Past experience casting doubt on future plans

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Past experience casting doubt on future plans

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:22 pm

I worked for a lawyer for about a year and I have to say, I absolutely hated it. At first it wasn't so bad, it was kind of neat to go downtown and interact with professionals (just doing your basic legal assistant grunt work). Soon though I began to dread the job. It was incredibly stressful, every single little detail was something that my boss would tear into me for if anything went wrong, no matter if I was actually the reason it went wrong or not. it was not uncommon for directions given to me to be very vague/incomplete/messy and actually asking for clarification could earn me a insults/scolding. Needless to say, the environment was very tense because she constantly berated and belittled her main legal assistant and to a lesser extent everyone else. I remember one instance she was on the phone with another attorney and she apparently didn't like how the attorney was talking to her so she took her cell phone and threw it across the office. Also billing was just a horrendous pain in the ass. We had to keep track of every 6 minute block of time and bill it either to clients or to her which, while incredibly annoying and difficult when you are swamped and not able to jot down everything you're doing, it had the added benefit of a bi-monthly audit of your acitivities in the office. This kind of behavior wasn't uncommon. If a mistake was made, something had to be redone, something took longer than she wanted it to (and often her changing directions mid-way through or just outright forgetting what she actually told you to do was the cause of these setbacks), you can bet you were going to get a belittling, scornful e-mail about it. I dreaded opening up my inbox because it seemed like no matter how hard I worked or tried, I could be sure I was going to be chewed out.

I'm here just to gripe, it's been a few months since I worked there (quit for another job) but I still look back on my previous job and remember the stress and how much I disliked it. I'm wondering if my experience is just because I happened to get a very high maintanence boss or if this is what I should expect of my ensuing legal career. I should also add I made $10/hr, a decent college-job rate, but it didn't seem enough for what the job was expecting of me and mileage was only re-imbursed if I more or less demanded it be (drove at least 20 miles every day between the office and the court house but only out-of-town trips were reimbursed without resistance.)

Does this seem like it was a crap job that isn't actually the norm or does it sound like I just need to grow tougher skin/find a different career path? I admittedly don't take personal insults or being belittled well, I come from a long line of people making bad life decisions based off of pride, but this seemed excessive.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
Posts: 11725
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Past experience casting doubt on future plans

Postby kalvano » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:27 pm

That's nothing like the experience I had over the summer. I would not say that is the normal work experience.

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a11 1n
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:48 pm

Re: Past experience casting doubt on future plans

Postby a11 1n » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:04 pm

Sounds like you worked for a shitlaw firm AND had the additional misfortune of being paired with a loathsome human being. I worked for a small firm and had the complete opposite experience. My boss was kind and understanding. He could be stern but he never belittled anyone in our office. Same with the other attorneys on staff. Law is like every other profession in that the personalities run the gamut.

With that said, however, we also billed for every 6th minute and most attorneys bill on some similar fixed hourly rate. Also, the work is stressful and when there is a lot of pressure, people are more likely to break and snap at you for an oversight that might not even draw any attention in another profession.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Past experience casting doubt on future plans

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:20 pm

It just sounds like a bad experience. Pretty much everyone has one at some point whether or not you are in law. Usually, you experience it right after college when you are at the bottom of the totem pole and desperate for any job. I know I experienced it.




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