Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

(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.

Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:13 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby lawposeidon » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:08 pm

I work in plaintiff's class action litigation. I get in at 9AM, do assigned tasks all day. Document review, briefs, deposition prep. I sit at my desk all day no court.

Anonymous User
Posts: 316534
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:41 pm

lawposeidon wrote:I work in plaintiff's class action litigation. I get in at 9AM, do assigned tasks all day. Document review, briefs, deposition prep. I sit at my desk all day no court.

This sounds miserable. Plaintiff's work--no thanks.


Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:59 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Volga9673 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:31 pm

Sticking this

Anonymous User
Posts: 316534
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:19 pm

I'm an AUSA in a well-regarded district. There is no typical day for an AUSA, but I will try to give you a sense of what a day could look like as an AUSA.

5:30 - 6:30 - Workout. I work out 3-4 days a week. If I'm too tired to make it to the gym, I'll do insanity in the comfort of my home, but I generally go to the gym.
6:45 - 7:30 - Shower and breakfast. I get the WSJ delivered, so I'll read that. If I'm in the mood, I'll flip to morning joe.
7:30 - 8:00 - Meditation or Positive Visualization exercises.
8:00 - 8:30 - Walk to work if the weather is nice. Usually listen to podcasts. If it's humid or raining, I'll drive. Takes about 25-30 minutes either way
8:30 - 9:15 - Review my calendar to see what's on tap. See that I have a 9:30 meeting re: a new case. Review the case file, draft an investigation plan, review likely charges and draft an agenda to keep me on task for the meeting (as the AUSA, I lead most of the meetings on my cases).
9:15 - 9:30 - Agent on another matter just pops by to chat about his case. Though I'm busy, having a good relationship with your agents is key, so I chop it up with him for a few minutes and discuss the investigation. Good that we chatted because he still owes me some discovery that he promises he'll get to me this week. I get up at 9:30 and tell him I have a meeting.
9:30 - 10:00 - Meeting with Agents and analysts on a new case. At the inception of a case, agents know more because they have done some administrative subpoenas or have a cooperator. The discussion revolves around how to use GJ subpoenas to develop more evidence or ECPA if there's relevant electronic evidence like email or social media accounts. We discuss leads that need to be run down and I always ask for any reports generated by the agent because they are discoverable. I also remind my agents that anything they write/text/email about the case is likely Jencks and is discoverable. I make sure I hammer organization for discovery because the best cases can go up in flames if discovery is a mess.
10:00 - 10:30 - Have a call at 10am with main justice to discuss status of approvals for certain actions (usually MLATs or extraditions or certain types of prosecutions)
10:30 - 10:45 - One of my colleagues pops by to shoot the breeze. We make lunch plans.
10:45 - 12:00 - Draft a statement of facts for a plea agreement. Statement of facts give the factual basis for the plea agreement. Usually the government drafts the statement of facts which the defendant adopts, if accurate. Once I'm done with SOF, i review the already completed plea agreement papers for typos or nits and route to my supervisor for approval.
12:00 - 1:00 - Lunch with my colleague. She invites some other prosecutors. We chop it up at lunch and discuss what's happening in the office, our weekends, family, etc. Bonding with colleagues is a great part of the job.
1:15 - 1:45 - Prepare for an initial appearance, and a sentencing. An initial appearance requires relatively little work, you simply go to court and the judge will ask you to advise the defendant of the maximum penalties, but you have to know any applicable mandatory minimums and any conflicts. Sentencings are more substantial as you must recommend a sentence to the court and why. Usually we submit sentencing papers outlining our position, but you, generally, want to make at least a brief argument for the sentence you're seeking.
2:00 - 2:45 - Go to court for aforementioned initial and sentencing
3:00 - 3:30 - Agent comes by to do some last minute chatting before we go into the grand jury to seek an indictment for a different case. I am usually prepared for Grand Jury well in advance of going so my discussion with the agent is mainly for his benefit. I ask him to review the indictment one final time and ask if there's anything that needs to be changed (the answer will be no because by this time, I've reviewed the indictment a million times with the agent and know its good).
3:30 - 4:00 - Present case in front of the grand jury. This usually involves doing an examination of some witness or a government agent.
4:00 - 5:00 - Get back from grand jury. Check email. Wow. Lots of stuff. Usually I triage. I try to do anything I can do in two minutes or less first like scheduling meetings and answering basic questions. I also try to respond to defense counsel inquiries pretty quickly. I then review requests for subpoenas - which are simply court orders. I make sure I understand the basis for the subpoena and the relevance to our investigation. A good AUSA can usually do this pretty quickly. Other things like requests for search warrants or more significant investigative tools will require a more in depth discussion. I make a note to call agents requesting these tomorrow.
5:00 - 5:30 - After checking email and responding, I review a search warrant affidavit for probable cause that an agent gave me the previous day. I make some suggestions to the agent for areas to review to beef up the affidavit and request another draft.
5:30 - 7:00 - The office starts to get quiet because support staff and agents start to leave. I start focusing on drafting a response to a complicated motion to suppress. We have to do our own legal research and we write the entire brief. When we're done, we file it. There's nobody to look over our shoulder to make sure everything is good to go. Its my responsibility alone. Of course, i don't finish because good writing takes a lot of time, but I have an outline of the arguments I want to make and some good legal research to back me up. I'm confident the suppression motion will be denied.
7:00 - 7:15 - check my inter-office mailbox. Supervisor has approved the plea. I email defense counsel the plea agreement and ask for signatures. I email the agent who randomly popped in to remind him about his promise for discovery this week.
7:15 - colleague comes by and asks if I want to grab dinner. I say sure. We leave the office to go eat and chop it up.

Of course, some days are heavy with reviewing discovery. Some days are focused on trial prep. Some days are longer - if I'm going to trial, I'll be in the office until midnight. If I'm not terribly busy, I might leave at six to go play flag football. So it could all be different, but an AUSA is usually focused on: (1) investigating cases; (2) developing and bringing charges; (3) focusing on trial prep and plea negotiations; (4) trial; (5) post trial procedures like sentencing and reviewing the pre-sentence report; and (6) handling any appeals from cases that the AUSA has handled. And I work on 3-4 of these things on different cases in a typical day.

Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.