How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus? Forum

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AntipodeanPhil

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How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by AntipodeanPhil » Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:58 am

Corporate senior associate on track to bill almost 3000 hours. I'm currently debating whether to try to find an in house position or just quit and do nothing for a few months. So glad my firm pays bonuses in December. Who else is with me here? Are we going to see mass defections in January?

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 9:28 am

So many firms will let you bill 2150 and pay you market

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:21 am

V10 mid/senior here, I am putting in notice the day after my bonus hits and going in-house.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:35 am

How bad is it in this market to quit without anything lined up? I assume that’s still a pretty big red flag for people in hiring positions for in house roles? I would figure biglaw firms desperate for people would have less of an issue with it, although I’m in a niche practice area so this may be less true than for general corp.

In any case, also checking in as a December 30 quitter.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by AntipodeanPhil » Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 9:28 am
So many firms will let you bill 2150 and pay you market
In corporate in the current climate? I had a few quit to join another firm about six months ago because he was promised more reasonable hours (along with a couple of other things). He billed almost 300 last month. I've heard so many stories of that in the past, too - people leaving to join "lifestyle" firms and finding the lifestyle is no better or worse.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Lesion of Doom » Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:15 am

The unspoken truth here is that most associates are unwilling to drop outside the top 30 or so firms even if they'll make market and even though it's very likely their hours will get reduced. Many associates internalize their firm's exalted status even if they don't intend to do so.

Would guess that, for all the bluster, attrition over the next 6 weeks is not substantially greater than usual (which is high). But between the grind and the eventual end of WfH, I'm not too confident in that prediction. ...

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:35 am
How bad is it in this market to quit without anything lined up? I assume that’s still a pretty big red flag for people in hiring positions for in house roles? I would figure biglaw firms desperate for people would have less of an issue with it, although I’m in a niche practice area so this may be less true than for general corp.

In any case, also checking in as a December 30 quitter.
I was so fed up doing biglaw that I was also considering quitting with nothing lined up, granted I'm general corp. But when you start interviewing in-house, in my experience, you come off bad complaining or being negative about your firm, but everyone interviewing you in-house knows the deal about the biglaw grind, so you can just say "I had a great team, but biglaw wasn't for me long-term, that's why I'm talking to you", and that's pretty consistent with taking some time off between jobs. That said, you're never disadvantaged by applying while still employed at a firm, but it's a matter of how hard that is to maintain.

I'm also giving notice once the EOY bonus hits.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:24 am

Honest answer: I won’t quit as long as this money train continues (barring some insane, Goldilocks in-house offer at 500k). The money is too good right now and the cycle of salary raise + spring bonus + fall bonus + good EoY bonus has me committed to continuing. As long that continues, I’ll stick with it. If that drops away I’m done.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:24 am
Honest answer: I won’t quit as long as this money train continues (barring some insane, Goldilocks in-house offer at 500k). The money is too good right now and the cycle of salary raise + spring bonus + fall bonus + good EoY bonus has me committed to continuing. As long that continues, I’ll stick with it. If that drops away I’m done.
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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:02 pm

Not planning on quitting right after I get the bonus (senior associate at a V50), but 2022 will be the first year that I start to seriously entertain in-house offers. In a perfect world, 2022 will also be my last full year in BigLaw and I can take one last ride on the Gravy Train.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:12 pm

I am planning to leave shortly after the bonus, but my options (midlevel litigator) are not great, and I might end up just moving to a hopefully more lifestyle friendly biglaw firm and giving that a shot for at least a year.

In a bit of an ironic twist, my life has gotten better once I decided in my head that I would leave and starting actively spending less time and effort on work, but that has also lowered my stock in the firm and made it so that I really should leave since there’s a (<50% but real, estimated) chance I’d get pushed out in 2022 if I stuck around. If I can find a place that will let me do what I’m doing now and say that it meets expectations, well, count me in.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:02 pm
Not planning on quitting right after I get the bonus (senior associate at a V50), but 2022 will be the first year that I start to seriously entertain in-house offers. In a perfect world, 2022 will also be my last full year in BigLaw and I can take one last ride on the Gravy Train.
A question I kick around with my law school friends still in biglaw is what makes the difference regarding longevity. Clearly a lot of associates get to several years in and find the job so oppressive and unbearable that quitting without a job lined up feels reasonable, maybe even necessary. But then there are the associates who stick it out till they're practically counsel before quitting. I really do wonder what the difference is. Is it that some firms/offices/teams are really so much more reasonable than others? I find 1800 hours a year to be awful and totally incompatible with healthy personal habits and maintaining durable relationships with friends and family, but 1800 isn't even high hours! Is it that some people just have a higher pain tolerance, but we all hate the work more or less the same? I suppose if you're really in debt or money-motivated, that would make a big difference. I made the deal with myself that once my students loans were paid and I had a house down payment, I was out, but my in-house salary is a 25% pay cut, and that will just widen compared to my biglaw peer group over time, and it seems like a no brainer to me, but I guess a lot of people on here would say that's exactly the wrong moment to get off the gravy train. At the margins I'm sure there are people who find biglaw work perfectly fine and have no complaints, but I can't believe that's more than a very small minority.

