New associate banter

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
jd20132013
Posts: 997
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:11 pm

Joe Quincy wrote:
SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm the worst biller. At the end of the day, I'm like that took me about 2.5 hours. :O :X

This is legitimately a bad thing to do for about a million reasons


This. Its not that hard. I have an app on my phone that tracks it for you and then you can email a report to yourself/secretary from the app. It even lets you setup how each client gets billed (.1/.25/etc).


Mind posting the app?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273536
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:17 pm

Can we share our buzz words for process as a corporate junior?

Drafting , reviewing and revising are my go-to words when I've got custody of a document or a chain. What about when you're making calls, tracking process, checking up on things? I've had various language but never anything I'm fully satisfied with.

Also, +1 to billing solo work with calls. "Reviewing precedent transaction documents, initial drafting of [document] and discussion with [senior associate] about transaction" or "Call with client and followup revisions to [document]." So money.

Ex.: A Monday morning deal closing. I'm in the office and glued to the deal from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm when we get final confirmation that the wire has hit. You can bet I'm billing every minute, but I've done a million tasks and not all of them lend themselves to active verbs (i.e. "yelling at the screen demanding the cross receipt to hurry about and come through")

User avatar
snowpeach06
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:32 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby snowpeach06 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:27 pm

Boss just handed off one of his pro bono projects to me. The problem is, he hurredly gave me just a list of documents to work from, gave me 0 background on the issue and did not make it at all clear what legal questions were involved. I basically have a list of copyright righted works and no idea what he wants from me. What the hell do I do in this scenario?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273536
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:55 pm

SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm the worst biller. At the end of the day, I'm like that took me about 2.5 hours. :O :X

This is legitimately a bad thing to do for about a million reasons


Its not like I lie. I keep track meaning if I start something at 10AM, and finish around 2PM.. I bill 4 hours (even if I got up to pee). I just dont sit there billing all day .25 for this .25 for that. The only time I seperate out billing for the same client/matter is if its phone calls / meetings (b/c we have different internal codes for those).

Do you guys legit do billing entries all day long? I know partners don't bill for days - so theres no way they have complete accuracy.

My old firm when I was a paralegal had a timer on their billing program where you can set it to a client/matter number and it would bill as you work then you can shut it off or switch to a different client/matter. That was cool - but I dont have that here.

lukertin
Posts: 775
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:16 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby lukertin » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:13 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:Boss just handed off one of his pro bono projects to me. The problem is, he hurredly gave me just a list of documents to work from, gave me 0 background on the issue and did not make it at all clear what legal questions were involved. I basically have a list of copyright righted works and no idea what he wants from me. What the hell do I do in this scenario?

Ask him exactly what he wants you to do?

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby NYstate » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:20 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:Boss just handed off one of his pro bono projects to me. The problem is, he hurredly gave me just a list of documents to work from, gave me 0 background on the issue and did not make it at all clear what legal questions were involved. I basically have a list of copyright righted works and no idea what he wants from me. What the hell do I do in this scenario?


Read (or at least review quickly) everything first. Find out about the client as much as you can.
Is there a pro bono coordinator from an agency or group who gave you guys this matter? Find out who and call them to touch base unless you don't think your boss would want you to.
Then go back and tell him that you have reviewed everything and ask about the next step. That way you can have an intelligent discussion with him.

User avatar
snowpeach06
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:32 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby snowpeach06 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:40 pm

lukertin wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:Boss just handed off one of his pro bono projects to me. The problem is, he hurredly gave me just a list of documents to work from, gave me 0 background on the issue and did not make it at all clear what legal questions were involved. I basically have a list of copyright righted works and no idea what he wants from me. What the hell do I do in this scenario?

Ask him exactly what he wants you to do?

I think the issue is that he probably thought he told me what to do. My boss has this unfortunate way of speaking such that no one really knows what he is saying. He never finishes a sentence, assumes that everyone has his background as the former head of a government office and yet still manages to go on hour long monologues with mostly irrelevant information. Even if you try to interrupt, it doesn't really work. I can ask him again, but I doubt it will be more clear. I might try asking over e-mail or something. He still responds to e-mails in a bit of a round-about way, but, it's usually better than his verbal speech.

NYstate wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:Boss just handed off one of his pro bono projects to me. The problem is, he hurredly gave me just a list of documents to work from, gave me 0 background on the issue and did not make it at all clear what legal questions were involved. I basically have a list of copyright righted works and no idea what he wants from me. What the hell do I do in this scenario?


Read (or at least review quickly) everything first. Find out about the client as much as you can.
Is there a pro bono coordinator from an agency or group who gave you guys this matter? Find out who and call them to touch base unless you don't think your boss would want you to.
Then go back and tell him that you have reviewed everything and ask about the next step. That way you can have an intelligent discussion with him.

