What’s the Limit?

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Anonymous User
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What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:17 pm

My firm (NY v10) has been hemorrhaging corporate midlevels this year at a very high rate (and not able to replace them). The firm and its corporate practice have kept going thus far but I am wondering if there is a tipping point where it actually starts to impact the partners rather than just meaning our deals become even more leanly staffed (ie miserable for associates).

Surely there is some threshold point at which the work literally cannot get done and I’m curious what that looks like or if anyone has seen a practice fall apart due to a lack of associates.

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Wild Card

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Wild Card » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:57 pm

Do you know where your midlevels are going?

My guess is that there are countless V50 associates looking to move up. Your firm can just keep churning and burning.

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:57 pm

Ditto we are seeing resignation and farewell emails about 3-4x a week and wondered the same thing today.

Our midlevels are going in-house and to non-lawyer roles (like operations) and a few in very random exits like healthcare or art.

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:13 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:57 pm
Do you know where your midlevels are going?

My guess is that there are countless V50 associates looking to move up. Your firm can just keep churning and burning.
Op here, they are mostly going to other firms (Gunderson, Cooley et al being popular exits) with a smattering of in-house and non legal jobs. I don’t have the exact numbers but I think we have lost ~75% of each of the 3rd and 4th year classes which strikes me as... high and unsustainable

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 01, 2021 1:03 am

I think they would just staff associates from other offices (I say as I work for my overlords in ET, CT and PT zones...great).

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Anonymous User
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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 01, 2021 8:55 am

Same thing happening at my firm, and I've been wondering the same thing. My V20 can't get anyone to join and things just keep getting worse. There has to be a limit, right?

FYI, anonymous because I've posted in the past about my law firm and practice group. Please don't out.

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 01, 2021 10:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 8:55 am
Same thing happening at my firm, and I've been wondering the same thing. My V20 can't get anyone to join and things just keep getting worse. There has to be a limit, right?

FYI, anonymous because I've posted in the past about my law firm and practice group. Please don't out.
Same. We are turning down work (and have been for awhile). There simply aren't enough qualified associates to do the work being generated. Law firms really cut back classes after 2008 and have only expanded those very slowly since. In the meantime in-house legal departments have grown rapidly creating more and better exit options for corporate lawyers. All of this has combined to result in a severe shortage of transactional associates. Law firms have no one but themselves to blame for this situation.

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun May 02, 2021 6:00 pm

Same at my V30, it sucks but one upside is the job security... they can’t afford to fire me right now.

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun May 02, 2021 8:45 pm

V25 - Only associate working on a corporate deal that was previously staffed w/ many many associates -- all of whom no longer work for the firm. Partner ignores 99% of the emails from me, from the client, from outside teams working on the deal and I have no experience in this area. Because so many people are fleeing I'm just the only person they could force staff to it, but I'm not in the practice. I'm starting to feel like I'm playing touch and go with the competence rule and/or malpractice generally because the partner is no help and I really have no idea what I'm doing. Everyone is in the same boat. Nobody at the firm cares about this kind of thing. Getting so sick of this job. I try not to complain because it only brings more bad juju to me but wow has this been a horrific experience. Cannot wait to quit and am fantasizing about that day.

all this to say -- I feel you and I can sympathize with you.

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Anonymous User
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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 am

How long do you guys think this will last? Through LDW?

I mean we all know that Q4 is always hell but I can't even fathom what it will be like this year.. part of me thinks it will be on par with past years and that things are slowing down, but who knows.

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Mullens

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Mullens » Mon May 03, 2021 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 am
How long do you guys think this will last? Through LDW?

I mean we all know that Q4 is always hell but I can't even fathom what it will be like this year.. part of me thinks it will be on par with past years and that things are slowing down, but who knows.
The threat of increased capital gains rates will be enough to keep the deal market incredibly busy. If the Biden administration is able to actually push the increased rates through then we’re looking at the busiest six months to end the year in history. Will be very ugly.

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Prudent_Jurist

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Prudent_Jurist » Mon May 03, 2021 11:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 am
How long do you guys think this will last? Through LDW?

I mean we all know that Q4 is always hell but I can't even fathom what it will be like this year.. part of me thinks it will be on par with past years and that things are slowing down, but who knows.
REPENT FOR THE END IS NIGH!

Anonymous User
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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 03, 2021 2:01 pm

Mullens wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:32 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 am
How long do you guys think this will last? Through LDW?

I mean we all know that Q4 is always hell but I can't even fathom what it will be like this year.. part of me thinks it will be on par with past years and that things are slowing down, but who knows.
The threat of increased capital gains rates will be enough to keep the deal market incredibly busy. If the Biden administration is able to actually push the increased rates through then we’re looking at the busiest six months to end the year in history. Will be very ugly.

When in this process do you think a midlevel corporate associate would have the most bargaining power for making a lateral move (i.e., job availability, signing bonus, covid bonus, etc.)? Now or beginning of Q4 or end of year?

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LittleRedCorvette

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by LittleRedCorvette » Mon May 03, 2021 4:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 2:01 pm
Mullens wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:32 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 am
How long do you guys think this will last? Through LDW?

I mean we all know that Q4 is always hell but I can't even fathom what it will be like this year.. part of me thinks it will be on par with past years and that things are slowing down, but who knows.
The threat of increased capital gains rates will be enough to keep the deal market incredibly busy. If the Biden administration is able to actually push the increased rates through then we’re looking at the busiest six months to end the year in history. Will be very ugly.

