wiseowl wrote:There are many times in life where people seem too anal retentive and seem to be taking stuff way too seriously.
Law school is one of them.
Bar study is one of them.
Biglaw billing is not one of them.
I mean screw around all you want on FB and gchat, no one will really be there to check up on you. The IT guy "monitoring your web usage" is probably not doing anything except making sure the firm's servers aren't kiddie porn repositories.
But Biglaw deadlines aren't deadlines you can push back like a law school paper. And these days most every client is fighting your bosses on every cent they are billed. You'll probably get away with a padded hour here or there once or twice. And the client will likely never know. But your boss, with gritted teeth, is sitting there slashing the time you spent, which is money directly out of his pocket.
Try doing that more than a time or two and see where that gets you.
There is no automatic work in Biglaw. Partners and senior associates either funnel work to you, or they don't. You've got to make 2000 hours either way. That's 50 40-hr weeks per year. Billed, not worked.
Your best bet is to get a reputation as a hard, efficient worker, and then slack once people trust you. Something like first 1-2 assignments for a partner, etc.
If you get an early reputation as a slacker/padder/always on the web in an office where doors have to be open, that isn't going to be good.
I participated in a Summer Secretary program for 18-22ish year-olds and IT had a lock-down on our emails. They knew what was going on, within the emails, because there would be times while all of the Summers were doing actual work, yet still responding to one another about non-work topics, that we would get "politely told" by a manager to calm down our casual email conversation. We were still all working hard and editing the various documents that lawyers would give us (dictations, hard copy, etc), but they certainly knew what the heck was going on from the IT department.
All I know is that the folks that I worked for (we transitioned from 2-3 attorneys weekly/bi-weekly - depending on what secretaries were out/on vacation) were not visiting various media sites. You couldn't be on TLS and Summering for sure. But if you wanted to look at the local paper for a few minutes, to keep yourself in the loop (as depending on the article in question, you can use this as a general talking point with clients - "Hey X, did you read/hear about X?"), but other than perhaps texting, I wouldn't advise Facebooking. No one that you need to know about is going to be Facebooking anyways.