{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I was fired today. What do I do next? I’m a third year associate at a “boutique” firm. Although I knew my performance wasn’t good and I was on thin ice, I was never given any formal warning, so I was caught off guard when they called me and just fired me, effective immediately. I was locked out of the email and computer system before the call was over, and I’m already off the website. I was so caught off guard I hardly remember the conversation (cont)", "post_id": "5f7cca758720870020d7a567", "reply_count": 39, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

I was fired today. What do I do next? I’m a third year associate at a “boutique” firm. Although I knew my performance wasn’t good and I was on thin ice, I was never given any formal warning, so I was caught off guard when they called me and just fired me, effective immediately. I was locked out of the email and computer system before the call was over, and I’m already off the website. I was so caught off guard I hardly remember the conversation (cont)

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I had a similar experience in early March. It was devastating, and I’m still not over it. Finally got another job in August doing similar law but at a much lower salary, neither of which are ideal. I worked with several recruiters to craft the best explanation for my departure to posture myself best for interviews. It was super difficult but at least they worked with me on non-disparagement and agreeing with my explanation. I’ve been thinking of starting therapy as well. It was probably for the best in the end (I was overworked, some toxic coworkers, etc) but it’s still the hardest thing I’ve had to go through. I suggest really doing your research and reflecting on what you want to do before jumping into a new opportunity and trying to reach out to as many mentors/colleagues as you can to make sure you have references. Good luck’

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I just wanted to commiserate that I also was let go suddenly due to political chess. I worked for the local government but after I bawled my eyes out with besties, I realized it was for the best. It was not ideal, as I had bought a home six months prior and it was right before the holidays, BUT I did take time to really decide what my next step was going to be. They had to pay me out a lot of PTO so that gave me a good cushion. I definitely agree with those who say make sure to argue your severance and if you’re going to do unemployment make sure you look into it sooner rather than later. It can be harder to figure out than the tax code. Good luck!

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So this happen on Nov. 1, 2018. I started a new job on Jan 22, 2019. I probably interviewed at four places and sent out around 10-15 applications. However, I work in criminal law and there is a lot of upheaval in this area where I live.

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What?! That’s honestly insane. I’ve never heard of a law firm firing someone so unannounced. But, I’m sorry it happened to you. Honestly, take a little time to decompress. That’s a ton of stress to get dumped on you at once. Once you decompress, start reaching out to recruiters, former law school friends, browsing firm websites for jobs. Some things to consider — What kind of law did you practice? Do you want to stay in law? Do you want to stay in your market/ city? Do you have means to get by for a few months — if so take a week or two to yourself. It’s going to be ok in the end. This too shall pass.

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A4 is right. It’s fine to say you got off to a slow start at the other place, but now have spent some time thinking about your motivation and how not to repeat that scenario, and are looking for a fresh start. That’s not an unappealing posture. But it is poisonous to come in with a big bitter chip on your shoulder. Don’t badmouth your former employer, but do express enthusiasm for the work you hope to be doing.

likehelpful

DM me, I’ll help you!!!

likehelpfuluplifting

Of course! There are a few options!

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This happened to me back in 2019. It took me about 3 months to land a new job, but I took a few days off after the firing and then I hustled. I was on LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, contacting other attorneys I knew, etc., all day. I treated job searching like it was it’s own job. Long story short, it will be okay. If you need to talk to someone, please DM me. I also enrolled in therapy and that helped a lot.

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I believe I said that the firm was not a great fit for me and I explained what I was looking for in an employer. Most seemed to drop it, but others pressed and I told them the truth.

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The first 2 years of practice pose a steep learning curve that isn’t always surmountable in the tough insurance defense market. That doesn’t mean you won’t become a great lawyer. Keep your head up and double up on what you can learn to increase your skill set which sells as an associate. Not sure how much you can expect from your former firm’s HR given their approach. I recommend doing your part to take the high road while not shooting yourself in the foot by commiserating with the HR or saying anything untoward. Look forward. Best wishes.

likeuplifting

Whoa. What made you believe your performance was not good and that you were on thin ice? Asking because usually those are the first signs that the axe is coming. I think I would start there when trying to develop the right questions to ask the firm administrator/HR. Make sure you write down your questions and the answers.

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I am currently in the process of leaving a (boutique) firm that did just that to two other attorneys. It can be daunting to think about finding new work, especially when the work you were doing may have been incredibly niche. The best thing you can do is figure out what, if any, skills you gained that are transferable- or at least figure out the things you didn’t like about this firm and try to avoid the this go round. Best of luck to you!

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But I think they said the firm administrator/HR person would be contacting me about my benefits etc. I’m trying to prepare to speak with her and make sure I ask all the right questions. All the advice I’m reading online is focused on asking for more time on the website, etc. but I feel like that ship has sailed. Is there anything else I’m not thinking of that I should try to ask for or about?

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Just wanted to add, you may want to negotiate tail coverage for malpractice insurance. If they ever dissolve or switch insurance companies you will be out of luck if there is a subsequent lawsuit.

Also ask for a letter that indicates when you were terminated as well as your salary. I needed it for my health insurance and you may need it for unemployment or other benefits in the interim while you look for work.

likehelpful

Do take time to decompress. Do check with employment counsel. You will be ok but just take it one day at a time.

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You will need unemployment. Don’t sign anything they give you unless you understand the impact.

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Yeah, talk to a recruiter. And if you agree that your performance was subpar I might ask those you worked with what you think you can work on to not have a repeat situation at your next job. Keep your head up and good luck, I’m sorry that happened... that’s shit. Sending you positive vibes.

Thank you everyone for the support and great advice- can anyone recommend employment counsel to reach out to? I’m in the Philadelphia area

Lauren Law, Esq. at Folkman Law Offices in Cherry Hill

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