Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

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Desert Fox
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Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:26 pm

I think I'm never going to accept non-billable work. this shit is a scam.

911 crisis actor
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby 911 crisis actor » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:52 pm

What about your bonus

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Desert Fox
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:54 pm

911 crisis actor wrote:What about your bonus


what about it, nonbillable doenst count.

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sundance95
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby sundance95 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:11 pm

you don't get credit?

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Desert Fox
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:22 pm

sundance95 wrote:you don't get credit?


no, do many firms give credit for nonbillable work?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:25 pm

yeah i don't think this shit comes back to get you until like year 5-8. it helps to give talks at things or write articles because client interaction etc. but no 2nd year has shit to contribute to either of these really.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:31 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:yeah i don't think this shit comes back to get you until like year 5-8. it helps to give talks at things or write articles because client interaction etc. but no 2nd year has shit to contribute to either of these really.


By then I make juniors write this stuff for me.

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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:21 pm

This is bad advice. Granting, I'm speaking from a firm with no billable hours requirement, but I found a ton of value in doing these sort of assignments as a junior. Basically, it was a quick and dirty way to audition for a partner (or two or three) who I hadn't worked with prior, or to continue to cement an ongoing relationship with a partner who I'd already worked for.

IMO, the single best thing you can do as a junior/early midlevel is build relationship with partners so that they know you and like you and feed you the plum assignments. Accordingly, I think articles are a great opportunity. They don't take too long, but folks tend to remember who they work with on them since the partners get their hands dirty with the editing.

This is not an absolute rule. I've been assigned dog articles with folks I wasn't interested in working with, and I generally declined or, when that failed, did the work with gritted teeth.

That being said, never forget that you're playing the long game at your firm, and articles are great opportunities to build an internal network, even if they screw you out of some billable work. They also build your Google presence, which doesn't hurt.

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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:36 am

I think it depends on the non-billable work. If you have the time, it could be worth it. I think this is especially true if it's an article in an area in which you practice or if the person asking you to do the work is a partner that you hope to work with. When I first started, I wrote a presentation for a partner that was the head of our securities group. Since doing that, I have been staffed on several large securities cases. That worked and was worth it.

If it is something stupid like cite checking or you don't care about working with the person giving you the assignment, don't do it. It sucks. It's funny to me that you bring this topic up. Today, I experienced the non-billable bait and switch: Received a phone call from partner in x big city satellite office: "Uh, hi anonymous associate, I received your name from patent attorney bro no.2 in your office. He says he's been using you for IP research and shit. I need some research. It'll be quick--only an hour. It's on patent procedure and shit. Can you help me today/tomorrow?" I agree. Immediately after accepting: "oh, it's research for the 26 page chapter I'm writing for a treatise. Add citations, I know the cases exist. Just find them. Cite check/bluebook the other citations. Make sure it reads well? Kthanks!" In what world will this take an hour? It is currently 2:30 a.m. Still in the office playing law review with the chapter. No author credit. No billable credit. Full scam.

So, yeah, if they're telling you up front stuff is nonbillable and you have billables/have no desire to "get your foot in the door" with person y, I would say no. Huge waste of time, IMO. As for whether turning down non-billables has an impact on associate success, no clue. We have a billable and non-billable goal. The non-billable goal isn't too bad. Everyone *should* hit it by going to practice group meetings, bar functions, doing things in the community, etc.

I have experienced the bait and switch nonsense twice since I started in September. I wish I could just ask if the research is billable, instead of blindly accepting a project. I feel like this approach could be pretty offensive, so I have avoided it. Plus, I try to avoid saying "no," unless I have real reasons. Any thoughts on this?

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Desert Fox
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:54 am

The worst is that my midlevel gets asked to write a paper by my partner. His move is to try to get me to write it entirely and just slap his name on it too. Fuck that.

I do plenty of business development pitch and proposal work. IMO it should count as billable work.

I think doing it when not busy is also on point. And doing it to get a chance to work with a partner is a good idea. But I already work will all the partners in my group.

I've been saying no because any hour I spend will just come out of my billable hour total. Nobody wants that.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:53 am

to most recent anon - i never say yes to a project until i know what it entails. i bail on plenty of pro bono work midlevels try to drop on me. one partner came in my office at 730 and asked if i was busy - i said yeah i wouldnt be here if i wasnt, but what do you need?
this instantly puts the ball in your court to control the whole convo. when they pitch their bullshit you can say nah i got this project due tomorrow.
when i get presented with doc review i always say when do you need this by and youll have to clear it with head partner im working on something with (nobody likes dealing with head partner) so they never check it out.
you just gotta stop saying yes immediately to things and start asking questions right off the bat.
doesn't always help sinceim up at 3 am - but at least its billable

KidStuddi
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby KidStuddi » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:37 am

Desert Fox wrote:
sundance95 wrote:you don't get credit?


no, do many firms give credit for nonbillable work?


At my firm it depends on what kind of nonbillable work you're doing. Pro bono? Yes (uncapped, though I gather most firms give you at least 50-100 hours). Business development and CLE attendance, yes. Mandatory summer events, practice group events, dinners, "educational research," etc., no.

In other words, if a partner says "I'm giving a talk at X conference, can you make me a power point?" People have no real reason to say no because it's "real work."

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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:03 pm

Sometimes it's actually interesting -- either substantively or in a firm politics/business development way. So that can be worth it. Otherwise it seems to me like basically a favor. IME this stuff isn't in lieu of billable work, it's in addition. So I only say yes if it's someone I want to do a favor for. If they're appreciative and someone whose opinion matters to you, then that's good. If they're an asshole who will just take advantage, then screw it.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Risk of always turning down "marketing" and "client-alerts"

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:41 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
sundance95 wrote:you don't get credit?


no, do many firms give credit for nonbillable work?


At my firm it depends on what kind of nonbillable work you're doing. Pro bono? Yes (uncapped, though I gather most firms give you at least 50-100 hours). Business development and CLE attendance, yes. Mandatory summer events, practice group events, dinners, "educational research," etc., no.

In other words, if a partner says "I'm giving a talk at X conference, can you make me a power point?" People have no real reason to say no because it's "real work."


That is nice. I get unlimited pro bono but nothing else.




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