Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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gaddockteeg
Posts: 315
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:33 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby gaddockteeg » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:17 pm

SeewhathappensLarry wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:I felt like I needed to add a contribution because the other junior big law associate days look pretty terrible and I'm fairly certain there is either (1) some exaggeration going on, (2) contributors picking atypical days, or (3) my firm is the best firm in the world.

I am in a v20 in DC, doing white collar litigation/investigations work.

While there isn't a typical day, my life yesterday was:

Wake up at 8:30am.
930-10: get to work and check emails and respond to immediate things. Also BS around by reading/skimming random articles about legal developments that are somewhat related to my practice area.
10-2: Morning/noon is when I'm most productive and sharpest so I usually work from 10 until lunch on the whatever the most difficult task of the day is. Yesterday, this was researching some really off topic issue for an expert rebuttal report and drafting a memo.
2-3: I fired off the short memo to the senior associate at 2 and then went to lunch with a friend of mine who works at bigfed. I find that its a lot easier to coordinate lunch with bigfed folks than my big law friends. We had scheduled for lunch at 1:30 (nothing fancy, chipotle) but I didn't finish in time so we pushed to 2:15 and my friend was very willing to accommodate. I go to lunch with colleagues/friends around 2-3x a week. I think it helps me stay in touch with folks and i partly see it as a future investment.
3-330: Back to my office at 3. I respond to a senior associate's quesiton about a random doc and I hunt thorugh our document productions to answer his question.
330-4: I'm pretty active in ABA so I have a phone conference about an ABA thing @330.
4-6: 3-6 in general is when I'm least productive so I save things like doc review and the like for this time. Yesterday I worked on dioscovery responses from 4-6.
6-730: After 6 is usually when I feel productive/sharp again. Yesterday I used this time to incorporate the memo and senior aossicate's comments on it, into the rebuttal report.
730: I go home. My office clears out by 6:30p and I usually stay later than most.
730-9: I'm at the gym. It's a block from the office and on the way home. I love working out and go to the gym 4x a week (2x M-F and then both sat and sun). I used to play rugby religiously so I don't feel right if I haven't been in the gym in awhile. I don't play anymore but I still squat heavy, deadlift often and bench 300+ for reps (non-humble brag). On non-gym days, I get home at 7:45.
915: I get home and eat while I'm on the computer. I usually tie up loose ends from 9:15 until 10.
10-11: I use this time to do tasks around the apartment. laundry, light cleaning, online shopping, etc. I just got engaged earlier this summer so lately I've been spending this time with wedding invites.
11-12: I always watch mindless TV (currently watching the office reruns on Netflix) to help me turn my brain off before sleeping.



What's a non-gym day? Jk this sounds pretty chill. What year are you?


Haha just a day I don't go to the gym. I'm in my 2nd or 3rd year (don't want to say exactly bc I forgot to post anon.)

Damage Over Time
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Damage Over Time » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:23 pm

After reading a ton of TLS, I didn't think any biglaw people got > 8 hours sleep ever, sounds pretty awesome

dotbun
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby dotbun » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:21 pm

Associate In-House Counsel for a Real Estate Development Company in SF Bay Area. In my 2nd year.

7AM: Alarm, check emails for 15 minutes to make sure there are no fire drills that need my attention. Shower and get dressed.
8AM-8:40: Leave SF and cross the bridge, get to work.
8:40-10:30: Check emails and respond to emails I quickly know the answers to (mostly from business side of the office about current deals).
10:30-noon: Work on revisions to major pending leases (if any), meet with General Counsel to go over our to-do list for the day, get interrupted by VP and/or Owner/President with dumb requests (hey can we put X use in our property per the CC&Rs?).
noon-1:30: Lunch time when everyone is out of the office. Typically I grab a quick lunch and head back to my office to eat while on FB, Buzzfeed, online shopping. If something important is happening from the AM, I usually hit up a drive-thru, eat super quick, and then back to work.
1:30-5pm: Coordinate any real estate closings, answer more emails, finish PSA summaries (if any), finish revisions to lease (if any), meet with business guys and/or Owner/General Counsel on pending deals. Sometimes conference calls with Tenant's counsel and/or outside counsel.
5-6pm: Discuss finished projects with General Counsel, get his approval before sending it out. By 6pm, usually everyone is gone except for General Counsel and I. This is typically our time to catch up and discuss any major issues we had throughout the day.
6:30-6:45pm: Leave work.
7:15pm: Arrive at my condo with dinner prepared by the boyfriend. Eat dinner, cuddle with my doggos, watch TV. Answer any emails that come in from General Counsel, President, or VP (typically quick emails, usually nothing that requires me to get on my computer and remote in).
11pm-12am: Go to sleep.

