What do you do if you're just lazy?

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Anonymous User
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What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:35 pm

Honest question, go easy on me please. I need to find a niche in the law, but the basic problem I have is that I'm lazy. I'm a slacker. I attended the worst school I got admitted to (t-30) instead of a t-14 so that I could get a full ride, have less accomplished peers, and coast my way to top half in order to land some mid-level firm or gov't job, even if said gov't job was non-legal. My financial and lifestyle goals are basically nil -- I'd like to work as little as possible, pay rent for some modest abode where I can spend time with the family, bbq, play video games, etc. The only thing I'd like money for is to save for retirement, so that I can retire as early as possible.

I say all of that to say this: things haven't gone according to plan. I've found myself hired by two good firms for my law school summers despite slightly above-average grades. Today, I received my second firm offer, and I have a third (in-house) offer probably about to fall in my lap through networking. The problem I've run into is that I'm a good interviewer, very good with clients/people, and my work product is outstanding--that is, when I'm actually working. That was enough for the firms to like me, even though I have to suspect they noticed my overall output was below-average. I put in maybe 15-20 hours/wk of honest work for 2L summer. Maybe they didn't really keep tabs on overall output because the work was assigned by so many different partners, so the quality of work was enough to carry me?

Even if they noticed, the firms probably think they can change me, get me to bill a lot of hours, etc. Is there any hope for me in the law? When I hear 1800 hours to bill, I think that seems like about 20% more than my current work habits will ever take me. I could manage 1500. Those will be 1500 really good hours with great work product, but I just don't stay focused for 45-50+ hours of work a week.

Not trolling, and I can't be the only person like me out there. Could I scrape by at a decent small firm? Should I hang my shitlaw shingle? Pick up some quasi-legal (e.g. non-JD required) fed gov't job?

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The Valkyrie
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby The Valkyrie » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:37 pm

What about a government job? The hours are excellent, there are generally no clients or billables to worry about, and even though the pay is not as good as biglaw, you get some pretty sweet benefits and loan forgiveness if applicable.

Would you be interested in being a prosecutor? Every state government dept also employs at least a handful of attorneys, I would check that out.

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pattonthicke
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby pattonthicke » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Honest question, go easy on me please. I need to find a niche in the law, but the basic problem I have is that I'm lazy. I'm a slacker. I attended the worst school I got admitted to (t-30) instead of a t-14 so that I could get a full ride, have less accomplished peers, and coast my way to top half in order to land some mid-level firm or gov't job, even if said gov't job was non-legal. My financial and lifestyle goals are basically nil -- I'd like to work as little as possible, pay rent for some modest abode where I can spend time with the family, bbq, play video games, etc. The only thing I'd like money for is to save for retirement, so that I can retire as early as possible.

I say all of that to say this: things haven't gone according to plan. I've found myself hired by two good firms for my law school summers despite slightly above-average grades. Today, I received my second firm offer, and I have a third (in-house) offer probably about to fall in my lap through networking. The problem I've run into is that I'm a good interviewer, very good with clients/people, and my work product is outstanding--that is, when I'm actually working. That was enough for the firms to like me, even though I have to suspect they noticed my overall output was below-average. I put in maybe 15-20 hours/wk of honest work for 2L summer. Maybe they didn't really keep tabs on overall output because the work was assigned by so many different partners, so the quality of work was enough to carry me?

Even if they noticed, the firms probably think they can change me, get me to bill a lot of hours, etc. Is there any hope for me in the law? When I hear 1800 hours to bill, I think that seems like about 20% more than my current work habits will ever take me. I could manage 1500. Those will be 1500 really good hours with great work product, but I just don't stay focused for 45-50+ hours of work a week.

Not trolling, and I can't be the only person like me out there. Could I scrape by at a decent small firm? Should I hang my shitlaw shingle? Pick up some quasi-legal (e.g. non-JD required) fed gov't job?


people are going to call you a troll given the tone of your post. you were almost a successful troll, but the bolded (getting two firm offers) with slightly above median grades at a t-30 is what fully convinced me that you are a flame.

Breezin
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Breezin » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:00 pm

two offers doesn't seem that unbelievable especially if OP is URM, attractive, lucky, applied regionally, networked, etc.

i'm curious OP: what did these firms say was "outstanding" about your work product?

