Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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FSK

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby FSK » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Junior In-House Counsel at a software company contributing. My company is on a quarterly system, like most publicly traded companies. This means that I know every three months things will get crazy as the business pushes to close deals in a particular quarter. This is what a non-quarter end day might look like.

8:45 am - Get in to the office, check emails.
9:00 am - Review minor EU data protection matter for deal with existing customer.
9:30 am - Call with account team to advise them on data protection matter.
10:00 am - 11:00 am - Draft amendment to cloud services contract.
11:00am - 12:00 noon - Internal meetings regarding on-going limitation of liability issue for another customer.
12:00 noon - 1:00 pm - Lunch in cafeteria on campus, read twitter, random sports articles, TLS, etc.
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm - Review requested reps and certs for a customer getting some federal funding (mostly FAR provisions customer wants to flow down to us).
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Review response to request for proposal for legal issues. Draft comments to be included in proposal.
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Review proposed deals for legal issues, draft new paperwork as needed. Possibly update some internal contract templates as time permits.
5:30 pm -6:30 pm - Gym
6:30 pm - whenever - Monitor blackberry for any urgent issues, most things can wait until morning.

In a quarter end month the days are typically longer and there is a lot more "review deals, draft new paperwork" or "negotiate with customer's unreasonable outside counsel." Responding quickly to emails outside work hours becomes more important as well.



Did you get this job after Biglaw? How many years? Do they want any corporate experience, or focused on tech transactions background?
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Danger Zone

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:03 pm

How did you find this job?

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:24 pm

flawschoolkid wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Junior In-House Counsel at a software company contributing. ...



Did you get this job after Biglaw? How many years? Do they want any corporate experience, or focused on tech transactions background?


In-House poster from before. I actually struck out at OCI from a T14 and found the job by networking. Turns out the assistant general counsel is an alum who was looking for a junior person. I had a few years experience as a technology consultant / developer at a comparable company, which certainly helped. While this worked out for me in the end, I am definitely the exception. Most in-house counsel have some legal experience prior to coming in-house. FWIW most of our hires are other in-house counsel or outside counsel we've worked with before.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
flawschoolkid wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Junior In-House Counsel at a software company contributing. ...



Did you get this job after Biglaw? How many years? Do they want any corporate experience, or focused on tech transactions background?


In-House poster from before. I actually struck out at OCI from a T14 and found the job by networking. Turns out the assistant general counsel is an alum who was looking for a junior person. I had a few years experience as a technology consultant / developer at a comparable company, which certainly helped. While this worked out for me in the end, I am definitely the exception. Most in-house counsel have some legal experience prior to coming in-house. FWIW most of our hires are other in-house counsel or outside counsel we've worked with before.

Mind commenting on salary& long-term prospects as a junior in-house counsel?

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:36 pm

2nd Year Employee Benefits and Exec. Comp. attorney in BigLaw contributing. My practice group is pretty compliance oriented so the hours are good overall.

8:45 am - Get in to the office, complete attend status meeting with senior partner.
9:00 am - Draft/Revise evaluative tool for Third Party Administrators.
9:30 am - Call with client regarding venture capital issue.
10:00 am - 12:00 noon - Draft Board Committee materials for upcoming meetings.
1:00 - 2:00 - Call with client regarding impact of "forfeiture" guidance.
2:00-2:30 - Ran out to grab lunch
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Draft amendment to plan documents
5:30 pm - 6:30 - Walk home, family calls, cook dinner, etc.
6:30 pm - whenever - Do whatever I didn't get done that day on my list. Usually a couple of hours worth of work unless I did a lot over the weekend.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby sosofla » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2nd Year Employee Benefits and Exec. Comp. attorney in BigLaw contributing. My practice group is pretty compliance oriented so the hours are good overall.

8:45 am - Get in to the office, complete attend status meeting with senior partner.
9:00 am - Draft/Revise evaluative tool for Third Party Administrators.
9:30 am - Call with client regarding venture capital issue.
10:00 am - 12:00 noon - Draft Board Committee materials for upcoming meetings.
1:00 - 2:00 - Call with client regarding impact of "forfeiture" guidance.
2:00-2:30 - Ran out to grab lunch
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Draft amendment to plan documents
5:30 pm - 6:30 - Walk home, family calls, cook dinner, etc.
6:30 pm - whenever - Do whatever I didn't get done that day on my list. Usually a couple of hours worth of work unless I did a lot over the weekend.



