Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

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Joeshan520
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Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:36 pm

Hello,

I'm currently a legal assistant at a V10, which I've done for about two years now prior to choosing to attend law school. I really don't like the position at all, and I notice a number of the first and second associates here do many of the same tasks that we do. If I don't like being a legal assistant, will I dislike being lawyer (I still do want to attend law school despite this experience)?

It would help if someone had a similar experience prior to attending law school.

Thanks for the advice in advance!

rad lulz
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:44 pm

What don't you like ab it

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:57 pm

Incredibly dry work. I mostly work in discovery and fact finding now. It's just a lot of clerical stuff, occasionally highlighting transcripts and doing database management/searches for discovery materials and document productions. The people for the most part are pretty nice, you have to occasionally work with pricks but that's to be expected. I don't know, just not intellectually stimulating at all.

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IAFG
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby IAFG » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:01 pm

Why the FUCK is attending law school still assumed then? Son, did someone drop a binder on your head?

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:04 pm

Because I feel like it would be asinine to assume that putting pieces of paper into a binder is what an attorney does for a living.

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gavinstevens
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby gavinstevens » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:05 pm

I'm in a similar position, 0L at a secondary market Biglaw firm.

I don't envy the junior associates either, but hearing the partners discuss, analyze, and anticipate actions of opposing counsel sounds plenty stimulating to me. So, I envy those people doing actual substantive legal work, though not their schedules. I hope to what they do one day in a different context (i.e. outside biglaw). ETA midlaw doesn't exist, gov't doesn't hire, etc.

I don't think you can really judge the merits of a career by what it looks like 0-3 years out. Do the responsibilites of other more senior attorneys appeal to you? Do you know lawyers outside biglaw? What do you think of their work?

Aqualibrium
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:06 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:Incredibly dry work. I mostly work in discovery and fact finding now. It's just a lot of clerical stuff, occasionally highlighting transcripts and doing database management/searches for discovery materials and document productions. The people for the most part are pretty nice, you have to occasionally work with pricks but that's to be expected. I don't know, just not intellectually stimulating at all.



Legal assistants do the work attorneys can't bill for (or can bill for but won't get paid by the client for...) it's really not the same work at all. It's in the same sort of category I suppose...by that I mean that as a lawyer you will do lots of reading, lots of filtering relevant facts, but the stuff a legal assistant does is, again, essentially stuff an associate or partner doesn't want to/can't waste time on.

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:09 pm

gavinstevens wrote:I'm in a similar position, 0L at a secondary market Biglaw firm.

I don't envy the junior associates either, but hearing the partners discuss, analyze, and anticipate actions of opposing counsel sounds plenty stimulating to me. So, I envy those people doing actual substantive legal work, though not their schedules. I hope to what they do one day in a different context (i.e. outside biglaw). ETA midlaw doesn't exist, gov't doesn't hire, etc.

I don't think you can really judge the merits of a career by what it looks like 0-3 years out. Do the responsibilites of other more senior attorneys appeal to you? Do you know lawyers outside biglaw? What do you think of their work?



Yes to both bolded questions. It is interesting to hear what they do, but from what I hear that type of work is uncommon for people until they're 6-7 years out. I know a ton of lawyers outside of biglaw and it's about a 50/50 split of those that love and hate it.

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:11 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Joeshan520 wrote:Incredibly dry work. I mostly work in discovery and fact finding now. It's just a lot of clerical stuff, occasionally highlighting transcripts and doing database management/searches for discovery materials and document productions. The people for the most part are pretty nice, you have to occasionally work with pricks but that's to be expected. I don't know, just not intellectually stimulating at all.



Legal assistants do the work attorneys can't bill for (or can bill for but won't get paid by the client for...) it's really not the same work at all. It's in the same sort of category I suppose...by that I mean that as a lawyer you will do lots of reading, lots of filtering relevant facts, but the stuff a legal assistant does is, again, essentially stuff an associate or partner doesn't want to/can't waste time on.



True, but a lot of the stuff we do is billable. It's just a lot more cost effective to have someone billing out at $200/hr versus $450/hr. You would be surprised what costs are levied onto clients and how it is bundled at places like this. I understand your point.

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gavinstevens
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby gavinstevens » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:
Yes to both bolded questions. It is interesting to hear what they do, but from what I hear that type of work is uncommon for people until they're 6-7 years out. I know a ton of lawyers outside of biglaw and it's about a 50/50 split of those that love and hate it.


I think it varies. I see some associates get staffed on interesting assignments while they're 2-3 years in (I work in lit btw, no idea about corp). Others languish away doing doc review for five years and (wisely IMO) leave the firm.

What are your other options? Check out the quarterlife crisis thread if you're thinking about something besides law.

edit link: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=192078

Aqualibrium
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:31 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Joeshan520 wrote:Incredibly dry work. I mostly work in discovery and fact finding now. It's just a lot of clerical stuff, occasionally highlighting transcripts and doing database management/searches for discovery materials and document productions. The people for the most part are pretty nice, you have to occasionally work with pricks but that's to be expected. I don't know, just not intellectually stimulating at all.



Legal assistants do the work attorneys can't bill for (or can bill for but won't get paid by the client for...) it's really not the same work at all. It's in the same sort of category I suppose...by that I mean that as a lawyer you will do lots of reading, lots of filtering relevant facts, but the stuff a legal assistant does is, again, essentially stuff an associate or partner doesn't want to/can't waste time on.



