Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

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Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:19 pm

I'm a Kirkland lit associate who is not doing so hot -- I learned that I have been "selected for a mid-year review." My numerical rating was a 3. I'm wondering if any other anonymous folks have been through or know much about this. Two questions in particular:

(1) Timing: the partners who let me know seemed unclear as to how the mid-year review process actually works. Specifically -- anyone know when these reviews actually happen? I'm wondering if it's December, January, or later. From just my personal rumor mill, I've heard that they can happen anywhere between January or March, but I'm just curious if anyone else knows more about how much time I might have.

(2) Bonuses: Do people slotted for mid-year reviews usually get these? I hope I still get one, but I'm not sure. If people who get 3s but who are slotted for mid-year reviews sometimes get left out, then obviously I should bail rather than even attempt to stick this out.

Thanks all. My anonymous heart appreciates it.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by eastcoast_iub » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:56 pm

Kirkland midlevel here, this is atypical but I know one person who had this happen to them before. It was effectively probation and resulted from one notoriously difficult NSP giving the person a terrible review, among positive reviews from other NSPs and at least one important SP in the group.

The person survived and remains in good standing, but was nervous during those 6 months. I believe the review was 6 months after the annual review, and that the person got a full bonus. Be responsive and thoughtful and work hard during that time.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:13 pm

Kirkland lit associate here as well. Unfortunately the colleague I know who had a mid-year review (I think in April) was fired in it. I would very seriously consider looking into lateraling. The lit lateral market seems warmer now than any point since March.

Since you received a 3, you should still get the full/normal bonus for your hours. And as the other reply says, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re done (especially because you didn’t get a 4).

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:40 pm

Kirkland midlevel here as well. You are most likely fucked. I would start brushing up the resume and reaching out to friends at firms or recruiters now. They’ll give you your bonus and then you’ll get another negative review mid-year, then they’ll bounce you. I’ve seen it done like 5 times now, each time the same way.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:47 pm

Another K&E midlevel here, I don't have any insight into the process, but have seen people stay after having had them, and have seen people booted. I think it's universally a bad sign, but not a guarantee K&E won't let you stay around for another year or two. Sorry --- this sucks. Good news is the lateral market seems decent, and if you decide to leave you can collect your bonus first.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:58 pm

I don't quite understand. Most people get 3 - I assume that's the average? Why would anyone get fired for getting a 3?

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:02 pm

Wait, not everyone participates in mid-year reviews? I just assumed everyone did (although I'm a lateral). I was first informed in late-March that I would be participating in the process, had my mid-year review in May, then had my annual review earlier this month. Nothing seemed particularly off in the feedback I received in both reviews, and I got a 3 for what it's worth.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:58 pm
I don't quite understand. Most people get 3 - I assume that's the average? Why would anyone get fired for getting a 3?
The ratings system is bullshit. Everyone in their first three years gets a 3 unless there’s truly egregious behavior. Basically, if the powers decide you’re on the chopping block, you get called up for a “mid year review” which as another poster pointed out, is essentially “probation” where there is a close eye kept on you. If you get glowing reviews during this period, you are safe. If not, you are fucked.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:58 pm
I don't quite understand. Most people get 3 - I assume that's the average? Why would anyone get fired for getting a 3?
It is difficult to get 4 or 5 years 1-3, although certain groups year 3 you will see more variance.

OP, do you still have work? Most people I see who are actually bad just get frozen out through not receiving work (no one staffs them even when there is need, etc.), so hard to read this situation. I've seen plenty of people get frozen out, I don't know if I know anyone who has had a midyear review because in my group at least people are quiet about reviews/ratings.

edit: might be different for laterals, the lateral system is a blackbox and pretty bespoke to the individual's situation.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:45 pm

This is kind of a weird situation. Most instances of mid-tear review means you are on the chopping block. But, you also got a three. That’s usually what 4 is reserved for (5 being you gotta go asap).

In any event, review will be after end of the year and assuming historical bonus practice, you will at least get market.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:17 pm

OP here. Thank you everyone for these replies. Glad to see there is still a good shot at a bonus. I don't want to say too much (as there are probably only so many associates in my position to begin with), but I agree it is mildly surprising to get both a 3 rating and a mid-year review. My impression before this year was that mid-year reviews were usually associated with only a 4 or lower rating. Maybe that was wrong, or maybe I'm just unique (yay me).

I did dimly start to feel like things were rocky awhile ago, and had started saving recruiter emails and reaching out to connections. I'll take some time to assess and keep my wits about me. I am grateful that they didn't just fire me off the bat, and will try to buckle down and do good work in the meantime. I do still have work to do, which helps.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:08 am

If you get fired during your mid-year review, do you get severance?

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:18 am

Also, does that mean I’m relatively safe for the next six months as long as my hours are somewhat normal? Like would it be unusual for me to get the axe before then? (not OP, but planning to leave the firm some time in the next 3-6 months because it’s a terrible place to work so it’s good to know if I can chill for the next few months).

