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Timing for Lateral Positions


hiccups

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Hi guys, posting for a friend today to get some input.

My friend is a BigLaw associate with a year end bonus. She wants to switch firms, and there are multiple firms showing her interest. It is very possible that she gets an offer before end of the year. 

My friend feels compelled to forfeit her year end bonus because she thinks if she waited until January and quit after receiving the bonus, she would upset the partners at her current firm and burn a bridge. But she worked so hard the past year and deserves the bonus! Has anyone else been in this dilemma before?  

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They are expecting to pay that amount, and will not remember her a few months after she's left (as an institutional matter. Friendships do live on, and this won't affect that).

I actually did that when I took my last job. I accepted it in December, but told them I wasn't quitting until January.

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19 hours ago, Jaggers said:

They are expecting to pay that amount, and will not remember her a few months after she's left (as an institutional matter. Friendships do live on, and this won't affect that).

I actually did that when I took my last job. I accepted it in December, but told them I wasn't quitting until January.

Do you mean (1) search in December, (2) hand in notice in January (3) Leave sometime after that? Or hand in notice around Christmas and then leave by new year lol

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frankconners
  • Lawyer

Most bonuses are paid out right before the end of February (to coincide with RRSP season), with the notifications coming mid-February. I don't really know the mechanics of how you time your notice/exit in order to ensure you collect it first, but I find that most people start leaving in March and that's also when the recruiter cold calls/emails really pick up.

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I accepted a job in December, but gave notice on January 3. I just happened to know the exact terms of payment for my bonus plan, which is that you had to be there on December 31. I worked the year, and I earned it. But yes, it's also common for bonuses to be paid in mid-February and you won't get it if you resign before the payment date.

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
On 10/22/2022 at 1:40 PM, hiccups said:

Hi guys, posting for a friend today to get some input.

My friend is a BigLaw associate with a year end bonus. She wants to switch firms, and there are multiple firms showing her interest. It is very possible that she gets an offer before end of the year. 

My friend feels compelled to forfeit her year end bonus because she thinks if she waited until January and quit after receiving the bonus, she would upset the partners at her current firm and burn a bridge. But she worked so hard the past year and deserves the bonus! Has anyone else been in this dilemma before?  

First, showing interest isn’t the same as an offer in hand. So I’d suggest she definitely participate in the interview process if that’s where it’s heading, as you have no guarantee when a similar opportunity may open up. But there’s no sense overthinking whether to take part or not based upon future bonuses that she may not even be provided (or the quantum as such), or the implications of leaving before the end of the year without an actual job in hand. 
 

Second, if something does come up, then I would suggest she negotiate a signing bonus to reflect the bonus she is forgoing. She won’t get it 100% covered in a signing bonus, but she’s likely getting a higher raise by leaving and negotiating, then she would if she were to stay. 

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TheScientist101
  • Lawyer

For myself I gave my resignation the day the bonus was deposited in the bank. I still have very good relationships with my old firm, but the firm itself (or the group within the firm) just wasn't for me. 

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frankconners
  • Lawyer
On 10/24/2022 at 8:08 PM, Jaggers said:

I accepted a job in December, but gave notice on January 3. I just happened to know the exact terms of payment for my bonus plan, which is that you had to be there on December 31. I worked the year, and I earned it. But yes, it's also common for bonuses to be paid in mid-February and you won't get it if you resign before the payment date.

Just curious, was this a different job than your Big Law job? Seem to recall you mentioning that you never got a bonus at the firm because you just wanted to work the minimum hours (or just below).

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 PM, Jaggers said:

Yeah, it was my first in house job. For in house, bonus at your target is basically guaranteed. 

How are targets measured for in house roles? There's obviously no collections or billables target - I assume it somehow relates to your department's profitability? 

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Typically for legal it's a mix of your individual performance rating, and the company's profitability. For departments that actually turn a profit, that's usually included in the mix, but legal never turns a profit.

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
4 hours ago, Jaggers said:

Typically for legal it's a mix of your individual performance rating, and the company's profitability. For departments that actually turn a profit, that's usually included in the mix, but legal never turns a profit.

Right that makes sense - depending upon your performance rating that will likely result in a "multiplier" to your base salary to account for you bonus, along with the Company's performance or whatever other metrics. For some reason I assumed it worked differently for lawyers. 

 

How would you assess base + bonus for large corporations (lets greater greater than 200 employees) in Ontario, for someone within 5 years of call? 

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I've never worked at such a small company, so hard to say. For actual large ones, someone leaving Bay St is probably looking at about $180K for about 4-5 years experience. Maybe a little more now - I haven't hired anyone since the recent Bay St increases.

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  • 2 months later...
PzabbytheLawyer
  • Lawyer
On 11/1/2022 at 5:29 PM, Jaggers said:

I've never worked at such a small company, so hard to say. For actual large ones, someone leaving Bay St is probably looking at about $180K for about 4-5 years experience. Maybe a little more now - I haven't hired anyone since the recent Bay St increases.

Once you're in house (say at a big company), what does the top end look like? Say 15 years in?

Do people actually make GC, or is that fairly rare?

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For lawyer jobs (up to Managing Counsel) probably something like $250-300K depending on your specialty. Then you are looking at executive positions, where the sky is the limit. And yes, every company of a certain size has a GC, so people make it. Obviously in big companies like mine it's only the top of the top who do.

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