First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

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Lasers
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Lasers » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:16 am

like my dad says, if you want to get paid good money, you have to make sacrifices. my dad worked two jobs for 20+ years, having to work on weekends almost every week. i have a similar mentality; sacrificing your interests for a couple years to advance your career while making six figures is worth it, imo.

also, i feel most biglaw associates who enjoy their job have egos; it feeds their ego to be able to survive under the intense biglaw conditions.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:51 am

KenLogginsDangerZone wrote:May be an obvious question, but is it true that even firms with official minimums have "unofficial" expectations above and beyond the minimum?

Yes. Expectations are often very different than stated minimums for bonus or otherwise. This varies by firm, office, and practice group, though. Your best bet is to make friends with a more senior associate in your group who you can eventually ask candid questions. That said, in NYC, I think the ~2300-2500 range is a common "not making partner but seen as a reasonably useful associate" minimum.

Anonymous User wrote:In general, being on-call all the time, having to work during vacations, and having to adjust plans at the last minute or not make them at the last minute, is a normal thing for people who have either high-end professional jobs, high-level executives, or entrepreneurs -- and people who just love what they do at work and want to do more of it.

I think the message isn't that biglaw is special so much as just that it might not be worth it if you don't actually like the work or need the money. (I would say the same to those in other professions.)

keg411 wrote:RE: having vacations respected. Even the people I know who work at "sweatshop" firms have been left alone on vacation as juniors. And, in return, you're expected to pick up the slack when others on your team are on vacation.

This depends almost entirely on the person(s) you work for. Also, protecting vacation time in the sense that you don't have to cancel vacations is different than being left alone once (if) you actually take a vacation. This also gets worse as you get more senior and are expected to take on actual responsibility. (For the same reason, a junior who wants to get quality work and some responsibility is going to have a harder time taking a vacation. So I guess the lesson there is to be mediocre.)

Anonymous User wrote:Biglaw associate v20 hit the nail on the head. I think successful big law associates are a bit masochistic. I know I am. I think on some level you need to hate yourself at least a little bit to keep going.

I would 100% agree but also question whether this is a path to a healthy life and/or mental stability... but then, to each her own.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:05 am

OP,

In my experience, the bankruptcy and restructuring bros tend to be the happiest/sexiest. Have you found this to be true?

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:12 am

I've found people to be incredibly generous with credit. As for other points: You don't need to sign a brief, that's pretty dumb -- I'd like to see the junior engineer or architect at a firm get credit for their contributions. This is the kind of attitude is what gives 20-somethings a bad name in the professional world. You want credit for something or feel like you did something "on your own", do a small pro bono case, or write an article under your name or whatever. Or just work at your job and do well by your client and feel good about what you did as a team.


This is naive.

Your success as a lawyer, as much as almost any other profession, depends not only on your legal acumen, but also on your ability to market yourself and make a name for yourself.

By limiting your exposure to the clients and to the court and to the media (by way of your name being on the brief, for example; not saying you should be allowed to give statements and the like), the firm you work for completely controls your professional development in terms of marketing. Everything you are and do as a lawyer is by and through the firm, and when they kick you out or your burn out after 5 years, no one will have any idea who you are or what you contributed. Your identity as a lawyer was that as a "[Big Law Firm] Associate," not as an attorney who just happened to work for [Big Law Firm]. Now that [Big Law Firm] no longer has use for you, you must start building your identity from scratch.

If I write the majority of the brief, or even a significant section of the brief, or contribute vital research to the brief, I should have my name on the brief. So should everyone else who did similarly. Even if that means a brief signed by 6 people, so be it. If I write an article, I should be the author or co-author. Being team-oriented and wanting individual credit are not mutually exclusive.

Credit, acknowledgement, and exposure is important in this profession, even if for some ridiculous reason it has become frowned upon to suggest as much. It's particularly important when, for 95% of us, big law is not our end game.

