Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Fired

I've been practicing for about 5 years in insurance defense. jj1005/31/17
think very carefully. Start at the end. Where do you want dingbat05/31/17
Thanks for your advice. I totally agree that it is important jj1005/31/17
Sorry to hear that man. Could be a good time to decide wheth e36m305/31/17
Yeah. Definitely no more ID. I would definitely consider jum jj1005/31/17
They wanted more than 2,100 hours? Egads! ruralattorney05/31/17
Do you have anyone at your current firm who can vouch for yo 2breedbares05/31/17
I remember when I was let go as well. It shook me up becaus jeffm05/31/17
You can take control of your day's work schedule and go solo isthisit05/31/17
Did you have to sign any agreement in order to obtain the se warfrat05/31/17
I didn't have to sign anything to obtain severance. It liter jj1006/01/17
I just wish they said something months ago to give me a head triplesix06/01/17
Haha - I know. jj1006/01/17
Very few solos become successful without an existing book of mrtor06/01/17
Thanks! I'm definitely taking my time to figure out the next jj1006/01/17
It sounds like a layoff disguised as a termination. Perhaps mrtor06/01/17
If you're willing to eat sh*t for a few years, I would total starchild06/01/17
Sorry to here. I used to be in ID also for 5+ years before s tcpaul06/01/17
Make sure to apply for that unemployment insurance. bigsal06/01/17
Seconding this. The "performance" for which you were let go orgdonor06/01/17
Try to get out of litigation in general before jumping to Pl mtbislife06/01/17
If you can get into one of the bigger advertising PI firms y tcpaul06/03/17
Doesnt handling slip n fall cases and other assorted soft ti mtbislife06/03/17
Nope. Sure there are some bad cases. But the insurance compa tcpaul06/03/17
I agree. Litigation in general can make you very depressed, cocolawyer06/12/17
OP - How is life post - fired? bouncing back? warfrat06/10/17

jj10 (May 31, 2017 - 7:40 pm)

I've been practicing for about 5 years in insurance defense. Left my first firm around two years ago for a "better" opportunity with a mid-sized firm in a secondary market (metro population of about 1.5 million). When I accepted the new firm's offer I was told it would mostly be specialized liability work (what I had done before) but I ended up getting stuck mostly handling comp claims because that was what was coming in. My billables were average when compared to the other associates and I was on track to hit my 2100 hour requirement. Performance evaluations were largely positive, although a few partners said they wish I was more enthusiastic about comp and that they wanted me to bill more (of course). Today the managing partner told me that I was being let go for performance reasons even though I have never had any real complaints about my work product. I have always had a high realization rate. They gave me a month severance but would not keep my profile on the website. Later in the day I found out another associate was also let go, as well as a paralegal. In the last month two associates and two paralegals have left. I made a few calls and it seems that the firm may be losing a big client and they're cutting back. I should have seen the writing on the wall, but I guess I was naive in thinking it would never happen to me.

I have been thinking about moving in a different direction for a while. I am over ID (hours, clients, compensation are not the best) and I feel like I need to go in a completely different direction, maybe even opening my own office and starving for a few years until things get up and running. I have enough savings to live on for a while, plus a lot of equity in my house. I guess I'm at a crossroads in that I need to decide to seek another associate gig or start a practice without a consistent client base. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Reply Like (0)
dingbat (May 31, 2017 - 7:49 pm)

think very carefully. Start at the end. Where do you want to be in 5 years? But don't give some bullsht answer, think it through, flesh out the details. Create a vivid picture.

Now work backwards, what do you need to do to get there? Take your time, really envision it. Once you know what needs to be done, can you do it? Do you want to?

Reply Like (0)
jj10 (May 31, 2017 - 9:37 pm)

Thanks for your advice. I totally agree that it is important to think about where you see yourself down the road and have a legit plan to make it happen.

Reply Like (0)
e36m3 (May 31, 2017 - 8:01 pm)

Sorry to hear that man. Could be a good time to decide whether now is the time to go plaintiffs/claimants side. Most people like it better, it has more upside potential and no billing. You've got more than enough litigation experience to be attractive to a plaintiffs firm. Good luck.

Reply Like (0)
jj10 (May 31, 2017 - 9:40 pm)

Yeah. Definitely no more ID. I would definitely consider jumping to a plaintiffs firm. It would be nice not living in .1 increments.

Reply Like (0)
ruralattorney (May 31, 2017 - 8:03 pm)

They wanted more than 2,100 hours? Egads!

Reply Like (0)
2breedbares (May 31, 2017 - 10:22 pm)

Do you have anyone at your current firm who can vouch for you?

Reply Like (0)
jeffm (May 31, 2017 - 10:35 pm)

I remember when I was let go as well. It shook me up because I had too much debt at the time and too little savings. I never wanted to be subject to being let go again. I did everything it took to make it on my own. Your experience might be different just on the fact that it doesn't seem like being let go put you in any real financial peril.

Reply Like (0)
isthisit (May 31, 2017 - 11:09 pm)

You can take control of your day's work schedule and go solo. It's a heartache/headache but it does give you the real sense of ownership that corporations are always preaching about.