True, but a lot of the stuff we do is billable. It's just a lot more cost effective to have someone billing out at $200/hr versus $450/hr. You would be surprised what costs are levied onto clients and how it is bundled at places like this. I understand your point.



Like I said, it's either not billable or a client isn't going to pay an associate or partner for it...

I'm an associate at an NLJ250, so I am not at all surprised at what costs are levied on clients...to the contrary, I have a very good working knowledge of what clients are sophisticated or picky enough to not pay an associate or partner for certain things and which ones I can get away with billing for collating documents.

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:42 pm

Like I said, it's either not billable or a client isn't going to pay an associate or partner for it...

I'm an associate at an NLJ250, so I am not at all surprised at what costs are levied on clients...to the contrary, I have a very good working knowledge of what clients are sophisticated or picky enough to not pay an associate or partner for certain things and which ones I can get away with billing for collating documents.


Definitely not doubting your knowledge, sorry if that last comment came off as condescending. I just think some of the billing practices are very interesting.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:46 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:
Like I said, it's either not billable or a client isn't going to pay an associate or partner for it...

I'm an associate at an NLJ250, so I am not at all surprised at what costs are levied on clients...to the contrary, I have a very good working knowledge of what clients are sophisticated or picky enough to not pay an associate or partner for certain things and which ones I can get away with billing for collating documents.


Definitely not doubting your knowledge, sorry if that last comment came off as condescending. I just think some of the billing practices are very interesting.



Didn't think you were. Interesting is an understatemen IMO. I'd rather go with unsettling, discouraging, shady, unnecessary, etc... In the end, it all really serves as a lesson in what i dont want to do when I have my own clients because, for now, if a partner says bill, I have to say "how much and thank you sir may I have another billable project."

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:49 pm

I think it varies. I see some associates get staffed on interesting assignments while they're 2-3 years in (I work in lit btw, no idea about corp). Others languish away doing doc review for five years and (wisely IMO) leave the firm.

What are your other options? Check out the quarterlife crisis thread if you're thinking about something besides law.

edit link: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 0&t=192078



With a degree in Philosophy and Political Economy, not very much. I have a pretty big network but strong legal/public policy slant. Not to sound to despondent, but everything is pretty crumby right now as you can probably imagine. Lucky to be where I'm at for right now.

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:53 pm

Didn't think you were. Interesting is an understatemen IMO. I'd rather go with unsettling, discouraging, shady, unnecessary, etc... In the end, it all really serves as a lesson in what i dont want to do when I have my own clients because, for now, if a partner says bill, I have to say "how much and thank you sir may I have another billable project."



Yeah, it is pretty disheartening. Moreso than the hours worked IMO. Hopefully changes will be made to the billing structure so as to correct some of this nonsense.

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cinephile
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby cinephile » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:59 pm

I know someone who worked as a paralegal for 3 years, hated it, came to law school, and now hates it. Her reason for going to law school was that if she was going to do work she hates, she might as well make more $$$. But now she intends to drop out at the end of the year.

What is your reason for going to law school despite knowing that you hate legal work?

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:09 pm

cinephile wrote:I know someone who worked as a paralegal for 3 years, hated it, came to law school, and now hates it. Her reason for going to law school was that if she was going to do work she hates, she might as well make more $$$. But now she intends to drop out at the end of the year.

What is your reason for going to law school despite knowing that you hate legal work?



Sounds like there are other adverse incentives there besides money, but I won't get into that. I don't hate being a paralegal, I hate being called a paralegal and in actuality being a secretary. I love argumentative writing and research and the opportunity to negotiate on behalf of people/corporations. I also believe an understanding of the law is crucial to understanding the way society functions and provides a glimpse into how we have evolved as human beings. Those are my reasons as naive as that sounds. I don't expect to be in a courtroom everyday and I don't expect to work 9-5.

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cinephile
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby cinephile » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:13 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I know someone who worked as a paralegal for 3 years, hated it, came to law school, and now hates it. Her reason for going to law school was that if she was going to do work she hates, she might as well make more $$$. But now she intends to drop out at the end of the year.

What is your reason for going to law school despite knowing that you hate legal work?



Sounds like there are other adverse incentives there besides money, but I won't get into that. I don't hate being a paralegal, I hate being called a paralegal and in actuality being a secretary. I love argumentative writing and research and the opportunity to negotiate on behalf of people/corporations. I also believe an understanding of the law is crucial to understanding the way society functions and provides a glimpse into how we have evolved as human beings. Those are my reasons as naive as that sounds. I don't expect to be in a courtroom everyday and I don't expect to work 9-5.


So am I to understand that you love your work? The thread title says something different.
Btw, if you're interested in learning how we've evolved as human beings, take a bio class.

Joeshan520
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:20 pm

So am I to understand that you love your work? The thread title says something different.
Btw, if you're interested in learning how we've evolved as human beings, take a bio class.


No my work involves no argumentative writing/research and no negotiation as does most of the work I encounter when dealing with associates at this firm. Biology/Science does little for me in terms of describing social evolution let alone social contracts imho (I actually did quite well in all of my bio courses). In fact, I find it misguided to rely solely on science as a means of understanding human nature, I find philosophy and economics much more interesting. I believe law intertwines these subjects quite nicely in certain areas of the profession.

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20160810
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Re: Dislike Legal Assistant position/ will I dislike law?

Postby 20160810 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:25 pm

0Ls GTFO.

Fair warning, I'm going to start banning noobs who post in this forum without reading the incredibly clear stickied threads.




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