I hate my job

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Anonymous User
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I hate my job

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:33 pm

I'm assuming this forum is for all legal employment, not just attorney or SA positions. If not, forgive me.

I'm a 0L and I started my first "real" job a few weeks ago at a small law firm. It's nothing prestigious, but I figured it would be a good start to my professional resume.

Basically, there is nothing to like about this job so far. I'm still being "trained," but so far all I've done is the most menial and tedious tasks available (like copying a few hundred pages of documents). I haven't been taught anything about the firm's area of specialization, so I don't know shit about what's going on. Yet I'm expected to answer the phones after the regular receptionist leaves. On the one hand I feel this is good experience to get used to talking to clients and everyone else that calls, but on the other hand I feel it makes the firm and myself look stupid because I don't know how to answer these people's questions. All I can do is say uhhh well let me transfer you to so-and-so and they'll be able to help you. Great impression for someone calling in, eh?

The person training me doesn't seem to want me there at all, and it's not like I am replacing anyone who left. I was encouraged to ask questions when I first got there. Whenever I do ask my trainer questions, they say "that's your job to figure it out." I then explain I've never seen this situation before, so while I can improvise, I'd rather know what it is we are really supposed to do so I don't screw it up.

I was told since the interviews how "high energy" this office is but I see people standing around talking and stretching their lunches all the time. Since I've been there, usually 2 people a week take a vacation day or two. The attorneys are the only ones that work long hours.

I don't understand how to prioritize my work. Again, I was told this was what I need to figure out. But what confuses me is I'll be given task A to do all day Monday...then Friday morning someone will be needing task A done for a few clients OMFG ASAP and I just wonder why if this was so important wasn't I given it to do on Monday, when I was instead given a bunch of clients that didn't have an impending deadline attached.

Maybe I'm stupid. I feel like it some days. Am I going to hate law school/being a lawyer/professional work in general forever?

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:35 pm

lolwut?

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BarbellDreams
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Re: I hate my job

Postby BarbellDreams » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:38 pm

So you are a 0L with no legal experience and you thought that you would be brought in and actually be given LEGAL assignments?! Funny. You'll be making copies and bringing coffee as the extent of your duties.

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rinkrat19
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Re: I hate my job

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:42 pm

I can't tell you if you'll like law school or being a lawyer, but what you are now is NOT a lawyer. You're the lowest of office grunts. Everyone hates that shit, that's why you're doing it.

copy boy : lawyer :: test tube scrubber : chemist at Dow or 3M

Anonymous User
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:45 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:So you are a 0L with no legal experience and you thought that you would be brought in and actually be given LEGAL assignments?! Funny. You'll be making copies and bringing coffee as the extent of your duties.


No, and I wouldn't want to do "legal assignments" since as I said I know nothing at all about the area of law, ha or law in general for that matter. But I feel obligated to, especially when people around me are talking and using their jargon and abbreviations like I'm supposed to know what the hell they're talking about.

The job I had before this was a low wage retail type job. But I had been there for several years and I was comfortable. Problems happen everyday, but they were a lot easier to deal with when I had that experience and knew exactly what to do and in what order to do it. Now I don't have that comfort and it bothers me I guess. I don't seem to be getting cut any "lol hes new" slack either, so yeah it kind of stresses me out.

The person training me holds the same position I do. Based on what I've seen so far of the job, I don't see how they could enjoy this stuff. It's not a career for me, but I think it is for them.

johndhi
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Re: I hate my job

Postby johndhi » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:57 pm

Is there a reason you can't tell us the title of your position? Even if it's "paralegal," I made a heck of a lot of copies when I had that job.

Remember that starting a job is difficult. You don't know the people you're surrounded by, EVERYTHING is difficult and confusing, and sometimes you can feel stupid or useless. I think any job is this way. That said, it sounds like some of your complaints are personal interaction problems with your coworkers. If the person training you is truly a bad person or treating your poorly, that sucks, and I feel for you. On the other hand, there's a little bit of entitlement in what you're saying - like you're better than the tasks you're given. I don't think that is a healthy mindset - sure, you can do better thins than get coffee, but why not think about getting coffee as a nice break from mental grinding?