Ohh, yeah, so, by "documents" I mean I have one document, which I read. All it has is the title of something that may be a book or possibly recording, an author and the date the work was first published. I gathered from my boss's ramblings that they were first published in the UK, and likely have something to do with the Berne Convention. I also have no idea who gave him this project because, basically I work for a non-profit and my boss does lots of his own stuff on the side. This is one of his personal side projects, and his personal documents are not on our server for me to look through. I might do some research on the Berne Convention, and hopefully that will make it seem like I was working, despite not knowing the assignment. Ugh, shit.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby 09042014 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:23 pm

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
IAFG wrote:The suggestion was do to things in bigger chunks so instead of .1 email, turn that into a .3 something more substantive.

Just roll in into whatever bigger thing you're doing on the matter.

Right, that's what I am saying


When a firm doesn't allow you to block bill, does that mean they are trying to get you to stuff like this:

.25 hours - email - really took 5 minutes
.25 hours -reviewed draft - really took 5 minutes
.25 made phonecall - really took 2 minutes.

BAM 12 minutes into 45.

User avatar
Joe Quincy
Posts: 404
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:42 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:29 pm

jd20132013 wrote:
Joe Quincy wrote:
SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm the worst biller. At the end of the day, I'm like that took me about 2.5 hours. :O :X

This is legitimately a bad thing to do for about a million reasons


This. Its not that hard. I have an app on my phone that tracks it for you and then you can email a report to yourself/secretary from the app. It even lets you setup how each client gets billed (.1/.25/etc).


Mind posting the app?


https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hourstracker-timesheet-time/id321923934?mt=8

There are lots of them though.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:38 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
IAFG wrote:The suggestion was do to things in bigger chunks so instead of .1 email, turn that into a .3 something more substantive.

Just roll in into whatever bigger thing you're doing on the matter.

Right, that's what I am saying


When a firm doesn't allow you to block bill, does that mean they are trying to get you to stuff like this:

.25 hours - email - really took 5 minutes
.25 hours -reviewed draft - really took 5 minutes
.25 made phonecall - really took 2 minutes.

BAM 12 minutes into 45.

Pretty sure it's courts rather than firms that prohibit block billing.

lukertin
Posts: 775
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:16 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby lukertin » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:40 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:I think the issue is that he probably thought he told me what to do.

Yes. People do that all the time. They assume you already know what they're talking about, they assume you have the same perspective as them, they assume lots of things and the end result is they don't say things because they assume you already know.

How to say it: "I'm not totally clear what it is I should be doing for this case. Because I don't want to spend the next __ days researching information that is not relevant to this issue, could we take 15 minutes to go over the objectives of this assignment?"

In the future I would also repeat to them what it is they want you to do. Sometimes people say one thing but mean another thing and it isn't apparent until they hear repeated from someone else.

User avatar
snowpeach06
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:32 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby snowpeach06 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:03 pm

lukertin wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:I think the issue is that he probably thought he told me what to do.

Yes. People do that all the time. They assume you already know what they're talking about, they assume you have the same perspective as them, they assume lots of things and the end result is they don't say things because they assume you already know.

How to say it: "I'm not totally clear what it is I should be doing for this case. Because I don't want to spend the next __ days researching information that is not relevant to this issue, could we take 15 minutes to go over the objectives of this assignment?"

In the future I would also repeat to them what it is they want you to do. Sometimes people say one thing but mean another thing and it isn't apparent until they hear repeated from someone else.

I did actually try doing the last part (repeating what I thought he wanted) but he cut me off to go on rambling. And just from the few weeks I've been working here, I can already tell he can accomplish nothing in 15 minutes. Our shortest meeting thus far has been two hours. Basically, even if I ask for clarification, I don't think I'm going to get it in a clear manner. I will try asking for clarification via e-mail and pray it's clear, but, I'm not holding my breath. Hopefully, if I keep asking and still keep fucking up, hopefully he will realize he never made the assignment clear and stop rambling long enough to make himself clear. Or I'll get fired, which doesn't actually bother me at this point, because I think my boss is going to be impossible to work for. Thanks for your help though. I think that's very good advice for most people with normal bosses, and maybe it will even work here.

User avatar
Hodgy
Posts: 1981
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:38 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby Hodgy » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:18 pm

1. My firm has several methods of noting time and it depends on transactional/litigation and client preferences. Possibilities run the gamut from chronological task-by-task billing, to giant single matter-by-day billing, to modified versions like doing a block bill but notating time for each task within the block description. Luckily, I get to do block billing, which in transactional just makes so much more sense.