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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:49 pm

Breezin wrote:two offers doesn't seem that unbelievable especially if OP is URM, attractive, lucky, applied regionally, networked, etc.

i'm curious OP: what did these firms say was "outstanding" about your work product?


OP here. At the first firm, one partner gave me good feedback throughout the summer. Told me my work was thorough and on point. Said it answered his questions and did a good job of raising other issues he may not have considered. A second partner forwarded one memo to a client almost entirely unedited. Received a very good review at the end of the summer for being personable, being someone who the clients really liked, and for being professional and working well with staff, so I don't know if the writing product carried me so much as the other stuff.

I received less feedback at the second firm, but two partners in particular (who happen to be the two most influential in hiring decisions, fortunately) gave me glowing reviews on memos I submitted to them. I mean "glowing" relatively, in that lawyer way. One told me it was a "great" memo and that I'm a "very good" writer, while the other partner said something simple like, "you're a very smart guy, and you've done great work this summer."

If the purpose of your post is to look for SA advice, I'd say from conversations with partners over the legal issues raised in my memos, I really think the key is to be thorough yet succinct. You want to fully address their concerns without belaboring any points. Present a few prominent cases, hit the key issues, and ultimately don't be afraid of making an analysis and a recommendation. If you can say something in once sentence, hit it hard and move on; you don't need to blabber on for a paragraph for each thing. In other words, don't type your memos like I'm typing this message board response. :)

In general, I would end memos with my own advice; that is, exactly how I would advise the client on the issue. They seemed to really appreciate this, as I was the guy researching the issue who had a "feel" for the law based on the decisions I read, and that "feel" isn't always something you can cite in case law and fully articulate in a memo. Courts don't always state how they weigh every factor and how certain cases turn, but you may get an idea from reading 35 cases, even if you can only cite 7 of them in the memo without the thing becoming too long. In one memo, I analyze legal risk considerations (settle vs. litigate, why our client should hold out b/c the statutory cause of action specifically provided for no liquidated damages under our fact pattern, etc.), and the attorney really appreciated that pragmatic approach. That enabled him to better advise the client based not only on legal issues, but on the type of risk analysis that a businessman would want to hear. Hope that answers your question. There's no guarantee this is good advice; it's just what worked for me.

Anonymous User
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:51 pm

pattonthicke wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Honest question, go easy on me please. I need to find a niche in the law, but the basic problem I have is that I'm lazy. I'm a slacker. I attended the worst school I got admitted to (t-30) instead of a t-14 so that I could get a full ride, have less accomplished peers, and coast my way to top half in order to land some mid-level firm or gov't job, even if said gov't job was non-legal. My financial and lifestyle goals are basically nil -- I'd like to work as little as possible, pay rent for some modest abode where I can spend time with the family, bbq, play video games, etc. The only thing I'd like money for is to save for retirement, so that I can retire as early as possible.

I say all of that to say this: things haven't gone according to plan. I've found myself hired by two good firms for my law school summers despite slightly above-average grades. Today, I received my second firm offer, and I have a third (in-house) offer probably about to fall in my lap through networking. The problem I've run into is that I'm a good interviewer, very good with clients/people, and my work product is outstanding--that is, when I'm actually working. That was enough for the firms to like me, even though I have to suspect they noticed my overall output was below-average. I put in maybe 15-20 hours/wk of honest work for 2L summer. Maybe they didn't really keep tabs on overall output because the work was assigned by so many different partners, so the quality of work was enough to carry me?

Even if they noticed, the firms probably think they can change me, get me to bill a lot of hours, etc. Is there any hope for me in the law? When I hear 1800 hours to bill, I think that seems like about 20% more than my current work habits will ever take me. I could manage 1500. Those will be 1500 really good hours with great work product, but I just don't stay focused for 45-50+ hours of work a week.

Not trolling, and I can't be the only person like me out there. Could I scrape by at a decent small firm? Should I hang my shitlaw shingle? Pick up some quasi-legal (e.g. non-JD required) fed gov't job?


people are going to call you a troll given the tone of your post. you were almost a successful troll, but the bolded (getting two firm offers) with slightly above median grades at a t-30 is what fully convinced me that you are a flame.


