{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How hard is it for an associate to get fired in big law solely based on low billable hours? How many years do they need to be low? How many chances do they get? How low is too low for a second chance the following year? This is assuming quality of work is historically good and not their fault they have little work.", "post_id": "607729e141153a00287cecfe", "reply_count": 9, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }
null

How hard is it for an associate to get fired in big law solely based on low billable hours? How many years do they need to be low? How many chances do they get? How low is too low for a second chance the following year? This is assuming quality of work is historically good and not their fault they have little work.

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

Depends on the firm, practice group, office size, influence of partners who will vouch for you, why things are slow... impossible to answer. My first firm (with semiannual reviews) started pushing people out with as little as six months of slowness - although the slowness was oftentimes deliberately manufactured by the firm (freeze out). My second firm was OK floating low-billing associates (hundreds of hours below target) for years if they slotted into the right legal and operational niche.

like

Agreed that it depends. Can you ask around to your fellow associates? I know a firm where an associate stopped showing up to work pre pandemic and they didn’t do anything for 6 mo...another firm where someone took full medical leave and traveled (Instagram showed) and then took unpaid medical leave and was w the firm for a full year w associates not sure if that person was terminated or not...

Heard of two associates who were placed into different practice groups bc their groups were slow...

Honestly, I only know of 1 associate who was actively asked to leave and given 6 mo to search. Usually, your type A high achieving personalities psych themselves out and job hop at the first sign of trouble and incompatibility.

YMMV

like

Associate 2 - usually, I see associates freaking out before anything really is happening or if there isn’t a good fit. Otherwise, I also think a lot of associates want to jump inhouse but are afraid to ask their partners when they make the decision.

Counsel 1 - been practicing for 8 years. Of course, I don’t know what is happening outside of the firms I worked at and my practice group. But, I really only know of one person who was asked to leave and they gave her the long runway. Can’t remember if all 6 mo was paid.

I do know of one associate who had a working relationship issue w a senior counsel. They never asked her to leave but her main person stopped giving her work. She was there for a year before she jumped bc she found another gig.

Ok - I have heard thru the rumor mill at one firm that they asked 2 partners to leave. And one really senior associate / think counsel level associate was let go but the firm was financially struggling to get work. Didn’t think of these examples as they happened while I was a midyear and the folks were so senior.

We’ve carried people for years if the group is just slow. Usually people are slow though because the group just doesn’t want to give them work.

like

Same

Just heard from two friends at two different top 15 law firms who were let go for low hours this past year

like

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I’m the only female attorney in my local office, so hopefully that helps. I don’t think it’s because they don’t want to give me work. I think they never were sure about their future workload intake in my State for my area of law, but hired me anyway because at the time they needed the help and they needed a woman. They hired another female in my office after me as counsel but she left after like a month, lol. I had a great year last year but now incoming work in my state and area of law is slowing.

Related Posts

Is it easy to go in other big4s right away after being laid off? Has anyone been laid off and then gotten into another big4?

like

How busy are the Big4s in the public sector in Toronto and Canada overall? Any layoffs or are people fully utilized?

like

I got in a little bit of trouble today. Has anyone gotten fired and did you get another job?

like

Will Oracle layoff affect OFSS employees?? I am from FSGBU unit,MEA and joined on May mid , 2022 as a Senior Consultant(IC2).

How many of you are preparing mentally to be ready to go back from the US due to the Corona virus recession? I have another year of OPT left and feel it would be difficult to get hired if im laid off.

like

Laid off while on maternity leave, as part of larger agency layoffs. Any legal ramifications to consider?

like

Has anyone survived a large round of layoffs at their company? Very curious about how you navigated that brave new world.

like

Wow. KPMG fired head of audit practice. PCAOB leaked inspection info.

like

What do you do at the end of the month in ID when you have some days needing 3-4 more billable hours. The clients are so strict with billing…

like

Any advice for lateraling as first-year business lit associate? I’m not getting any work at my current firm due to partner hoarding and overstaffing. Can I lateral this early or should I wait until I’m inevitably fired for low hours? If I should lateral now, what reasons for leaving should I give interviewers? Should I tell the truth or will it look bad on me?

like

Was afraid I was going to be fired last week and after the initial shock and dismay I realized how relieved I felt to finally be free. Eight years in and feels like it’s finally time to move on. (Ctd)

like

Qualifed people are getting laid off left and right but people who aren't good at their jobs are still here. What's the reason?

likesmart

Is it true that layoff in Cisco are very common ?

like

For those who were in the industry in 2008- how did you handle the markets crashing, waves of layoffs, and your workload while not letting stress get to you?

like

Excluding doctors and lawyers, do you think that it is fair to say that working as a consultant is a lot more demanding that many other business jobs? (Billable hours, 24/7 availability, etc..)

like

#MAIPSummit2020:
How do you deal with layoffs?
-for those now suddenly unemployed, and
-for those who didn't get laid off but are now dealing with a bleak looking workplace

like

Do firms generally pro-rate billable hours required for a bonus if you take parental leave? Or does it completely depend on the firm?

like

Are there any other highly regarded litigation or IP boutiques (or even full service firms for that matter) like Desmarais LLP that do not have billable hours? I am not talking about a firm with no "minimum required billables." Rather I am talking about a firm where all cases are either contingent or fixed fee and attorneys do not even need to track time. Seems to be a fairly rare structure.

like

What are the rumors about someone in NY getting laid off in OTT

like

Any truth to Bain beginning (or being close to) layoffs? I’ve heard this through the Bain grapevine (not my current firm)

like

Additional Posts in Big Law

Does anyone work at or has anyone heard of Institutional Shareholder Services? How is the company to work at?

like

Hey guys! Anyone here trying to conceive? If so, do you mind sharing your TTC experience?