2. Still early in the game, but my issue is not finding billable tasks but finding billable tasks without time constraints. I know most of the billable work I get is largely because of my affordability for the client. Thus, it sucks also being told, "Keep it under _ hours." Especially when the task truly requires _+ hours. Together with the large amount of non-billable "catch-up" work I am getting, it feels like I am getting behind early to meet my reduced model. A good image is that of the green arrow on the Paced Program being my billable requirement.

Other than that, it has been great so far. I got assigned to two great partners who are not only nice, helpful, and concerned about my development, but also extremely talented within their practices. Shit is going to get busy soon.

lukertin
Posts: 775
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:16 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby lukertin » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:32 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:I did actually try doing the last part (repeating what I thought he wanted) but he cut me off to go on rambling. And just from the few weeks I've been working here, I can already tell he can accomplish nothing in 15 minutes. Our shortest meeting thus far has been two hours. Basically, even if I ask for clarification, I don't think I'm going to get it in a clear manner. I will try asking for clarification via e-mail and pray it's clear, but, I'm not holding my breath. Hopefully, if I keep asking and still keep fucking up, hopefully he will realize he never made the assignment clear and stop rambling long enough to make himself clear. Or I'll get fired, which doesn't actually bother me at this point, because I think my boss is going to be impossible to work for. Thanks for your help though. I think that's very good advice for most people with normal bosses, and maybe it will even work here.

Could your assignment be related to this? http://www.uspto.gov/blog/director/entr ... _hear_from

User avatar
snowpeach06
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:32 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby snowpeach06 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:33 pm

lukertin wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:I did actually try doing the last part (repeating what I thought he wanted) but he cut me off to go on rambling. And just from the few weeks I've been working here, I can already tell he can accomplish nothing in 15 minutes. Our shortest meeting thus far has been two hours. Basically, even if I ask for clarification, I don't think I'm going to get it in a clear manner. I will try asking for clarification via e-mail and pray it's clear, but, I'm not holding my breath. Hopefully, if I keep asking and still keep fucking up, hopefully he will realize he never made the assignment clear and stop rambling long enough to make himself clear. Or I'll get fired, which doesn't actually bother me at this point, because I think my boss is going to be impossible to work for. Thanks for your help though. I think that's very good advice for most people with normal bosses, and maybe it will even work here.

Could your assignment be related to this? http://www.uspto.gov/blog/director/entr ... _hear_from

Nope, although that is actually something else I am working on at the moment.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby thesealocust » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:12 pm

Random life pro-tip: there are many things in life that you will need before you realize that you need them.

Non-law firm example:

* Plunger. Your life is going to be better if you have it before you need it.

Law firm examples:

* Remote computer access. Can you access files? Move them to your computer? Run blacklines, access legal research, etc.? Navigate on your laptop and/or with multiple monitors as applicable? All the passwords in order and accessible? Can you access firm email from a browser if need be?

* Firm voice mail. Can you access it remotely? Have the password? Set up a greeting with your name?

* Finance and travel. Do you have a credit card? Does it have a reasonable limit for life as an associate who may need to travel? Do you have a passport? Is it expiring soon?

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby rad lulz » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:36 pm

Hodgy wrote:1. My firm has several methods of noting time and it depends on transactional/litigation and client preferences. Possibilities run the gamut from chronological task-by-task billing, to giant single matter-by-day billing, to modified versions like doing a block bill but notating time for each task within the block description. Luckily, I get to do block billing, which in transactional just makes so much more sense.

2. Still early in the game, but my issue is not finding billable tasks but finding billable tasks without time constraints. I know most of the billable work I get is largely because of my affordability for the client. Thus, it sucks also being told, "Keep it under _ hours." Especially when the task truly requires _+ hours. Together with the large amount of non-billable "catch-up" work I am getting, it feels like I am getting behind early to meet my reduced model. A good image is that of the green arrow on the Paced Program being my billable requirement.

Other than that, it has been great so far. I got assigned to two great partners who are not only nice, helpful, and concerned about my development, but also extremely talented within their practices. Shit is going to get busy soon.

Ah see no one gives me time constraints, they just write stuff off later for the client.

User avatar
KD35
Posts: 948
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:30 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby KD35 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:50 pm

thesealocust wrote:* Finance and travel. Do you have a credit card? Does it have a reasonable limit for life as an associate who may need to travel? Do you have a passport? Is it expiring soon?


Is the updated passport really that necessary for work? Unless you're in that highly-coveted international law field.

User avatar
Joe Quincy
Posts: 404
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:42 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:53 pm

KD35 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:* Finance and travel. Do you have a credit card? Does it have a reasonable limit for life as an associate who may need to travel? Do you have a passport? Is it expiring soon?


