[Ed. Note: Those with cat like reflexes will remember that this post appeared briefly last night. We pulled it back to give the King of Pop his due.]
Given the times, any change to the parameters of a firm’s performance reviews are met with great trepidation by associates at the firm. The least firms can do is clearly explain that process by which attorneys will be evaluated for promotion — or termination.
Hogan & Hartson’s chairman, Warren Gorrell Jr., has been making the rounds and talking to associates about the firm’s new associate evaluation process. The plan was implemented back in April, right around the time Hogan put a number of associates on a lower billing-lower compensation track.
Gorrell told us that the meetings coincide with his communication to the Hogan associate’s committee about the firm’s quarterly partner meetings. Gorrell was able to provide us with some additional information about how associates at Hogan would be evaluated, going forward. Here is what Gorrell explained to his associates, yesterday:
That is the overview. Let’s get to what could cause a person to take an alternate “direction” in their career, after the jump.
Gorrell told associates that Hogan’s policies are consistent with how the firm has always evaluated associate performance.
But in this market, those evaluations seem to mean a whole lot more:
Does anybody want to roll the dice with finding another direction for their career in this market?
Here’s how that final determination will go down. Option A:
Or Option B:
Despite this notice, some tipsters would like Hogan management to be even more clear about what is going on at the firm. One tipster left the meeting with Gorrell with this impression:
It was admitted that there are too many associates and not enough work, that in better times the firm had an attrition rate of X but that this year the attrition rate will “have to be forced” since no one is leaving, and that there is a “heightened performance review” bar associates will have to meet….
If I do my math correctly, the fact that “those who perform adequately will be laid off if there is no work to support their continued existence at the firm” + “there is too many associates and not enough work” + “this year we will have to force attrition” spells economic layoffs. Hogan really needs to step it up and admit that it wants to lay people off. It needs to “do the right thing” and give us notice, severance packages, and the likes that other firms are doing. I am really tired of hearing this “we are not doing layoff” spiel Hogan is giving and I hear it so much it feels like brainwash.
We can quibble with terminology, but the writing is on the wall. Stay
thirsty busy, my friends.
Earlier: Hogan & Hartson: ’1800 Hours’ Track Follow Up