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

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

Postby Sup Kid » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:30 pm

Objection wrote:
Objection - I've never heard anybody gripe about the fact that counted/tallied billable years for first years starts after they've been around at the firm for a while. I really don't see the detriment - it's more time to get integrated with the firm before expectations mount? I just don't see how it leaves you screwed at all...


To clarify what I meant:

Because you're being worked as if your hours are being counted/tallied. I lost over 300 hours BILLED for my one month at the firm prior to the reset. Do you think I would have billed 300 hours if I knew I wasn't going to be able to bank them? Would anyone who doesn't care about making partner?

And who cares about getting integrated with the firm? In big law, you either care about making partner, in which case integration might matter, or you care about billing enough hours to keep your job for 5 years to pay off loans but not so many hours you hate your life. I didn't care about making partner.

Also, an observation: I have said repeatedly that I understand big law for corporate more than I do for lit. Almost everyone in this thread defending big law has been corporate. Have any lit people spoken up in defense yet?

That's definitely an unfortunate situation, but I think you're wrong when you say most firms try to hide the ball, so to speak. My firm, and others that I have friends at, are very open at when the billable year begins and ends. In my case, I started in October, knowing that none of my hours in October/November/December would "count". It was great because we could do lots of trainings, meet with people during the day to get a feel for different departments and groups, and generally take the time to better understand the bigger picture/multiple aspects of a transaction (I'm in corporate), rather than just do the typical first-year signature pages and closing sets.

Also, this is not so much about "getting integrated with the firm" than it is having the time to pick up tons of knowledge that a) you would not learn about in law school and b) is going to be very useful going forward.

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

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:32 pm

Objection wrote:And there are no better, employee friendly ways to treat a stub year than by 1) not telling anyone about it (how it worked, when it reset, how it was treated, etc) and 2) not counting it at all for the next cycle?


It was common knowledge among all my law school classmates going into law firms what a stub year was...

And any particular aspects of a firm's financials were pretty completely disclosed to us during the summer program. Just a matter of keeping your eyes and ears open, and maybe digging around by asking a few associates if you didn't learn anything from firm presentations.

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

Postby Objection » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:37 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Objection wrote:And there are no better, employee friendly ways to treat a stub year than by 1) not telling anyone about it (how it worked, when it reset, how it was treated, etc) and 2) not counting it at all for the next cycle?


It was common knowledge among all my law school classmates going into law firms what a stub year was...

And any particular aspects of a firm's financials were pretty completely disclosed to us during the summer program. Just a matter of keeping your eyes and ears open, and maybe digging around by asking a few associates if you didn't learn anything from firm presentations.


You're talking past the point.

Knowing what a stub year is is not the same as knowing how it's treated or when it comes into play. I admit I never thought to ask because the "you lose it all, sorry" is such a shitty thing to do I didn't think it would be done. Naive.

Regardless, it's perfectly possible that it was a firm specific thing. As I said, your firm may not try to screw you in the same ways mine did, but it will try.

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

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:39 pm

Objection wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
Objection wrote:And there are no better, employee friendly ways to treat a stub year than by 1) not telling anyone about it (how it worked, when it reset, how it was treated, etc) and 2) not counting it at all for the next cycle?


It was common knowledge among all my law school classmates going into law firms what a stub year was...

And any particular aspects of a firm's financials were pretty completely disclosed to us during the summer program. Just a matter of keeping your eyes and ears open, and maybe digging around by asking a few associates if you didn't learn anything from firm presentations.


You're talking past the point.

Knowing what a stub year is is not the same as knowing how it's treated or when it comes into play. I admit I never thought to ask because the "you lose it all, sorry" is such a shitty thing to do I didn't think it would be done. Naive.

Regardless, it's perfectly possible that it was a firm specific thing. As I said, your firm may not try to screw you in the same ways mine did, but it will try.


LOL this is great stuff.

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

Postby Objection » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:45 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:

LOL this is great stuff.


