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Ttnwjk

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Goodwin BOS

Post by Ttnwjk » Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:50 pm

All,
Got an offer to lateral to Goodwin's Boston office as a Corp. / PE Assoc. I'm class of 2019 and would be coming in as class of 2021 after working in a different practice area for almost 3 years. Salary jump would still be great, but the most important thing in the world to me (at this time) is job security. I've read rumors online about stealth layoffs here and elsewhere. I'm just trying to understand this situation as much as I can. Were these layoffs in a specific office / practice group? Is Goodwin continuing with their rumored trend of two performance reviews / year where they layoff associates / trim the fat? Are first-year laterals getting especially screwed? If I did get laid off if (when?) the market downturns, is it really that easy to lateral to another peer firm in Boston doing similar work? Sorry for the word vomit, just super concerned, but excited. Very difficult decision for me.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:26 pm

Ttnwjk wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:50 pm
All,
Got an offer to lateral to Goodwin's Boston office as a Corp. / PE Assoc. I'm class of 2019 and would be coming in as class of 2021 after working in a different practice area for almost 3 years. Salary jump would still be great, but the most important thing in the world to me (at this time) is job security. I've read rumors online about stealth layoffs here and elsewhere. I'm just trying to understand this situation as much as I can. Were these layoffs in a specific office / practice group? Is Goodwin continuing with their rumored trend of two performance reviews / year where they layoff associates / trim the fat? Are first-year laterals getting especially screwed? If I did get laid off if (when?) the market downturns, is it really that easy to lateral to another peer firm in Boston doing similar work? Sorry for the word vomit, just super concerned, but excited. Very difficult decision for me.
What is the signing bonus they're offering? I bet you you can negotiate it upwards.

Ttnwjk

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Ttnwjk » Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:26 pm
Ttnwjk wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:50 pm
All,
Got an offer to lateral to Goodwin's Boston office as a Corp. / PE Assoc. I'm class of 2019 and would be coming in as class of 2021 after working in a different practice area for almost 3 years. Salary jump would still be great, but the most important thing in the world to me (at this time) is job security. I've read rumors online about stealth layoffs here and elsewhere. I'm just trying to understand this situation as much as I can. Were these layoffs in a specific office / practice group? Is Goodwin continuing with their rumored trend of two performance reviews / year where they layoff associates / trim the fat? Are first-year laterals getting especially screwed? If I did get laid off if (when?) the market downturns, is it really that easy to lateral to another peer firm in Boston doing similar work? Sorry for the word vomit, just super concerned, but excited. Very difficult decision for me.
What is the signing bonus they're offering? I bet you you can negotiate it upwards.
No signing bonus . . .

Ttnwjk

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Ttnwjk » Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:31 pm

No signing bonus offered.

LBJ's Hair

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by LBJ's Hair » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:02 pm

would not agree to the c/o 2021 nonsense fwiw - you have leverage

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:24 pm

Had a lateral interview with Goodwin earlier this year. Not PE, but I straight up asked a firm leader in my general area about stealth layoff rumors. The response I got, which I generally believed, made the rumors seem overblown in my opinion - the difference in the number of people counseled out versus an average year was like 1 or 2. Could be different in other parts of the firm, could not be, maybe I was misled, who knows.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:29 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:02 pm
would not agree to the c/o 2021 nonsense fwiw - you have leverage
Eh he's getting pushed down 2 years. It's not that crazy depending on what his prior practice area was (eg litigation to corporate). If he's really so inclined, he can go to Goodwin, work for a year and ask for a year back or shop around for other firms that will give him a year or two back.

OP said this would still be a salary jump which leads me to believe he is not in biglaw currently. Right now, his priority is probably to get his foot in the door of biglaw and can worry about maximizing salary once he has biglaw on his resume.

LBJ's Hair

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by LBJ's Hair » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:29 pm
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:02 pm
would not agree to the c/o 2021 nonsense fwiw - you have leverage
Eh he's getting pushed down 2 years. It's not that crazy depending on what his prior practice area was (eg litigation to corporate). If he's really so inclined, he can go to Goodwin, work for a year and ask for a year back or shop around for other firms that will give him a year or two back.

