New Associates thread - fears etc

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New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:56 am

I didn't see a thread to this effect, but please direct me to it if it already exists.

Anyway, this thread is for people to share their irrational fears/whatever about being a new associate (ITE).

For me, I'm kind of slow which is frustrating/scary. It seems like senior associates and partners have work and like me all right, but getting assignments to me is the last thing on their priority list. Understandable, but frustrating. Mid-size market with not a lot of new associates, so hard to make comparisons, but I do feel like others are busier.

Share away.

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:10 pm

What market/practice area?

NotMyRealName09
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:31 pm

Ok, dirty secret - you won't get busy for 6 months, if then. It's not like summer - there is no one directing work your way. You may twiddle your thumbs for months and fret about why they would pay you to sit there doing nothing. It is probably OK - just be there, be available, remind Everyone that you are looking for work without becoming a pest, and things will happen organically.

This happened to me, it sucked, I worried about my job, the fiscal health of the firm, whether I was about to become another story of a new associate laid off because the firm didn't have the work - then things evened out, I got pulled into cases. It just takes time, new files open and people remember that this is work perfect for the new associate. You're right - everyone else is busy. So busy they forget they can break apart their projects. Just figure out the right people to tell you are not busy and would like to be, it will happen.

It is NOT a function of you - it is a function of projects suitable for a first year come available AND the partner remembering to delegate that work. Just keep asking - no one tells you you'll have to actively solicit work when you are an SA, but, you have to solicit work.

My tip? Enjoy your free time now, through the holidays. It (you not being busy) won't be permanent. It might take time, but not being busy now is NORMAL.

silenttimer
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby silenttimer » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:42 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Ok, dirty secret - you won't get busy for 6 months, if then. It's not like summer - there is no one directing work your way. You may twiddle your thumbs for months and fret about why they would pay you to sit there doing nothing. It is probably OK - just be there, be available, remind Everyone that you are looking for work without becoming a pest, and things will happen organically.

This happened to me, it sucked, I worried about my job, the fiscal health of the firm, whether I was about to become another story of a new associate laid off because the firm didn't have the work - then things evened out, I got pulled into cases. It just takes time, new files open and people remember that this is work perfect for the new associate. You're right - everyone else is busy. So busy they forget they can break apart their projects. Just figure out the right people to tell you are not busy and would like to be, it will happen.

It is NOT a function of you - it is a function of projects suitable for a first year come available AND the partner remembering to delegate that work. Just keep asking - no one tells you you'll have to actively solicit work when you are an SA, but, you have to solicit work.

My tip? Enjoy your free time now, through the holidays. It (you not being busy) won't be permanent. It might take time, but not being busy now is NORMAL.


This is right on. Now I wish I was slow again. Had an 80 billable week last week -- it was hell!

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:51 pm

Do firms take this in consideration when reaching billable requirements at the end of year 1? Since first year associates typically start at the tail end of the billing year, do any hours billed during the first few months just go on to the next billing year? So, billing, while infrequent at first, is just icing on the cake until the new billing year starts?

I will be starting next year at the beginning of September, but I'm not sure when the firm's billing year starts and ends. Is there a standard month or does it really vary firm by firm?

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:58 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:My tip? Enjoy your free time now, through the holidays. It (you not being busy) won't be permanent. It might take time, but not being busy now is NORMAL.

This is what I keep worrying about, because I've been here a month and I haven't been busy at all yet, but this is good to know. It's what the other junior associates keep telling me, but it's good to hear elsewhere too.

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kurla88
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby kurla88 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do firms take this in consideration when reaching billable requirements at the end of year 1? Since first year associates typically start at the tail end of the billing year, do any hours billed during the first few months just go on to the next billing year? So, billing, while infrequent at first, is just icing on the cake until the new billing year starts?

I will be starting next year at the beginning of September, but I'm not sure when the firm's billing year starts and ends. Is there a standard month or does it really vary firm by firm?


Depends on your firm, I think. At mine, they don't really look at your billables for the first September-December. In January when you start your first full year is when you're expected to actually meet the billable requirement. Maybe this is common practice? Idk.

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:22 pm

kurla88 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do firms take this in consideration when reaching billable requirements at the end of year 1? Since first year associates typically start at the tail end of the billing year, do any hours billed during the first few months just go on to the next billing year? So, billing, while infrequent at first, is just icing on the cake until the new billing year starts?

I will be starting next year at the beginning of September, but I'm not sure when the firm's billing year starts and ends. Is there a standard month or does it really vary firm by firm?


Depends on your firm, I think. At mine, they don't really look at your billables for the first September-December. In January when you start your first full year is when you're expected to actually meet the billable requirement. Maybe this is common practice? Idk.


I would agree that it depends on the firm. I'm not starting until next September, but my offer letter said the billable hours requirement is 1900/yr but less than 600 hours are required in the first 5 months.

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drmguy
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby drmguy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:14 am

Interested in this.

AP-375
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby AP-375 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:55 am

drmguy wrote:Interested in this.