But I think what it comes down to is what I said a few paragraphs ago: Do you see yourself and want others to see you as a lawyer who happens to work for a big law firm, or do you see yourself as a big law associate?

There is a difference, and I think where you come down on that goes a long way toward your stance on the credit/no credit issue.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby v20lawyer » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:52 am

Objection wrote:
I've found people to be incredibly generous with credit. As for other points: You don't need to sign a brief, that's pretty dumb -- I'd like to see the junior engineer or architect at a firm get credit for their contributions. This is the kind of attitude is what gives 20-somethings a bad name in the professional world. You want credit for something or feel like you did something "on your own", do a small pro bono case, or write an article under your name or whatever. Or just work at your job and do well by your client and feel good about what you did as a team.


This is naive.

Your success as a lawyer, as much as almost any other profession, depends not only on your legal acumen, but also on your ability to market yourself and make a name for yourself.

By limiting your exposure to the clients and to the court and to the media (by way of your name being on the brief, for example; not saying you should be allowed to give statements and the like), the firm you work for completely controls your professional development in terms of marketing. Everything you are and do as a lawyer is by and through the firm, and when they kick you out or your burn out after 5 years, no one will have any idea who you are or what you contributed. Your identity as a lawyer was that as a "[Big Law Firm] Associate," not as an attorney who just happened to work for [Big Law Firm]. Now that [Big Law Firm] no longer has use for you, you must start building your identity from scratch.

If I write the majority of the brief, or even a significant section of the brief, or contribute vital research to the brief, I should have my name on the brief. So should everyone else who did similarly. Even if that means a brief signed by 6 people, so be it. If I write an article, I should be the author or co-author. Being team-oriented and wanting individual credit are not mutually exclusive.

Credit, acknowledgement, and exposure is important in this profession, even if for some ridiculous reason it has become frowned upon to suggest as much. It's particularly important when, for 95% of us, big law is not our end game.

But I think what it comes down to is what I said a few paragraphs ago: Do you see yourself and want others to see you as a lawyer who happens to work for a big law firm, or do you see yourself as a big law associate?

There is a difference, and I think where you come down on that goes a long way toward your stance on the credit/no credit issue.


This is pathetically short-sighted. The first year at biglaw doesn't have a damn thing to do with marketing yourself to the outside world, because everyone with business worth marketing to knows you don't know shit. The first year at biglaw is about marketing yourself within the firm so you can get the most/best experience possible, which in turn helps maximize your internal/external opportunity down the road. Putting your name on a brief/article doesn't have anything to do with that.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:03 pm

v20lawyer wrote:
Objection wrote:
I've found people to be incredibly generous with credit. As for other points: You don't need to sign a brief, that's pretty dumb -- I'd like to see the junior engineer or architect at a firm get credit for their contributions. This is the kind of attitude is what gives 20-somethings a bad name in the professional world. You want credit for something or feel like you did something "on your own", do a small pro bono case, or write an article under your name or whatever. Or just work at your job and do well by your client and feel good about what you did as a team.


This is naive.

Your success as a lawyer, as much as almost any other profession, depends not only on your legal acumen, but also on your ability to market yourself and make a name for yourself.

By limiting your exposure to the clients and to the court and to the media (by way of your name being on the brief, for example; not saying you should be allowed to give statements and the like), the firm you work for completely controls your professional development in terms of marketing. Everything you are and do as a lawyer is by and through the firm, and when they kick you out or your burn out after 5 years, no one will have any idea who you are or what you contributed. Your identity as a lawyer was that as a "[Big Law Firm] Associate," not as an attorney who just happened to work for [Big Law Firm]. Now that [Big Law Firm] no longer has use for you, you must start building your identity from scratch.

If I write the majority of the brief, or even a significant section of the brief, or contribute vital research to the brief, I should have my name on the brief. So should everyone else who did similarly. Even if that means a brief signed by 6 people, so be it. If I write an article, I should be the author or co-author. Being team-oriented and wanting individual credit are not mutually exclusive.