It's just so amazing that everyone can have similar experiences in the profession and have such completely different reactions.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:02 pm
I find 1800 hours a year to be awful and totally incompatible with healthy personal habits and maintaining durable relationships with friends and family, but 1800 isn't even high hours! Is it that some people just have a higher pain tolerance, but we all hate the work more or less the same? I suppose if you're really in debt or money-motivated, that would make a big difference. I made the deal with myself that once my students loans were paid and I had a house down payment, I was out, but my in-house salary is a 25% pay cut, and that will just widen compared to my biglaw peer group over time, and it seems like a no brainer to me, but I guess a lot of people on here would say that's exactly the wrong moment to get off the gravy train. At the margins I'm sure there are people who find biglaw work perfectly fine and have no complaints, but I can't believe that's more than a very small minority.

It's just so amazing that everyone can have similar experiences in the profession and have such completely different reactions.
I agree that 1800 hours is still a miserable experience. The months where I bill on that kind of pace still suck and for me wouldn't be a sustainable lifestyle, but they're just not as bad as a typical month (which is even more miserable). I think about how many hours my non-lawyer friends would actually "bill" in a week, and it quickly puts things into perspective.

I will probably stick it out another 12-18 months because I'm still too junior to go in-house, but the moment I can get a job that pays at least $200K for something resembling a 9-5 I'm out of here. I wonder how many people are worried about taking a sizable pay cut just to end up working the same hours, and haven't taken the leap for that reason.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:53 pm

One thing I'm thinking of isn't quitting biglaw altogether but just leaving my firm and going to another. I'm a senior associate and I feel like I'd dramatically increase my prospects of getting (real) partnership by lateraling somewhere, which in many ways is an indictment of the culture in the industry, but it is what it is -- it seems much harder to get equity as a home-grown associate right now than it is if you parachute in from some rival firm. After the EoY bonus hits my account I'm going to actively start looking for opportunities Q1 2022 and if there's a good enough offer maybe even try to bring some of the other people I work with with me.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:42 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:02 pm
I find 1800 hours a year to be awful and totally incompatible with healthy personal habits and maintaining durable relationships with friends and family, but 1800 isn't even high hours! Is it that some people just have a higher pain tolerance, but we all hate the work more or less the same? I suppose if you're really in debt or money-motivated, that would make a big difference. I made the deal with myself that once my students loans were paid and I had a house down payment, I was out, but my in-house salary is a 25% pay cut, and that will just widen compared to my biglaw peer group over time, and it seems like a no brainer to me, but I guess a lot of people on here would say that's exactly the wrong moment to get off the gravy train. At the margins I'm sure there are people who find biglaw work perfectly fine and have no complaints, but I can't believe that's more than a very small minority.

It's just so amazing that everyone can have similar experiences in the profession and have such completely different reactions.
I agree that 1800 hours is still a miserable experience. The months where I bill on that kind of pace still suck and for me wouldn't be a sustainable lifestyle, but they're just not as bad as a typical month (which is even more miserable). I think about how many hours my non-lawyer friends would actually "bill" in a week, and it quickly puts things into perspective.

I will probably stick it out another 12-18 months because I'm still too junior to go in-house, but the moment I can get a job that pays at least $200K for something resembling a 9-5 I'm out of here. I wonder how many people are worried about taking a sizable pay cut just to end up working the same hours, and haven't taken the leap for that reason.
I'm the quoted poster. One thing I thought was interesting in my in-house search was that the acceptable amount of experience required to move to a company is not set in stone. I searched both with recruiters and networking (networking yielded the best results), and one recruiter outright told me that the increased compensation at firms had made the traditional candidates with 5-7 years of experience unwilling to take the pay hit to move in-house. They had had to repost jobs with lower cutoffs to generate sufficient candidates (I was just outside that range). One general thought I had when timing my in-house move was that the economy won't go gangbusters forever, and when there's a correction no companies will be hiring, so better to get positioned now. Timing the market is a fool's game, though, so I'm probably just being the hyper-conservative attorney.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:50 pm

Depends how these in-house interviews go

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by glitched » Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:51 pm

I’m looking though I feel like in house salaries are going to lag a bit behind the bonus scale.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 4:58 pm

Asked my firm to work remotely (while coming in for big events) and they said no. Found another firm that will let me do that so moving at the end of the year.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Joachim2017 » Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 4:58 pm
Asked my firm to work remotely (while coming in for big events) and they said no. Found another firm that will let me do that so moving at the end of the year.