It is, because that you think a stub year by definition means or should mean no credit for anything sort of shows your Stockholm perspective on the subject. Even if it is how it is done, it is a shitty way to treat employees.

Half credit? Bonus based on your stub hours? Make the first year hours calculations for new associates 12+stub length? A simple note about the stub year policy in the start date selection form?

All are better than what is done.

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

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:50 pm

Objection wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:

LOL this is great stuff.


It is, because that you think a stub year by definition means or should mean no credit for anything sort of shows your Stockholm perspective on the subject. Even if it is how it is done, it is a shitty way to treat employees.

Half credit? Bonus based on your stub hours? Make the first year hours calculations for new associates 12+stub length? A simple note about the stub year policy in the start date selection form?

All are better than what is done.


Please continue.

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

Postby Lasers » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:53 pm

Objection wrote:
spaceman82 wrote:Objection: Sorry if you've mentioned this before and I missed it, but what does your current job involve? Do you feel like the higher-ups at your current workplace have more respect for you, your time, etc., and that's what makes it preferable? Or is it more of a matter of having a more relaxed schedule (although I recognize the two go hand-in-hand to a certain extent)?

OP: Your job actually sounds pretty interesting to me, but does it feel like drudgery when you're actually doing it? Do you feel that you're learning a lot (compared to what you would be learning elsewhere) and how long do you plan to stay with your current firm?


Answering as vague as possible: a combo of all the above. It's very small (under 20 attorneys) allowing for direct partner contact and significant responsibility, no billable hour (meaning you get your work done with a concern for quality and nothing else), the type of work makes me feel better about myself, and opportunities for advancement are plentiful.

your situation sounds pretty ideal, but from a lot of what i've read and heard, i'd venture to say this is not the norm. small firms have their own detractors, and most will not pay $100,000, much less close to market. i don't think it's inaccurate to say that outside of biglaw, there are almost no jobs that will pay near that salary for new grads, anecdotal exceptions notwithstanding.

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:57 pm

Sup. Billed 14 hours this weekend.

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

Postby Blessedassurance » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:14 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Sup. Billed 14 hours this weekend.


How many hours spent in total? Pad?

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:21 am

Blessedassurance wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Sup. Billed 14 hours this weekend.


How many hours spent in total? Pad?


What do you mean "spent"? No, I don't pad.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:39 am

OP here -

In my experience, weekend time is damn near 100% hours spent -> hours billed. You aren't chilling waiting for work like might happen during the work week. Maybe on an especially long day a dinner break or something wouldn't be billed, or time catching up with another associate also needing to be in on the weekend, but...

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

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:50 am

Objection wrote:
spaceman82 wrote:Objection: Sorry if you've mentioned this before and I missed it, but what does your current job involve? Do you feel like the higher-ups at your current workplace have more respect for you, your time, etc., and that's what makes it preferable? Or is it more of a matter of having a more relaxed schedule (although I recognize the two go hand-in-hand to a certain extent)?

OP: Your job actually sounds pretty interesting to me, but does it feel like drudgery when you're actually doing it? Do you feel that you're learning a lot (compared to what you would be learning elsewhere) and how long do you plan to stay with your current firm?


Answering as vague as possible: a combo of all the above. It's very small (under 20 attorneys) allowing for direct partner contact and significant responsibility, no billable hour (meaning you get your work done with a concern for quality and nothing else), the type of work makes me feel better about myself, and opportunities for advancement are plentiful.


I thought you were doing that other thing (trying to not out you). at least that's what your LinkedIn says.

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

Postby wiseowl » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:26 pm

There's a lot of reasons to be pissed off at how Biglaw works, but "I didn't know when my billing year started and how the hours would be counted" isn't one of them.

All of your hours from your summer were similarly flushed down the toilet. Did you care then?

You could have found out when the fiscal year ended with about a 30 second phone call or a short foray into your billing software. I recognize your time sucked but your vitriol as compared to what actually happened is, uh, interesting.

v20lawyer
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby v20lawyer » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:57 pm

This thread really needs a disclaimer at the very beginning letting future readers know they shoulnd't pay attention to any of Objection's BS and why. If OP could make that happen it'd be great.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:17 pm

random question-

firm gives us option of using our personal cell phone for work email or getting a separate firm-issued phone. Any suggestions? Is it better to have everything on one phone or better to keep them separate?

