Is BigLaw Like Law School?

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Re: Is BigLaw Like Law School?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 13, 2012 4:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:people talking about "facing adverse consequences" are dumbasses. no one here is advocating billing 3 hours of fb creeping. i think the more realistic scenario is you doing due diligence lets say from 1pm to 5pm. somewhere in the middle you read a couple articles on the nytimes, maybe responded to a wall post, and text ur gf a dozen or so times. what some people in this thread are advocating it seems is keeping track of every single one of these activities which will end up you billing 3.673 hours. whereas normal people would just bill this as 4 hours and call it a friggin day. no one (normal) is gonna sit there and stop the clock everytime they respond to a text. so yea no parter is going to come harass the second guy because he just "felt" like he overbilled by .327 hours.

No. I'm not sure what you don't understand about the fact that you bill to the 10th of an hour. They do it this way for a reason. You bill 3.6 hours. You don't bill 4 hours.

Clearly you want to do it your way. Go for it. You will get fired.

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Re: Is BigLaw Like Law School?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 13, 2012 5:20 pm

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.

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Re: Is BigLaw Like Law School?

Postby underdawg » Mon May 14, 2012 9:37 am

as long as you get your work done, no one cares. people at my firm are on facebook or gchat all the time. when stuff is super frantic, people probably aren't on facebook or gchat.

ofc don't pad
Last edited by underdawg on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is BigLaw Like Law School?

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon May 14, 2012 9:51 am

X_Soda wrote:
NoleinNY wrote:Flame? No living thing that has the cognitive capability to effectively operate a keyboard to convey English language words can be this dense.

Yet a number of people in this thread have confirmed my suspicion -- that there is more to a billable hour than a billable hour, that people do not suddenly shift from the slackers that 90% of us were in law school to perfectly focused gurus of doc review. My tone was intentionally a bit inflammatory, and of course if I were to actually flub my hours a bit by ignoring facebook breaks I would call it by a name other than "lying." But let's drop the cheesy righteousness crap and get real here -- the point of this thread was to see if billable hours were really as devoid of distraction time as people make them out to be. The evidence is leaning toward NO.

disclaimer: quit reading after page 1 and saw this haha. from an unbiased perspective (i dont know or care either way), I did not walk away with this impression from the thread lol. it smacked of the OP already expecting an answer, then selectively focusing on posts that supported him. ladder of inference indeed.

my impression from page 1 was more...not that many ppl goof off and bill it, some do; depends on the person but more so depends on the culture of the firm you are at, i.e. it depends on your work environment and what is 'expected' there.

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Re: Is BigLaw Like Law School?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:30 pm


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Re: Is BigLaw Like Law School?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:43 pm

I know as a SA that I would continuously bill time if I was working on something, went and grabbed a coffee, then went back to the task. I was still thinking about it. Do I think most people fabricate time wholesale? No. Do I think most people have 5 mins of fucking around time and still bill that? Yes.

You don't want to acquire a representation as an overbiller anyway. One junior partner at the firm I worked for had that rep and other partners would not allow him/her on their matters because the junior partner billed ludicrous amounts relative to the task's value.

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