Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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lawposeidon

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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.

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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.

Volga9673

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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

Sticking this

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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.

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Posts: 324955
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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.


Wow this is really great stuff. What type of cases do you usually prosecute?

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

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:33 pm

Major market in a jd preferred/advantage role:

6-730 am: wake up, shower, half hour of tv, get kid ready for day care
730-830 am: commute to work
830-930 am: respond to emails, catch up with work buddies
930-1030 am: break time (online shopping, reading, etc.)
13-12 pm: markup and negotiate contracts
12-1 pm: lunch outside the office
1-230 pm: meetings and continue to markup contracts
230-330 pm: break time (chit chat, maybe take a walk, reading online)
330-5 pm: respond to emails, more contracts to markup/meetings
5-6 pm: commute home, pick up kid
6-8 pm: help cook dinner, eat and clean up
8-10:00 pm: help prepare for the day tomorrow (mostly kid stuff)
10-6am: sleep

Schedule varies a little bit but overall life is so much better after leaving practice. Stress levels are a lot lower

Anonymous User
Posts: 324955
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Major market in a jd preferred/advantage role:

6-730 am: wake up, shower, half hour of tv, get kid ready for day care
730-830 am: commute to work
830-930 am: respond to emails, catch up with work buddies
930-1030 am: break time (online shopping, reading, etc.)
13-12 pm: markup and negotiate contracts
12-1 pm: lunch outside the office
1-230 pm: meetings and continue to markup contracts
230-330 pm: break time (chit chat, maybe take a walk, reading online)
330-5 pm: respond to emails, more contracts to markup/meetings
5-6 pm: commute home, pick up kid
6-8 pm: help cook dinner, eat and clean up
8-10:00 pm: help prepare for the day tomorrow (mostly kid stuff)
10-6am: sleep

Schedule varies a little bit but overall life is so much better after leaving practice. Stress levels are a lot lower


what do you get paid for your 3-4.5 hours a day of work?

Anonymous User
Posts: 324955
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Major market in a jd preferred/advantage role:

6-730 am: wake up, shower, half hour of tv, get kid ready for day care
730-830 am: commute to work
830-930 am: respond to emails, catch up with work buddies
930-1030 am: break time (online shopping, reading, etc.)
13-12 pm: markup and negotiate contracts
12-1 pm: lunch outside the office
1-230 pm: meetings and continue to markup contracts
230-330 pm: break time (chit chat, maybe take a walk, reading online)
330-5 pm: respond to emails, more contracts to markup/meetings
5-6 pm: commute home, pick up kid
6-8 pm: help cook dinner, eat and clean up
8-10:00 pm: help prepare for the day tomorrow (mostly kid stuff)
10-6am: sleep

Schedule varies a little bit but overall life is so much better after leaving practice. Stress levels are a lot lower


what do you get paid for your 3-4.5 hours a day of work?


Low 6 figures. Doesn't stretch far in my market but worth it to me.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324955
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Major market in a jd preferred/advantage role:

6-730 am: wake up, shower, half hour of tv, get kid ready for day care
730-830 am: commute to work
830-930 am: respond to emails, catch up with work buddies
930-1030 am: break time (online shopping, reading, etc.)
13-12 pm: markup and negotiate contracts
12-1 pm: lunch outside the office
1-230 pm: meetings and continue to markup contracts
230-330 pm: break time (chit chat, maybe take a walk, reading online)
330-5 pm: respond to emails, more contracts to markup/meetings
5-6 pm: commute home, pick up kid
6-8 pm: help cook dinner, eat and clean up
8-10:00 pm: help prepare for the day tomorrow (mostly kid stuff)
10-6am: sleep

Schedule varies a little bit but overall life is so much better after leaving practice. Stress levels are a lot lower


That is unreal. Can you talk more about what you do exactly? Or, what kind of company? Just any info. I'd love a gig like this.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324955
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Major market in a jd preferred/advantage role:

6-730 am: wake up, shower, half hour of tv, get kid ready for day care
730-830 am: commute to work
830-930 am: respond to emails, catch up with work buddies
930-1030 am: break time (online shopping, reading, etc.)
13-12 pm: markup and negotiate contracts
12-1 pm: lunch outside the office
1-230 pm: meetings and continue to markup contracts
230-330 pm: break time (chit chat, maybe take a walk, reading online)
330-5 pm: respond to emails, more contracts to markup/meetings
5-6 pm: commute home, pick up kid
6-8 pm: help cook dinner, eat and clean up
8-10:00 pm: help prepare for the day tomorrow (mostly kid stuff)
10-6am: sleep

Schedule varies a little bit but overall life is so much better after leaving practice. Stress levels are a lot lower



Sounds pretty ideal. Do you work for an insurance company as an underwriter and/or broker?

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

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:58 pm

Bump to ask what the above job is. Sounds ideal and I'd leave big law for that easily.

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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:36 am

Bored, so I might as well... Low COL Market JD Preferred Legal Compliance Manager role.


7:00 am - Wake up and check some emails in bed.

7:15 am- Take 45 minute shower to gain full consciousness.

8:15 am - Leave for work and start boxing podcast on phone.

9:00 am - Get to work and talk to coworkers in the legal department.

9:30 am - Read and answer emails from outside counsel and internal stakeholders regarding export controls, sanctions, FCPA and other compliance issues.

10:30 am - Meetings with outside counsel and other key stakeholders.

12:00 pm - Lunch with coworkers at a restaurant.

1:00 pm - Get back from lunch and either draft licenses or review/approve compliance language in agreements, put out fires, or attend more meetings. Also, work with members of the business to assess legal risks, investigate potential violations, remediate (basically say yes and no/protect the company).

4:00 pm - Wrap up high priority issues.

4:30 pm - Go home

Rest of the night check and answer one of emails from international outside counsels that are in different time zones.

I really like what I do and the work and investigations can be really interesting.

shannonsharpe

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Posts: 2
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby shannonsharpe » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:37 pm

First-year Corporate Transactional Associate at a NJ + NY smaller mid-sized firm. 1400 billable. I'm making around six figures (includes bonuses) plus full benefits. No weekend work, but some days are pretty long, especially if there's a big deal closing. I've had issues with partners who send me projects pretty late, but that doesn't happen often. Business casual, generally very relaxed environment.

6:30- Wake up, make and drink some coffee and read over the news.

7:30- Drive to work

8:30- Arrive at work. Usually, just a managing partner and his assistant/secretary are there. Most attorneys arrive after 9:30. Check emails, make a list of assignments and read the news again. Most days I don't get bigger assignments until the afternoon.

9:30/10- Start working on billables/assignments. Generally, as a first year, you are working on smaller deals and basic company formations/drafting agreements.

12:30- Eat lunch at my desk and watch youtube.

1:00- More billables. A partner usually gives me a boring research assignment at this point. I continue working on billables until later in the afternoon.

4:00- As I finish up my work, a partner usually hits me with a complex, time-sensitive assignment. My plans to leave at 5:30 have been squashed.

6:30- I bill another couple of hours and leave.

7:30- Get home and eat dinner/spend time with my girlfriend.

9:00- In bed, watch more TV and play online poker.

11:00- Take some CBD and pass out.

Happy to answer any questions.



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