Or you can get another gig.

Reply Like (0)
warfrat (May 31, 2017 - 11:12 pm)

Did you have to sign any agreement in order to obtain the severance?
Were they dignified in the way they let you go?
With your experience, you will be just fine, at least in my neck of the woods in the midwest I've notice an uptick
in hiring (for those with experience) and peers making lateral moves.

Reply Like (0)
jj10 (Jun 1, 2017 - 10:11 am)

I didn't have to sign anything to obtain severance. It literally took 30 minutes for everything to go down. I just wish I didn't stay in the office late the night before to finish up an MSJ. A former co-worker told me this morning that one of my group's bigger clients is going to start handling cases in house. I just wish they said something months ago to give me a heads up.

Reply Like (0)
triplesix (Jun 1, 2017 - 10:21 am)

I just wish they said something months ago to give me a heads up.

---

Not to be a dick but you work in law.

Reply Like (0)
jj10 (Jun 1, 2017 - 8:04 pm)

Haha - I know.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Jun 1, 2017 - 9:22 am)

Very few solos become successful without an existing book of business so I would caution against striking out on your own at this point, despite your disenchantment with law firms. Take some time to figure out what you would enjoy doing outside of ID, what opportunities are actually available in your area at this time, and then start applying to see who ends up calling you back.

I'm an ID practitioner looking to exit this line of work as well. It is tough to escape billing since you are subjected to it in nearly every other practice area as well. Plaintiff side personal injury is one of the few options that may give you an out. However, in a smaller area, you need to be wary of one-owner shops. The last thing you want to do is fall in with a tyrant of a boss and end up unemployed again.

Perhaps explore some alternative careers too. Legal compliance is commonly discussed on here. I have also been working my way through the interview process for a hospital risk manager position. There are plenty of options out there if you are willing to dig deep.

Reply Like (0)
jj10 (Jun 1, 2017 - 10:20 am)

Thanks! I'm definitely taking my time to figure out the next move. I guess I am just trying to avoid ID as much as possible. It would be great to move on to a different area of law, but I don't know if I would be marketable to a new practice group after five years of practice and a termination on my resume. I just need to chat with a few recruiters and attorneys and start formulating a plan.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Jun 1, 2017 - 10:43 am)

It sounds like a layoff disguised as a termination. Perhaps to contest unemployment?

Either way, I wouldn't take it to heart. A lot of firms are looking for experienced attorneys regardless of practice area. It's fairly easy to transfer litigation skills -- developing maturity requires experience.

That being said, you are approaching the drop off point for partnership by starting fresh at 5 years out. Some people are not opposed to working as a career associate, others, however, will endlessly bounce from firm to firm trying to find one that will offer the advancement they always wished they could achieve. It is not impossible to make partner, but it will become increasingly challenging from here on out. Therefore, you may want to consider some in-house or government opportunities.

Reply Like (0)
starchild (Jun 1, 2017 - 10:52 am)

If you're willing to eat sh*t for a few years, I would totally go into trucking accident PI. Specialized area with a ton of federal statutes that create per se liability and large settlements.

Reply Like (0)
tcpaul (Jun 1, 2017 - 11:17 am)

Sorry to here. I used to be in ID also for 5+ years before switching to PI. Best decision I've ever made.

Reply Like (0)
bigsal (Jun 1, 2017 - 11:47 am)

Make sure to apply for that unemployment insurance.

Reply Like (0)
orgdonor (Jun 1, 2017 - 10:04 pm)

Seconding this. The "performance" for which you were let go sounds like it was the firm's.

Reply Like (0)
mtbislife (Jun 1, 2017 - 11:19 pm)

Try to get out of litigation in general before jumping to Plaintiffs side, your outlook on life will change overnight. The only way to succeed on Plaintiffs side is if you are bringing in tons of clients, which the partners will constantly pressure you to do.

Reply Like (0)
tcpaul (Jun 3, 2017 - 9:34 am)

If you can get into one of the bigger advertising PI firms you may not have to bring in any work. At my firm, the owner is the face of the firm and we are not encouraged or rewarded for bringing in any work. He brings them in, we work them. No pressure.It's nice.

Reply Like (0)
mtbislife (Jun 3, 2017 - 2:52 pm)

Doesnt handling slip n fall cases and other assorted soft tissue bs embarass you?

Reply Like (0)
tcpaul (Jun 3, 2017 - 4:53 pm)

Nope. Sure there are some bad cases. But the insurance companies try to screw people when they have good cases too. So I don't mind trying to stick it to them. It's a blast.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jun 12, 2017 - 12:07 pm)

I agree. Litigation in general can make you very depressed, and irrationally quick to anger. It also causes you to never leave the office out of the "fear of missing something."

If you can transition to a transactional field your life will be immensely less stressful. Perhaps a bit more boring, but your quality of life will be better. I can't tell you how much I despised heavy litigation family law (most family law is just a bunch of bs hearings).

Estate planning, construction defect, business law...your life will be so so less stressful.

Reply Like (0)
warfrat (Jun 10, 2017 - 11:58 am)

OP -
How is life post - fired? bouncing back?

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread