Well FUCK, the recession just caught up with me...


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.

PS - I started to put this in MPSIMS but decided there was way too much profanity involved. Plus I’m pissed. If cooler heads think it’s better to move it, I’m OK with that.

Damn, DCU, I can’t believe a firm like yours is laying off associates.

How many years do you have in securities? I am not sure if we are hiring right now in that field, but my firm is growing rapidly and is always looking for new people. I only know people in the corporate restructure and insolvency departments, but if you like, I’ll make a few calls.

I’d appreciate that Maeg. I’m more of an M&A guy than a securities guy, but I’ve done securities work and would be completely willing to retool. I’ll pop you over a resume by email.

The thing about this place is they don’t want the stigma of laying off associates, so instead of doing a mass chopping they call everyone in individually and try to keep it hush-hush. It’s a little more humane, I suppose – it means I got to kick around longer than if they’d just lowered the axe on a bunch of folks at once – but in a way it’s less humane, because it creates doubt in the minds of employers as to why you’re leaving. I guess they don’t expect people to notice the rash of farewell emails.

But it’s been an ugly year here. Partners and associates alike have been pushed out the door.

Sure, my email addy is in my profile. I’ll find out who the M&A partners are and see that it gets spread around to the appropriate channels.

Inexplicably, we’ve grown immensely in the past year or two. Just took on three first-second years in my department. Any chance we can make a bankruptcy lawyer out of you? :slight_smile:

While it may be more humane in one way, I cannot imagine the atmosphere there right now. It’s one thing to be given two weeks notice, but to have to hang on for another six with a bunch of people who also know their heads are on the block? Yuck.

Like I said, I’ll see what I can do. I haven’t been able to keep up with anyone at Kramer, where I used to work, but AFAIK business is sleepy over there, too.

Post it on Greedy Associates if it hasn’t been leaked there already. The SF and Palo Alto firms have been cutting transaction associates like crazy, and Boston has been ugly too.

I got out of DC just in time- now doing public work for a pittance, but I have a life and a job.


If you’d be interested in relocating to the Tarheel State (with lots of travel) and working independently as a consultant, I know of a firm that brokers a large amount of M&A deals that might be interested. Contact me or Tygr by e-mail for additional information; if you go via him, copy this post in the e-mail – he’ll know what I’m talking about from it, but might not catch what it is without the reference to my having suggested it.

Bastards. Keep your chin up, Dewey, and I’m keeping my ears open for you.

Not good. As an employee at a consulting firm, I can understand the workload situation you describe. Still, be happy you’re not in computers - that field is in much worse shape these days.

Best of luck, and sorry I can’t offer any concrete help.

Poly, I have dispatched an email to you.

I feel your pain, Dewey. I just got back in the game after 5.5 months off.

Keep yourself busy after the first of the year. Nothing worse than kicking around an empty home.

Heh. The good news is I actually have plenty to do until the end of February: I’ve signed up for the Texas Bar Exam (had to sign up waaaaay back in August), so I’ve gotta study.

And since the fucking Texas Bar charges $1,000 for lawyers licensed in other states to sit for their precious little test, and since I had to pay that out of my own pocket, and since I’ve thrown down another $1,000 for bar review materials, I’m goddamn sure going to take that muthafucker. :slight_smile:

All my college roommates are now DFW plex attorneys. All of a sudden I think I need to do some catching up with them. Will email if something looks interesting.

Thanks lieu. I’ll shoot you a resume.

Dewey, there’s a job posting at http://legal.monster.com/jobsearch/ that I was going to email to you, but your email isn’t published here (which I understand – neither is mine).

This link will take you to a listing of all legal jobs in the Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston areas by date…


And here’s a direct link to the job posting in Houston, which, in part says…


My husband is still looking for work since moving here when he married me in May, so we know how frustrating this process can be. Best of luck to you!

Good luck to you, it is hard to take. My husband got laid off last week, I empathize.

Dewey, drop me an e-mail as well. I’ll stake you to a lunch or a beer and we’ll chat. Don’t know if I can help directly, but we’ll see.

Ok, I’m on a roll, so here are a couple more…

A job posting by a recruiter who says they have a position with “[a] large, national company… looking for an attorney with a minimum of five years experience in mergers & acquisitions. This opportunity will involve managing outside counsel, and handling transactions from beginning to end.”

And a position as in-house counsel for a software company, which includes among the responsibilities, “tak[ing] a major role in the review, negotiation and documentation of potential acquisitions on behalf of the Company and its subsidiaries.”

Email dispatched to Billdo? Check.

Shayna’s links reviewed? Check.

There’s a job in Austin posted just today at Hotjobs…

Ok, so you’re not at the Partner level, but wtf, you never know… click here