Thanks for this. Is this in NYC or a primary market? Or a smaller city?

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:43 pm

sosofla wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2nd Year Employee Benefits and Exec. Comp. attorney in BigLaw contributing. My practice group is pretty compliance oriented so the hours are good overall.

8:45 am - Get in to the office, complete attend status meeting with senior partner.
9:00 am - Draft/Revise evaluative tool for Third Party Administrators.
9:30 am - Call with client regarding venture capital issue.
10:00 am - 12:00 noon - Draft Board Committee materials for upcoming meetings.
1:00 - 2:00 - Call with client regarding impact of "forfeiture" guidance.
2:00-2:30 - Ran out to grab lunch
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Draft amendment to plan documents
5:30 pm - 6:30 - Walk home, family calls, cook dinner, etc.
6:30 pm - whenever - Do whatever I didn't get done that day on my list. Usually a couple of hours worth of work unless I did a lot over the weekend.



Thanks for this. Is this in NYC or a primary market? Or a smaller city?


It's a primary market. Not NYC.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:45 am

New-ish lawyer here. I am an Assistant District Attorney in a >1 million population and growing county in the South. Prior to getting hired, I was an intern in the same office, as well as at another office where my law school was. I went to a school in the 50-100 ranking and was slightly below median at graduation. I was hired conditionally upon passing the bar. I would add that my job hunt was not terribly daunting, and I had one offer before passing the bar. YMMV.

I prosecute all misdemeanors aside from family violence or cases where the defendant has mental health issues OR is a Veteran suffering from PTSD (each of those have dedicated courts).

I would say my practice involves 40% DWI/DUI, 15% gun related offenses, 15% drug offenses (pills, marijuana), 15% theft offenses, and 15% made up of such things as hunting violations, prostitution, assaults, driving under a suspended license, etc.

I typically work 45-55 hours per week. My pay is $55,000-60,000 with good benefits. I only work from home on weekends when I've got a trial or heavily contested motion coming up. My job involves being in two places; Court and my office. I am assigned to a specific criminal court with two other ADAs. We share all cases equally, until one is "set" for trial OR someone wants to take the case and see it through a disposition due to a victim issues, offense issue, or workload. The three ADAs in my court probably take 6 cases to trial each month. I participate in about 3-4 trials each month; first-chairing 1-2. I also argue at least one motion to suppress and one or two bond forfeitures each week.

I am in Court three or four days a week. Aside from trials I spend most of my in-court time negotiating with defense attorneys. Our office has an "open file" policy, so by the time the defense attorney comes to court, they have usually received all discovery and are simply trying to get the best outcome for their client OR getting ready to set the case for motion or trial.

Some of my other duties involve bond forfeitures, probation revocations, and dealing with pro se individuals. I am lucky to work in a county with pretty good investigators, probation officers, and court staff. Therefore, outside of trials, my in-court job is mainly brief discussions and paperwork.

When I am not in court I am building up cases that are set for trial. In order to announce ready in a case, I have to watch all videos, file necessary motions, and contact all witnesses. I spend a lot of time dealing with police officers' schedules, that is my biggest complaint.

I don't have a "typical day" but here is the closest I can give you:

7:30: arrive, check VM and e-mail, send replies
8:30-12:00: court, motion hearing, docket call, dispose (plea) cases, jailchain (in-custody defendants) coming in throughout.
12:00-1:00: working lunch at desk, watch videos of stops, arrests, surveillance cameras etc, make written notes, read officer narratives.
1:00-4:00 work on witness contacts, discovery requests, and most importantly the next case set for trial, review cases and make recommendations of either straight jail time, probation, or alternative sentencing.
4:00-5:00 see above, and also talking with other ADAs about upcoming cases for trial
5:00-6:00 at some point, leave work and go home.

In my opinion the pros are: steady pay and hours, trial experience, ability to resolve cases quicker than in the civil practice, and of course to see justice done WHILE being as reasonable as possible.

and the cons are: scheduling and always thinking about trial two-three weeks ahead, working with witness (officer) schedules, pay is good, but on the lower end compared to other practices, and finally, dealing with some pro se defendants that want legal advice even though they can easily get appointed counsel.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:36 pm

Different Junior In-House Counsel at a company you've heard of, but I won't be more precise for anonymity sake. I do product work, rather than transactional work, which means my workflow varies more by individual projects or the launch of a major product or marketing campaign for the product, but not so much by the quarterly system as the other in-house counsel above. I also don't tend to have a typical day, though what I've produced below is some sort of vague average. It seems to be pretty similar to the other in-house counsel poster.

