NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:59 pm

You absolutely get opportunity to chat and engage the cases and issues. I have weekly meetings with partners on my cases, and they love when we share our thoughts and input. Even if we are a bit off-base, it shows that we are thinking a lot about it, and it will often spur the partner to think about things in a different way. As for client contact, that will mostly come through pro bono experience, at least during the first few years. Few junior associates will have much contact with paying clients, though I've certain had a few chances.

You aren't paid to just sit in your office and take orders. You want to engage things, add value, share your perspectives, etc. People will appreciate that, and will generally value your input.[/quote]

Thank you so much for your answer! I feel much better about the prospect of going into big law now. It sounds like you have a very supportive office environment as well, which is always a big plus.[/quote]
yea i would be careful taking OPs response as representative of biglaw. you will spend a lot of time alone in your office.[/quote]

No doubt he/she will spend quite a bit of time alone in the office. I didn't mean to say that its all engaging, collaborative, and lively. Much of it is very mundane, quiet work, where you sit at your desk, bang it out, and then move onto something else. I just meant that the opportunities to collaborate, engage, discuss, etc. certainly do come up and that you can and shuold make the most of them.

Yes, I am lucky to be in a pretty supportive and positive environment. People don't cut each other down or shame them at my firm, and no one would fault you for engaging the subject matter and trying to be proactive. Again, its all about who you end up working with. That, more than anything else, will determine how much you enjoy going into work each day (or whether you dread it).[/quote]

All makes sense. That's sort of the nature of every job involving working in an office. A lot of time you just need to sit and do your work. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems then that law isn't too much different from other office-bound industries in that regard; though much is done by oneself, there are daily opportunities to talk to people.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:07 pm

^^^

In that sense, no its probably not that different from most other office jobs.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby fats provolone » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:21 pm

it depends on the firm, but yea generally like most office jobs

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:25 pm

Sometimes I go like 3 weeks without talking to a partner, and other times I spend like 3 weeks in a conference room with one.

I think there is probably less interaction than most office jobs as a lit junior.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:^^^

In that sense, no its probably not that different from most other office jobs.


Other posters can chime in on this, but I actually think it's much worse than other office jobs. I'm in lit so I can't opine on transactional work but one strange observation I've noticed about legal practice is that it is extremely solitary. Much of the work being done requires little or no collaboration. Most days, aside from saying hello to my office manager and eating lunch with some of my co-workers, I could go 10-12 hours sitting in my office without speaking to anyone. Being a lawyer is very lonely at times, and I hate that aspect of it.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby GOATlawman » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:28 am

Desert Fox wrote:Sometimes I go like 3 weeks without talking to a partner, and other times I spend like 3 weeks in a conference room with one.

I think there is probably less interaction than most office jobs as a lit junior.


don't you do prosecution? :arrow: chatting with inventors & examiners all the time?

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:31 am

New anon here.

Lit first year at a boutique; anon's experience sounds very much like mine.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:03 am

Desert Fox wrote:Sometimes I go like 3 weeks without talking to a partner, and other times I spend like 3 weeks in a conference room with one.

I think there is probably less interaction than most office jobs as a lit junior.


You think that is unique to lit and not the case for corporate? Or law in general?

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:30 am

GOATlawman wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Sometimes I go like 3 weeks without talking to a partner, and other times I spend like 3 weeks in a conference room with one.

I think there is probably less interaction than most office jobs as a lit junior.


don't you do prosecution? :arrow: chatting with inventors & examiners all the time?


nope, I do IP lit.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby r6_philly » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:21 am

Desert Fox wrote:Sometimes I go like 3 weeks without talking to a partner, and other times I spend like 3 weeks in a conference room with one.

I think there is probably less interaction than most office jobs as a lit junior.


I/other associates have lunch with a couple of partners a couple of times a week (when I/we am not on a crunch for hours). But that is more about those partners' personalities and view on working relationships.

But I agree with limited interaction. That's why I now see a shared office (but with a good office mate) is a very cool thing.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby r6_philly » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Sometimes I go like 3 weeks without talking to a partner, and other times I spend like 3 weeks in a conference room with one.

I think there is probably less interaction than most office jobs as a lit junior.


You think that is unique to lit and not the case for corporate? Or law in general?


Don't generalize biglaw, it's truly about who you are staffed with. Some prefer to get to know you others don't.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:43 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Sometimes I go like 3 weeks without talking to a partner, and other times I spend like 3 weeks in a conference room with one.

I think there is probably less interaction than most office jobs as a lit junior.


I/other associates have lunch with a couple of partners a couple of times a week (when I/we am not on a crunch for hours). But that is more about those partners' personalities and view on working relationships.

But I agree with limited interaction. That's why I now see a shared office (but with a good office mate) is a very cool thing.


