to be alarmist, but just my honest two cents. Hope you make it through OK.

Re: Do you think I'm about to get the talk?

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:57 am
by gregfootball2001
No one here knows. Some firms do reviews very quickly, some take months. Some firms are stealthing, some firms aren't. Some firms will never fire first years, some firms will. I know it's not what you want to hear, but any good anecdotes told here have no bearing on your particular situation. On the other hand, no bad anecdotes have any bearing either. That's because they're anecdotes, from other firms, mostly under difference circumstances.

Really, you're lucky - your review is this week. A day or two wait won't have any impact on your job search (if one is actually needed). Just wait, have your review, and see. Best of luck.

Re: Do you think I'm about to get the talk?

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:21 am
by nealric
gregfootball2001 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:57 am
Just wait, have your review, and see. Best of luck.
This. Folks on the internet don't have a crystal ball. Given the uncertainties about COVID and varying degrees of firm health, it's impossible to know how you may or may not be impacted. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Also worth noting that while firms that want to "stealth" people tend to line it up with review times, it's not like there's any rule that they can only lay people off during reviews.

Re: Do you think I'm about to get the talk?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:57 pm
by Anonymous User
For anyone curious, the meeting was misleadingly called 2020 Associate Review but was actually just a quick meeting with a partner in another office about the review process.

So not laid off yet.