Laid off associate. Need advice. Forum

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Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:21 pm

Hi all. I'm a laid off associate in a secondary market from one of the firms that's been outted (i.e. their name has been in the news for conducting layoffs). I was told during my meeting that mine was purely for economic reasons rather than performance, and that all of the feedback I had received was great. I've been with the firm for a fairly short time and basically, work just never ramped up.

My question is, how should I handle the subject with interviewers, recruiters, my prior firm when I ask if they'll take me back, etc.? Should I be straight up and say I was included in the layoffs, that it wasn't related to my performance at all and that I had been doing very well at my prior firm? Or should I keep it under wraps? I know with the usual performance review firings, the regular wisdom is to get as much website time as possible and not mention anything about getting fired. Not sure if that's really the same here since it's very public that my firm is conducting layoffs. I'm just pretty nervous about this because this not being one of the larger legal markets, I only have a limited number of firms I can talk to.

Thanks y'all.

crazywafflez

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Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by crazywafflez » Fri Nov 25, 2022 11:52 am

Did they keep you up on the website?

If they didn't, that makes it easy. Just tell folks the truth but that you did well and partners/associates from the other firm would be happy to give positive references.

If they did leave you up on the website, I'd present it as you want to move practice groups, looking for long term partnership prospects, firm x does deals on y that you really are interested in, you know partner W works with farmers inc. which is something that enthralls you etc.

I think other folks will have good ideas for you as well on here. Don't fret it, you'll get another gig.

Sad248

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Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Sad248 » Fri Nov 25, 2022 1:05 pm

I don't know how this exactly works (luckily), but if you have been taken off the website, maybe you can ask to be put on it again, especially considering your performance had nothing to do with it. It seems like a small trouble or them, but something that can be very helpful for you.

I think it definitely doesn't hurt to be honest with recruiters anyway and convey you preference to keep the reason for switching to just wanting to move area/firm. They have your best intentions at heart (because it coincides with theirs) and they can probably give good advice as well. Just ask around in your circles to find a good one.

Anonymous User
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Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 25, 2022 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:21 pm
Hi all. I'm a laid off associate in a secondary market from one of the firms that's been outted (i.e. their name has been in the news for conducting layoffs). I was told during my meeting that mine was purely for economic reasons rather than performance, and that all of the feedback I had received was great. I've been with the firm for a fairly short time and basically, work just never ramped up.

My question is, how should I handle the subject with interviewers, recruiters, my prior firm when I ask if they'll take me back, etc.? Should I be straight up and say I was included in the layoffs, that it wasn't related to my performance at all and that I had been doing very well at my prior firm? Or should I keep it under wraps? I know with the usual performance review firings, the regular wisdom is to get as much website time as possible and not mention anything about getting fired. Not sure if that's really the same here since it's very public that my firm is conducting layoffs. I'm just pretty nervous about this because this not being one of the larger legal markets, I only have a limited number of firms I can talk to.

Thanks y'all.
I’m sorry to hear this happened to you. Can you give us a sense of what your hours were like? What you did for the last year and what your last few months were like before getting the news? It’d be helpful info for a lot of associates out there trying to calibrate the market right now.

Anonymous User
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Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 25, 2022 7:37 pm

I’m at a firm that did layoffs purely because it is preparing for the worst in 2023 (one of the ones that was already outed). The firm laid off very recent laterals for no reason other than there isn’t enough work and the work isn’t going to pick up enough in the near future to justify the warm bodies. We may have been at the same firm.

Honestly, I would just take the approach that you don’t let them know you haven’t been laid off but rather frame it as you wanting to be at a more stable firm.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 26, 2022 10:54 am

This is a subject that you should bring up in interviews only briefly, and succinctly. The more you try to say, the worse you will likely come across.

"Why did you leave ABC?"

"I was unfortunately laid off. I had a good relationship with the firm but business was pretty slow."

Next topic.

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

Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 26, 2022 4:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 26, 2022 10:54 am
This is a subject that you should bring up in interviews only briefly, and succinctly. The more you try to say, the worse you will likely come across.

"Why did you leave ABC?"

"I was unfortunately laid off. I had a good relationship with the firm but business was pretty slow."

Next topic.
I think this is the way to go and people know it’s true for many areas. I would also know last* in first out applies to many competent candidates

Anonymous User
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Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:41 pm

Really sorry this happened to you, OP. I think the behavior of some of these big firms in scooping up anyone with a pulse during 2021 so they can say yes to every single deal and not leave a single dollar on the table, just to turnaround and lay them off once things slow down for a few months, is one of the most shameful things I've seen in biglaw (and that is saying a lot).

I don't have great advice, but consider taking a tiered approach - for folks you are closest to (like your prior firm, for example), being open and honest like others have suggested might be the best policy. For others, the "more stable firm/environment" others have suggested might be the best approach.

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

Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:21 pm
Hi all. I'm a laid off associate in a secondary market from one of the firms that's been outted (i.e. their name has been in the news for conducting layoffs). I was told during my meeting that mine was purely for economic reasons rather than performance, and that all of the feedback I had received was great. I've been with the firm for a fairly short time and basically, work just never ramped up.

My question is, how should I handle the subject with interviewers, recruiters, my prior firm when I ask if they'll take me back, etc.? Should I be straight up and say I was included in the layoffs, that it wasn't related to my performance at all and that I had been doing very well at my prior firm? Or should I keep it under wraps? I know with the usual performance review firings, the regular wisdom is to get as much website time as possible and not mention anything about getting fired. Not sure if that's really the same here since it's very public that my firm is conducting layoffs. I'm just pretty nervous about this because this not being one of the larger legal markets, I only have a limited number of firms I can talk to.

Thanks y'all.
Which secondary market was it?

Anonymous User
Posts: 413350
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Laid off associate. Need advice.

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2022 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:12 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:21 pm
Hi all. I'm a laid off associate in a secondary market from one of the firms that's been outted (i.e. their name has been in the news for conducting layoffs). I was told during my meeting that mine was purely for economic reasons rather than performance, and that all of the feedback I had received was great. I've been with the firm for a fairly short time and basically, work just never ramped up.

My question is, how should I handle the subject with interviewers, recruiters, my prior firm when I ask if they'll take me back, etc.? Should I be straight up and say I was included in the layoffs, that it wasn't related to my performance at all and that I had been doing very well at my prior firm? Or should I keep it under wraps? I know with the usual performance review firings, the regular wisdom is to get as much website time as possible and not mention anything about getting fired. Not sure if that's really the same here since it's very public that my firm is conducting layoffs. I'm just pretty nervous about this because this not being one of the larger legal markets, I only have a limited number of firms I can talk to.

Thanks y'all.
Which secondary market was it?
I'd imagine there is zero chance OP says specific market. But for those of us with ties to this secondary market, I think it is pretty obvious.

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