As for providing bad service on the phone or whatever, yeah, answering a phone in a law firm is difficult - people call you expecting you to know everything or to answer all your questions. Lawyers themselves still have this problem; they get called when things aren't good. That said, if you adopt a cheery and helpful tone in your client interactions, you'll see a marked improvement in how you feel after those phone calls. Don't forget people are looking not just for the best substantive legal response, but also someone friendly who cares.

I worked at a law firm before school and I disapprove of lawyers that would treat the legal staff poorly - it's stupid and based in an entirely false sense of entitlement. Assuming the people you work with aren't hellspawns, though, I think you can have a good time and learn some things. Take it easy, adopt an attitude of enthusiasm and positivity and I predict things will go well.

Good luck.

jarofsoup
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Re: I hate my job

Postby jarofsoup » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:03 pm

You should have gotten a paralegal certificate b/c in the hierachy of a law office there are only really three or four positions besides attorneys that deal with legal crap. Law Clerk, Intern(if you are lucky), Paralegal, Legal Secretary, Legal File bitch, and Legal Assistant.

Do not forget you are working at a law office which also has an administrative staff like a receptionist, administrative assistants and general office bitch.

I have been a legal file bitch, a paralegal and an intern. Most your legal experience from these positions with the exception of paralegal will be limited. If you are a paralegal there is a good chance you will be doing a lot of discovery work and very little "legal work" until you get more experience. Discovery work usually includes a lot of data entry, doc review, and harrassing various people for records.

You are probably on the administrative side.

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gwuorbust
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Re: I hate my job

Postby gwuorbust » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:31 pm

grow a pair, confidence will go a long way

Anonymous User
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Yet I'm expected to answer the phones after the regular receptionist leaves. On the one hand I feel this is good experience to get used to talking to clients and everyone else that calls, but on the other hand I feel it makes the firm and myself look stupid because I don't know how to answer these people's questions. All I can do is say uhhh well let me transfer you to so-and-so and they'll be able to help you. Great impression for someone calling in, eh?


Do NOT and I repeat do NOT decide to offer some advice to the people calling in. This should have been the first thing they taught you. You aren't a lawyer but the firm can get in massive trouble if a client calls in and you decide to offer a suggestion rather than transferring. I've seen this happen; where a legal assistant decides transferring the call to voice-mail isn't necessary and offers advice instead. Major trouble can occur. You aren't there to answer questions.

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prezidentv8
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Re: I hate my job

Postby prezidentv8 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's nothing prestigious


Anonymous User wrote:I'm still being "trained," but so far all I've done is the most menial and tedious tasks available


Anonymous User wrote:I don't know shit about what's going on.


Anonymous User wrote:I was told since the interviews how "high energy" this office is but I see people standing around talking and stretching their lunches all the time.


Anonymous User wrote:Maybe I'm stupid. I feel like it some days.


This sounds like a job that I had once at a Banana Republic store.

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Patriot1208
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:06 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's nothing prestigious


Anonymous User wrote:I'm still being "trained," but so far all I've done is the most menial and tedious tasks available


Anonymous User wrote:I don't know shit about what's going on.


Anonymous User wrote:I was told since the interviews how "high energy" this office is but I see people standing around talking and stretching their lunches all the time.


Anonymous User wrote:Maybe I'm stupid. I feel like it some days.


This sounds like a job that I had once at a Banana Republic store.

Bro, Banana Republic is kind of prestigious. It's a step above Abercrombie, at least.

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prezidentv8
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Re: I hate my job

Postby prezidentv8 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:09 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:Bro, Banana Republic is kind of prestigious. It's a step above Abercrombie, at least.



Oddly enough...that's a fair point.

Anonymous User
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:20 pm

Exit options are better at Abercrombie though

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Rock Chalk
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Rock Chalk » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:20 pm

.
Last edited by Rock Chalk on Thu May 24, 2012 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Patriot1208
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Exit options are better at Abercrombie though

What are the exit ops at abercrombie? This could be useful information for the OP.

