Anonymous User wrote: PKSebben wrote:
The Insider wrote:I'd like to second what the poster said, how content are you with the work, do you find it engaging or unengaging, and do you plan to stay with it long-term? If not, what is your exit strategy? Thank you.
I'm a first year IP associate. I have been EXTREMELY lucky and I have excellent work right now. But I have also had periods where I've done really low level work (think: like doc review, but not doc review) for 30+ days straight without a day off. During that period, I billed several 80+ weeks. That's over 100 workables, easy. It was probably the worst period in my entire life, no hyperbole. It was extremely stressful and we had a couple back-to-back (quasi) all nighters in there. 2 hours of sleep, etc. Maybe I'm just a big pussy or something, but it was horrendous.
Whether the work is engaging or not I think is largely a function of who you work for. The most important aspect of working in a firm, for me, is who I get my work from and who I directly report to. Right now, I work for people that have similar writing styles, give me awesome substantive work, and are laid back. I've also worked for some complete monsters. There are partners that I avoid like the plague. Since I'm a billing machine and have enough work to last a while, I have a little more leverage to turn down work from shitty partners. But if I got slow and had to work for some of those dicks again, I would not enjoy life.
My exit plan will be completely dependant on how I'm treated. If they allow me to consistently progress as a lawyer and I'm treated well (both in market $$$ and with professional respect), I'll stick it out and see what happens. However, I have simply no tolerance for being treated unprofessionally or having my career trajectory withheld for some bullshit reason. I don't mind doing workhorse pitching out of the bullpen so long as I get a chance to start when there is a spot in the rotation, so to speak. And I expect my pitching to evaluated on its merit and not by office politics. But like almost all corporate jobs, there is always someone trying to knife you in the back and frankly I'm just not very good at playing that game. So, we'll see. My philosophy on the whole thing is basically ripped from the movie Heat: "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."
Can you specify as to why are you more efficient than senior associates?
Also, because I'm trying to figure out what practice group to go into, did you ENJOY legal practice/writing in law school? Are there any legit differences between writing for a firm and writing for legal practice? What made you choose litigation? Just how much are you expected to research and write and in what period of time? (Can you give me an example of an assignment?)
Any idea what the corporate guys do at your firm on a daily basis and what their schedules are like? Do corp attorneys have a worse billable:working hour ratio?
First, I'm not a litigator really. I'm an IP d00d so I do some transactional.
I'm more efficient than seniors for a couple reasons. First, I have workflow from several sources. Second, the work (like doc review and its related type work) are things you can come in, sit down, and bill 10 hours straight doing. More senior level work involves managing tasks and waiting on other people, which generally is not billable. Third, there is just simply more work available for juniors right now at my firm, which means the hopper is always flow.
I did not particularly enjoy my legal writing class and I think legal writing profs / classes, in general, suck. In fact, I think a lot of the lawyers at my firm suck at writing. I do not think law school prepares you to be an effective written advocate. 99% of the law is not about winning appellate briefs, but rather in effective motion practice. Those are two different ball games. Trial judges want clear, effective, straightforward briefs written in language they can understand. Law school does not teach that well. Want to learn to write well? Read briefs written by Roberts when he was a lawyer. Dude was a master.
Research projects can run the gamut from have this back in a few hours to have a full memo prepared in a couple days. Depends on the complexity of the problem and what deadlines are looming. Some moving papers have to be responded to within seven days, so that ups the game a bit. I'm very lucky (grateful?) that I get to draft substantive motions at my level, this is pretty atypical at my firm. I've rocked a couple of motions and get called up out of the bullpen a lot more than I used to.
Corporate guys are less efficient and spend most of their time (from what I can tell) playing the hurry up to wait game. They draft (I use this term loosely) closing docs and prepare binders. They also do due diligence, which is the corp version of doc review.