8:45 am - Check and respond to e-mails.
9:00 am - Eat breakfast while on conference call.
9:30 am - Often at least one of the e-mails I've received is going to require me to try to figure out the answer to a question before COB, so I start working on it while I have the chance.
10:00am - 4:00pm - Conference calls for a variety of projects. Some days I have no breaks at all, other days I have a half an hour here or there. Once in the while I'll have time to go out to lunch with a coworker. I'll multi-task trying to get tasks done by COB that I receive throughout the day via e-mail, and will likely eat lunch at my desk while on a conference call.
4:00 - 5:30/6:00pm Finish up whatever I haven't gotten done earlier in the day, and get a head start on things due over the next few days. I often also use this time to track down individuals I have questions for and to update anybody supervising me on progress.
6:00pm - Whenever - Check e-mails in case anything urgent comes up, majority of things can wait until the next business day.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:57 am

I'm a first year associate doing Oil and Gas title work at a small(ish -- between 20 and 30 attorneys) firm in Texas. The firm specializes in churning out title opinions and nothing else. Our area of expertise isn't very broad, but we're quite good at what we do.

Typical day looks something like this:

Show up at the office at 8:30, work till noon, go to lunch for an hour, continue working till 6:30, head home. The work isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but it's transactional work that allows me to bypass crap that I don't care too much for, such as court deadlines and procedure, and basically allows me to work from my desk my entire day. My work consists of examining property chain of title runsheets prepared by landmen and then rendering title opinions on the tract. It sounds boring, but in some odd way it can also be quite entertaining. For example, I've reviewed a few old probates from the 1800s that dealt with people who were killed by Indians. The best analogy that I can use to describe the job is basically the legal equivalent of Where's Waldo -- you scour the documents available to you to figure out who owns the mineral rights, what type of rights they own, and how much the mineral owners should be paid if the client leases their land and oil is produced therefrom. If there is a defect in the chain of title, you let the client know, and advise them on what they should do to cure the defect. I have friends who work for other lawfirms that are constantly bitching about their billables. I really don't have that problem at this job. There's always plenty of work to be done, so meeting your hours isn't a problem. As long as you're efficient with the number of opinions you get out, people leave you alone.

I worked for a few months as a landman before finding this job, and the land experience was really crucial in landing this job. Most of the attorneys I work with have had some landman experience prior to joining the firm. Every once in awhile, the boss will still send me out to the courthouses to pull deeds and run title if the landmen screwed up, because he knows I have land experience. I put in maybe 50 hours a week, and starting pay is around 80k/year. When your probationary period ends in a few months, you get bumped up to around 90k/year. After a year, it shouldn't be hard to hit 6 figures. The Oil and Gas industry has taken a bit of a beating with oil prices being so low, and I know many firms in the area have had to cut back. So far, we've been incredibly fortunate because we still have plenty of work and our clients have yet to pull back, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I'm still employed at a job that I really enjoy.

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kalvano

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby kalvano » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:02 am

The best part about looking at old titles is the WTF stuff that comes up, like "this property may never be owned by a woman whose name is Rose and lived in Hicksville, Texas."

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:48 pm

I'm a firstish-year associate (coming off a year-long clerkship) at a mid-size litigation firm. I primarily do bankruptcy work (exclusively creditors), but also work on non-bankruptcy litigation related matters. While the days vary, here's as best as I can describe a "typical" day.

7:30-8: arrive, drink coffee, eat bagel, read e-mail, look at list of things to do for the day, surf web.
8-11: Work on draft of pleading (objection, motion, complaint etc.) for review by partner. Nice thing about working in a smaller firm is that matters are staffed just a partner and an associate, so I generally get first chance to draft the pleading, and depending on the supervising partner, there will be minimal to significant changes.
11-2: Discrete research assignment. I find that as the new gal, I get a lot of these. I'll be asked to look into a narrow issue of law and either write up a memo, summarize my findings in an e-mail, or come talk to partner/senior associate about these.
2-2:30: Lunch. Sometimes I'll wander out and grab lunch. Other times I'll sit at my desk and eat. A lot of it depends on how busy I am that particular day.
2:30-4:00- I find that I'm least productive right after lunch, so I try to do things that require less intellectual heavy lifting--i.e., drafting discovery (responses); doing stuff that's borderline paralegal work (e.g., preparing record extract or ensuring that all local rules etc have been complied with in the filing of a pleading ); or doing doc review.
4-7: By four I'm usually out of my post-lunch fog and turn to either a research assignment or another pleading of some sorts.