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tfer2222
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby tfer2222 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:13 am

AP-375 wrote:
drmguy wrote:Interested in this.


is the advice above generally true across markets? i.e. nyc? are we talking free market system firms?

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:57 am

been here for two months. above is generally true. my group in general has been busy but i have not been. that said, my hours haven't been the best (worked half the weekends ive been here). since u r the most juinor no one cares about ur time and usually only call you end of day after they have tken care of all their stuff. so while i haven't worked a whole ton, the times i do work is often evenings/weekends. it can get pretty frustruting doing nothing all day then working all night. no one really values your time. additionally, some people forget you don't know anything so they don't really give you any instruction. the whole working model wreaks of inefficiency.

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dood
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby dood » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:15 pm

ive billed less than 100 hours in 2 months, i dont give a fuk though, im rich

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:41 pm

dood wrote:ive billed less than 100 hours in 2 months, i dont give a fuk though, im rich



really? after city/state/federal my tax rate is 42% bro. (single/not URM)

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Old Gregg
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:35 pm

tfer2222 wrote:
AP-375 wrote:
drmguy wrote:Interested in this.


is the advice above generally true across markets? i.e. nyc? are we talking free market system firms?


You are compared to your peers. If first year hours are down across the board, then of course the firm will take that into account.

Assuming the firm doesn't intend to get rid of all the first years.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do firms take this in consideration when reaching billable requirements at the end of year 1? Since first year associates typically start at the tail end of the billing year, do any hours billed during the first few months just go on to the next billing year? So, billing, while infrequent at first, is just icing on the cake until the new billing year starts?

I will be starting next year at the beginning of September, but I'm not sure when the firm's billing year starts and ends. Is there a standard month or does it really vary firm by firm?


Mine sure as hell didn't. Didn't hit your hours? No bonus for you. THAT SAID - all my reviews were postive, and I had been communicative with the leadership that I lacked worked and needed hours. It was my group leader who said it just takes time for new associates to get busy. So, at least for my firm, I don't think me missing my hours first year will actually have any effect on my career. You're a rookie - they understand that. I made sure to document my efforts to obtain work to show the lack of hours wasn't me being lazy, but rather that no one had given me enough work to do. It did change though - I got busy going into my second year, and my second year was good.

No - hours billed in the stub year stay in the stub year, they don't get "banked" until next year - its all about when the go on the bill to the client.


End of billing year varies by firm, though December to December might be most common.

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:29 pm

I've had a similar experience as well. I've spent lots of time sitting in my office doing nothing, freaking out about my job, wondering how long the firm can keep paying me $160,000, etc. But everyone else at my firm seems busy, and they all tell me to enjoy it while it lasts. Hours billed during the stub year are worthless at my firm; new associates are never going to hit the required minimum by the end of the fiscal year, so they won't be eligible for a bonus, so there's no point in striving for hours.

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:32 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Ok, dirty secret - you won't get busy for 6 months, if then. It's not like summer - there is no one directing work your way. You may twiddle your thumbs for months and fret about why they would pay you to sit there doing nothing. It is probably OK - just be there, be available, remind Everyone that you are looking for work without becoming a pest, and things will happen organically.

This happened to me, it sucked, I worried about my job, the fiscal health of the firm, whether I was about to become another story of a new associate laid off because the firm didn't have the work - then things evened out, I got pulled into cases. It just takes time, new files open and people remember that this is work perfect for the new associate. You're right - everyone else is busy. So busy they forget they can break apart their projects. Just figure out the right people to tell you are not busy and would like to be, it will happen.

It is NOT a function of you - it is a function of projects suitable for a first year come available AND the partner remembering to delegate that work. Just keep asking - no one tells you you'll have to actively solicit work when you are an SA, but, you have to solicit work.

My tip? Enjoy your free time now, through the holidays. It (you not being busy) won't be permanent. It might take time, but not being busy now is NORMAL.


First year here. Still been quite slow... Anyone experiencing the same? I'm very worried about meeting minimum requirements in 11 months.

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fatduck
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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby fatduck » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dood wrote:ive billed less than 100 hours in 2 months, i dont give a fuk though, im rich

really? after city/state/federal my tax rate is 42% bro. (single/not URM)

i'm sure the IRS won't notice if you check URM on your tax return, bro. just do it.

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby nealric » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dood wrote:ive billed less than 100 hours in 2 months, i dont give a fuk though, im rich



really? after city/state/federal my tax rate is 42% bro. (single/not URM)


No it is not. State/local taxes are deductible from your federal taxes, so you can't just add the rates. Also, all of your income is not subject to to your top marginal rate. Your effective income tax rate (including federal, NY, and NYC) should be around 30%, with the precise amount depending on things like 401k contributions, whether you buy or rent your place, donate to charity, etc.

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Re: New Associates thread - fears etc

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:14 pm

Billed between 100-150 my first three months, then had 275 (seriously) in January. That month was truly miserable.




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