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by tbp140 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am

I don't work at K&E but I'm curious about this rating system that you have? So how does it work, a 1 is the best and a 5 is the worst, and you're told ahead of time what number you are and you only need to have a mid-year review if your number is bad?

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:36 am

tbp140 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am
I don't work at K&E but I'm curious about this rating system that you have? So how does it work, a 1 is the best and a 5 is the worst, and you're told ahead of time what number you are and you only need to have a mid-year review if your number is bad?
It is much weirder and more obfuscated then that. The 1-5 scale is your path to making partner. But you really can't get above a 3 until after your 4th year, 4th year the highest you can get is a 2, and you can't get a 1 until end of 5th year. It really doesn't make any sense as it tells you nothing as to where you stand relative to your peers from a positive perspective, and really only gives you negative feedback relative to your peers. I think the idea is to keep things flexible so they can fire ppl w/out them saying "but I had a great review" (they don't let you see your feedback, btw, they just communicate it live). But I am just speculating and maybe cynical.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:36 am
tbp140 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am
I don't work at K&E but I'm curious about this rating system that you have? So how does it work, a 1 is the best and a 5 is the worst, and you're told ahead of time what number you are and you only need to have a mid-year review if your number is bad?
It is much weirder and more obfuscated then that. The 1-5 scale is your path to making partner. But you really can't get above a 3 until after your 4th year, 4th year the highest you can get is a 2, and you can't get a 1 until end of 5th year. It really doesn't make any sense as it tells you nothing as to where you stand relative to your peers from a positive perspective, and really only gives you negative feedback relative to your peers. I think the idea is to keep things flexible so they can fire ppl w/out them saying "but I had a great review" (they don't let you see your feedback, btw, they just communicate it live). But I am just speculating and maybe cynical.
K&E midlevel. Not true. In every review I've had the opportunity to read my feedback, just couldn't take a copy with me.

The rating system is a bit obfuscated, and you really only know how you rank relative to your peers by discussing, but even then you don't glean much. If you're competent at all, you'll make NSP (e.g., in my group, every 6th year made NSP).

As for the mid-year review, agree it's not a great sign, and everyone in my group that's been called in for one has been told to leave.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by LBJ's Hair » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:45 am
K&E midlevel. Not true. In every review I've had the opportunity to read my feedback, just couldn't take a copy with me.

The rating system is a bit obfuscated, and you really only know how you rank relative to your peers by discussing, but even then you don't glean much. If you're competent at all, you'll make NSP (e.g., in my group, every 6th year made NSP).

As for the mid-year review, agree it's not a great sign, and everyone in my group that's been called in for one has been told to leave.
feel like that number isn't very useful without knowing what % of your group made it to 6th year tho

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:45 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:36 am
tbp140 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am
I don't work at K&E but I'm curious about this rating system that you have? So how does it work, a 1 is the best and a 5 is the worst, and you're told ahead of time what number you are and you only need to have a mid-year review if your number is bad?
It is much weirder and more obfuscated then that. The 1-5 scale is your path to making partner. But you really can't get above a 3 until after your 4th year, 4th year the highest you can get is a 2, and you can't get a 1 until end of 5th year. It really doesn't make any sense as it tells you nothing as to where you stand relative to your peers from a positive perspective, and really only gives you negative feedback relative to your peers. I think the idea is to keep things flexible so they can fire ppl w/out them saying "but I had a great review" (they don't let you see your feedback, btw, they just communicate it live). But I am just speculating and maybe cynical.
K&E midlevel. Not true. In every review I've had the opportunity to read my feedback, just couldn't take a copy with me.

The rating system is a bit obfuscated, and you really only know how you rank relative to your peers by discussing, but even then you don't glean much. If you're competent at all, you'll make NSP (e.g., in my group, every 6th year made NSP).

As for the mid-year review, agree it's not a great sign, and everyone in my group that's been called in for one has been told to leave.
Hmmm, maybe we are in different offices (mine being the more "notorious" one).

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UnfrozenCaveman

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by UnfrozenCaveman » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:23 pm

