{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I made limited EQ partner in 2019 . This week I was told I’m getting moved to counsel effective Jan 1. My hours were negatively impacted in 2019 by an ill parent (only child) and in 2020 multiple clients said pencils down for half the year (& additional family illness & a death), + kids. I know nothing about the counsel role. What terms/arrangements have people negotiated? I don’t know what negotiation ability I’ll have, but wanted to be better informed.", "post_id": "5ffa4462c6f5ac0028f6d60b", "reply_count": 6, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

I made limited EQ partner in 2019 . This week I was told I’m getting moved to counsel effective Jan 1. My hours were negatively impacted in 2019 by an ill parent (only child) and in 2020 multiple clients said pencils down for half the year (& additional family illness & a death), + kids. I know nothing about the counsel role. What terms/arrangements have people negotiated? I don’t know what negotiation ability I’ll have, but wanted to be better informed.

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I would want to know billable expectations relative to compensation as well as expectation for nonbillable time (bd, professional development) and the bonus plans. Also what they expect as far as your book of business and origination. At my firm, counsel are nearly all individually negotiated but the bonus plans somewhat aligns with partner track associates but often with lower base comp and slightly lower billable expectations than associates. How are you feeling about the "demotion"? Do you want to be partner (equity or non equity) and if so is it clear to you how to get there? It seems odd to me that you would have made non equity partner and then be made/offered a counsel role, as opposed to keeping you at a non equity partner level. I would have that if you were qualified to "make partner" you would stay that at your own election, so in general I would want to know how that decision was made and whether it could happen again. Might be better to negotiate a counsel agreement for the long haul (or go elsewhere) rather than living on a razor's edge bt partner and non partner. That's why firms have created 2 tier partnership right?

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My opinion is you should look for a lateral partner position at another firm. It seems your current firm has either lost confidence in you; or is making cuts in general for budget reasons (profit loss from covid).

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You’ll want to know hours expectation and how bonus is calculated. At my current firm, bonus requires hitting hours (which are the same as for associates). At my previous firm, they take into account realization and a bunch of other metrics. As a result, counsel often made less than the most senior associates. I know at other firms counsel contracts are individually negotiated.

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Thanks for these suggestions/insight. I haven’t seen any of the hours info yet. Basically was told about a position change without info, so it’s adding another layer of frustration. Hoping to get more info on Monday.

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