Most days I'm out of the office at seven. I monitor my phone for e-mails etc. which will occasionally come in late. Every couple of weeks I'll get stacked with a couple of pending deadlines and have to work a late night. Overall though, I can't complain about the hours.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby 20160810 » Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a junior associate in the bankruptcy group at a big firm.

My primary responsibility is drafting--motions, replies to objections, deal documents, PowerPoint presentations (a lot of PowerPoint presentations), charts, memos, summaries, letters to other law firms, emails. A typical document that a junior restructuring associate might draft, for example, is a motion to approve a debtor-in-possession or "DIP" loan--a loan incurred by a company in bankruptcy at the beginning of the case to finance operations and restructuring costs.

In my practice group, a junior lawyer typically takes primary drafting responsibility for a document from beginning to end. This can be interesting and exciting, and it can be incredibly painful, often at the same time. At big firms, documents are drafted by committee and at multiple levels.

It might start with a series of phone calls with the client and senior lawyers. After the calls, a (sometimes vague) concept of the deliverable emerges. Then I start drafting. This initial draft has significant if subtle influence. Although the document may change dramatically by the time it's filed, executed, or otherwise finished, its initial structure almost always shapes the discussion and the final product.

Then I send the first draft to a senior associate or a partner. He or she reviews it and provides "comments" (read: revisions)--in track changes, in the body of an email, over the phone, scribbled on the document, or in some combination. There are often many iterations of this process.

When I get the green light, I send it to a broader group of partners and associates on the matter. This is when it can get painful, if it hasn't already. Comments can come like an avalanche--often conflicting comments. Managing this process can be delicate and even political. It's one of the harder parts of the job--and, again, there are many iterations.

Then I send it to the client. Some clients have a light touch; others are very hands on. Incorporating client comments can be even more delicate than incorporating internal comments. Overruling a comment from an important person at the client can result in blowback, so you try to give yourself cover by flagging significant issues to someone more senior at the firm.

For important documents, depending on the situation, the next step is often to send the document to professionals at other firms. Lenders counsel, for example, will have a lot of input into a DIP motion. And in most major corporate bankruptcies, the lawyers for significant creditor groups also get input.

Finalization tends to be the most stressful phase. Although the entire drafting process might take a day or a month, there is almost always immense time pressure due to real or imagined deadlines. Comments often keep coming down to the wire. As you're preparing to file or otherwise finalize a document, your focus shifts to avoiding a cataclysmic fuckup. Typos and such are bad, but what you're really trying to avoid is a substantive error that causes a serious issue. Although people will tell you that junior associates aren't in a position to make a truly devastating error, in reality, as the primary drafters of critical documents, they're often in the best position to do so.

Afterward, I have a drink.

Outside of drafting, I spend a lot of time helping to coordinate the case. I travel to hearings and provide support for the team. I'm on the phone and sending emails to lawyers in our other practice groups, to our bankers and consultants, to the creditors' professionals, and to the client. I'm usually handling these tasks while drafting one or more documents. Juggling is a critical skill.

There are also more mundane tasks, although much less so than in other practice groups. We almost never do doc review or due diligence--I never have. But, for example, because a debtor's professional fees have to be approved by the court through an elaborate process, junior bankruptcy lawyers can spend a ton of time on "fee applications" and related work that is profoundly tedious. And because bankruptcy "law" is based as much on custom as it is on written law, one grueling responsibility of junior associates is to work with paralegals to dig through documents for "precedents"--examples of things happening in bankruptcy that don't make it into published opinions.

Overall, the work is good if you like business and finance, but the hours and the stress are incredible.

This was interesting. Also congratulations on landing a unicorn. I spent 2 years trying to find someone hiring a junior for bk/restructuring.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby North » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:28 am

Biglaw - General Litigation 3

Market: NYC

(Quoted from this thread.)

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What does a day look like? Like do you walk in and have new assignments on your desk, or are they emailed to you? Do you leave for lunch? etc. Even stuff that might seem obvious I would be interested to know to get a feel for it.