OP said this would still be a salary jump which leads me to believe he is not in biglaw currently. Right now, his priority is probably to get his foot in the door of biglaw and can worry about maximizing salary once he has biglaw on his resume.
I missed the non-market-paying part - good point

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:15 pm

OP while Goodwin did screw up early in the pandemic, it's still going to be better job security than your current non market paying firm. Even if you only last there until the market dips, you'll have a much better resume.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:14 pm

At Goodwin and from my POV the stealth thing was overblown. 95% of the people that were counseled out I was surprised that they made it as long as they did. There were some surprises in there which I guess was related to the uncertainty of the pandemic.

But as has been said above, the smart move is to just take it, get the stamp on your resume for a couple years and GTFO.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:35 pm

It’ll be better than your current job. I work across from Goodwin a lot and the quality of associates has tanked since it went on a massive hiring spree to keep up with demand. These people still have jobs, so Goodwin probably isn’t counseling anyone out, It’s busy, so you will have a job as long as that lasts.

If you have any other market paying offers in Boston, you should also consider those. Goodwin wouldn’t be in my top 5 firms I’d consider lateraling to in Boston given how overworked the associates seem to be and how sloppy the work product has been.

Ttnwjk

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Ttnwjk » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:13 pm

Thank you all for the replies. FWIW, I have no other lateral offers, I do work at a small-medium sized law firm, but pay isn't bad (nearly 170k total comp). Hours are also great, no billable hour requirement and no weekend work. I'm glad to hear people say they don't think Goodwin's layoffs were as severe as reported, and that they don't anticipate layoffs soon. Sad to hear about the drop in quality / increase in hiring. To be honest, I bet they wouldn't consider me for this practice area if it weren't for the hiring spree, but it is what it is. Still thinking it over, but all of your feedback is appreciated.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:29 pm
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:02 pm
would not agree to the c/o 2021 nonsense fwiw - you have leverage
Eh he's getting pushed down 2 years. It's not that crazy depending on what his prior practice area was (eg litigation to corporate). If he's really so inclined, he can go to Goodwin, work for a year and ask for a year back or shop around for other firms that will give him a year or two back.

OP said this would still be a salary jump which leads me to believe he is not in biglaw currently. Right now, his priority is probably to get his foot in the door of biglaw and can worry about maximizing salary once he has biglaw on his resume.
Not strictly related to OP, but Goodwin has (or at least, recently had) a reputation of docking perfectly qualified laterals a year while telling them they'll give it back at year-end and then not doing it, or even worse, holding them back a year the next review *after* they start. Saw it happen to multiple people and would advise anyone with comparable offers to avoid them.*


*Yes, I'm aware other firms do this, but I didn't hear any of those firms doing it quite so often. There may be others who apparently do this regularly that I'm not aware of.

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Ttnwjk

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Ttnwjk » Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:25 am

OP here, currently at a small-medium sized law firm in the area (sophisticated, total comp ~170K). No billable req. Good to hear people don't think Goodwin will be axing laterals anytime soon, but it is disappointing to hear about the drop in their quality. Does anyone have any insight into their purported bi-annual review system?

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:02 am

Ttnwjk wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:25 am
OP here, currently at a small-medium sized law firm in the area (sophisticated, total comp ~170K). No billable req. Good to hear people don't think Goodwin will be axing laterals anytime soon, but it is disappointing to hear about the drop in their quality. Does anyone have any insight into their purported bi-annual review system?
I'm not at Goodwin so I can't speak to their purported bi-annual review system. However, I'd just say take anyone saying that the "quality" has dropped with a grain of salt.

First, every corporate lawyer in every biglaw firm is overworked. There will be a natural drop in work product when we're overloaded this much.

Second, if they've been on a hiring spree, there will be an adjustment period to get people integrated which may take several months or a year.

Third, that's just one person's experience. He might have worked with a bad team at Goodwin. Or maybe the deals he's across from with Goodwin aren't important to Goodwin and they put their C-listers on it. Who knows.

I think the most important question is - why are you considering this lateral opportunity? Is it for the higher pay, future career prospects, changing your practice area to something you really want? If so, I'd say don't look a gift horse in the mouth. You're not married to this firm; use them and lose them if you have to.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:02 am
Ttnwjk wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:25 am
OP here, currently at a small-medium sized law firm in the area (sophisticated, total comp ~170K). No billable req. Good to hear people don't think Goodwin will be axing laterals anytime soon, but it is disappointing to hear about the drop in their quality. Does anyone have any insight into their purported bi-annual review system?
I'm not at Goodwin so I can't speak to their purported bi-annual review system. However, I'd just say take anyone saying that the "quality" has dropped with a grain of salt.