Credit, acknowledgement, and exposure is important in this profession, even if for some ridiculous reason it has become frowned upon to suggest as much. It's particularly important when, for 95% of us, big law is not our end game.

But I think what it comes down to is what I said a few paragraphs ago: Do you see yourself and want others to see you as a lawyer who happens to work for a big law firm, or do you see yourself as a big law associate?

There is a difference, and I think where you come down on that goes a long way toward your stance on the credit/no credit issue.


This is pathetically short-sighted. The first year at biglaw doesn't have a damn thing to do with marketing yourself to the outside world, because everyone with business worth marketing to knows you don't know shit. The first year at biglaw is about marketing yourself within the firm so you can get the most/best experience possible, which in turn helps maximize your internal/external opportunity down the road. Putting your name on a brief/article doesn't have anything to do with that.


And when you're not getting your name on the brief after 2, 3, 4 years, about the time you're ready to go?

You've wasted the past 4 years not doing what you could have done, and should have been allowed to do, to market yourself.

In isolation, a single brief doesn't matter. But when it adds up over the course of a big law career, it can matter. It's not the only marketing tool, but it's a significant one.

If you don't think that having your name on dozens of court filings in high profile cases helps you market yourself (visibility, particularly on search engines, for example), you're wrong.

If you think that the sole goal of marketing yourself is to lateral to another firm somewhere in a few years and continue on the anonymous treadmill, I'm not the one being pathetically short sighted.

If you can't bring in clients or business, you have very little hope of advancing very far as a lawyer in the private sector. One way to start on the path of bringing in clients is to have your name out there.

A lawyer with 4 years of experience at a boutique firm that let him put his name out there is going to be way ahead of the game in terms of pitching to and attracting clients than a lawyer with 4 years of experience at a big law firm who no one has ever heard of before.

When pitching to a client, if it came down to deciding between two people, all else being equal, except one had signed a bunch of filings in huge matters and one was anonymous until the pitch, who do you think they'd choose?

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:24 pm

I've always kinda taken the approach that you shouldn't worry about getting recognition, just do what you're told, do it well, and eventually the recognition will come. Your job as an underling in any workplace, biglawls included, is to make the people you work for look good. If that means busting your balls writing an article and not getting a byline, then that's what it means. Your goal shouldn't be to get credit, your goal should be to add so much value that the people you work for do not want to see you go. Long run, you'll get plenty of recognition that way.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:29 pm

SBL wrote:I've always kinda taken the approach that you shouldn't worry about getting recognition, just do what you're told, do it well, and eventually the recognition will come. Your job as an underling in any workplace, biglawls included, is to make the people you work for look good. If that means busting your balls writing an article and not getting a byline, then that's what it means. Your goal shouldn't be to get credit, your goal should be to add so much value that the people you work for do not want to see you go. Long run, you'll get plenty of recognition that way.


Writing an article isn't billable right? Seems like a waste of fucking time.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:36 pm

SBL wrote:I've always kinda taken the approach that you shouldn't worry about getting recognition, just do what you're told, do it well, and eventually the recognition will come. Your job as an underling in any workplace, biglawls included, is to make the people you work for look good. If that means busting your balls writing an article and not getting a byline, then that's what it means. Your goal shouldn't be to get credit, your goal should be to add so much value that the people you work for do not want to see you go. Long run, you'll get plenty of recognition that way.


That's one approach, but one with which I completely disagree in big law in particular, where there is a good chance you'll be suggested out the door before you start getting recognition. I imagine that recognition goes hand in hand with partner track, and most people aren't going to be on that track.

I think your way is the path to making partner (even though the odds are still against you), but it's not a path that's setting you up to be marketable to clients in the likelihood you don't make partner. And when you look at career paths for burnt out litigators (and most of my criticism is from the litigation perspective), if you ever want to escape that treadmill, you're going to have to market yourself.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:39 pm

Don't you have to do good work before even thinking about marketing yourself to clients? Kind of weird that a first year thinks they can right a brief even worth a client's attention (assuming we are still talking about commercial litigation).

