Big dilemma: I’ve been notified of year end bonus, but it hasn’t been paid yet. Likely will be paid this week. A long term ongoing project is about to be transitioned to me (I was not given the choice whether to take this on or not. We’re short on bodies and I am the most logical choice). I planned on exiting by the end of January. Do I keep my mouth shut and let the client be told I’m the new attorney in charge? Or let my boss know I’m not going to be sticking around? My stomach is in knots!

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Try politely to delay the transition or push it on someone else. Do not give any indication you are leaving. If they make you take the project, do a great job on it until your last day, but give notice after the bonus hits your account.

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Don’t say anything, especially not until after the bonus has hit your bank account.

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Don’t say anything. Get your money and let a couple days to pass (PSA: they can reverse the money, happened to my homie). Whether you announce now or later, they will be mad so why announce early and jeopardize the money. It will be ok, you will be ok, and they will be ok. This happens all the time.

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Can’t be legal to reverse bonuses under most labor laws after the payroll clears

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Do not try to delay the transition and do not say anything about leaving.

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This is correct. Those suggesting you try to delay the transition are giving you bad advice.

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Put yourself first. Keep your head down until the bonus is in your account and your conflicts checks at the next place clear.

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Keep your mouth shut for sure

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You’ll be putting in notice on Thursday, presumably (assuming bonus is paid on the last business day of the year). It will hurt no one to think for three days that you are taking over

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Curious— how did this work out?

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Same. We need an update!

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I kept my mouth shut and cheerfully took on the new assignment like the good team player that I’ve always been. When bonus money was safely transferred to another bank I gave my notice, which went much better than expected. No one was mad and tbh, I don’t think the firm would’ve clawed back the bonus even if they were. Happy ending.

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Yay! Thanks for the update and good luck at the new job!

Try to push the transition to next week. Can you say you are tied up this week or on vacation? Unless something pressing is happening, I would think the client wouldn't want to talk to you this week anyway.

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Don’t try to delay the transition or anything like that. Should be business as usual until you put in your notice. IMHO, the appropriate thing to do is just to document your work and the things you learn after the transition really well so that you can help the next attorney ramp up quickly when you exit.

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How badly will the client relationship be affected by you leaving right after the transition?

That sounds like really good advice.

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