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

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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 31, 2013 4:48 pm

Just one more point. One guy I know, who is now partner, always drives home one piece of advice: It's a marathon, not a sprint.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:12 pm

As a summer associate or first-year, what are the warning signs that should tip me off to the partners or senior associates that are bad to work for? Conversely, what should I be looking for in terms of partners/senior associates?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a summer associate or first-year, what are the warning signs that should tip me off to the partners or senior associates that are bad to work for? Conversely, what should I be looking for in terms of partners/senior associates?


And on a similar note, if you end up working with a partner or associate that makes your life hell as as summer, how likely is it that you will continue to work with this person if you come back? Is it easier to avoid him/her entirely a year later?

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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 31, 2013 10:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a summer associate or first-year, what are the warning signs that should tip me off to the partners or senior associates that are bad to work for? Conversely, what should I be looking for in terms of partners/senior associates?


It's not always as black and white as people on TLS make it seem. Sometimes the biggest assholes have the most work and give you the best shot at making partner. Sometimes the nicest and easiest to work with are a one-way road to nowhere. You really need a good mentor in the firm, someone with a similar background who has progressed significantly in the firm. Watch who they work with, how they work with them, and generally how they go about interacting with the other attorneys in your firm.

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wert3813
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby wert3813 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:45 am

OP and other first years who chimed in it's been a year. If you are still around give us an update. As much as you feel comfortable sharing, hours, advancement, quality of work, overall happiness, lessons learned.

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wert3813
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby wert3813 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:46 pm

Ha. Maybe the silence is my answer.

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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 10, 2014 3:50 pm

wert3813 wrote:OP and other first years who chimed in it's been a year. If you are still around give us an update. As much as you feel comfortable sharing, hours, advancement, quality of work, overall happiness, lessons learned.


You shouldn't expect first years to write a novel about their experiences for you when this information is already all over this forum. Just do some searches. If you have any specific questions, people would be much more likely to answer.

jd20132013
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby jd20132013 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:57 pm

I would like to know how you've managed to maintain a healthy life outside of work. E.g., eating right, exercising, relationships, etc. My impression is that it might get harder as time goes on, so I'd be interested in a perspective

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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 10, 2014 4:16 pm

wert3813 wrote:Ha. Maybe the silence is my answer.


Or maybe reading TLS isn't the first thing on a brutally overworked associate's mind when they have a rare pocket of free time.




The world doesn't revolve around you, dumbass.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Objection wrote:Some people take the sabbath. Some people take Hanukkah. Some people take Ramadan.

Bringing something up that Objection mentioned a few pages back, I'm wondering if some folks here can talk about sabbath observance, specifically in top tier-NYC firms, or in other areas. This is an important issue to me, but I'm wondering what to expect and how I should go about my observance. Hoping not to annoy too many people or abandon too many projects. If I'm responsive and willing to work 24/6, does that make up for it?


Don't worry. Biglaw shuts down during that time. You couldn't get work done even if you wanted to.

What about weekly observance?


I have worked with weekly observers, and it can be annoying to be perfectly honest. Work doesn't stop just because it is Sunday. That said, you will annoy your peers (everyone else has to work harder to get these documents reviewed in time for the Monday status update the senior has to make), more than you'll annoy seniors or partners. You can mitigate this to a degree by pitching in extra elsewhere, or at least making sure you get your assigned folders done early so other people don't have to do them.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Above anon -- I am not at a firm yet so am not pretending to know anything, but I made this thread asking a similar question, and some responses might be helpful: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 3&t=204199

Thank you. And man that thread had some scary responses, which I think you would be wise not to generalize to the entire profession. I work in NYC big law, and do not find those responses to be at all reflective of life at my firm. Yes, there will occasionally be some weekend work to do, but there is nothing even close to approaching a weekend "face time" requirement--in fact, you'd be looked at like you were insane if you even suggested such a thing at my firm. Hell, you usually get chided for being a gunner if you're there past 5 or 6 on a Friday. Obviously it varies from firm to firm, department to department, and even project to project, but don't believe that the out of control hours-churning culture is the same at all NYC firms. It's not.


I worked at a V5 before clerking, and "weekend face time" seems ridiculous to me. Even when we were slammed, the place would be empty on weekends. I'd actually come into the office to do weekend work because I loved having the floor to myself.

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wert3813
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby wert3813 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:34 pm

zweitbester wrote:
wert3813 wrote:Ha. Maybe the silence is my answer.


Or maybe reading TLS isn't the first thing on a brutally overworked associate's mind when they have a rare pocket of free time.




The world doesn't revolve around you, dumbass.

LOL. It was designed to bump the thread since the majority of people who posted information were anon and thus would only see it if they were looking at the employment page (since anon posts don't show up in your posts). But if freaking out on me is gonna make your day a little better, go for it.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:59 pm

wert3813 wrote:Ha. Maybe the silence is my answer.


OP here:

Chill - I'm still at work :lol:

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:05 pm

Question for OP and the others who have so kindly chimed in: after how many years do associates typically lateral?

I've considered taking a second bar in addition to the state where I will be working on the chance that I eventually lateral to the bigger market closer to home, but might otherwise wait for reciprocity after five years given state #2 is significantly harder than my state and I have no intention of leaving. Also, don't want partners thinking that I'm going to jump ship, but would hate to be stuck for five years if the best chance to lateral is after three years, for example. Any insight from your experience?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:
I have worked with weekly observers, and it can be annoying to be perfectly honest. Work doesn't stop just because it is Sunday. That said, you will annoy your peers (everyone else has to work harder to get these documents reviewed in time for the Monday status update the senior has to make), more than you'll annoy seniors or partners. You can mitigate this to a degree by pitching in extra elsewhere, or at least making sure you get your assigned folders done early so other people don't have to do them.


You've got it all wrong. Everyone needs to (and does) carve out personal time for themselves. I am at a NYC V-5 and I consistently bill 220+ hours a month. I get Sundays off by working my tail off the rest of the week. Others choose to go home sooner/come in later and work on Sunday, but my hours or ability to get things done are in no way affected by my choice to take Sundays off.

We all have to (and do) make lifestyle choices. But I can assure you that it is just as annoying to me when a key person is not in the office before I start/finish work as it is for you when someone is not available on Sundays.

Finally, something that far too many people don't realize is that generally in biglaw you will only get respected to the extent you respect yourself. I stand up for my beliefs and prove it by making sacrifices at other times for those beliefs. I am incredibly busy because others respect my work product and my work ethic. That has not been affected in any way by deciding not to work on Sundays.




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