2017 grad so technically a 4th year. Lateraled to a CRE boutique in NYC that’s a major player. Learned quickly that my experience/knowledge/organization is not up to par (was a COG in the machine at prior firm). Just had EOY review and, though positive sounding, they’re dropping me to a 3rd year to ensure I’m not billing as a 4th year and able to do the work to learn/get up to par. I feel pretty okay about it (market salary deduction notwithstanding), but want to make sure I’m not being naive.

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I don't think I'd be ok with this. That's a $35k difference. Maybe ask if you can be reevaluated mid year and if you've improved, get the bump?

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Also fwiw I know all kinds of smart people who have taken a hit on associate standing to make a pivot. At the time seemed like such a setback. In hindsight, it is incredibly insignificant in grand scheme and trajectory of your career.

likeuplifting

I think a 2017 grad would be a 5th year starting next week, right? So they’re actually dropping you 2 years?

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It’s not uncommon to be dropped a year or two when lateraling to a larger firm.

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It’s fine. Just keep the larger picture in mind. You want to learn and catch up without being concerned of a gun to your head if you fall behind. Take it in stride and move forward. Also something else to think about but you’ll be able to work an extra year in biglaw that you might not have been able to before because it still is an up or out model.

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Not naive and you have a great attitude about it so hopefully things work out!

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Happened to me around same age and was no big deal, was thankful in the long run bc otherwise I couldn’t keep up with my peers. The pay cut doesn’t matter if you end up getting fired bc you can’t keep up!

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Were you at a NYC firm before lateraling?

NJ Am Law 200

Seems reasonable to me if you think your skills aren’t up to par. You want yo be adding value every day and that’s hard to do if you’re starting out billing too high.

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