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:45 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:Don't you have to do good work before even thinking about marketing yourself to clients? Kind of weird that a first year thinks they can right a brief even worth a client's attention (assuming we are still talking about commercial litigation).

Also this. I don't really know many junior associates who spend too much time worrying about building their brand with clients. Most people I know just want 3-5 years of biglaw holy water on their resumes so that when they change positions they can start worrying about that kind of thing.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:47 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:Don't you have to do good work before even thinking about marketing yourself to clients? Kind of weird that a first year thinks they can right a brief even worth a client's attention (assuming we are still talking about commercial litigation).


That's not what I'm saying at all.

Let me give an example.

I was on a team of 3 young associates, including myself (1-2 years in). There was a senior associate (5-6 years) who is one of the few who seems to clearly be on partner track. Then there was the partner.

All three of the young associates drafted the brief entirely. One of the young associates was responsible for taking the drafted sections and combining them into a coherent whole, editing it to flow, and basically turning it into the brief form.

We edited it, added some research at the senior associate's direction. He did some edits, we drafted and edited some more. Trimmed it down to the page limit. So on and so forth. Worked late (2 AM) to finalize it.

The only people on the signature block?

Partner and senior associate.

There is not a single good reason why the entire team couldn't have been listed.

This is par for the course.

I'm not saying send me on pitches or allow me to be the sole drafter, editor, and submitter of our brief, but when my contribution to the brief or filing is substantial, list me as well as everyone else similarly positioned.

Also this. I don't really know many junior associates who spend too much time worrying about building their brand with clients. Most people I know just want 3-5 years of biglaw holy water on their resumes so that when they change positions they can start worrying about that kind of thing.


This is a mistake, in my opinion.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:54 pm

Objection: Were you even admitted to practice? At my firm, you only didn't get included in the block if it got really long or of you weren't admitted to the bar.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:57 pm

Objection wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:Don't you have to do good work before even thinking about marketing yourself to clients? Kind of weird that a first year thinks they can right a brief even worth a client's attention (assuming we are still talking about commercial litigation).


That's not what I'm saying at all.

Let me give an example.

I was on a team of 3 young associates, including myself (1-2 years in). There was a senior associate (5-6 years) who is one of the few who seems to clearly be on partner track. Then there was the partner.

All three of the young associates drafted the brief entirely. One of the young associates was responsible for taking the drafted sections and combining them into a coherent whole, editing it to flow, and basically turning it into the brief form.

We edited it, added some research at the senior associate's direction. He did some edits, we drafted and edited some more. Trimmed it down to the page limit. So on and so forth. Worked late (2 AM) to finalize it.

The only people on the signature block?

Partner and senior associate.

There is not a single good reason why the entire team couldn't have been listed.

This is par for the course.

I'm not saying send me on pitches or allow me to be the sole drafter, editor, and submitter of our brief, but when my contribution to the brief or filing is substantial, list me as well as everyone else similarly positioned.

I guess I just don't see how this is a biggie. Who cares if some judicial clerk didn't see your name in the top-left corner of the brief? What matters is that the partner and the soon-to-be-partner know who did the work and (with luck) that it was good work. You gotta know who your audience is man.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:14 pm

I've always kinda taken the approach that you shouldn't worry about getting recognition, just do what you're told, do it well, and eventually the recognition will come.
Lololololol. I nearly chocked reading this. I really mean no offense by this, but you must be young. Let us know in a couple of years how that works out for you.

In any environment filled with ambitious AAA personalities, a healthy amount of self-promotion is required to get credit that is due. There is a fine line between ensuring you get your rightful credit, and being a pompous asshole. Frankly, I don't know where that line is. What I do know for fact just from working (non legal) for more than decade is that merely "putting your head down and doing good work and letting the work speak for itself" is NOT gonna cut it in a competitive environment. You WILL get run over by people with less talent and output than you but who know how to present themselves better. Even as a summer associate, I noticed this among the summer class. No work environment is a pure meritocracy. Salesmanship is a part of the game of getting ahead.

