Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

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15 styx
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Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby 15 styx » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:20 pm

Just started right after passing the bar. Workload was as expected during the first couple weeks but now I am constantly slammed (as in 9A-10P and work from home on weekends). ML firm of <60 (pay is slightly under market and bonus needs work). Mainly lit, but also crosses over into other areas. Clients largely consist of corps and the wealthy. I bill @240 with a first year 1750 annual goal (which I will easily surpass at this rate).

I wake up most every morning to 2-3 texts from partners wanting to see me “first thing.” Theoretically we have an assignment person but she tends to be in court or traveling. So is this normal? Or does BL firms have an assignment solution beyond “here’s something new for you to add on to your pile”? I like the firm and the work but there is just so much of it. Just asking if other mid-sized attorneys are facing the same challenge.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:45 pm

Being busy and needed is good. Balancing workload is an art. Eventually, you will have to learn to say "yes, but I can't until....because....." I suspect some people will tell you its normal. There was another post yesterday or so where there was discussion of how it can take months to develop a consistent stream of work. So on the spectrum, you seem to fall on the "busy" side.

Anonymous User
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Re: Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:17 pm

I work at a similar firm, and my workload isn't that heavy, but it certainly gets that heavy at points. If you just started after passing the bar, then it sounds like you don't have an adequate timeframe in which to gauge whether this is normal or whether it's some combination of (i) this being a busy period and (ii) you being new and therefore inefficient.

Give it a few months to see whether things slow down. If they don't, then this is probably what you can expect. I can say that your firm culture sounds pretty intense if you get daily texts from partners. I don't think I've ever had a partner text me unless we are meeting somewhere outside the office. Not sure why they wouldn't just use email.

The upshot of all of this, as others have said, is that this level of reliance on you this early in the game indicates that you do good work.

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15 styx
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Re: Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby 15 styx » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:05 pm

Thanks, great guidance from all. To me, aside from hefty bonuses, Mid-law seems similar to BL with the exception on how work is assigned. For no creditable reason whatsoever I surmise that BL assignments are given to a designated person who clearly understands what each associate is tasked with (client meetings, interviews, etc.) and assigns accordingly and end runs are disallowed. Whereas end runs in Mid-law are somewhat common.

I wonder if anyone here has lateralled from BL to ML (or vice-versa) and can compare differences.

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fats provolone
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Re: Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby fats provolone » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:29 pm

15 styx wrote:Thanks, great guidance from all. To me, aside from hefty bonuses, Mid-law seems similar to BL with the exception on how work is assigned. For no creditable reason whatsoever I surmise that BL assignments are given to a designated person who clearly understands what each associate is tasked with (client meetings, interviews, etc.) and assigns accordingly and end runs are disallowed. Whereas end runs in Mid-law are somewhat common.

I wonder if anyone here has lateralled from BL to ML (or vice-versa) and can compare differences.

lol where on earth did you get that idea?

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fats provolone
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Re: Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby fats provolone » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:30 pm

somewhere between 99-101% of my assignments come from someone saying "shit, someone needs to do X"

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Desert Fox
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Re: Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:51 pm

fats provolone wrote:
15 styx wrote:Thanks, great guidance from all. To me, aside from hefty bonuses, Mid-law seems similar to BL with the exception on how work is assigned. For no creditable reason whatsoever I surmise that BL assignments are given to a designated person who clearly understands what each associate is tasked with (client meetings, interviews, etc.) and assigns accordingly and end runs are disallowed. Whereas end runs in Mid-law are somewhat common.

I wonder if anyone here has lateralled from BL to ML (or vice-versa) and can compare differences.

lol where on earth did you get that idea?


probably from talking to a 2L SA.

75% shit, someone needs to do X, DF handle.

15%, shit somoene needs to do X, midlevel handle. Midlevel: DF handle

10%, shit I made up for myself to do

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15 styx
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Re: Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby 15 styx » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:04 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
fats provolone wrote:
15 styx wrote:Thanks, great guidance from all. To me, aside from hefty bonuses, Mid-law seems similar to BL with the exception on how work is assigned. For no creditable reason whatsoever I surmise that BL assignments are given to a designated person who clearly understands what each associate is tasked with (client meetings, interviews, etc.) and assigns accordingly and end runs are disallowed. Whereas end runs in Mid-law are somewhat common.

I wonder if anyone here has lateralled from BL to ML (or vice-versa) and can compare differences.

lol where on earth did you get that idea?


probably from talking to a 2L SA.

75% shit, someone needs to do X, DF handle.

15%, shit somoene needs to do X, midlevel handle. Midlevel: DF handle

10%, shit I made up for myself to do

I guess it was the belief that first year associate workloads might be coordinated in some organized fashion. If not in mid-law than perhaps BL. Perhaps that is just me thinking silly thoughts.

And yes df, as a SA we were usually spoon-fed work. Now they use a forklift and my desk is a dipsy-dumpster :(

shock259
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Re: Assignment workload difference between Mid & BL

Postby shock259 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:41 am

Sounds about right for biglaw, except substitute 10pm for 4am for the week leading up to the deal closing. Take it and live with it. Then really appreciate (and actually take advantage of) those days when you get to leave at 5pm and your blackberry stays silent all night.




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