Anonymous User
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:24 pm

I hear you can lateral just about anywhere from Abercrombie - the Gap, H & M, you might even be able to land at Crate & Barrel if you network wisely.

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patrickd139
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Re: I hate my job

Postby patrickd139 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I hear you can lateral just about anywhere from Abercrombie - the Gap, H & M, you might even be able to land at Crate & Barrel if you network wisely.

Read underlined as Cracker Barrel; now want biscuits.

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ggocat
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Re: I hate my job

Postby ggocat » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:Am I going to hate law school/being a lawyer/professional work in general forever?

Perhaps. Many do.

somethingdemure
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Re: I hate my job

Postby somethingdemure » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:47 am

Sorry to hijack, but I hate my internship at the white house. Am I going to be a good President?

shoeshine
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Re: I hate my job

Postby shoeshine » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:55 am

somethingdemure wrote:Sorry to hijack, but I hate my internship at the white house. Am I going to be a good President?


If you really want to be president you should go to law school bro. 26 of 44 have been lawyers.

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gwuorbust
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Re: I hate my job

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:13 am

somethingdemure wrote:Sorry to hijack, but I hate my internship at the white house. Am I going to be a good President?


I hear Barry is now offering a politics and the law class. after taking that you will be PresidentSecure.

Anonymous User
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Re: I hate my job

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:47 am

Rock Chalk wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:But what confuses me is I'll be given task A to do all day Monday...then Friday morning someone will be needing task A done for a few clients OMFG ASAP and I just wonder why if this was so important wasn't I given it to do on Monday, when I was instead given a bunch of clients that didn't have an impending deadline attached.

Anyone else LOL at this?


Yes. This whole post is crazy. Sometimes they don't give you tasks in the order of when they'll need them because work comes in based on the clients needs and not based on your schedule. It's not about you.

And yes, you are going to have to figure out to prioritize stuff yourself. It's not always going to be straightforward; you'll need this "skill" if you ever get a job as a lawyer so you might as well learn it now.

If you want to know more about the stuff that you're doing, you will have to be proactive and ask. When you've worked there for a while and done a good job for people, some of the nicer ones will try to talk to you and you can ask them about it. Learning to be proactive is also a skill that will help you get better work as a lawyer so it would behoove you to learn it now.

I agree with the poster above who said that this whole post seems to reek of entitlement. This job will be what YOU make of it -- it has the potential to really, really suck (I've been a paralegal, I know) or it can suck at times but you can end up learning a lot which can help you down the road.

As a sidenote, I'm a rising 2L with multiple SA offers at competitive firms that I'm trying to decide between, and yes the paralegal experience did give me a boost in the job search.

ResIpsa21
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Re: I hate my job

Postby ResIpsa21 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I hear you can lateral just about anywhere from Abercrombie - the Gap, H & M, you might even be able to land at Crate & Barrel if you network wisely.


Please, C&B won't even consider people from shitretail like Abercrombie. If you want to lateral into C&B you really need an R20 or better... Williams Sonoma or bust.

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stratocophic
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Re: I hate my job

Postby stratocophic » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:30 am

ResIpsa21 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I hear you can lateral just about anywhere from Abercrombie - the Gap, H & M, you might even be able to land at Crate & Barrel if you network wisely.


Please, C&B won't even consider people from shitretail like Abercrombie. If you want to lateral into C&B you really need an R20 or better... Williams Sonoma or bust.
Don't forget about the electronics and lighting divisions though - I've heard they take people from Brookstone because of their experience with tech and gadgetry, even though it's less prestigious. If you can backdoor in that way, you might be able to transfer departments if you make a good name for yourself.

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gwuorbust
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Re: I hate my job

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:35 am

ResIpsa21 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I hear you can lateral just about anywhere from Abercrombie - the Gap, H & M, you might even be able to land at Crate & Barrel if you network wisely.


Please, C&B won't even consider people from shitretail like Abercrombie. If you want to lateral into C&B you really need an R20 or better... Williams Sonoma or bust.


never say "or bust." Never.




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