Law firms often invite alumni to their holiday parties — the partner forced into retirement after turning 60, the woman who left to pursue her career as a painter, the new mother of twins who found that caring for two humans and billing 18 hours a day did not work for her.
But this year some laid off associates have been invited to the firm parties as alumni. Alumni — technically true!
Above The Law conducted a poll asking whether associates should return for a glass of champagne, and, as of this morning, approximately 78% of responders said no.
The ABA Journal threw the question out to a recruiter, who, whille admitting it would be awkward, said the newly unemployed should go. “It is essential to maintain relationships and do it with grace and a level of professionalism to make someone referring you feel comfortable and good about it,” the recruiter said.
While good advice, experiencing awkward conversation after awkward conversation seems, to us, to outweigh the potential payoff. We admire anyone willing to suck it up and do this for the potential good of their future.
The vast majority of the associates who were laid off this year were good associates caught in a terrible economy, and they have nothing to be ashamed about.
But maybe arranging to grab one-on-one drinks with senior attorneys or partners they were close to might have more of a long-term pay-off…or at least allow the unemployed associate to share for the 1,000th time how much they’ve enjoyed finally hitting the gym.
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