When in this process do you think a midlevel corporate associate would have the most bargaining power for making a lateral move (i.e., job availability, signing bonus, covid bonus, etc.)? Now or beginning of Q4 or end of year?
Demand is crazy right now, which is the only thing anybody knows.

lawlo

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by lawlo » Mon May 03, 2021 6:37 pm

LittleRedCorvette wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 4:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 2:01 pm
Mullens wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:32 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 am
How long do you guys think this will last? Through LDW?

I mean we all know that Q4 is always hell but I can't even fathom what it will be like this year.. part of me thinks it will be on par with past years and that things are slowing down, but who knows.
The threat of increased capital gains rates will be enough to keep the deal market incredibly busy. If the Biden administration is able to actually push the increased rates through then we’re looking at the busiest six months to end the year in history. Will be very ugly.

When in this process do you think a midlevel corporate associate would have the most bargaining power for making a lateral move (i.e., job availability, signing bonus, covid bonus, etc.)? Now or beginning of Q4 or end of year?
Demand is crazy right now, which is the only thing anybody knows.
Although demand might stay steady, I think it's best to lateral sooner than later, especially to a smaller office. Everyone is gonna be on the market in January, and it will be more competitive.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 04, 2021 12:48 pm

I was thinking of moving to big law not smaller office. I am at secondary office of midlaw but working the same hours as big law and getting like 60% of the pay.

LittleRedCorvette

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by LittleRedCorvette » Tue May 04, 2021 1:39 pm

lawlo wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 6:37 pm
LittleRedCorvette wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 4:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 2:01 pm
Mullens wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:32 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 am
How long do you guys think this will last? Through LDW?

I mean we all know that Q4 is always hell but I can't even fathom what it will be like this year.. part of me thinks it will be on par with past years and that things are slowing down, but who knows.
The threat of increased capital gains rates will be enough to keep the deal market incredibly busy. If the Biden administration is able to actually push the increased rates through then we’re looking at the busiest six months to end the year in history. Will be very ugly.

When in this process do you think a midlevel corporate associate would have the most bargaining power for making a lateral move (i.e., job availability, signing bonus, covid bonus, etc.)? Now or beginning of Q4 or end of year?
Demand is crazy right now, which is the only thing anybody knows.
Although demand might stay steady, I think it's best to lateral sooner than later, especially to a smaller office. Everyone is gonna be on the market in January, and it will be more competitive.
Nobody knows what the market will be like in January. My point stands -- all anybody knows is that right now demand for laterals is very high (therefore right now midlevel corporate associates have solid bargaining power).

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target_corp

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by target_corp » Tue May 04, 2021 2:31 pm

Eh, the limit likely doesn't exist--the firm model has a lot of flexibility with respect to associate losses, hiring and staffing.

lawlo

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Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by lawlo » Tue May 04, 2021 3:33 pm

LittleRedCorvette wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:39 pm
lawlo wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 6:37 pm
LittleRedCorvette wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 4:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 2:01 pm
Mullens wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:32 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 am
How long do you guys think this will last? Through LDW?

I mean we all know that Q4 is always hell but I can't even fathom what it will be like this year.. part of me thinks it will be on par with past years and that things are slowing down, but who knows.
The threat of increased capital gains rates will be enough to keep the deal market incredibly busy. If the Biden administration is able to actually push the increased rates through then we’re looking at the busiest six months to end the year in history. Will be very ugly.

When in this process do you think a midlevel corporate associate would have the most bargaining power for making a lateral move (i.e., job availability, signing bonus, covid bonus, etc.)? Now or beginning of Q4 or end of year?
Demand is crazy right now, which is the only thing anybody knows.
Although demand might stay steady, I think it's best to lateral sooner than later, especially to a smaller office. Everyone is gonna be on the market in January, and it will be more competitive.
Nobody knows what the market will be like in January. My point stands -- all anybody knows is that right now demand for laterals is very high (therefore right now midlevel corporate associates have solid bargaining power).
Lol. OK buddy. You're right.

Anonymous User
Posts: 370502
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 04, 2021 4:46 pm

Holy crap here I was feeling bad about myself. I just started at a new firm CM, and could NOT get a hold of the partners or anything. Quite frankly, it’s a bit of a retool and I don’t want to say what I was doing previously but it’s related enough.

There’s just a lot to learn and situations where I need a partners input, (e.g, when can you get on this call, do you want to review this before I tell client I never talked to before). Nothing. Ghosted by partners. Partners not responding to clients quite frankly and me trying to be like hey, uh do you want me to handle? Can we chat for a sec first?

Silence. It’s been a bit maddening but it makes sense now.

Anonymous User
Posts: 370502
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What’s the Limit?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 04, 2021 5:47 pm

Holy crap here I was feeling bad about myself. I just started at a new firm CM, and could NOT get a hold of the partners or anything. Quite frankly, it’s a bit of a retool and I don’t want to say what I was doing previously but it’s related enough.

There’s just a lot to learn and situations where I need a partners input, (e.g, when can you get on this call, do you want to review this before I tell client I never talked to before). Nothing. Ghosted by partners. Partners not responding to clients quite frankly and me trying to be like hey, uh do you want me to handle? Can we chat for a sec first?

Silence. It’s been a bit maddening but it makes sense now.

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