All that aside, expecting your name on a brief as first or second year is pure silliness. No client wants a junior associate taking a leading role in their matters, espcially since biglaw clients are experienced lawyers themselves who know how clueless junior associates can be. They are not paying hundreds of dollars per hour to have some snot-nosed second year signing their briefs.

A corporate counsel recently told me that she chose outside lawyers (note that she didn't say "firms") in part based on their personality, depending on what kind of message she wants to send the other side. It was revealing of her awareness of the gamesmanship that litigation involves. So, what kind of message do you think the other side would be getting from a brief signed by a second year?

If immediate marketability and recognition outside of your firm is what you seek, biglaw isn't for you. This isn't meant to be disparaging. At this point, after months of hard thinking about where I am in life and what I want going forward, I am becoming quite certain (independently of this thread and the other one) that it isn't for me either.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I've always kinda taken the approach that you shouldn't worry about getting recognition, just do what you're told, do it well, and eventually the recognition will come.
Lololololol. I nearly chocked reading this. I really mean no offense by this, but you must be young. Let us know in a couple of years how that works out for you.

In any environment filled with ambitious AAA personalities, a healthy amount of self-promotion is required to get credit that is due. There is a fine line between ensuring you get your rightful credit, and being a pompous asshole. Frankly, I don't know where that line is. What I do know for fact just from working (non legal) for more than decade is that merely "putting your head down and doing good work and letting the work speak for itself" is NOT gonna cut it in a competitive environment. You WILL get run over by people with less talent and output than you but who know how to present themselves better. Even as a summer associate, I noticed this among the summer class. No work environment is a pure meritocracy. Salesmanship is a part of the game of getting ahead.

All that aside, expecting your name on a brief as first or second year is pure silliness. No client wants a junior associate taking a leading role in their matters, espcially since biglaw clients are experienced lawyers themselves who know how clueless junior associates can be. They are not paying hundreds of dollars per hour to have some snot-nosed second year signing their briefs.

A corporate counsel recently told me that she chose outside lawyers (note that she didn't say "firms") in part based on their personality, depending on what kind of message she wants to send the other side. It was revealing of her awareness of the gamesmanship that litigation involves. So, what kind of message do you think the other side would be getting from a brief signed by a second year?

If immediate marketability and recognition outside of your firm is what you seek, biglaw isn't for you. This isn't meant to be disparaging. At this point, after months of hard thinking about where I am in life and what I want going forward, I am becoming quite certain (independently of this thread and the other one) that it isn't for me either.

I'm really not sure what to make of this other than that you seem convinced that spending a decade doing something else before law school left you with some serious wisdom, which, for your sake, I hope it did.

I'm not saying that junior associates should just cease to have personalities and let the brilliance of their doc review speak for itself. Obviously, you should have a personality and be the kind of person that people like. But your self-promotion should probably end there - be well-liked and do good work. Young attorneys (or, in your case, new attorneys) who put effort into self-promotion and "personal branding" tend almost invariably to be assholes.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:37 pm

SBL wrote:
Objection wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:Don't you have to do good work before even thinking about marketing yourself to clients? Kind of weird that a first year thinks they can right a brief even worth a client's attention (assuming we are still talking about commercial litigation).


That's not what I'm saying at all.

Let me give an example.

I was on a team of 3 young associates, including myself (1-2 years in). There was a senior associate (5-6 years) who is one of the few who seems to clearly be on partner track. Then there was the partner.

All three of the young associates drafted the brief entirely. One of the young associates was responsible for taking the drafted sections and combining them into a coherent whole, editing it to flow, and basically turning it into the brief form.

