How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

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Anonymous User
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How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:17 pm

First year, on pace for nearly 3000 billable hours, with no signs of slowing down. It's starting to become intolerable. My long term interests certainly don't include biglaw, but I also don't want to sacrifice my career by leaving too early. Any advice?

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:30 pm

wat practice area/industry?

3K is meatgrinder territory

i had one 2400 year and wasnt terrible but 3K is awful

r u accepting too much work?

its hard, but figuring out how to create boundaries (without raising red flags obv) can help

maybe reach out to a more senior associate that u can talk 2?

longevity in this profession is about balancing the sprint and the marathon paces

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:38 pm

Anything less than a year will raise red flags. Preferably wait 2-3 years. That said, 3000 is unsustainable....so I would GTFO to another market

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:46 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:Anything less than a year will raise red flags. Preferably wait 2-3 years. That said, 3000 is unsustainable....so I would GTFO to another market


ya u can do maybe 2 or so B2B before u literally die

i dont know anyone who's done more than 1 3K, but i know quite a few whove done like 3K, 2700, 2500, etc.

theres a psychological breaking point packed into that last 500 hour tranche

unless ur a sociopath and workaholic

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:49 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:Anything less than a year will raise red flags. Preferably wait 2-3 years. That said, 3000 is unsustainable....so I would GTFO to another market


ya u can do maybe 2 or so B2B before u literally die

i dont know anyone who's done more than 1 3K, but i know quite a few whove done like 3K, 2700, 2500, etc.

theres a psychological breaking point packed into that last 500 hour tranche

unless ur a sociopath and workaholic


i've gained 20 pounds since i started this job too and the most I billed in one year was 2400-2500. don't these people care about maintaining their looks/figure? I don't get it.....Also that 2400-2500 was already hard enough since it was half the year was a shitload of work, and the other half wasn't as much. I can't imagine doing 3000---why the fuck would anyone do that? We don't even get paid that much.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:52 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:Anything less than a year will raise red flags. Preferably wait 2-3 years. That said, 3000 is unsustainable....so I would GTFO to another market


ya u can do maybe 2 or so B2B before u literally die

i dont know anyone who's done more than 1 3K, but i know quite a few whove done like 3K, 2700, 2500, etc.

theres a psychological breaking point packed into that last 500 hour tranche

unless ur a sociopath and workaholic


i've gained 20 pounds since i started this job too and the most I billed in one year was 2400-2500. don't these people care about maintaining their looks/figure? I don't get it.....Also that 2400-2500 was already hard enough since it was half the year was a shitload of work, and the other half wasn't as much. I can't imagine doing 3000---why the fuck would anyone do that? We don't even get paid that much.


GOLDEN HANDCUFFS for us PROLES who dont have anything else :-(

having financial freedom is nice, even if u cant enjoy it

if i didnt have BIGLAW, id probably either KILLSELF or expatriate and disappear

shock259
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby shock259 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:54 pm

I would make a serious effort to cut down on your efforts before leaving. Why are you getting so much work? Does anyone know that you are working this much? Are there associates you trust that you can talk to about this?

My advice would be to do whatever you can do to cut your hours, even if it means pissing people off. Billing 2200 hours/year for 3 years while pissing off some partners for "dodging" work > billing 3000 hours for 1 year and burning out.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:55 pm

shock259 wrote:I would make a serious effort to cut down on your efforts before leaving. Why are you getting so much work? Does anyone know that you are working this much? Are there associates you trust that you can talk to about this?

My advice would be to do whatever you can do to cut your hours, even if it means pissing people off. Billing 2200 hours/year for 3 years while pissing off some partners for "dodging" work > billing 3000 hours for 1 year and burning out.


shrewd

also, if u get stealthed/performo'd, ull get 3mo DAT SEVERANCE!!!

then u can job hunt for another gig while still getting PAID and NOT WORKING

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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:04 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:wat practice area/industry?

3K is meatgrinder territory

i had one 2400 year and wasnt terrible but 3K is awful

r u accepting too much work?

its hard, but figuring out how to create boundaries (without raising red flags obv) can help

maybe reach out to a more senior associate that u can talk 2?

longevity in this profession is about balancing the sprint and the marathon paces


OP here. I'm a litigation associate. It's not a case of accepting too much work, as I get all my work from the same couple people, as I'm only on one case.

Anonymous User
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:wat practice area/industry?

3K is meatgrinder territory

i had one 2400 year and wasnt terrible but 3K is awful

r u accepting too much work?

its hard, but figuring out how to create boundaries (without raising red flags obv) can help

maybe reach out to a more senior associate that u can talk 2?

longevity in this profession is about balancing the sprint and the marathon paces


OP here. I'm a litigation associate. It's not a case of accepting too much work, as I get all my work from the same couple people, as I'm only on one case.

Are you at CSM by chance? I have heard that this can be a problem for some lit associates there, and the answer is that there is nothing you can do until your partner(s) slow down.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:09 pm

Harder to lateral if you're lit, but I'd look in another market ASAP

We don't get paid nearly enough to work these kind of hours. WHy not just make the same amount of money (or more) mining in North Dakota for 12 hours a day? At least you'd be working better hours and probably get taxed less
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mvp99
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby mvp99 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:10 pm

I admire you. If it was me, I simply couldn't do it.

mvp99
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby mvp99 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:15 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:Harder to lateral if you're lit, but I'd look in another market ASAP

We don't get paid nearly enough to work these kind of hours. WHy not just make the same amount of money (or more) mining in North Dakota for 12 hours a day? At least you'd be working better hours and probably get taxed less

Hey but he/she will get a 10k extra bonus at the end of the year

Anonymous User
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:23 pm

mvp99 wrote:I admire you. If it was me, I simply couldn't do it.