Is the updated passport really that necessary for work? Unless you're in that highly-coveted international law field.


You never know. White collar people, etc all travel at times. Not to mention, you should always have one anyhow in case a family member is injured overseas. (I know someone this happened too...) Not to mention, if you can't find your SSN card you can show a passport for right to work, etc.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby thesealocust » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:49 pm

KD35 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:* Finance and travel. Do you have a credit card? Does it have a reasonable limit for life as an associate who may need to travel? Do you have a passport? Is it expiring soon?


Is the updated passport really that necessary for work? Unless you're in that highly-coveted international law field.


Just ran into a friend who had to go on an emergency trip to Europe the other day. Very firm and practice area dependent, but not at all unrealistic generally speaking.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273536
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:09 pm

KD35 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:* Finance and travel. Do you have a credit card? Does it have a reasonable limit for life as an associate who may need to travel? Do you have a passport? Is it expiring soon?


Is the updated passport really that necessary for work? Unless you're in that highly-coveted international law field.

summered at a large ip boutique, and knew a couple of midlevels who traveled overseas for depositions. Also met an associate who did in his first year, and a 2nd year who did an emergency trip to asia that summer (not sure for what). it happens.

User avatar
Lincoln
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby Lincoln » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:03 pm

thesealocust wrote:
KD35 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:* Finance and travel. Do you have a credit card? Does it have a reasonable limit for life as an associate who may need to travel? Do you have a passport? Is it expiring soon?


Is the updated passport really that necessary for work? Unless you're in that highly-coveted international law field.


Just ran into a friend who had to go on an emergency trip to Europe the other day. Very firm and practice area dependent, but not at all unrealistic generally speaking.


This even happened to two of our summer associates on a day's notice. Passport is essential not so much because you are likely to have to go, but if you do get asked, it's embarrassing as shit to have to say you can't go because you didn't follow instructions.

Also, first paycheck today. Life is good.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby NYstate » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:31 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:
lukertin wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:Boss just handed off one of his pro bono projects to me. The problem is, he hurredly gave me just a list of documents to work from, gave me 0 background on the issue and did not make it at all clear what legal questions were involved. I basically have a list of copyright righted works and no idea what he wants from me. What the hell do I do in this scenario?

Ask him exactly what he wants you to do?

I think the issue is that he probably thought he told me what to do. My boss has this unfortunate way of speaking such that no one really knows what he is saying. He never finishes a sentence, assumes that everyone has his background as the former head of a government office and yet still manages to go on hour long monologues with mostly irrelevant information. Even if you try to interrupt, it doesn't really work. I can ask him again, but I doubt it will be more clear. I might try asking over e-mail or something. He still responds to e-mails in a bit of a round-about way, but, it's usually better than his verbal speech.
NYstate wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:Boss just handed off one of his pro bono projects to me. The problem is, he hurredly gave me just a list of documents to work from, gave me 0 background on the issue and did not make it at all clear what legal questions we
involved. I basically have a list of copyright righted works and no idea what he wants from me. What the hell do I do in this scenario?


Read (or at least review quickly) everything first. Find out about the client as much as you can.
Is there a pro bono coordinator from an agency or group who gave you guys this matter
Find out who and call them to touch base unless you don't think your boss would want you to.
Then go back and tell him that you have reviewed everything and ask about the next step. That way you can have an intelligent discussion with him.

Ohh, yeah, so, by "documents" I mean I have one document, which I read. All it has is the title of something that may be a book or possibly recording, an author and the date the work was first published. I gathered from my boss's ramblings that they were first published
in the UK, and likely have something to do with the Berne Convention. I also have no idea who gave him this project because, basically I work for a non-profit and my boss does lots of his own stuff on the side. This is one of his personal side projects, and his personal documents are not on our server for me to look through. I might do some research on the Berne Convention, and hopefully that will make it seem like I was working, despite not knowing the assignment. Ugh, shit.


Lol. In this case all you can do is ask for direction. He should understand. On the plus side, this sounds like a cool project. Your boss sounds like he has some interesting projects going on.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: New associate banter

Postby NYstate » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:35 pm

Also, your boss doesn't expect perfection. Just tell him you need clarification or a little more guidance. That shouldn't be a problem.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: New associate banter

Postby romothesavior » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:29 am

NYstate wrote:Also, your boss doesn't expect perfection. Just tell him you need clarification or a little more guidance. That shouldn't be a problem.

I agree. This is kinda silly.

I mean, don't get me wrong, some partners are better at explaining things than others. But for the ones who are unclear, you just gotta ask.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.