First year litigator, colossal sloooooowness for two weeks.

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

First year litigator, colossal sloooooowness for two weeks.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:31 pm

Hello everyone,

I am looking for some advice on what you all do when you're slow. I have been slow for two weeks and it's starting to make me freak the hell out. Prior to this period, I was massively busy and work was actually fun (minus a few strings of all-nighters). Now that I'm slow, I have no idea why. I understand that there will be some busy and some slow periods, but this seems ridiculous. Is this typically par for the course from your experience or should I be worried? The only feedback I've received on my work is that it's good and I am doing well. Still, why no projects? The firm definitely has work, I'm just not getting any of it.

To pass the time, I've done CLEs, started prepping article stuff, and have been reading about developments in my practice area. I've also managed to scrape together 54 billable hours for the past two weeks. At this rate, clearly won't be making my monthly goal.

I realize I might be jumping to really crazy conclusions about this, but I obviously don't want to talk about my concerns with anyone who works at my firm. Not yet anyways.

Short version: Do I need to chill the fuck out because this is normal? Or is my concern justified?

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3139
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: First year litigator, colossal sloooooowness for two weeks.

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:39 pm

Have you, um, asked for work?

My typical response to this kind of question is "relax and enjoy it while it lasts," but it's not clear to me if this is a temporary lull in your matters or if you need new work.

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Capitol_Idea
Posts: 10692
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:54 am

Re: First year litigator, colossal sloooooowness for two weeks.

Postby Capitol_Idea » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:40 pm

Are you asking around for more work? Slowness hits from time to time - you should learn how your practice area/firm tends to cycle its workload. Just don't ask for too much more if your current cases are likely to pick back up again soon.

edit: scooped

Anonymous User
Posts: 273233
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: First year litigator, colossal sloooooowness for two weeks.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:44 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Have you, um, asked for work?

My typical response to this kind of question is "relax and enjoy it while it lasts," but it's not clear to me if this is a temporary lull in your matters or if you need new work.



I have. We also keep a spreadsheet with our work status. My big concern with asking is when to stop. So far, I've tried not to ask more than 2-3 people a day, because I don't want to be the annoying person that is constantly knocking on people's doors. Do you think that approach is too conservative?

Edit: I appreciate that both of you took the time to respond. Thanks!

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rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: First year litigator, colossal sloooooowness for two weeks.

Postby rpupkin » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hello everyone,

I am looking for some advice on what you all do when you're slow. I have been slow for two weeks and it's starting to make me freak the hell out. Prior to this period, I was massively busy and work was actually fun (minus a few strings of all-nighters). Now that I'm slow, I have no idea why. I understand that there will be some busy and some slow periods, but this seems ridiculous. Is this typically par for the course from your experience or should I be worried? The only feedback I've received on my work is that it's good and I am doing well. Still, why no projects? The firm definitely has work, I'm just not getting any of it.

To pass the time, I've done CLEs, started prepping article stuff, and have been reading about developments in my practice area. I've also managed to scrape together 54 billable hours for the past two weeks. At this rate, clearly won't be making my monthly goal.

Seems totally normal to me. Actually, I'm impressed that you managed to scrape together 54 hours the past two weeks even though you're not assigned to anything. And you're doing lots of non-billable stuff. If you were "massively busy" for a few months, then there's nothing wrong with having a slow month. Enjoy it while you can.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273233
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: First year litigator, colossal sloooooowness for two weeks.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:58 pm

Enjoy it. It's common to have 100-120 hour months and 250+ hour months. Use the slow months to leave work at 5:00, take mini-vacations on weekends, etc. No one will care if you have a slow month or two (at my firm, associates can get away with 5-6 consecutive ~50 hour months before the firm notices and fires them).

I think seeking out work is generally a bad idea unless you have serious concerns about your ability to meet your hours. If you aren't staffed on any large matters you may want to ask for work, but if you are and they just happen to be in slow periods, there's no need to worry because things will pick up again. In my experience, once people know you're slow they'll dump nonbillable work on you because you have no excuse to turn it down.

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JohannDeMann
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: First year litigator, colossal sloooooowness for two weeks.

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:06 pm

If you are like your OP you are being annoying and need to chill.




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