My day-to-day tasks vary greatly, but I pretty much run on the same schedule.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:37 pm

Damage Over Time wrote:After reading a ton of TLS, I didn't think any biglaw people got > 8 hours sleep ever, sounds pretty awesome


I may post a full one soon, but I'm a lit junior at a NYC V20 known for working associates hard, and it really hasn't been nearly as bad as I expected, most weeks. Most weeks I probably work around 50 hours (worked, not billed). Of course there are outliers.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:43 pm

No IP Tech Trans junior associates willing to weigh in?

gaddockteeg
Posts: 315
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:33 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby gaddockteeg » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Damage Over Time wrote:After reading a ton of TLS, I didn't think any biglaw people got > 8 hours sleep ever, sounds pretty awesome


I may post a full one soon, but I'm a lit junior at a NYC V20 known for working associates hard, and it really hasn't been nearly as bad as I expected, most weeks. Most weeks I probably work around 50 hours (worked, not billed). Of course there are outliers.


100% my impression when I started too. I think people exaggerate how bad it is.

NoLongerALurker
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby NoLongerALurker » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:11 pm

I was in one corporate practice group at my firm that was legitimately as bad as everyone here makes it sound. Multiple days where I would do nothing until 10pm, then get given shit to do that would keep me at office until 7am, just to come back in at 9am, etc etc. This kind of thing went on for basically a full year. Everything was always a fire drill and I never had a deadline that wasn't absolutely immediate. Not even exaggerating. Ended up low on hours, to boot, because the amount of 2am clusterfucks did not make up for all the quiet afternoons. Even when I wasn't working I was stressed waiting for the other shoe to drop and have me doing bullshit work that clearly I was given only when the midlevels above me had decided (a) they didn't want to deal with it and (b) they didn't have time to deal with it. Missed emails at midnight or 1am (out of the blue without warning from earlier day's work) when I was sleeping would lead to passive aggressive comments from some associates. Had good performance reviews but was not worth it.

Then I rotated into another corporate group and it's been pretty steady 40-60 hour weeks with one-or-two days notice on most tasks. Difference is night and day. So can go either way.

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SplitMyPants
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby SplitMyPants » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:16 pm

NoLongerALurker wrote:I was in one corporate practice group at my firm that was legitimately as bad as everyone here makes it sound. Multiple days where I would do nothing until 10pm, then get given shit to do that would keep me at office until 7am, just to come back in at 9am, etc etc. This kind of thing went on for basically a full year. Everything was always a fire drill and I never had a deadline that wasn't absolutely immediate. Not even exaggerating. Ended up low on hours, to boot, because the amount of 2am clusterfucks did not make up for all the quiet afternoons. Even when I wasn't working I was stressed waiting for the other shoe to drop and have me doing bullshit work that clearly I was given only when the midlevels above me had decided (a) they didn't want to deal with it and (b) they didn't have time to deal with it. Missed emails at midnight or 1am (out of the blue without warning from earlier day's work) when I was sleeping would lead to passive aggressive comments from some associates. Had good performance reviews but was not worth it.

Then I rotated into another corporate group and it's been pretty steady 40-60 hour weeks with one-or-two days notice on most tasks. Difference is night and day. So can go either way.


Is there anything in particular you think you could point to that would lead to such a stark contrast in the way the two groups operate? I.e., do you think, in retrospect, there are indicia of the first group's M.O. that you could gather from the outside looking in prior to joining the group?

NoLongerALurker
Posts: 114
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby NoLongerALurker » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:19 pm

SplitMyPants wrote:
NoLongerALurker wrote:I was in one corporate practice group at my firm that was legitimately as bad as everyone here makes it sound. Multiple days where I would do nothing until 10pm, then get given shit to do that would keep me at office until 7am, just to come back in at 9am, etc etc. This kind of thing went on for basically a full year. Everything was always a fire drill and I never had a deadline that wasn't absolutely immediate. Not even exaggerating. Ended up low on hours, to boot, because the amount of 2am clusterfucks did not make up for all the quiet afternoons. Even when I wasn't working I was stressed waiting for the other shoe to drop and have me doing bullshit work that clearly I was given only when the midlevels above me had decided (a) they didn't want to deal with it and (b) they didn't have time to deal with it. Missed emails at midnight or 1am (out of the blue without warning from earlier day's work) when I was sleeping would lead to passive aggressive comments from some associates. Had good performance reviews but was not worth it.

