Is BigLaw boring?

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NSTZ
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Is BigLaw boring?

Postby NSTZ » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:37 pm

After reading through the forums for a while, it really seems as though anybody who is in BigLaw is really unhappy with their lives/jobs.
So I was just wondering, is it REALLY that bad? I mean I have always been interested in the idea of transactional law and sure I understand the hours required as a young associate but besides the hours, how bad is it? Is the work you do boring?

Also if anybody who knows anything about daily tasks of a transactional associate (and the relative time spent on such tasks) could step in and talk a little about that, that would be great

jbc7
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby jbc7 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:42 pm

BigLaw is usually used as a stepping stone for other higher up jobs.

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Br3v
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Br3v » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:45 pm

jbc7 wrote:BigLaw is usually used as a stepping stone for other higher up jobs.


no

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:50 pm

Usually, yes. Sometimes, no.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:21 pm

You need to think in terms of "bigcheck" rather than "biglaw". :D

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:50 pm

"Midlaw" is fun. I do commercial litigation generally (I know, not transactional, but we have corporate attorneys too), I got to court within a few months of getting my license, the pay is good compared to the low cost of living in my area, and I love my job. It isn't "biglaw," excatly, but the firm has about 325 attorneys, so I've got the resources of a large firm at my disposal, and the benefit of highly experienced peers and mentors to show me the ropes, and sizable clients with high-value lawsuits and multi-million dollar deals. The billing requirements are high but not insane, I have flexibility to work from home when I please (but don't abuse that, and depends on your area of practice), and I interacted with clients even within my first year. Based on what I read, I'm getting into court with regularity years before anyone in "biglaw" will, and I actually know how to file a motion that I wrote (meaning, having my assistant and office services file it). I'm just saying, Biglaw isn't the only way to actually practice law, and in fact, non-Biglaw firms may not suck your soul quite as badly, and you'll be able to see your wife at night and go to your kid's baseball games.

I actually wouldn't work in a typical "Biglaw" law firm now even if I had the opportunity, as my work life balance is right where I like it, and the extra money wouldn't compensate for the constant stress one hears so much about.

Anonymous User
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:58 pm

NSTZ wrote:
Also if anybody who knows anything about daily tasks of a transactional associate (and the relative time spent on such tasks) could step in and talk a little about that, that would be great


http://www.cooley.com/BusinessAssociatesDay-

in2win
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby in2win » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:13 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:"Midlaw" is fun. I do commercial litigation generally (I know, not transactional, but we have corporate attorneys too), I got to court within a few months of getting my license, the pay is good compared to the low cost of living in my area, and I love my job. It isn't "biglaw," excatly, but the firm has about 325 attorneys, so I've got the resources of a large firm at my disposal, and the benefit of highly experienced peers and mentors to show me the ropes, and sizable clients with high-value lawsuits and multi-million dollar deals. The billing requirements are high but not insane, I have flexibility to work from home when I please (but don't abuse that, and depends on your area of practice), and I interacted with clients even within my first year. Based on what I read, I'm getting into court with regularity years before anyone in "biglaw" will, and I actually know how to file a motion that I wrote (meaning, having my assistant and office services file it). I'm just saying, Biglaw isn't the only way to actually practice law, and in fact, non-Biglaw firms may not suck your soul quite as badly, and you'll be able to see your wife at night and go to your kid's baseball games.

I actually wouldn't work in a typical "Biglaw" law firm now even if I had the opportunity, as my work life balance is right where I like it, and the extra money wouldn't compensate for the constant stress one hears so much about.


so how hard would you say it is to land a job like this from lets say median at a t30-t40 . i know there are a lot of factors involved. but also, if jobs like these were available in abundance, i don't think people would have so many bad things to say about going to law school/ finding legal employment. personally, landing a job like the one you describe would be the ideal situation for me. do you think if i just work hard and take advantage of all the opportunities availabe to me, i have a good chance of landing a job like this?

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Neatrends
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Neatrends » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:33 am

This is relevant to my interests.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:51 am

it wouldn't pay as much if it were exciting all the time. it's not dangerous. it doesn't require a lot of brainpower. young lawyers are very fungible. why does it pay so much? because it's boring as hell... among other reasons (they make you work ungodly hours, for example)

Anonymous User
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:59 am

Lit is entertaining but taxing in terms of hours. But they are really hard to get.

Deals is boring and leaves you unhappy. But you get a V10 firm.

Business is fun in certain industries (VC, soft ip such as entertainment, tax), but you have to go to boutiques or lower-ranked vault firms b/c the rankings skew away from business and toward deals and lit.

Anonymous User
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:Lit is entertaining but taxing in terms of hours. But they are really hard to get.

Deals is boring and leaves you unhappy. But you get a V10 firm.

Business is fun in certain industries (VC, soft ip such as entertainment, tax), but you have to go to boutiques or lower-ranked vault firms b/c the rankings skew away from business and toward deals and lit.


How is M&A/cap markets more boring than the other transactional practices? Also, having read TaipeiMort's post about TLS underestimating work experience immediately followed by this post, I've now seen the "deals" and business terminology used twice. LOL

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20160810
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby 20160810 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:37 am

Of course it is for the most part. If it wasn't, they wouldn't have to offer $160,000 in order to attract talent. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it if you want the experience or the money, but don't delude yourself into thinking your life will be like Boston Legal.