Day usually starts with answering emails that came in overnight, or in the very early morning. I also tie up loose ends on small things from the day before that may need a bit more time. I then move onto the agenda I have set out for the day. Of course, the set agenda of tasks I write down never goes entirely according to plan. Things always come up that throw off the schedule (i.e. something I think is done needs some follow up, or something unexpected came up that forces me to shuffle things). But in the background is always that running list of tasks, ordered by priority and urgency. So while I will be working throughout the day on those tasks, phone calls and emails are always coming in and pulling me away. Thats why I love the time after about 6 PM, when the phone calls usually stop, and the emails die down a bit. I'd say the 6-9 range is my best time for getting work done with total focus and efficiency, since its the only time when pretty much nothing distracts me or gets in the way.

I rarely just have new assignments dropped on me. I am staffed on three main cases, and my tasks are generally known in advance, so that I can plan stuff out. If someone has a new task within the context of one of those cases (or if its a short-term thing outside of those three main cases), it would almost never just be dropped off at my desk. I will always either get a call or email with the heads up, or to discuss the assignment. The tasks are often discretionary (i.e. they are gauging my ability and asking me if I have time to take care of the task). Though sometimes I'm just being told that the task is mine, but that is less common.

I personally bring my lunch most days (I prefer to just cook food in bulk on Sundays, pack a bunch of meals, and not have to think about it). But even when i do, I like to go down to the cafeteria and get out of my office for a bit. I can certainly leave the office for lunch, and many people do on a daily basis. No one is clocking in/out, so as long as you have time to finish your work, there is no harm in leaving for lunch. Though on many days, I'm so busy that I just end up eating at my desk. Not required to do so, but its just better sometimes depending on what needs to get done.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:18 pm

Junior in-house in the financial industry.

9:30-10 - Put my lunch order in, make coffee, chat with co-workers.

10-10:30 - Review emails I only glanced at on my blackberry, send out execution versions and official legal sign off for documents I received comments.

10:30-11:30 - Review and negotiate NDAs, engagement letters, vendor agreements, etc. Have calls regarding outstanding issues and sticking points. Sometimes this may mean sitting with my phone on mute while business issues are discussed, other times legal may be driving the call. On an unfortunate day I might have calls regarding NDAs, unfortunate because they are generally a waste of time and are driven by issues that shouldn't require a phone call to resolve (typically the other side is outside counsel when this happens).

11:30-1 - Review and draft documentation for medium term note and 3(a)(2) programs. A majority of the documents are for internal or compliance purposes as these issuances are exempt. I also review the documents prepared by the business side such as the pricing supplements and term sheets that are sent to distributors and clients.

1-2 - Eat lunch while browsing the internet. I may review documents if they are urgent or sit in on a conference call, but I try to avoid working while eating when possible.

2-5 - Work on larger projects. It may be that we have had a credit agreement in place with a counterparty that we have amended 20 plus times over the years without ever amending and restating the agreement in its entirety, so that some amendments might even conflict with others. I will then go through all the amendments and discuss with the business side the terms that we want to favor and draft an amended and restated agreement, adding whatever sanctions and other legal language that needs to be updated. Maybe a trust needs to be dissolved and terminated because the notional amount related to a swap is reduced to zero. In that case I will go through the trust documents and agency agreement and see what needs to be done to dissolve/terminate the trust and draft a letter to ensure that those steps are carried out. Or the derivatives group may need additional coverage so I will meet with credit committee, negotiate ISDA documentation, etc.

5:30-6:30 - Review any new NDA's, engagement letters, vendor agreements, etc. that have come through and send comments to the business guys or counterparty.

6:30 - whenever - Review and maybe respond to emails on my blackberry. Address any urgent matters (not often).

Everything is a lot more jumbled together than it appears on that schedule, but that's a rough idea of how my day generally progresses.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:45 pm

Associate at small, successful plaintiff side personal injury firm in secondary market. About to enter my 2nd full year. I am often out in court or in depositions at least once or twice a week, and no day in the office is really "typical" depending on deadlines, but here is an example:

8:30-9: Get to the office, review/respond to any emails that came in from late night/early morning (very rare), read WSJ/other news online.
9-10: Organize to do list for the day, send out emails to support staff or supervising attorneys.
10-11: Research for procedural issue, which can sometimes be non-legal/investigative
11-11:30: Contact clients to complete answers to discovery
11:30-12:30: Contact defense counsel regarding settlement, missing discovery answers, etc. as the case may be; prepare motion to compel
12:30 -1:30: Lunch. Sometimes out of the office, sometimes eating at desk.
1:30-2: Respond to random request from partner for research.
2-3: Prepare for simple motor vehicle accident case depositions the following day.
3-3:15: Contact judge's chambers regarding an upcoming oral argument.
3:15-5: Assuming no short term projects or emergencies have come up, dive into a more substantive written assignment, such as organizing/formatting/beginning to write a response to a motion for summary judgment. I am fortunate to be given a great deal of responsibility on these types of matters, and pleadings will often be filed with minimal if any alterations.
5-5:45: Wind down the day by catching up on more "mindless" drafting, such as complaints.
5:45: Head home. Review/respond to emails that come in after office hours. Extremely rare that it will be anything that cannot wait until the following morning.


Happy to answer any questions or PM anyone who is interested. Obviously my corner of the law is very underrepresented here.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Nothing but the Funk » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Associate at small, successful plaintiff side personal injury firm in secondary market. About to enter my 2nd full year. I am often out in court or in depositions at least once or twice a week, and no day in the office is really "typical" depending on deadlines, but here is an example:

8:30-9: Get to the office, review/respond to any emails that came in from late night/early morning (very rare), read WSJ/other news online.
9-10: Organize to do list for the day, send out emails to support staff or supervising attorneys.
10-11: Research for procedural issue, which can sometimes be non-legal/investigative
11-11:30: Contact clients to complete answers to discovery
11:30-12:30: Contact defense counsel regarding settlement, missing discovery answers, etc. as the case may be; prepare motion to compel
12:30 -1:30: Lunch. Sometimes out of the office, sometimes eating at desk.
1:30-2: Respond to random request from partner for research.
2-3: Prepare for simple motor vehicle accident case depositions the following day.
3-3:15: Contact judge's chambers regarding an upcoming oral argument.
3:15-5: Assuming no short term projects or emergencies have come up, dive into a more substantive written assignment, such as organizing/formatting/beginning to write a response to a motion for summary judgment. I am fortunate to be given a great deal of responsibility on these types of matters, and pleadings will often be filed with minimal if any alterations.
5-5:45: Wind down the day by catching up on more "mindless" drafting, such as complaints.
5:45: Head home. Review/respond to emails that come in after office hours. Extremely rare that it will be anything that cannot wait until the following morning.


Happy to answer any questions or PM anyone who is interested. Obviously my corner of the law is very underrepresented here.


Personally I would love to know more about this kind of law. especially how hiring for these law firms go and what kind of salary range? I've thought about trying to go into plaintiff side after law school it just seems a whole lot more fulfilling in my opinion.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:44 pm

Nothing but the Funk wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Associate at small, successful plaintiff side personal injury firm in secondary market. About to enter my 2nd full year. I am often out in court or in depositions at least once or twice a week, and no day in the office is really "typical" depending on deadlines, but here is an example:

8:30-9: Get to the office, review/respond to any emails that came in from late night/early morning (very rare), read WSJ/other news online.
9-10: Organize to do list for the day, send out emails to support staff or supervising attorneys.
10-11: Research for procedural issue, which can sometimes be non-legal/investigative
11-11:30: Contact clients to complete answers to discovery
11:30-12:30: Contact defense counsel regarding settlement, missing discovery answers, etc. as the case may be; prepare motion to compel
12:30 -1:30: Lunch. Sometimes out of the office, sometimes eating at desk.
1:30-2: Respond to random request from partner for research.
2-3: Prepare for simple motor vehicle accident case depositions the following day.
3-3:15: Contact judge's chambers regarding an upcoming oral argument.
3:15-5: Assuming no short term projects or emergencies have come up, dive into a more substantive written assignment, such as organizing/formatting/beginning to write a response to a motion for summary judgment. I am fortunate to be given a great deal of responsibility on these types of matters, and pleadings will often be filed with minimal if any alterations.
5-5:45: Wind down the day by catching up on more "mindless" drafting, such as complaints.
5:45: Head home. Review/respond to emails that come in after office hours. Extremely rare that it will be anything that cannot wait until the following morning.


Happy to answer any questions or PM anyone who is interested. Obviously my corner of the law is very underrepresented here.