NSPs sound fun.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:08 am
If you get fired during your mid-year review, do you get severance?
The associates I know who have been “fired” weren’t really fired - even if they had a mid-year review, they still came to the office, were on the website, and seemingly billed a few hours a day (if that) until they left for something else. The phrase “fired in mid-year review” really means the firm telling you it’s over, you’ve got 3 months or whatever to move on, thanks for your service.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:08 am
If you get fired during your mid-year review, do you get severance?
The associates I know who have been “fired” weren’t really fired - even if they had a mid-year review, they still came to the office, were on the website, and seemingly billed a few hours a day (if that) until they left for something else. The phrase “fired in mid-year review” really means the firm telling you it’s over, you’ve got 3 months or whatever to move on, thanks for your service.
That's good to know.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Scallion » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:36 am
tbp140 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am
I don't work at K&E but I'm curious about this rating system that you have? So how does it work, a 1 is the best and a 5 is the worst, and you're told ahead of time what number you are and you only need to have a mid-year review if your number is bad?
It is much weirder and more obfuscated then that. The 1-5 scale is your path to making partner. But you really can't get above a 3 until after your 4th year, 4th year the highest you can get is a 2, and you can't get a 1 until end of 5th year. It really doesn't make any sense as it tells you nothing as to where you stand relative to your peers from a positive perspective, and really only gives you negative feedback relative to your peers. I think the idea is to keep things flexible so they can fire ppl w/out them saying "but I had a great review" (they don't let you see your feedback, btw, they just communicate it live). But I am just speculating and maybe cynical.
I'm glad that my firm isn't the only one that does this, but it still pisses me off that this is a thing and that associates are not allowed any written record of positive performance (outside of a "thanks" in response to our work).

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:14 pm

Scallion wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:36 am
tbp140 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am
I don't work at K&E but I'm curious about this rating system that you have? So how does it work, a 1 is the best and a 5 is the worst, and you're told ahead of time what number you are and you only need to have a mid-year review if your number is bad?
It is much weirder and more obfuscated then that. The 1-5 scale is your path to making partner. But you really can't get above a 3 until after your 4th year, 4th year the highest you can get is a 2, and you can't get a 1 until end of 5th year. It really doesn't make any sense as it tells you nothing as to where you stand relative to your peers from a positive perspective, and really only gives you negative feedback relative to your peers. I think the idea is to keep things flexible so they can fire ppl w/out them saying "but I had a great review" (they don't let you see your feedback, btw, they just communicate it live). But I am just speculating and maybe cynical.
I'm glad that my firm isn't the only one that does this, but it still pisses me off that this is a thing and that associates are not allowed any written record of positive performance (outside of a "thanks" in response to our work).
Former K&E associate. This isn't true. You are allowed to sit down and read all of your reviews.

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:14 pm
Scallion wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:36 am
tbp140 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am
I don't work at K&E but I'm curious about this rating system that you have? So how does it work, a 1 is the best and a 5 is the worst, and you're told ahead of time what number you are and you only need to have a mid-year review if your number is bad?
It is much weirder and more obfuscated then that. The 1-5 scale is your path to making partner. But you really can't get above a 3 until after your 4th year, 4th year the highest you can get is a 2, and you can't get a 1 until end of 5th year. It really doesn't make any sense as it tells you nothing as to where you stand relative to your peers from a positive perspective, and really only gives you negative feedback relative to your peers. I think the idea is to keep things flexible so they can fire ppl w/out them saying "but I had a great review" (they don't let you see your feedback, btw, they just communicate it live). But I am just speculating and maybe cynical.
I'm glad that my firm isn't the only one that does this, but it still pisses me off that this is a thing and that associates are not allowed any written record of positive performance (outside of a "thanks" in response to our work).
Former K&E associate. This isn't true. You are allowed to sit down and read all of your reviews.
But there's a pretty wide gulf between that and actually providing the associate with a copy of the reviews for their records.

(Also, every time I see these Kirkland posts, I get anxious for all of you. This process sounds ridiculous.)

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Re: Kirkland "Mid-Year Review" Process

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:54 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:26 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:14 pm
Scallion wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:36 am
tbp140 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am
I don't work at K&E but I'm curious about this rating system that you have? So how does it work, a 1 is the best and a 5 is the worst, and you're told ahead of time what number you are and you only need to have a mid-year review if your number is bad?
It is much weirder and more obfuscated then that. The 1-5 scale is your path to making partner. But you really can't get above a 3 until after your 4th year, 4th year the highest you can get is a 2, and you can't get a 1 until end of 5th year. It really doesn't make any sense as it tells you nothing as to where you stand relative to your peers from a positive perspective, and really only gives you negative feedback relative to your peers. I think the idea is to keep things flexible so they can fire ppl w/out them saying "but I had a great review" (they don't let you see your feedback, btw, they just communicate it live). But I am just speculating and maybe cynical.
I'm glad that my firm isn't the only one that does this, but it still pisses me off that this is a thing and that associates are not allowed any written record of positive performance (outside of a "thanks" in response to our work).
Former K&E associate. This isn't true. You are allowed to sit down and read all of your reviews.
But there's a pretty wide gulf between that and actually providing the associate with a copy of the reviews for their records.

(Also, every time I see these Kirkland posts, I get anxious for all of you. This process sounds ridiculous.)
Kirkland mid-level here. The process is ridiculous. Also its designed so that if you do think you are fired for discriminatory reasons, the firm has in its exclusive possession your performance records. And you better bet your ass they'll fight you tooth and nail in discovery to produce them.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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