We edited it, added some research at the senior associate's direction. He did some edits, we drafted and edited some more. Trimmed it down to the page limit. So on and so forth. Worked late (2 AM) to finalize it.

The only people on the signature block?

Partner and senior associate.

There is not a single good reason why the entire team couldn't have been listed.

This is par for the course.

I'm not saying send me on pitches or allow me to be the sole drafter, editor, and submitter of our brief, but when my contribution to the brief or filing is substantial, list me as well as everyone else similarly positioned.

I guess I just don't see how this is a biggie. Who cares if some judicial clerk didn't see your name in the top-left corner of the brief? What matters is that the partner and the soon-to-be-partner know who did the work and (with luck) that it was good work. You gotta know who your audience is man.


Your only legal contact with the outside world is those briefs. Court sees it, media sees it, clients see it.

What the partner thinks only matters if you want to make partner, and pleasing the partner and getting credit aren't mutually exclusive anyway.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:52 pm

Objection wrote: contact with the outside world.

I don't know what this is.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:04 pm

How long can you last of you truly, deeply give no fucks?

I don't mean doing bad work, but I mean if you say no to "requests" that you help on something and not being a properly deferential underling. E.g. Partner A, after you've done a few deals with him , that you are too busy to meet his Monday morning deadline, knowing that he will never give you anymore work, since you can always suck up to Partner B, who you never met before.

Eventually your internal reputation catches up with you, and you are let go. But it seems that institutional inertia, bull shit excuses, and they fact that law firms don't seem very well-managed, might buy you enough pay checks (18-24 months) to get you some serious seed money. (I have no student debt)


Any thoughts?

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How long can you last of you truly, deeply give no fucks?

I don't mean doing bad work, but I mean if you say no to "requests" that you help on something and not being a properly deferential underling. E.g. Partner A, after you've done a few deals with him , that you are too busy to meet his Monday morning deadline, knowing that he will never give you anymore work, since you can always suck up to Partner B, who you never met before.

Eventually your internal reputation catches up with you, and you are let go. But it seems that institutional inertia, bull shit excuses, and they fact that law firms don't seem very well-managed, might buy you enough pay checks (18-24 months) to get you some serious seed money. (I have no student debt)


Any thoughts?


If you do it in a politically correct way, you can probably last a couple years. You'll also find that this is how you find happiness in big law, even if you don't necessarily find a career. Hold fast to what is important to you outside of work, and be very selective in your willingness to compromise any of that.

One thing to be careful of...you need to get out before your reputation becomes so bad that even partners with whom you've developed a good relationship won't be good references for other positions.

Doing that, I lasted 6 months and landed on my feet. I probably could have made it another year.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How long can you last of you truly, deeply give no fucks?

I don't mean doing bad work, but I mean if you say no to "requests" that you help on something and not being a properly deferential underling. E.g. Partner A, after you've done a few deals with him , that you are too busy to meet his Monday morning deadline, knowing that he will never give you anymore work, since you can always suck up to Partner B, who you never met before.

Eventually your internal reputation catches up with you, and you are let go. But it seems that institutional inertia, bull shit excuses, and they fact that law firms don't seem very well-managed, might buy you enough pay checks (18-24 months) to get you some serious seed money. (I have no student debt)


Any thoughts?


This is also my question. I have no debt. In fact I made money while in law school. I have a Big Law SA and just want to collect some pay checks before they kick me out. How long can I get by in Big Law without volunteering for anything and just doing my work. I plan on transitioning to another field entirely where my JD is just preferred so I could care less about lateral opportunites which would require me to do as much high skill work as possible. Could I make it three years if I don't rock the boat?

Also I want to thank SBL and Objection. The discussion between you two has been great. It's nice to see people with drasticly different opinions argue on TLS without resorting to snarky comments or name calling. I think it's great that you both laid out two valid points and defended them. I actually learned something from this thread.

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Objection
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How long can you last of you truly, deeply give no fucks?