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ph5354a
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby ph5354a » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:random question-

firm gives us option of using our personal cell phone for work email or getting a separate firm-issued phone. Any suggestions? Is it better to have everything on one phone or better to keep them separate?


Out of curiosity, if you use your own phone, do they pay for your cell phone plan, or only if you use a firm phone?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:42 pm

OP here -

I like having the phones separate. Should make departure less messy, and less risk of cross-contamination. Obviously it's clunkier and probably a bit more expensive this way of course.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:51 pm

ph5354a wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:random question-

firm gives us option of using our personal cell phone for work email or getting a separate firm-issued phone. Any suggestions? Is it better to have everything on one phone or better to keep them separate?


Out of curiosity, if you use your own phone, do they pay for your cell phone plan, or only if you use a firm phone?


V15 associate here: our firm pays $25 per month to cover some of my data plan. I use my personal device to receive firm email. LOL @ fat pocket dual device havers.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ph5354a wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:random question-

firm gives us option of using our personal cell phone for work email or getting a separate firm-issued phone. Any suggestions? Is it better to have everything on one phone or better to keep them separate?


Out of curiosity, if you use your own phone, do they pay for your cell phone plan, or only if you use a firm phone?


V15 associate here: our firm pays $25 per month to cover some of my data plan. I use my personal device to receive firm email. LOL @ fat pocket dual device havers.

Ya but dat reasonable expectation of privacy bro

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
ph5354a wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:random question-

firm gives us option of using our personal cell phone for work email or getting a separate firm-issued phone. Any suggestions? Is it better to have everything on one phone or better to keep them separate?


Out of curiosity, if you use your own phone, do they pay for your cell phone plan, or only if you use a firm phone?


V15 associate here: our firm pays $25 per month to cover some of my data plan. I use my personal device to receive firm email. LOL @ fat pocket dual device havers.

Ya but dat reasonable expectation of privacy bro


My firm uses an app called Goode. So they can probably read that app's data, but they can't read what is on your phone.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My firm uses an app called Goode. So they can probably read that app's data, but they can't read what is on your phone.

Sounds reasonable, but don't come crying to me when they end up finding out about all the dick pics you've been drunk-texting people.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My firm uses an app called Goode. So they can probably read that app's data, but they can't read what is on your phone.

Sounds reasonable, but don't come crying to me when they end up finding out about all the dick pics you've been drunk-texting people.


Excuse me AT&T. I promise you I'm this guys boss. And I promise you, I give him 25 bucks a month so he can access his email on the phone he pays for, owns, and is under contact for. Will you let me spy on him!

I certainly wouldn't use my employers phone for personal stuff, but this is different. It is your phone and your service.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ph5354a wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:random question-

firm gives us option of using our personal cell phone for work email or getting a separate firm-issued phone. Any suggestions? Is it better to have everything on one phone or better to keep them separate?


Out of curiosity, if you use your own phone, do they pay for your cell phone plan, or only if you use a firm phone?


V15 associate here: our firm pays $25 per month to cover some of my data plan. I use my personal device to receive firm email. LOL @ fat pocket dual device havers.


My situation would be exactly this (might even be the same firm). Everyone I ask gives me a different opinion.

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

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ph5354a wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:random question-

firm gives us option of using our personal cell phone for work email or getting a separate firm-issued phone. Any suggestions? Is it better to have everything on one phone or better to keep them separate?


Out of curiosity, if you use your own phone, do they pay for your cell phone plan, or only if you use a firm phone?


V15 associate here: our firm pays $25 per month to cover some of my data plan. I use my personal device to receive firm email. LOL @ fat pocket dual device havers.


But your firm didn't tell you this in an "employee friendly" way before you started. Therefore, BIGLAW SUCKS.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:49 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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