Expecting no bonus + easing up

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Expecting no bonus + easing up

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:49 am

I am a mid level associate at a firm that I expect will survive the pandemic, but which is cutting certain benefits (not salary). I assume bonuses will be smaller or non-existent this year. Anyone else letting up a little since there will likely be no reward for billing those extra hours each month? Obviously I’m going to keep working hard to keep my job, but I think there’s a big difference between being liked and valuable, on the one hand, and billing enough to meet a billable hour threshold that no longer provides much financial incentive, on the other.

KM2016

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Re: Expecting no bonus + easing up

Post by KM2016 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:26 pm

Are you in big law? If so, I wouldn't be so sure there won't be bonuses. My firm is having a better year than last year, and I know many of our peer firms are as well.

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Re: Expecting no bonus + easing up

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:32 pm

Now is not the time to ease up, even if your firm is not in as much distress as others.

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Re: Expecting no bonus + easing up

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:51 pm

    Similar situation to op. Former biglaw now a high end lit boutique mid level where a lot of the compensation is bonus driven. We have been told bonuses are likely to be nothing this year, even though the firm is in really good shape and expanding.

    I’m on track for 2200-2300 hours this year (non-trial year) and really feel like mailing it in for the rest of the year. I know I should be thankful for my job, but our bonus compensation is a really large part of my year end take home and the primary reason I left my vault firm.

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    Re: Expecting no bonus + easing up

    Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:06 pm

    OP here. Big law but below market bonuses. So I wouldn’t be missing out that much anyways.

    To the poster above, why is this not the time to ease up a bit? I’m working hard and will continue to do so, but why go the extra mile and search out work unnecessarily? In some respects, I think doing better quality work with fewer total billable hours can actually boost your reputation and create more job security.

    Obviously it’s a bit of a fine line, but I think associates need to take advantage of disadvantageous situations sometimes. If I’m not getting paid to kill myself, I’m not about to do it for partner profits.

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    Anonymous User
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    Re: Expecting no bonus + easing up

    Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:56 pm

    Anonymous User wrote:
    Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:06 pm
    OP here. Big law but below market bonuses. So I wouldn’t be missing out that much anyways.

    To the poster above, why is this not the time to ease up a bit? I’m working hard and will continue to do so, but why go the extra mile and search out work unnecessarily? In some respects, I think doing better quality work with fewer total billable hours can actually boost your reputation and create more job security.

    Obviously it’s a bit of a fine line, but I think associates need to take advantage of disadvantageous situations sometimes. If I’m not getting paid to kill myself, I’m not about to do it for partner profits.
    It's a balancing act. You don't want to sacrifice work quality for quantity, but I agree with the other poster that you should not be letting up. COVID-19 is causing a lot of firms to reconsider staffing and examine how much attorneys (associates and even partners) are contributing to the firm and frankly you're running the risk of putting yourself on the lower end of that totem pole if your colleagues are striving to standout during these uncertain times.

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    Re: Expecting no bonus + easing up

    Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:13 pm

    This is probably accurate. To a certain extent, I’m probably overstating how much I’d let up. But I guess I’m also not terrified of the prospect of being let go. And it’s likely I’d get a warning first. I just need to find that sweet spot between continued employment and maintaining my life.

    Being at peace with the prospect of being let go makes finding this sweet spot much less stressful. If I had a lot of debt still, I’m sure I’d approach this differently.

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    Re: Expecting no bonus + easing up

    Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:04 pm

    Was on track for 2200 mid March but I’ll be lucky to hit 1700. Firm is doing well and senior management has said no one should worry about hours this year.

    I’m coasting...if I get fired, well I wanted to move back to CA from NYC anyways.

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