Two lottery interviews, two great interviews, two solid callbacks, two offers. It's not rocket science. You won't be a pre-select in OCI at slightly above median at a t-30 (well, for the most part: I actually was a pre-select at a few places), but you will get a handful of interviews. You just have to knock them out of the park. These firms aren't V100, but they're good reputable firms in the region.

p.s. I do have solid prior work experience. Not IP or big finance, but better than probably at least 90% of law students.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:54 pm

I find this BS because of what previous posters posted and also because it's quite early to have 2 offers already.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:55 pm

LOL at OP's self-importance

Anonymous User
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:56 pm

OP, you are NOT in fact alone in this philosophy. I am of the same frame of mind and just curious where this thread goes.

Anonymous User
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:02 am

Same. I coasted through my SA on the quality of my work product, and I'm scared that I won't be able to hack it when it comes time to bill 2000 hours. Will probably have to transition to government ASAP.

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grrrstick
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby grrrstick » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:00 am

Get to the federal government. Unless the department decides to budget for the years of legal battles it takes to fire someone, you will have security and a reasonable salary for a while. Also worth looking into jobs where lawyers are considered part of law enforcement for the purposes of retirement packages (a lot of corrections departments are like this) so you can retire on 80% after 20 or 25 years.

Get on the gravy train, and hope that the spenders stay in power for a few more decades.

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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:55 pm

grrrstick wrote:Get to the federal government. Unless the department decides to budget for the years of legal battles it takes to fire someone, you will have security and a reasonable salary for a while. Also worth looking into jobs where lawyers are considered part of law enforcement for the purposes of retirement packages (a lot of corrections departments are like this) so you can retire on 80% after 20 or 25 years.

Get on the gravy train, and hope that the spenders stay in power for a few more decades.


OP here.

Yeah, I did a USAO internship and liked that alright. Hours there seemed really good, but I wouldn't get a position there with my academic record, plus it seems like it might be repetitive work? I mean, one guy did ONLY drug and gun charges, another did ONLY child porn, etc. I have some history with federal work and have some issues with it for other reasons as well. It's structured, repetitive, the bureaucracy of it all gets annoying, there is no room to really do your own thing or bring in business, etc. And with most fed jobs, you don't get out of the office much and often don't really have "clients" at all. That being said, I think I could find a fed job that works for me, it would just require some research.

When you say jobs where lawyers are considered part of law enforcement, do you mean asst. county attorney jobs or something?

Right now, I'm leaning toward taking one of the firm offers, toughing that out for 2-3 years, then trying to pick up a county prosecutor job, fed gov't agency position, or in-house somewhere.

Anonymous User
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote: it's quite early to have 2 offers already.


Different poster from OP but that's not really true. I've been holding two offers since the first week of August, and I know a few others who have two offers as well. While I don't know whether OP is a flame or not, I don't think that's a very good basis for claiming that he/she is.

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IAFG
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby IAFG » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: it's quite early to have 2 offers already.


Different poster from OP but that's not really true. I've been holding two offers since the first week of August, and I know a few others who have two offers as well. While I don't know whether OP is a flame or not, I don't think that's a very good basis for claiming that he/she is.

Um, he's talking about offers from being an SA?

Anonymous User
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:33 pm

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: it's quite early to have 2 offers already.


Different poster from OP but that's not really true. I've been holding two offers since the first week of August, and I know a few others who have two offers as well. While I don't know whether OP is a flame or not, I don't think that's a very good basis for claiming that he/she is.

Um, he's talking about offers from being an SA?


I'm not sure about the anon I quoted, but it doesn't look like the OP was talking about summers since he said "I put in maybe 15-20 hours/wk of honest work for 2L summer" (indicating that's he's finished with 2L and is talking about permanent offers). Maybe I'm misreading that though. Definitely not trying to start an argument over it.

Anonymous User
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:05 pm

Just as an FYI, check into billing requirements for gov. jobs, I summered in a state DOJ and the lawyers do have billable hours, I believe it was 1750. Which, isn't awful...but kind of considering they are gov., and I wasn't expecting them to have billables at all. They use a time tracking system and you have to account for every single minute of your day.

It's made me re-think some things.

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Borhas
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby Borhas » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:06 pm

DA's office

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NinerFan
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby NinerFan » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:59 pm

Y'know, even in public interest jobs you might have to "bill hours" sometimes, or at least keep careful track of them.

omg clay aiken !
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Re: What do you do if you're just lazy?

Postby omg clay aiken ! » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:44 pm

op should clerk




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