Anonymous User
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:07 am

About 70% of the work I did as a SA were things a high school kid could do. Yes, I was a SA, but if I didn't do it a first year would've. The other 30% was challenging and meaningful work.

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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:17 am

is small law (non shit law) more fun on average?
I am now working at a small litigation firm and I love it - I am dealing with really interesting privacy lawsuit against a really well-known company, a weird contract case (opposing parties are family members), class action suits against ID companies (a little less exciting).

if so, then I might actually have bumped into something suitable for me.

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20160810
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby 20160810 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:About 70% of the work I did as a SA were things a high school kid could do. Yes, I was a SA, but if I didn't do it a first year would've. The other 30% was challenging and meaningful work.

My impression is they tend to give summers MORE challenging work in a lot of instances too (e.g. not doc review).

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20160810
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby 20160810 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:is small law (non shit law) more fun on average?
I am now working at a small litigation firm and I love it - I am dealing with really interesting privacy lawsuit against a really well-known company, a weird contract case (opposing parties are family members), class action suits against ID companies (a little less exciting).

if so, then I might actually have bumped into something suitable for me.

Honestly in a lot of cases "shit law" is probably the most fun. I bet I'd love being a personal injury lawyer.

r6_philly
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:47 am

SBL wrote:Honestly in a lot of cases "shit law" is probably the most fun. I bet I'd love being a personal injury lawyer.


You mean you love checking off boxes in a claim estimating software and call the insurance company up for a settlement?

r6_philly
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:51 am

SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:About 70% of the work I did as a SA were things a high school kid could do. Yes, I was a SA, but if I didn't do it a first year would've. The other 30% was challenging and meaningful work.

My impression is they tend to give summers MORE challenging work in a lot of instances too (e.g. not doc review).


Does that depends on the firm, the practice group, their needs, your skills, and what's happening at the time?

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Georgiana
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Georgiana » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:56 am

r6_philly wrote:
SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:About 70% of the work I did as a SA were things a high school kid could do. Yes, I was a SA, but if I didn't do it a first year would've. The other 30% was challenging and meaningful work.

My impression is they tend to give summers MORE challenging work in a lot of instances too (e.g. not doc review).


Does that depends on the firm, the practice group, their needs, your skills, and what's happening at the time?

I would think that most firms have a policy of not giving summers doc review/diligence things, I know mine does. They're still recruiting you to work for them and they need you to have a good impression of the work you'll be doing, even though summer is generally not at all reflective of life as a first/second year (and yes, the work you do at my firm as a summer is "real" work, its just not the day to day boring work you'll be doing as a first/second year).

Anonymous User
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:56 am

I know small law firms that mainly take work on a contingency fee basis and whose opposing parties are mainly represented by biglaw firms. those cases are normally fun. but I guess it would be highy stressful to work in those small firms.

keg411
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby keg411 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:53 am

SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:is small law (non shit law) more fun on average?
I am now working at a small litigation firm and I love it - I am dealing with really interesting privacy lawsuit against a really well-known company, a weird contract case (opposing parties are family members), class action suits against ID companies (a little less exciting).

if so, then I might actually have bumped into something suitable for me.

Honestly in a lot of cases "shit law" is probably the most fun. I bet I'd love being a personal injury lawyer.


Personally, I think it's just extremely firm/job specific, and person specific. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a ton of good small firms out there, and looking down at a place just because it isn't AmLaw200 is extremely shortsighted. Small =/= bad.

And I say this as someone going to BigLaw this summer (and hopefully beyond that).

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nealric
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby nealric » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:54 am

Of course, YMMV and all that, but I don't find biglaw boring at all.

The meme that biglaw requires no mental horsepower is mostly a myth. Sure, there are tasks that can be tedious to do, but you are expected to figure out how and when to do them with essentially no instruction. The truly boring/tedious tasks are far more rare than is commonly assumed (especially today). Clients don't want to pay for diligence/doc review to the extent they used to, which means that the associates who are left tend to do more substantive work.

I spent some time as a personal injury paralegal during law school. It was a good experience because I had a good boss, but the level of sophistication in the work was incomparably lower. There is still plenty of drudge work at that level, but there are also fewer complicated legal issues to work through. Courtroom time is rare even in the world of PI these days.

Anonymous User
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:39 am

Boring? Hell no. I love my job, in part because there's always something unusual going on.

(Second-year litigation associate.)

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Old Gregg
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Re: Is BigLaw boring?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:47 am

Biglaw isn't boring, but it can be frustrating. As the guy at the bottom of the totem pole, you're expected to "fill" in the blanks for everyone above you. Finding the information to fill the blanks with in can be very daunting.

Also, just make sure your workspace is in good condition. I'd say that 99% of my frustration comes with the fact that my computer is slow, the firm programs are buggy, and my computer periodically crashes. Yes, there is wonderful IT support, but I don't have time to send my computer in to get checked out when the partner is telling me to turn comments on a draft by morning.

Also, stay super duper fucking organized.




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