Good for you. This really is the only thing that will move the needle in terms of a more meaningful, better work environment for associates. Anyone can complain on TLS, it's the people who make actual moves that make a difference.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:42 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:02 pm
I find 1800 hours a year to be awful and totally incompatible with healthy personal habits and maintaining durable relationships with friends and family, but 1800 isn't even high hours! Is it that some people just have a higher pain tolerance, but we all hate the work more or less the same? I suppose if you're really in debt or money-motivated, that would make a big difference. I made the deal with myself that once my students loans were paid and I had a house down payment, I was out, but my in-house salary is a 25% pay cut, and that will just widen compared to my biglaw peer group over time, and it seems like a no brainer to me, but I guess a lot of people on here would say that's exactly the wrong moment to get off the gravy train. At the margins I'm sure there are people who find biglaw work perfectly fine and have no complaints, but I can't believe that's more than a very small minority.

It's just so amazing that everyone can have similar experiences in the profession and have such completely different reactions.
I agree that 1800 hours is still a miserable experience. The months where I bill on that kind of pace still suck and for me wouldn't be a sustainable lifestyle, but they're just not as bad as a typical month (which is even more miserable). I think about how many hours my non-lawyer friends would actually "bill" in a week, and it quickly puts things into perspective.

I will probably stick it out another 12-18 months because I'm still too junior to go in-house, but the moment I can get a job that pays at least $200K for something resembling a 9-5 I'm out of here. I wonder how many people are worried about taking a sizable pay cut just to end up working the same hours, and haven't taken the leap for that reason.
If I billed between 7-9 hours a day Monday through Friday - I could do this job forever. The amount of flexibility and freedom the job gives is unparalleled. No pressure to come into the office, or make yourself look busy when you have no work going on. You get to basically be on vacation when you're slow. (This has been my experience at my firm - understand that's not the case for everyone). I just can't imagine going to a 9-5 and making chit-chat at the water cooler with Bill from accounting every Monday morning at 9am, or being in pointless meetings where people talk at length about everything except the work at hand. My philosophy is simple - I'll work if I have to work, but I want none of your other bullshit (happy hours, team building, etc.), unless it's 100% up to me to attend.

On the flip side, being on call all the time and several weeks/months in a row of 12-15 hours a day are what drive me insane. I'm about to be a 4th year, and I'd say I have another 2-3 years in me before I get out.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 4:58 pm
Asked my firm to work remotely (while coming in for big events) and they said no. Found another firm that will let me do that so moving at the end of the year.
Biglaw 4th year. This is my biggest non-negotiable.

I’ll leave as soon as I cash in the bonus. Considering a cloud-based law firm that would be okay with 1200 hours.

Its either that or taking a year off given how burned out I am.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 4:58 pm
Asked my firm to work remotely (while coming in for big events) and they said no. Found another firm that will let me do that so moving at the end of the year.
Are you giving up on partnership?

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:32 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 4:58 pm
Asked my firm to work remotely (while coming in for big events) and they said no. Found another firm that will let me do that so moving at the end of the year.
Are you giving up on partnership?
Bit of a strange premise since many (most?) biglaw associates don't have partnership aspirations to give up at all.

I am aware of a midlevel in my office who moved halfway across the country during Covid and, now that we are in RTO world, has been granted the ability to continue working remotely. It was a pretty obvious "let me do this or I lateral" kind of situation since this person had bought a home in the other city.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:10 pm

Quitting for clerkship, will get bonus.

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Re: How Many of You Are Planning to Quit After You Get This Bonus?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:47 am

I'm a mid-level litigator and I'm quitting. You can bill 1800 or 1900 at any other firm without the toxic culture or standby expectations. I just want to bill my 8 or 9 hours a day and then log off for nights and weekends and then have the flexibility to take days off when I need to. I hate being expected to work at nights and on weekends or having to drop my plans to accommodate some idiotic senior or partner's chaos.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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