Not really doing it by choice. I was dealt a shitty hand. I suppose it was my choice to take out law school loans, though.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:56 pm

dude 3000 hours is only 60 hour work weeks and 2 weeks of vacation!!!


Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York!

!!!!!!!!!


sorry dude. fuck this job.

dingus
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby dingus » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:50 am

In general, leaving any job with less than a year (absent legit reasons) is suspicious.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:22 am

dingus wrote:In general, leaving any job with less than a year (absent legit reasons) is suspicious.



ya try 2 stay as long as u can

or at least until u have a stroke at 4am cuz partner #4's edits didn't get into the brief

CanadianWolf
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:30 am

Leaving after one year may look like you were forced out.

Really depends upon what exit options you have.

Since you're only working on one case, the stress might be less than for one working on multiple cases. How are you handling it ? Do you see a break coming within the next few months ?

Do you talk with other new associates in your firm ?

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glitched
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby glitched » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:35 am

Would you be up to switching practice areas? Isn't it credited that switching practice areas should be done asap (even before 1 year mark)?

KidStuddi
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby KidStuddi » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:wat practice area/industry?

3K is meatgrinder territory

i had one 2400 year and wasnt terrible but 3K is awful

r u accepting too much work?

its hard, but figuring out how to create boundaries (without raising red flags obv) can help

maybe reach out to a more senior associate that u can talk 2?

longevity in this profession is about balancing the sprint and the marathon paces


OP here. I'm a litigation associate. It's not a case of accepting too much work, as I get all my work from the same couple people, as I'm only on one case.


Are you on pace for 3000 counting your stub year, or are you on pace for 3000 counting only the first 4 months of 2015? Averaging 250 a month for 4 months when you haven't taken vacation and there aren't many holidays, sorry to say, is not that uncommon and pretty different than averaging 250 for 7-8 months.

Secondly, if you're considering leaving the job after less than one year, it is a case of accepting too much work. I understand that you think because you're only on one matter you're supposed to do everything asked of you without complaint, but that's not how it works. The reason big cases go to big firms is because big firms have the resources to staff matters appropriately. If you're going to hit 3000 hours on one matter, there's definitely enough work for another junior associates. If a another junior really isn't needed, then your midlevels/seniors are delegating way too much to you. Either way, if you're saying yes to every assignment that's put on your desk without raising these issues clearly and directly, and it's making you want to quit, you're accepting to much work.

Before you start looking for jobs, go talk to the partner on the case (or your partner mentor, or the firms assigning partner / person in charge of staffing) and let them know your situation. Tell them that you don't think the pace is sustainable and that you're worried the quality of your work is going to start to slip if you don't get some help soon. It's not an unusual conversation and it happens all the time. Firms generally take the position that associates can work as much as they want to and aren't going to start taking work away from you on their own accord. There really isn't some staffing god who's out there managing every associates hours from the top down to make sure it's equitable and that people aren't being overworked. It's pretty much incumbent on you to raise the issue. My bet is they'll agree with you and get you the help you probably needed several months ago.

Now if they look at the staffing for the matter after you raise the issue and determine that nothing needs to be changed and that you should be okay with 3,000 an hour pace, that's when I'd start planning to walk (and you should out the firm when you've secured an exit because that sounds horrible).

Anonymous User
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Re: How soon is too soon to leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:06 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:wat practice area/industry?

3K is meatgrinder territory

i had one 2400 year and wasnt terrible but 3K is awful

r u accepting too much work?

its hard, but figuring out how to create boundaries (without raising red flags obv) can help

maybe reach out to a more senior associate that u can talk 2?

longevity in this profession is about balancing the sprint and the marathon paces


OP here. I'm a litigation associate. It's not a case of accepting too much work, as I get all my work from the same couple people, as I'm only on one case.


Are you on pace for 3000 counting your stub year, or are you on pace for 3000 counting only the first 4 months of 2015? Averaging 250 a month for 4 months when you haven't taken vacation and there aren't many holidays, sorry to say, is not that uncommon and pretty different than averaging 250 for 7-8 months.

Secondly, if you're considering leaving the job after less than one year, it is a case of accepting too much work. I understand that you think because you're only on one matter you're supposed to do everything asked of you without complaint, but that's not how it works. The reason big cases go to big firms is because big firms have the resources to staff matters appropriately. If you're going to hit 3000 hours on one matter, there's definitely enough work for another junior associates. If a another junior really isn't needed, then your midlevels/seniors are delegating way too much to you. Either way, if you're saying yes to every assignment that's put on your desk without raising these issues clearly and directly, and it's making you want to quit, you're accepting to much work.

Before you start looking for jobs, go talk to the partner on the case (or your partner mentor, or the firms assigning partner / person in charge of staffing) and let them know your situation. Tell them that you don't think the pace is sustainable and that you're worried the quality of your work is going to start to slip if you don't get some help soon. It's not an unusual conversation and it happens all the time. Firms generally take the position that associates can work as much as they want to and aren't going to start taking work away from you on their own accord. There really isn't some staffing god who's out there managing every associates hours from the top down to make sure it's equitable and that people aren't being overworked. It's pretty much incumbent on you to raise the issue. My bet is they'll agree with you and get you the help you probably needed several months ago.

Now if they look at the staffing for the matter after you raise the issue and determine that nothing needs to be changed and that you should be okay with 3,000 an hour pace, that's when I'd start planning to walk (and you should out the firm when you've secured an exit because that sounds horrible).


OP here. The pace includes only the first 4 months of the year, and there's no signs that it will slow down for, likely, the rest of the year. Staffing is clearly the main issue, since we don't have enough associates. This has been brought to attention of higher-ups, but there's no sign of new blood. I'm going to see what happens in the near future before I make any rash decisions.




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