First Year Hours

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Anonymous User
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First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2015 11:36 am

I am a first year in a non New York office. I feel like I've been pretty busy but my hours for the first half year are roughly in the range of 800. I've heard that at a lot of firms first years don't get to 2000 hours. Is that true? Also I've heard that some firms have a unspoken minimum for class year promotion. Is that true and are those generally enforced on first years?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed May 13, 2015 12:00 pm

First year as well, so grain of salt. I'm going to miss hours as well. Senior associates and non-equity partners have told me not to worry though and said almost all first years miss hours not in corporate. I'm 99% sure I'll get moved up a class year and bonus will be the same.

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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2015 12:22 pm

Interested as well. What about corporate?

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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2015 12:48 pm

1st year, hours are on pace for about 2000. A lot of people are my class year at my firm are resigned to coming up a bit short, and that's true from other friends I've asked across firms as well. From what I've heard from older attorneys is that it's pretty common for 1st years to miss the mark since the days of endless doc review have ended and some increased number of clients refuse to pay for 1st years.

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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2015 12:48 pm

Curious how this applies to clerks joining a firm as second years - how forgiving are firms when they wind up missing their hours their first year at the firm?

lawschoolftw
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby lawschoolftw » Wed May 13, 2015 1:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Curious how this applies to clerks joining a firm as second years - how forgiving are firms when they wind up missing their hours their first year at the firm?


This shouldn't make a difference. First years hours are low because you haven't had time to become acquainted with all the partners yet and develop a reputation for work. Additionally, you often start when matters are in full swing and don't get staffed on completely new matters that are more of your "own" until after well into your first year. These factors are true whether you are a true first-year or a second-year coming off a clerkship.

Of course, I'm just speculating out loud.

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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2015 1:52 pm

While it's certainly true that first years usually fall short on their hours, I'd caution that 1600 might be cutting it close if the target is 2000. I'd really try to get in above 1800.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed May 13, 2015 1:56 pm

These posts come up every year, and it's a poorly kept secret that first years often miss their hours. It sucks - happened to me, I stressed, worried whether I'd be fired, whether firm was solvent, whether I was competent, likable, etc. etc. - and now I'm in my fifth year. Its built into the business model. There is no one answer, but it's pretty common. I couldn't put a percentage on it, and maybe certain firms have certain sensitivities and tolerances, but yeah, its normal.

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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2015 2:02 pm

Won't derail the thread, but here's a shameless plug for another post (re: mistakes as a first year), and hoping the audience here sparks some traction

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=247910&p=8592028#p8592028

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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Internetdan » Wed May 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:While it's certainly true that first years usually fall short on their hours, I'd caution that 1600 might be cutting it close if the target is 2000. I'd really try to get in above 1800.


Really great and specific advice!

lawschoolftw
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby lawschoolftw » Wed May 13, 2015 3:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:While it's certainly true that first years usually fall short on their hours, I'd caution that 1600 might be cutting it close if the target is 2000. I'd really try to get in above 1800.


Assuming OP means he's had about 800 January through present, he's probably closer to 1800 than 1600.

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Desert Fox
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DFTHREAD

Postby Desert Fox » Wed May 13, 2015 3:32 pm

fobstory.jpeg
Last edited by Desert Fox on Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

lawschoolftw
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby lawschoolftw » Wed May 13, 2015 4:00 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
lawschoolftw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:While it's certainly true that first years usually fall short on their hours, I'd caution that 1600 might be cutting it close if the target is 2000. I'd really try to get in above 1800.


Assuming OP means he's had about 800 January through present, he's probably closer to 1800 than 1600.


If he had 800 now he's on track for over 2000.

I'm guessing he started at like October or something.



Math fail. My bad. Doing what should be about three days of due diligence in an a hour and a half will do that.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu May 14, 2015 7:58 am

did like 2400 first year in MFH

second year was like 1800

just do good work, ask around for work if ur slow, etc.

also, document each time u ask...if ur doing good work but it's firm's fault for not having enuff 4 u, that's not ur problem

but if u fall into that category and think it's a firm/systemic problem, def update ur resume

rubberplant2020
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby rubberplant2020 » Thu May 14, 2015 8:40 am

JohannDeMann wrote:First year as well, so grain of salt. I'm going to miss hours as well. Senior associates and non-equity partners have told me not to worry though and said almost all first years miss hours not in corporate. I'm 99% sure I'll get moved up a class year and bonus will be the same.