As much as I liked having my own personal office both as a summer and junior associate, there certainly would have been benefits to sharing an office. At the very beginning, you will have MANY stupid questions and it is good to bounce them off of people who are in a similar situation.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:46 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Sometimes I go like 3 weeks without talking to a partner, and other times I spend like 3 weeks in a conference room with one.

I think there is probably less interaction than most office jobs as a lit junior.


Seems to depend on the case. I have one case where I chat with the partner every single day, and another where he just does a once-per-week meeting, we get our few minutes audience with him, and thats that until next week. Level of partner interaction will always depend on the partner's personality, the number of people on the case (i.e. stratification of the hierarchy), etc.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:32 pm

Can you talk more about managing discovery, like what specifically your role is? I'm coming off a clerkship where I did a lot of research and writing but (obviously) not a lot of other tasks. Interested in hearing more about the specific tasks that juniors doing the "nitty gritty" of discovery will be involved in.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can you talk more about managing discovery, like what specifically your role is? I'm coming off a clerkship where I did a lot of research and writing but (obviously) not a lot of other tasks. Interested in hearing more about the specific tasks that juniors doing the "nitty gritty" of discovery will be involved in.


For my main case, we have a team of contract reviewers going through hundreds of thousands of documents. So my job is to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and that we get as much useful information out of it as possible. This is very multifaceted. It starts with having constant communication with the team to ensure that they are looking for the right things, building the case themes, noticing when certain docs are hot/warm, etc. In other words, you have to "calibrate" everyone to make sure they are on the same wavelength.

I give second-level review to any documents marked as hot or warm and circulate to my team as necessary. We then compile the hot documents into a case "bible" that essentially presents our case narrative through documentary evidence.

I am always in touch with the outside vendor company that manages our discovery. We are constantly having binders printed, having the vendor pull document categories, provide statistical analysis of review progress, etc. I then convey all the most relevant information to my team.

I guess its just a lot of little moving pieces, and you serve as the conduit between the review team and the case team.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:New anon here.

Lit first year at a boutique; anon's experience sounds very much like mine.


Had a feeling I wasn't too much of an outlier

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby GOATlawman » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:22 am

GOATlawman wrote:How attractive are the female coworkers, on average? The top 10%?

Do all the other associates white knight the top 10% like crazy?

Do you go out and party if you know you have to be in the office at 9:30 (or whatever is normal) the next day? Does anyone? How often?

Do you party with anyone from the office?

Do you have a lot of friends in NYC you didn't know beforehand? Who are they/where did you meet them?



I am very disappointed these were ignored. Surely you have some thoughts outside of the actual work?

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:34 am

As a basic question really, is Biglaw as bad as people seem to say (in exaggeration?) on TLS sometimes? Like noticeably worse than some other office job? I was honestly excited to work in Biglaw (not just star struck, I always knew it was a lot of work) but sometimes TLS seems to really talk it down.

Do you like your job? When you have free time, what do you do?

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you talk more about managing discovery, like what specifically your role is? I'm coming off a clerkship where I did a lot of research and writing but (obviously) not a lot of other tasks. Interested in hearing more about the specific tasks that juniors doing the "nitty gritty" of discovery will be involved in.


For my main case, we have a team of contract reviewers going through hundreds of thousands of documents. So my job is to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and that we get as much useful information out of it as possible. This is very multifaceted. It starts with having constant communication with the team to ensure that they are looking for the right things, building the case themes, noticing when certain docs are hot/warm, etc. In other words, you have to "calibrate" everyone to make sure they are on the same wavelength.

I give second-level review to any documents marked as hot or warm and circulate to my team as necessary. We then compile the hot documents into a case "bible" that essentially presents our case narrative through documentary evidence.

I am always in touch with the outside vendor company that manages our discovery. We are constantly having binders printed, having the vendor pull document categories, provide statistical analysis of review progress, etc. I then convey all the most relevant information to my team.

I guess its just a lot of little moving pieces, and you serve as the conduit between the review team and the case team.


How were you given a manager's postion as an associate? That seems like something a more experienced lawyer would get.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you talk more about managing discovery, like what specifically your role is? I'm coming off a clerkship where I did a lot of research and writing but (obviously) not a lot of other tasks. Interested in hearing more about the specific tasks that juniors doing the "nitty gritty" of discovery will be involved in.


For my main case, we have a team of contract reviewers going through hundreds of thousands of documents. So my job is to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and that we get as much useful information out of it as possible. This is very multifaceted. It starts with having constant communication with the team to ensure that they are looking for the right things, building the case themes, noticing when certain docs are hot/warm, etc. In other words, you have to "calibrate" everyone to make sure they are on the same wavelength.

I give second-level review to any documents marked as hot or warm and circulate to my team as necessary. We then compile the hot documents into a case "bible" that essentially presents our case narrative through documentary evidence.

I am always in touch with the outside vendor company that manages our discovery. We are constantly having binders printed, having the vendor pull document categories, provide statistical analysis of review progress, etc. I then convey all the most relevant information to my team.