Then I rotated into another corporate group and it's been pretty steady 40-60 hour weeks with one-or-two days notice on most tasks. Difference is night and day. So can go either way.


Is there anything in particular you think you could point to that would lead to such a stark contrast in the way the two groups operate? I.e., do you think, in retrospect, there are indicia of the first group's M.O. that you could gather from the outside looking in prior to joining the group?


It was 100% the client in the first group. Everything I did was for one specific client (multiple matters, same client). In this new group, some people work with that client (but I don't yet, thank god) and they are similarly slammed. The good thing is that the new group has a small fraction of people working with the client, but the old group has a pretty fair sized chunk of its associates going through that client's meatgrinder. I don't think there was anything specific I could have done coming in to flag the issue to myself or to avoid getting caught up in it, no.

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Danger Zone
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:35 pm

0Ls always want to know what indicators they can look at to see if they are gonna have a bad time.

The rough truth is that you won't know for sure until you start.

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

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:41 am

Junior litigation associate on the west coast. I have two types of days: "where is everyone?" and "fml" --- anyone else have this problem?

Schedule -- "fml"
6:00 AM - Get up, shower, go into the office
6:30 AM - Draft brief for Case A
11:00 AM - Turn in draft for Case A, research for Case B
12:00 PM - Draft filings for Case B
1:00 PM - Meeting re: Case C
2:00 PM - Continue drafting filings for Case B, answer emails from Case A, get asked to work on doc production for Case C due in the morning
5:00 PM - Turn into draft for Case B, get feedback on work for Case A -- either edit or file, depending on feedback
7:00 PM - Go home, turn on computer, work on doc production for Case C
10:00 PM - Get call re: Case B to help with emergency motion
12:00 AM - Done helping with emergency motion; go back to doc production for Case C
1:00 AM - Go to bed

Schedule -- "where is everyone?" (usually happens after day after "fml")
8:30 AM - Get up, shower, go to office
9:00 AM - No emails... decide to help out with someone's pro-bono case
11:00 AM - Still no emails... email special counsel/partner/senior associate
2:00 PM - Told there's nothing to do today; finish helping with pro-bono case
3:00 PM - Give up waiting, go home, watch TV
11:59 PM - Gets email with "time sensitive" assignment

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:27 pm

Junior Associate at ~50 lawyer firm in smaller secondary market.
Practice area: 60/40 litigation/employment.

6 wake up, walk dog, exercise, eat
8:00 arrive at office, get coffee, read emails
8:10 to noon: research memos, draft pleadings and motions, write letters to opposing counsel, review documents, call clients and ask for documents, sit it on client interviews/conference calls and take notes, draft employee handbooks/separation agreements/non-competes
12-12:45 lunch from nearby takeout place. usually eat in lunch room.
12:45-7: same stuff as before lunch. If possible, I try to do writing/substantive work before lunch, and form documents/doc review after lunch.
7 go home and eat take out food. talk to SO, play with dog.
11: go to sleep.

On a busy day, I'll do 1-3 more hours of work from home.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:21 am

Third year m&a asscoiate at secondary market V50. 2400 pace with steady 170-230 hours per month. Not a lot of weekend work. Also take 3-4 weeks vacation.

7am wake up, give the kids breakfast. Lay back in bed and check emails.
7:45 shower
8:05 walk oldest kid to school
8:35 get dressed, quick breakfast
8:50 drive youngest kid to preschool
9:15 leave for work
9:45 get to work, get coffee
10:00 start billing
1:00 grab lunch from the kitchen, eat at desk while working
[multiple coffee/random breaks over the course of the day, mbut nothing more than a few minutes]
6:00 swing by partners' offices before they leave to make sure nothing is going to keep me late
6:30 leave for home
7:00 eat dinner, put kids to bed
8:30 ask my wife how her day was
9:00 crack open laptop or drive back to work
12:00 Give up working for the night, sportscenter or seinfeld
1:00 bed




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