Wait what?!? There's a possibility that an associate can be held back a class year due to performance? That would be terrible.

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SweetrollStealer
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby SweetrollStealer » Thu May 14, 2015 9:11 am

rubberplant2020 wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:First year as well, so grain of salt. I'm going to miss hours as well. Senior associates and non-equity partners have told me not to worry though and said almost all first years miss hours not in corporate. I'm 99% sure I'll get moved up a class year and bonus will be the same.



Wait what?!? There's a possibility that an associate can be held back a class year due to performance? That would be terrible.


I have never heard of that; pretty sure that's not a thing. They will probably politely suggest you find "a better fit" somewhere else but not until you're a midlevel.

Y'all need to relax. "Only" billing 1800 hours is a gift you should cherish.

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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 14, 2015 9:33 am

I work at a top corporate shop in NYC and right now im on pace for well-below 2000 hours (billable + pro bono). Was told by mid-levels never to ask for work (literally told to shut my mouth and enjoy), when I was slow for about a month and a half. Honestly, I don't think billables are really in your control unless you're a super star gunner that knows they WANT to bill 2500 hours or something.

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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 14, 2015 10:57 am

rubberplant2020 wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:First year as well, so grain of salt. I'm going to miss hours as well. Senior associates and non-equity partners have told me not to worry though and said almost all first years miss hours not in corporate. I'm 99% sure I'll get moved up a class year and bonus will be the same.



Wait what?!? There's a possibility that an associate can be held back a class year due to performance? That would be terrible.

My firm's (non-NYC V100) policy is that associates who miss their hours are not automatically eligible for a raise (and raises are lockstep for associates billing 2000+). Many still receive raises, but some do not. I haven't heard of first-years not being bumped up to second-years for not hitting their hours, since it's fairly common for first-years to be slow until they're fully integrated into larger matters, so it's more of an issue for midlevels and senior associates.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri May 15, 2015 9:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:I work at a top corporate shop in NYC and right now im on pace for well-below 2000 hours (billable + pro bono). Was told by mid-levels never to ask for work (literally told to shut my mouth and enjoy), when I was slow for about a month and a half. Honestly, I don't think billables are really in your control unless you're a super star gunner that knows they WANT to bill 2500 hours or something.



yep

Magic Hat
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Magic Hat » Fri May 15, 2015 11:24 am

Big Shrimpin wrote:did like 2400 first year in MFH

second year was like 1800

just do good work, ask around for work if ur slow, etc.

also, document each time u ask...if ur doing good work but it's firm's fault for not having enuff 4 u, that's not ur problem

but if u fall into that category and think it's a firm/systemic problem, def update ur resume


Actually if the firm doesn't have enough work for him it very much is his problem.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri May 15, 2015 3:09 pm

Magic Hat wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:did like 2400 first year in MFH

second year was like 1800

just do good work, ask around for work if ur slow, etc.

also, document each time u ask...if ur doing good work but it's firm's fault for not having enuff 4 u, that's not ur problem

but if u fall into that category and think it's a firm/systemic problem, def update ur resume


Actually if the firm doesn't have enough work for him it very much is his problem.


in the context of yearly reviews, no

in the context of should you fear getting shitcanned, yes

I meant the latter but just realized I didn't specify

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 16, 2015 1:50 am

NYC transactional finance. On par for 2400. Hate my life.

KidStuddi
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby KidStuddi » Sat May 16, 2015 5:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:I work at a top corporate shop in NYC and right now im on pace for well-below 2000 hours (billable + pro bono). Was told by mid-levels never to ask for work (literally told to shut my mouth and enjoy), when I was slow for about a month and a half. Honestly, I don't think billables are really in your control unless you're a super star gunner that knows they WANT to bill 2500 hours or something.


Yes and no. Yes, you probably never should have to ask for work if you're at one of the NYC corporate shops printing money. No in that your hours are still largely in your control. Learn to say no early and often and there's no good reason why you should ever bill substantially more than you're comfortable with.

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LA Spring
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Re: First Year Hours

Postby LA Spring » Sun May 17, 2015 2:28 pm

During my first few months I said yes to everything, resulting in working non-stop with a trajectory of +2000 hours. Now I primarily work with 1-3 partners on higher profile cases, resulting in fewer weekend and night time hours but still maintaining a projected path to 2000 hours. Plus, I now have no problem saying no to 2nd-5th years looking to dump non-billable work on my desk.




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