I knew this was coming. I can read my billable hour totals, and I know I’m not alone. I can see that there haven’t been enough deals coming in to keep all the associates busy. And they’ve mentioned to several of us, myself included, that we should be looking several months ago.
I knew it was only a matter of time before they started chopping heads. I’ve been looking for months, with no bites. Trying desperately to find a gig in Texas, my home state, 'cause I’m fed up with New York and want to be nearer to both my family and my in-laws. But no go. The mergers and acquisitions world is dead, dead, dead, and nobody needs guys like me.
And now this.
I have until the end of the year. That’s it. After that, sayonara, goodbye, no more paycheck. Fuck.
I shouldn’t be this angry. By all objective measures, I’m being treated fairly: I got plenty of notice, I’ll have no shortage of references, and I understand the economic realities necessitating the decision. But I’m still fairly pissed off. It’s totally irrational, but I just want to strangle the guys who run this place.
I dunno, maybe it’s because I know this was just a numbers decision. My reviews have always been good, and when I first got word of this I trotted around to the lawyers I’ve worked with (that is, non-firm management, actual-working-lawyer types) to confirm it isn’t something about me or my work product. To a man, partners and senior associates alike, they all said they were completely satisfied with my work, and that I’d been diligent in seeking out work, and they are surprised to see me in this position. This is all about lack of transactions and the resulting lack of billable time. Which is totally out of my control – I can bang on partners’ doors 'til the cows come home, if they aren’t landing deals, I’m not working. And I hardly have enough juice to go out there and drum up business on my own – at our rates, it’s pretty much an institutional client base or nothing at all.
Y’know what really kills me? The same people who are now telling me I have to be out were, a year and a half ago, when I was coming off of several monster transactions, were asking me what they needed to do to keep me happy so I’d stay. Oh how quickly that fuckin’ worm turned.
Fuck. I’ve been told by a few headhunters that there are some firms that are delaying making hiring decisions until the first of the year. Just fuckin’ great. They wait until right after I go from “eager, employed associate looking to make a change” to “yet another unemployed lawyer.” FUCK, FUCK, FUCK.
So now I’m opening things up to New York as well as Texas, which doesn’t exactly make my family happy (the parents want grandchildren, and they don’t wan’t 'em thousands of miles away). They aren’t saying anything, but I can tell they’re disappointed by the prospect of my wife and I staying up here. It just kills me. Goddammit.
So I’m working the phones, calling just about everyone I’ve ever run into during the course of my life, begging for leads. I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall.
If any Dopers know of any law firms or companies, in NYC, Dallas, Houston or Austin, who are looking for a smart young lawyer who’s worked on some tremendously large and complex acquisitions, kindly let me know. My forehead will thank you.