I don't mean doing bad work, but I mean if you say no to "requests" that you help on something and not being a properly deferential underling. E.g. Partner A, after you've done a few deals with him , that you are too busy to meet his Monday morning deadline, knowing that he will never give you anymore work, since you can always suck up to Partner B, who you never met before.

Eventually your internal reputation catches up with you, and you are let go. But it seems that institutional inertia, bull shit excuses, and they fact that law firms don't seem very well-managed, might buy you enough pay checks (18-24 months) to get you some serious seed money. (I have no student debt)


Any thoughts?


This is also my question. I have no debt. In fact I made money while in law school. I have a Big Law SA and just want to collect some pay checks before they kick me out. How long can I get by in Big Law without volunteering for anything and just doing my work. I plan on transitioning to another field entirely where my JD is just preferred so I could care less about lateral opportunites which would require me to do as much high skill work as possible. Could I make it three years if I don't rock the boat?

Also I want to thank SBL and Objection. The discussion between you two has been great. It's nice to see people with drasticly different opinions argue on TLS without resorting to snarky comments or name calling. I think it's great that you both laid out two valid points and defended them. I actually learned something from this thread.


I think you're well-positioned to actually be happy in big law. When you don't need or want the exit opportunities or partnership, leave at 6 every day, bill 1400 hours your first year, they'll tell you to up it your 2nd year, leave right before your end of year review.

v20lawyer
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby v20lawyer » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:26 pm

Objection wrote:
Your only legal contact with the outside world is those briefs. Court sees it, media sees it, clients see it.

What the partner thinks only matters if you want to make partner, and pleasing the partner and getting credit aren't mutually exclusive anyway.


You're clueless. It's one thing to complain about biglaw, and there are a lot of things to complain about, but this is just ridiculous.

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

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:28 pm

Objection wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How long can you last of you truly, deeply give no fucks?

I don't mean doing bad work, but I mean if you say no to "requests" that you help on something and not being a properly deferential underling. E.g. Partner A, after you've done a few deals with him , that you are too busy to meet his Monday morning deadline, knowing that he will never give you anymore work, since you can always suck up to Partner B, who you never met before.

Eventually your internal reputation catches up with you, and you are let go. But it seems that institutional inertia, bull shit excuses, and they fact that law firms don't seem very well-managed, might buy you enough pay checks (18-24 months) to get you some serious seed money. (I have no student debt)


Any thoughts?


This is also my question. I have no debt. In fact I made money while in law school. I have a Big Law SA and just want to collect some pay checks before they kick me out. How long can I get by in Big Law without volunteering for anything and just doing my work. I plan on transitioning to another field entirely where my JD is just preferred so I could care less about lateral opportunites which would require me to do as much high skill work as possible. Could I make it three years if I don't rock the boat?

Also I want to thank SBL and Objection. The discussion between you two has been great. It's nice to see people with drasticly different opinions argue on TLS without resorting to snarky comments or name calling. I think it's great that you both laid out two valid points and defended them. I actually learned something from this thread.


I think you're well-positioned to actually be happy in big law. When you don't need or want the exit opportunities or partnership, leave at 6 every day, bill 1400 hours your first year, they'll tell you to up it your 2nd year, leave right before your end of year review.


1400 sounds like a really small amount. I wouldn't get fired for that?

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Objection
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:30 pm

v20lawyer wrote:
Objection wrote:
Your only legal contact with the outside world is those briefs. Court sees it, media sees it, clients see it.

What the partner thinks only matters if you want to make partner, and pleasing the partner and getting credit aren't mutually exclusive anyway.


You're clueless. It's one thing to complain about biglaw, and there are a lot of things to complain about, but this is just ridiculous.


And you're just wrong because you don't understand the value of marketing yourself, even incrementally.

1400 sounds like a really small amount. I wouldn't get fired for that?


First year? No guarantees, but probably not. Especially if you're at a financially stable firm.

Though maybe 1400 was an exaggeration. 1600 is probably safer.




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