I am 29, I started a few months ago and it’s mentally draining. So hard to go through the TTC journey and function at work. 🥴🤕🤕🤕

like

I've had an ear infection this week MD got on some antibiotics 2 days ago. It's still pretty painful unless I'm laying on a heating pad. I worked from home yesterday but I'm worried about asking to work from home because my entire company is in office. I'm also pretty new... what should I do? Go to work and be uncomfortable/in pain or risk being seen as lazy for asking to work from home again?

like

Has anyone here don't office rotation? Like either out of a different office for a year or something? Can you share your experience? How did salary adjustment and housing work etc.? Where did you move from/to?

like

Any M&A shop (big or small) out there that isn't a sweatshop?

likesmartfunny

How ibm gives onsite?

like

KPMG titles, where do directors and associated directors fall in the corporate hierarchy?

Stuck in Portland for the night, anyone wanna grab a drink?

like

Hello Fishes,

I am working as a cloud and infra engineer in Mindtree and now I wanted to to go into data analytics domain. So I am thinking to take a data analytics course from coding ninjas. Will it be helpful ?

Pleade suggest if you have any opinion.

like

Looking to book a trip using my Amex points for me and my parents. Origin is NY (them) and SF (me) flying to anywhere in Scandinavia. Best transfer partner? Also trying to avoid crazy fuel surcharges

like

Need help! What do you do when a student misbehaves during a lab? I don’t want to make them write - I don’t want them to hate writing( our English scores are so low!) BUT would this help?!? Ideas/suggestions…

likehelpful

Did anyone have any luck in getting a full refund for cancelling a non-refundable booking with Marriott? Status is Titanium, if that helps

like

Interviewing at Uber for senior operations manager. Anyone know ballpark salary? Glassdoor seems low/off.

like

Do many people use their work phone as their personal as well? I’m concerned about giving access to my personal information although not sure if they’d actually monitor it closely / could save a good amount of money

like

Is DICE a good place to get a job at? It’s been pretty hard to get an entry level data analyst job for me, would DICE be a good place to try?

like

Is anyone else terrified by how fast time seems to be flying by 😫😫😫

And no, I’m not having fun. 😤😤

likefunnyuplifting

Additional Posts (overall)

Is possible to lateral if my bar application is still pending???

like

I’m a Latham associate and we are hiring for tons of positions across many of our offices. Send me a DM if you may be interested in lateraling over to join us!

likeupliftinghelpful

Is there anything better than that stomach drop feeling you get when you haven’t gotten an email notification all afternoon/evening, then you sign into BlackBerry Work right before bed and see all the emails that never pushed through? 😅

likefunny

Any advice for a first-year associate who is struggling with adjusting to billing? Some days I can knock out 8 hours easily, but others I struggle to hit 6. My group definitely has enough work for me, I just didn’t expect me to struggle in this area.

like

I've only been in biglaw for a year, but have been practicing for seven years so far. I used to be a state regulator for this practice area and generally enjoy working at a private firm. A partner at a boutique firm that I'm friends with has called me every few months to check-in and see how I'm doing. During our last call he essentially offered a job after I get another year of experience in private practice. Five year track to partnership. No billable hours.

Junior here. I’m currently 117% utilized (which I know may not be a lot to many ppl…) but I feel i am nearing capacity and cannot take on more work. I see all the time people say “dont make the mistake of not saying no to work early on.”

When does that apply? How do you say no? I don’t want to make a mistake that has me billing 2300+ a year, but I also don’t want to look bad. My sweet spot is 2050 hours, if i can help it.

like

Any thoughts on King and Spalding? NY litigation practice.

like

How hard is it to switch practice groups at a big firm? Is it even worth it to try?

like

I thought biglaw was going to make me more attractive with girls (I have had my share of women in the past, but I wouldn’t say I’m too popular).

Worked for 4 years now, many dates called off bc of my work schedule and most girls lose interest bc they see me as a workoholic. And those who stick around expect dinners, travels and gifts paid for by yours truly.

Where is that girl I can cuddle up with on the couch with or go running or hiking with? I guess they go for men who have time for them

likefunny

Thoughts on BakerHostetler (NY)?

like

What’s the difference between “Data Privacy,” “Cybersecurity” and “Tech Transactions” in terms of day-to-day transactional work in a typical big law firm?

like

Anyone ever used the career coach provided by their firm? How does it work? Has it been helpful and actually confidential? Thank you!

like

Investment funds or cap markets?

like

Why do associates think it’s cool to brag about how much they’re billing / late they’re working?

like

Recently had a screener interview for an in-house gig, and the company’s internal recruiter requested a deal sheet, which lists and describes my past deals and my role in them (excluding names of clients, etc), to pass along to the hiring manager. Just curious if anyone else has received this request.

likehelpful

I have a constant fear of being fired. I don’t think it is real or reasonable. Anybody else struggle with this?

like

Any insight on Skadden? Would it consider a fully or mostly remote lateral? Nor cal office specifically

like

This will definitely be an unpopular opinion but anyone else sick of diversity pandering? All the affinity groups, emails, hiring boosts, and random complaints just rub me the wrong way.

For context, I'm Armenian, an ethnic minority that has historically been subject to genocide attempts, but we officially classify as "white/caucasian" and don't really culturally identify with anyone outside that ethnicity. Continued

likefunnyuplifting

Can anyone confirm the 10% increase in salaries happening at BakerHostetler in Dec?!

likefunny

Anyone develop chest pains after starting big law?

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Sign up for free to view this conversation on Fishbowl

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Already have an account? Log in

New to Fishbowl?

image with Fishbowl logo and arms reaching out for a handshake

Already have an account? Log in

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
Messaging rates may apply

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal