Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

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Is OP a Shitty Attorney?

Yes
13
25%
No
23
45%
Sometimes
15
29%
 
Total votes: 51

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:56 am

Chill there is nothing abnormal with you. Please stop making poles like this. Who is someone to judge you? You are your own best judge. when you know its a dumb mistake move on with your life.

Yes definitely learn from mistakes and try not to repeat. Only a fool repeats mistakes. So be cautious on that note. To be a successful lawyer there are many things and avoiding dumb mistakes is just one of them. Work hard (dont kill yourself), build network and maintain/gain trust with your clients. Rest will fall in place.

BobBoblaw

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby BobBoblaw » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:31 pm

I'm a worthless 0l, but i have a scientific background and scientists can also be quite anal about these kinds of drafting errors. Many of these basic proofreading issues could be solved with a community college level course in Microsoft office. Things like search functions, internal links to appendices, and track changes etc. Could surely be done by any reasonably competent administrative assistant, but until you get one you should sure as shit be positive you are using every standard word processing function to cut down on silly mistakes.. if you just make the time to take an online course, you will probably discover a half dozen or so functions in word which you aren't currently using, and which will cut down these kinds of errors substantially in very little time.

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Devlin

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby Devlin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:01 pm

BobBoblaw wrote:I'm a worthless 0l, but i have a scientific background and scientists can also be quite anal about these kinds of drafting errors. Many of these basic proofreading issues could be solved with a community college level course in Microsoft office. Things like search functions, internal links to appendices, and track changes etc. Could surely be done by any reasonably competent administrative assistant, but until you get one you should sure as shit be positive you are using every standard word processing function to cut down on silly mistakes.. if you just make the time to take an online course, you will probably discover a half dozen or so functions in word which you aren't currently using, and which will cut down these kinds of errors substantially in very little time.

Yeah I'm sure OP really wants to take an online course right now. Great advice.

BobBoblaw

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby BobBoblaw » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:09 pm

Devlin wrote:
BobBoblaw wrote:I'm a worthless 0l, but i have a scientific background and scientists can also be quite anal about these kinds of drafting errors. Many of these basic proofreading issues could be solved with a community college level course in Microsoft office. Things like search functions, internal links to appendices, and track changes etc. Could surely be done by any reasonably competent administrative assistant, but until you get one you should sure as shit be positive you are using every standard word processing function to cut down on silly mistakes.. if you just make the time to take an online course, you will probably discover a half dozen or so functions in word which you aren't currently using, and which will cut down these kinds of errors substantially in very little time.

Yeah I'm sure OP really wants to take an online course right now. Great advice.


He could also just read a book or spend a few hours going through the tutorials or YouTube videos, whatever works. These functions exist to save time, and not availing yourself of them is pretty silly in the long run imo.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:24 pm

BobBoblaw wrote:I'm a worthless 0l, but i have a scientific background and scientists can also be quite anal about these kinds of drafting errors. Many of these basic proofreading issues could be solved with a community college level course in Microsoft office. Things like search functions, internal links to appendices, and track changes etc. Could surely be done by any reasonably competent administrative assistant, but until you get one you should sure as shit be positive you are using every standard word processing function to cut down on silly mistakes.. if you just make the time to take an online course, you will probably discover a half dozen or so functions in word which you aren't currently using, and which will cut down these kinds of errors substantially in very little time.


Thank you for this. I've been wanting to know the preferences of scientists and the value of online MS word courses. Extremely important contribution.

BobBoblaw

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby BobBoblaw » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:38 pm

Wow, such assinine snobbery on this board. Apparently lawyers are the only people ever to have issues with review and formatting under time constraints for perfectionist bosses. Well, I guess ive gotta go through law school and work in a firm to have a valid opinion on that shit.

I'm done with this, going back to lurking, since I've been shown my place :roll:

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:02 am

BobBoblaw wrote:Wow, such assinine snobbery on this board. Apparently lawyers are the only people ever to have issues with review and formatting under time constraints for perfectionist bosses. Well, I guess ive gotta go through law school and work in a firm to have a valid opinion on that shit.

I'm done with this, going back to lurking, since I've been shown my place :roll:

To be fair to the people giving you shit, 0Ls aren't supposed to talk about legal employment issues in this forum unless they have some specific experience with the legal profession that gives them a basis to contribute. While there are doubtless many things that transfer across different professions, getting into arguments about what exactly they are and how well they apply to law tends to derail discussion.

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:07 am

OP, the "doesn't pay good attention to detail" bit is something that a lot of attorneys here come review time, I know because I am constantly getting reminded of it in my reviews(midlevel biglaw lit associate). It usually doesn't mean much until it does, which means that it usually doesn't mean much until the economy slows or you reach the up or out point. It doesn't mean you are a total failure - and I bet you've made a huge improvement in a very short span of time. As you get more senior the opportunity to have small mistakes turn into huge ones becomes more present, not less, so you need to develop some coping strategies.

My first reaction is that you are overworked and importantly, that your assignments seem to be coming from multiple directors. Every mistake I've ever made in law has been when I've been super busy of projects for multiple partners. Even managing or working on two cases can be stressful when each boss wants things immediately and perfectly. Is there anyone you can talk to at the firm if you find yourself staffed on too many matters?

My second reaction is that a lot of your mistakes seem to happen around filings, which is also pretty common. You should sit down for 15 minutes and draft up a very detailed list of literally everything that needs to be checked and rechecked prior to filing. Everything from the punctuation and capitalization of section headings, the order of exhibits, the correctness of the caption and docket number, whether all sealing and redaction rules have been complied with. It's going to be a huge list. Then figure out which tasks you can delegate to your assistant or a paralegal and which you need to do yourself.

Unfortunately, if you want to practice law at certain levels this stuff matters because it matters to your bosses and clients. There are other attorneys who make very good money who don't have to worry about this stuff, but if you want to stay in the corporate law "world" unfortunately this is just how things work.

delusional

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby delusional » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Had a good run for about six months and got a really positive year-end review.

And then...like I said in my OP, I finally bit on one of the recruiting emails. The process has taken about three weeks and I just had my interview last Thursday. Seems like the new firm would be a great fit so I hope it works out.

BUT...throughout this process, I've seemingly lost focus and fallen back into my whole of making dumb mistakes. Today, for instance, I turned in a memorandum of law in a tax appeal matter and attached 11 exhibits. Exhibits 9 and 10 were reversed and the partner caught my mistake. He called me into a conference room and was pretty livid about the whole situation because he had scanned what I gave him and sent it to the client.

What gets me about this case is that I have no tax background, and neither does the partner. So I basically taught myself the relevant tax law, drafted a pretty good memorandum of law (that he barely changed), drafted stipulations of evidence, drafted the necessary disclosures, drafted memoranda to the partner with updates, etc. All of this was apparently good work, but this one mistake is all my partner will remember from this entire project.

There have been a couple other mistakes (less mild than this one) and I've just lost all my confidence. Hoping to bounce back tomorrow, but man, I feel dumb.
I think it will be a good idea to get a fresh start, but probably not for the reasons everyone else thinks. Seriously? A partner called you into a conference room to chew you out for switching two exhibits? On a draft version that went to the client?

The only basis for my opinion here is that I am a third year in biglaw, but this does not sound like a reasonable reaction in the real world. And if it is, I am either really lucky about whom I work for, or I am going to get fired in the near future.

lolwat

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby lolwat » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:47 pm

delusional wrote:I think it will be a good idea to get a fresh start, but probably not for the reasons everyone else thinks. Seriously? A partner called you into a conference room to chew you out for switching two exhibits? On a draft version that went to the client?

The only basis for my opinion here is that I am a third year in biglaw, but this does not sound like a reasonable reaction in the real world. And if it is, I am either really lucky about whom I work for, or I am going to get fired in the near future.


Clients are pretty important. Mistakes that annoy a research attorney or law clerk won't affect whether you win or lose that motion. Mistakes that annoy a client might not affect too much the first couple times, but consistently making mistakes will probably start leading that client to think whether they can get better representation elsewhere.

I've made plenty of mistakes and still do from time to time, but some of the described mistakes are ones that shouldn't be made. The below from others captures the real problem -- not just the fact that mistakes are being made.

There's also a difference between details you can flub and things you absolutely need to nail no matter the time pressure. Including the right exhibits, you need to nail. Cut and pasting arguments so they're not repeated, you need to nail. You need to take the extra 15 minutes to get this right, no matter what. Stuff like forgetting to update a caption, minor typos, bluebooking errors... these things people can usually understand in a time crunch.


I'm wondering if you aren't grasping that the mistakes you make are things that matter? This isn't a mild mistake. Also it's one everyone will notice and think you are sloppy.'

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Am I a Shitty Attorney/Screwed at My Current Firm?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:40 pm

delusional wrote:I think it will be a good idea to get a fresh start, but probably not for the reasons everyone else thinks. Seriously? A partner called you into a conference room to chew you out for switching two exhibits? On a draft version that went to the client?

The only basis for my opinion here is that I am a third year in biglaw, but this does not sound like a reasonable reaction in the real world. And if it is, I am either really lucky about whom I work for, or I am going to get fired in the near future.

I get this point, and I don't mean any disrespect to the OP by this, but if the firm is already concerned that the OP is making these kinds of preventable mistakes on a regular basis, they may be reacting more strongly than if this were a one-off in a vacuum.



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