Interesting work in biglaw?

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AlanShoreDisciple
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Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby AlanShoreDisciple » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:43 pm

I know it probably varies highly from firm to firm, but i was wondering if anyone had an idea how long it takes before you get to do interesting work in biglaw?

I'm just trying to get an idea how long the soul crushing period is supposed to go on for.

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glitter178
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby glitter178 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:48 pm

AlanShoreDisciple wrote:I know it probably varies highly from firm to firm, but i was wondering if anyone had an idea how long it takes before you get to do interesting work in biglaw?

I'm just trying to get an idea how long the soul crushing period is supposed to go on for.


i thought forever?

AlanShoreDisciple
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby AlanShoreDisciple » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:49 pm

i thought forever?[/quote]


haha yeah thats what i fear...

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Grizz
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby Grizz » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:54 pm

Don't act like it matters; you want biglaw for the money.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:55 pm

98% of biglaw work is awful. People do it for the money, not because it's "fulfilling" or some shit.

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paratactical
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby paratactical » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:59 pm

AlanShoreDisciple wrote:I know it probably varies highly from firm to firm, but i was wondering if anyone had an idea how long it takes before you get to do interesting work in biglaw?

I'm just trying to get an idea how long the soul crushing period is supposed to go on for.

Not only does it vary firm by firm, it varies based upon who you establish relationships with at the firm early on. I got to sit in and assist at depositions in my second year as a paralegal whereas several third year associates at the firm hadn't been to a deposition because I had a good relationship with a partner who trusted me more than he trusted the associates on his cases. It really depends on the firm you're at, the market you're in and how good you are are getting people to rely on you when it counts.

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vamedic03
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:13 pm

paratactical wrote:
AlanShoreDisciple wrote:I know it probably varies highly from firm to firm, but i was wondering if anyone had an idea how long it takes before you get to do interesting work in biglaw?

I'm just trying to get an idea how long the soul crushing period is supposed to go on for.

Not only does it vary firm by firm, it varies based upon who you establish relationships with at the firm early on. I got to sit in and assist at depositions in my second year as a paralegal whereas several third year associates at the firm hadn't been to a deposition because I had a good relationship with a partner who trusted me more than he trusted the associates on his cases. It really depends on the firm you're at, the market you're in and how good you are are getting people to rely on you when it counts.


Not to be snarky, but it's also a lot easier to justify billing for a paralegal to sit and watch a deposition than a 3d year associate.

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paratactical
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby paratactical » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:53 pm

True but I was at a V10 spare no expenses firm, so I doubt that was the reasoning.

AlanShoreDisciple
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby AlanShoreDisciple » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:29 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Huge variarion by firm, practice group, and individual relationships/experience. Also depends on what one considers to be "interesting," which I imagine varies considerably from person to person.

Luck also plays a factor. Take, for instance, two associates at Firm X, both in the litigation group, both 4th years, and both with the same basic training, background, and relationships within the firm. Associate 1 is working on a securities case which is expected to go to trial in late May, and is thus very busy. Associate 2 was on an internal investigation, but that wrapped up last week. The firm gets hired to work a very interesting case, and the partner in charge goes out looking for a midlevel associate to staff the matter. Associate 2 can take it, but Associate 1 can't, given their current workloads -- the fortuitous nature of when the case came in dictated that result. And the same unlucky outcome could come up several times in a row for Associate 1, thus depriving him/her of lots of interesting work that another basically identical associate did get to take on.

Another consideration is leverage, also known as the ratio of partners to associates. At high leverage firms, the ratio of associates to partners can approach 10:1 or more, such that associates are truly a dime a dozen and tend to get little exposure to work most people would consider "interesting." At these firms, the associates exist not to practice law, but to allow the partners to do so. At lower leverage firms, on the other hand, the ratio is often much closer to 1:1--sometimes, there are actually more partners than associates. The norm in lower leverage firms is to allocate more substantive legal work to associates, and to do so earlier in each associate's tenure. You can calculate a firm's leverage by looking up its entry on the NALP directory.



Thanks, this was really helpful.

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nealric
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby nealric » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:39 pm

I find my work very interesting as a biglaw first year. Based on my experience, I have two pieces of advice:

Work in a niche practice area if you can. If you really want a general practice area like corporate, find a niche within it that you like quickly. It helps if you can be the private funds guy, as opposed to the general corporate department slave.

Work at a low leverage firm. You won't get interesting work if it has to filter before three people before it gets to you.

If you find a partner you like, go way and beyond the call of duty for him/her. You won't get good work until people think you do good work.

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IzziesGal
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby IzziesGal » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:55 pm

nealric wrote:I find my work very interesting as a biglaw first year. Based on my experience, I have two pieces of advice:

Work in a niche practice area if you can. If you really want a general practice area like corporate, find a niche within it that you like quickly. It helps if you can be the private funds guy, as opposed to the general corporate department slave.

Work at a low leverage firm. You won't get interesting work if it has to filter before three people before it gets to you.

If you find a partner you like, go way and beyond the call of duty for him/her. You won't get good work until people think you do good work.


This is really helpful. How do you approach this as a summer associate? I'm sure there's a fine line between being eager and enthusiastic about the work and being straight up annoying. Is it appropriate to introduce yourself to a partner you'd genuinely like to work with? Or is that total brown-nosing behavior? :D (I'm interested in a particular, smaller practice group....and I'm afraid if I don't express my interest, I won't get any work in that area).

Anonymous User
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:22 pm

nealric wrote:I find my work very interesting as a biglaw first year. Based on my experience, I have two pieces of advice:

Work in a niche practice area if you can. If you really want a general practice area like corporate, find a niche within it that you like quickly. It helps if you can be the private funds guy, as opposed to the general corporate department slave.

Work at a low leverage firm. You won't get interesting work if it has to filter before three people before it gets to you.

If you find a partner you like, go way and beyond the call of duty for him/her. You won't get good work until people think you do good work.


Thanks, neal. I was also given advice by my boyfriend, who is a 2d year lit assoc at a V10. He even thought I should do this to a certain extent as a summer (I am a 2L):

Take ownership of the case you are working on. Check the docket, know what else is going on in the case besides the part of a brief or memo you are writing, and if you like the partner on the case, request to keep working on that case and mention something that is coming up that you find interesting. By doing this (and generally being a genius rockstar), he has gone solo in depo prep and has actually taken depositions as a 2d year. I think he is also lucky because his department is currently extremely understaffed, but he credits level of responsibility with being able to see the big picture and being highly competent/being willing to put in the hours, and demonstrating that to partners/more senior associates.

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lightyourselfonfire
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Re: Interesting work in biglaw?

Postby lightyourselfonfire » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:26 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1SSdyZPdMo

Where can I find work like that?




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