First, every corporate lawyer in every biglaw firm is overworked. There will be a natural drop in work product when we're overloaded this much.

Second, if they've been on a hiring spree, there will be an adjustment period to get people integrated which may take several months or a year.

Third, that's just one person's experience. He might have worked with a bad team at Goodwin. Or maybe the deals he's across from with Goodwin aren't important to Goodwin and they put their C-listers on it. Who knows.

I think the most important question is - why are you considering this lateral opportunity? Is it for the higher pay, future career prospects, changing your practice area to something you really want? If so, I'd say don't look a gift horse in the mouth. You're not married to this firm; use them and lose them if you have to.
I’m the poster who talked about drop in quality. There was a thread in which multiple people mentioned it on a different forum. Some of the deals are less important, but I’ve worked on deals that Goodwin would consider very big/important and the work of some of the newer people was iffy.

I’m a specialist, so I see a lot more deals than a corporate associate. I’m not saying that the firm as a whole has tanked, but a lot of the new associates just aren’t good. My friend at Goodwin agrees with this comment and is looking to leave because her juniors are not as good as the ones who left. It’s no ones fault. Goodwin will lose associates to “better firms” and other firms will lose associates to Goodwin.

I agree that some of it could be the adjustment of lateraling, but I’ve seen it too often for it to be a minor concern. Again, others have commented on it before, and I didn’t see the same issues when working across Kirkland, Ropes, Wilmer, Fenwick or Cooley.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:23 pm

What is market these days for signing bonuses for junior corporate laterals to Goodwin and somewhat similar firms (Cooley, WSGR, Fenwick, Gunderson, etc.)?

I'm surprised that OP was offered nothing. I know they want OP to come in as a 1st year, but the fact they're willing to take someone from a below market, small-medium firm switching practice areas speaks to the level of need.

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Ttnwjk

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Ttnwjk » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:23 pm
What is market these days for signing bonuses for junior corporate laterals to Goodwin and somewhat similar firms (Cooley, WSGR, Fenwick, Gunderson, etc.)?

I'm surprised that OP was offered nothing. I know they want OP to come in as a 1st year, but the fact they're willing to take someone from a below market, small-medium firm switching practice areas speaks to the level of need.
I totally understand the sentiment: FWIW, I did graduate with highest honors and I've had numerous interviews with similar firms (Kirkland, Ropes, Wilmer, Goulston, etc.), but they just didn't pan out. However, I totally understand the sentiment. I'm somewhat surprised too they're going to re-tool me into a corporate associate as well. I have a lot to learn, any tips appreciated.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:38 pm

I know of two people who got around 50k as first year laterals. Also heard of a second year being asked to leave for low hours. Not a good look imo.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:38 pm
I know of two people who got around 50k as first year laterals. Also heard of a second year being asked to leave for low hours. Not a good look imo.
Damn $50k as a first year lateral, I need to hit the market.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:38 pm
I know of two people who got around 50k as first year laterals. Also heard of a second year being asked to leave for low hours. Not a good look imo.
Not OP but in a similar boat (so pls keep anon). Could you say more about the second year being asked to leave? Were low hours due to actually poor work or just staffing mismatches and whatnot?

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:38 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:38 pm
I know of two people who got around 50k as first year laterals. Also heard of a second year being asked to leave for low hours. Not a good look imo.
Not OP but in a similar boat (so pls keep anon). Could you say more about the second year being asked to leave? Were low hours due to actually poor work or just staffing mismatches and whatnot?
OP. I truly don't know the details. But don't like it regardless.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:23 pm

Unrelated, but OP, can you share what your approx. timeline was from app -> interview -> offer?

Ttnwjk

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Ttnwjk » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:23 pm
Unrelated, but OP, can you share what your approx. timeline was from app -> interview -> offer?
App in early November, interviews in early December, offer ~ Dec 20th.

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Re: Goodwin BOS

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:48 pm

Goodwin associate here, hired 2021 (there were a lot of us). 60k signing bonus. I'm very happy with my team and my work. Not in your team OP but people here are generally happy with decent hours (for big law). If you're looking for good work, friendly people, and a lot of money then Goodwin is a great place.

I'm not worried about layoffs at all. I think it was limited to certain groups and not that many more associates than normal.

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