Personally I would love to know more about this kind of law. especially how hiring for these law firms go and what kind of salary range? I've thought about trying to go into plaintiff side after law school it just seems a whole lot more fulfilling in my opinion.


I was fortunate to get this job for my 2L summer through networking, and from that point just did good work to where they wanted to keep me on full time. The best advice I can give is to really pound the pavement as to these smaller firms in your area for a clerk position, either for summer, part time during the school year, or both. My sense is that the vast majority do not advertise or have a distinct hiring timeline, so you may be able to get your foot in the door just by helping them out for peanuts at first. It may very well come down to timing, as a firm might find itself particularly busy and in need of some research/drafting help when you come along. This may be even more viable for less well-known small firms in the area.

As for salary, I will say that I started off in the mid-40k range, but have made a notable leap already. This has also included sizable bonuses, which can obviously be a big upside when work is primarily on a contingency basis. I expect such increases to continue, although nothing is guaranteed when you're not on the biglaw lockstep schedule. Overall, I enjoy it a lot. More than reasonable hours (so far. My hours will certainly increase as I gain more responsibility) and plenty of hands on experience/responsibility already. I can't imagine that the typical biglaw litigation associate in my class year has done as much substantive work.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a junior associate in the bankruptcy group at a big firm. .


Junior associate in a consumer Chapter 7/13 Firm checking in.

Normal day is get into the office and have a bunch of responses to motions for lift stays filed by this guy to draft and file. After that, I have a bunch of responses for motions to dismiss filed by this guy to draft and file. After that I go to a Meeting of Creditors and have the US Trustee complain at me for a few minutes. Lunch is after that.

Then I get to do my own business development for my side practice.

logicspeaks

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby logicspeaks » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was fortunate to get this job for my 2L summer through networking, and from that point just did good work to where they wanted to keep me on full time. The best advice I can give is to really pound the pavement as to these smaller firms in your area for a clerk position, either for summer, part time during the school year, or both. My sense is that the vast majority do not advertise or have a distinct hiring timeline, so you may be able to get your foot in the door just by helping them out for peanuts at first. It may very well come down to timing, as a firm might find itself particularly busy and in need of some research/drafting help when you come along. This may be even more viable for less well-known small firms in the area.

As for salary, I will say that I started off in the mid-40k range, but have made a notable leap already. This has also included sizable bonuses, which can obviously be a big upside when work is primarily on a contingency basis. I expect such increases to continue, although nothing is guaranteed when you're not on the biglaw lockstep schedule. Overall, I enjoy it a lot. More than reasonable hours (so far. My hours will certainly increase as I gain more responsibility) and plenty of hands on experience/responsibility already. I can't imagine that the typical biglaw litigation associate in my class year has done as much substantive work.

Thanks so much for this, I'm also very interested in going plaintiffs side. How much do grades matter? Would a background in customer service give an applicant any noticeable advantage?

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:59 am

logicspeaks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was fortunate to get this job for my 2L summer through networking, and from that point just did good work to where they wanted to keep me on full time. The best advice I can give is to really pound the pavement as to these smaller firms in your area for a clerk position, either for summer, part time during the school year, or both. My sense is that the vast majority do not advertise or have a distinct hiring timeline, so you may be able to get your foot in the door just by helping them out for peanuts at first. It may very well come down to timing, as a firm might find itself particularly busy and in need of some research/drafting help when you come along. This may be even more viable for less well-known small firms in the area.

As for salary, I will say that I started off in the mid-40k range, but have made a notable leap already. This has also included sizable bonuses, which can obviously be a big upside when work is primarily on a contingency basis. I expect such increases to continue, although nothing is guaranteed when you're not on the biglaw lockstep schedule. Overall, I enjoy it a lot. More than reasonable hours (so far. My hours will certainly increase as I gain more responsibility) and plenty of hands on experience/responsibility already. I can't imagine that the typical biglaw litigation associate in my class year has done as much substantive work.


Thanks so much for this, I'm also very interested in going plaintiffs side. How much do grades matter? Would a background in customer service give an applicant any noticeable advantage?


Quoted poster here. I don't think grades are as important as they are for biglaw hiring, though obviously having good grades should help. I know that mine were hardly considered when first hired for summer clerk work, and after that I was never asked about them at all. At that point my work spoke for itself and was obviously more important to them. Can't comment on a customer service background, although anything that you can spin well could help.