I guess its just a lot of little moving pieces, and you serve as the conduit between the review team and the case team.


How were you given a manager's postion as an associate? That seems like something a more experienced lawyer would get.


(different biglaw anon here) You sound like a law student. The most senior associate I can think of at my firm who was assigned to babysit doc reviewers this year was a third year.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:51 am

biglaw is worse than TLS says.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a basic question really, is Biglaw as bad as people seem to say (in exaggeration?) on TLS sometimes? Like noticeably worse than some other office job? I was honestly excited to work in Biglaw (not just star struck, I always knew it was a lot of work) but sometimes TLS seems to really talk it down.

Do you like your job? When you have free time, what do you do?


For the most part, yes it is that bad. That isn't to say that the experience is one I regret, and it isn't to say that I don't find certain parts of it rewarding. If you are honest with yourself about what it will be like and what you plan to get out of it, its manageable.

But I don't think I know a single person, aside from a very select few, who actually "enjoy" it. I get the feeling that most people just put up with it to varying extents, build up some experience, pay off their loans, get some good training, build up their resume, and then move on. And the attrition rates reflect that mindset. It always goes unspoken, but I've always gotten the vibe that a huge chunk of people view it that way. But hey, maybe you will be one of those select few for whom this really is the perfect environment. I wouldn't go in overly optimistic about that, but at the same time, I wouldn't foreclose anything from the onset.

I like certain parts of the job, without a doubt. But the amount of stress, the amount of balls you have to juggle, the hassle of creating and maintaing workflows, the awful focus on billable hours, the general lack of respect for your personal life and private time, etc. can add up to make it worse than many other office jobs. I

In my free time, I like to get to the gym (since its so easy to become fat and out of shape in a job like this where you sit all day and often work until nighttime). I like to make one night totally free for seeing my fiance. One of the hardest parts of biglaw is missing dinners with her, getting home after she is already asleep, cancelling occasions with her, etc. Luckily she is very understanding, and we both knew what we were getting into.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you talk more about managing discovery, like what specifically your role is? I'm coming off a clerkship where I did a lot of research and writing but (obviously) not a lot of other tasks. Interested in hearing more about the specific tasks that juniors doing the "nitty gritty" of discovery will be involved in.


For my main case, we have a team of contract reviewers going through hundreds of thousands of documents. So my job is to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and that we get as much useful information out of it as possible. This is very multifaceted. It starts with having constant communication with the team to ensure that they are looking for the right things, building the case themes, noticing when certain docs are hot/warm, etc. In other words, you have to "calibrate" everyone to make sure they are on the same wavelength.

I give second-level review to any documents marked as hot or warm and circulate to my team as necessary. We then compile the hot documents into a case "bible" that essentially presents our case narrative through documentary evidence.

I am always in touch with the outside vendor company that manages our discovery. We are constantly having binders printed, having the vendor pull document categories, provide statistical analysis of review progress, etc. I then convey all the most relevant information to my team.

I guess its just a lot of little moving pieces, and you serve as the conduit between the review team and the case team.


How were you given a manager's postion as an associate? That seems like something a more experienced lawyer would get.


One of my cases is staffed very leanly, so the mid level associate is treated more like a senior associate whereas me, the junior, gets more mid-level responsibility. And part of that is helping to manage our review team. I'm not solely in charge of that responsibility, as the mid-level above me certainly supervises to some extent. But the day to day, nitty gritty stuff is on my plate to take care of.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:48 pm

GOATlawman wrote:
GOATlawman wrote:How attractive are the female coworkers, on average? The top 10%?

Do all the other associates white knight the top 10% like crazy?

Do you go out and party if you know you have to be in the office at 9:30 (or whatever is normal) the next day? Does anyone? How often?

Do you party with anyone from the office?

Do you have a lot of friends in NYC you didn't know beforehand? Who are they/where did you meet them?



I am very disappointed these were ignored. Surely you have some thoughts outside of the actual work?


I'm not much of a partier and when I'm not working late, I tend to hang with my fiance and our friends. So I don't think I'm the best person to really offer much input on most of this.

I certainly hang with office friends (mostly people from my summer class) from time to time. We go out for drinks, get dinner sometimes, etc. But the more time that passes, the less we hang out. We are all just very busy, and when we do get free time, we usually just want to relax, or spend some time with our closest friends/family.

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Re: NYC Biglaw Associate Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:20 pm

Desert Fox wrote:biglaw is worse than TLS says.


if anything, I'd agree with this. For the most part, this site seems to paint a bit of an overly optimistic and rosy view of big firm life. Again, almost certainly something you aren't going to like or enjoy, but for 99% of folks in biglaw, liking or enjoying it was never in the cards to begin with, since thats not why we are here. Plus, you have to be some kind of masochist with little to no family/personal life to genuinely enjoy it.




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