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Holly Golightly

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Holly Golightly » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:51 pm

Impact lit at a nonprofit. I'm the only staff attorney in my office and I don't have a legal director, so I have a lot of autonomy. I run big things by my boss and she usually takes a look at anything important before it goes out, but she doesn't give me assignments on my cases or anything.

It's hard to say what any particular day might look like, because it depends a lot on what's going on that week. If I have to visit a client or potential client or have a hearing, it may look pretty different than this. My organization also does lobbying, and although I'm not a lobbyist myself, there are definitely times when I have to run out to a meeting with a legislator or somone from another organization. And when legislative session starts I will likely be reviewing and analyzing proposed legislation.

As for how we get cases, sometimes people come to us, and sometimes we find a law or policy we want to challenge and seek out a client.

The main things I need to do in any given week are:

1. Intake. I review all of the intake we get, via email or mail. This varies every week from just a few to dozens. Most of it is stuff that we clearly aren't interested in or can't take, and can be disposed of pretty quickly. There are also always cases where I feel terrible for the person or want to help, but for whatever reason I can't. Just about every week there are a few interesting complaints that cross my desk that I look into further.

2. Research. For the cases we are potentially interested in, I have to research the existing law and see if there is a good legal issue that relates to my organization's goals. If it looks like something we might want to get involved in, I contact the complainant. If we want to go forward from there, I may reach out to other people in my org who specialize in those types of cases. If we want to go forward with a case, I need to write a memo to my board requesting authorization and find a cooperating attorney.

3. Litigation. Same as all litigation, really. Drafting complaints, motions, responses, doing discovery, settlement negotiations, etc. We also sometimes get involved in administrative actions.

4. FOIAs. I write a ton of FOIA requests. Sometimes because of an investigation that I got from intake, sometimes because of a crazy policy I've heard about elsewhere and want to investigate further. Sometimes this goes through several rounds of phone calls and letters and threats of litigation until I get what I want. Haven't had to file a FOIA lawsuit yet, but I have a feeling it's in my future.

5. Amici. This isn't every week, but I keep an eye on other cases going on that I may want to file an amicus in. I'm procrastinating working on one as I type this.

6. Demand letters. There are many problems that can be resolved just shy of litigation. I have one potential case right now that I'm very hopeful will be resolved withouthaving to file a case.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:07 pm

BigLaw Healthcare Associate

There is no such thing as a typical day, though all I do is healthcare all day, every day. Since healthcare is neither exclusively litigation or exclusively transactional, I find my days dotted with a smattering of reviewing documents for compliance/contract negotiations (whether property acquisitions, clinical trial agreements, research proposals, informed consent forms, etc.), preemptive compliance analysis of the myriad healthcare acronyms and issues (HIPAA, HITECH, FCA, EMTALA, QHP, Medicare, Medicaid, Stark, 501(c)(3) inurement), and litigation research.

Because I'm am junior, though I was allowed to pick a specialty on day one, I am expected to avail myself to every feasible issue. This means I arrive around 8am and leave around 7pm, with a 6 minute lunch break long enough to heat my meal and eat at my desk. Otherwise, I am billing all day long, every day. However, given the nature of healthcare, I rarely work weekends and have only worked past 8pm twice in two years. Consistent urgency gets exhausting, but a reliable 6-8 hours of sleep is something I will not bite my thumb at. A couple more years and I will have more time to cultivate clients, though I have tried to use my early departure to start greasing those wheels where I do have relationships in place.

Summary for someone interested in healthcare: you will be consistently busy, but will have zero difficulty meeting your billable hours. Those light days when you have nothing to do at 2pm, you can leave with impunity! However, if you are not sure about healthcare, there is no such thing as dabbling. Healthcare is a practice group of its own and requires people who recognize that fact. The secret seems to be landing a large hospital or physician practice group and taking impeccable care of them. Healthcare professionals are fiercely loyal, but quick to depart if they aren't seeing you jump when they snap their fingers. To bastardize a few healthcare analogies, during the week, everything is Code Blue. On the weekend, a bandage and aspirin suffices.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:31 pm

^anon: Can you PM me? I have some questions RE: BigFirm health law, as I am a junior in-house for a health provider, and was wondering whether I should/could make the jump to BigLaw as a junior health associate.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:^anon: Can you PM me? I have some questions RE: BigFirm health law, as I am a junior in-house for a health provider, and was wondering whether I should/could make the jump to BigLaw as a junior health associate.

They can't PM you without knowing your username.



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