First Month Hours

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vacations

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First Month Hours

Postby vacations » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:38 pm

I just completed my first full month at my new firm - practicing ID and general liability stuff. I'm wondering how many hours did you guys hit during your first month? I'm scraping and scraping and I only managed to average 6 a day. Should I be worried? I'm telling my boss that I'd welcome more assignments but he hasn't given much. I keep my head low and stay cheery around everybody in the office so I doubt I'm being black listed. Am I overthinking? Thanks.

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:03 pm

Yes

vacations

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby vacations » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:05 pm

Yes I should be worried? Or yes I'm overthinking?

sprezz

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby sprezz » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:12 pm

overthinking

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Good Guy Gaud

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Good Guy Gaud » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:28 pm

Do you have an annual billing hours requirement?

vacations

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby vacations » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:31 pm

Yes and no. I was never explicitly told to hit a certain number but it's understood that at the bare minimum you should be hitting is 8 per day. From what I've seen in my office, most people do maybe 9 a at the minimum. I figure the firm must take into consideration the fact that I'm new, right? Again, I'm making myself available and turning things in on time but I'm barely mustering 6 a day and in my first month thus far.

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Good Guy Gaud

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Good Guy Gaud » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:39 pm

Yes, they understand you're new. Take advantage of being new and voice your concerns. You might be relieved to hear they understand you're going to be lagging in production and/or they're in a lull right now and don't have as much work for you as they normally will.

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rpupkin

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:27 pm

Good Guy Gaud wrote:Yes, they understand you're new. Take advantage of being new and voice your concerns.

I actually disagree with this. Having low hours in your first month or so is not cause for concern--it's totally normal. It takes awhile to work new associates into cases. I don't remember what I billed my first month, but it wasn't anywhere close to 6 hours a day. How I miss those first few care-free weeks!

Just keep doing what you're doing. The work will come.

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Good Guy Gaud

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Good Guy Gaud » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:29 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Good Guy Gaud wrote:Yes, they understand you're new. Take advantage of being new and voice your concerns.

I actually disagree with this. Having low hours in your first month or so is not cause for concern--it's totally normal. It takes awhile to work new associates into cases. I don't remember what I billed my first month, but it wasn't anywhere close to 6 hours a day. How I miss those first few care-free weeks!

Just keep doing what you're doing. The work will come.


Ah, yea, not going to argue with this.

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:49 am

On the topic of first year/first week hours, how ballsy is it to buy tickets to a 6:30 theater event for your first big law Friday? From talking to associates, it doesn't sound like there will be much work, but will it just set a bad impression to leave that early on your first Friday?

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:On the topic of first year/first week hours, how ballsy is it to buy tickets to a 6:30 theater event for your first big law Friday? From talking to associates, it doesn't sound like there will be much work, but will it just set a bad impression to leave that early on your first Friday?

Buy them if you want, but don't tell anyone, and understand that you will have to skip it if there is even a suggestion that you should still be in the office.

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:35 pm

Also a first year. Only billed about 100 my first full month. Now I'm on pace for about 2200. Enjoy the time while you have it

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:15 am

Takes time at a new place, I took my whole second week off as a lateral so mostly did orientation stuff week 1, but first month because a deal came in where I was the one handling the client, I still got to well over 100 billable, work comes and goes depending on your practice area, and when I was freaking out with only 30h billed 2.5 weeks in that month, I definitely wasn't thinking about how I'd miss those days when the 12+ billable a day weeks came in.

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:36 pm

I"m in a similar boat as the OP. I'm coming up on three months at my new firm. I'm averaging about 6 hours of billables each day. This firm is super crazy about numbers, to the point where they create unnecessary stress and anxiety. They basically expected me to bill 8+ hours each day beginning my first week. I'm constantly asking around the office for work and i'm on very good terms with my boss, but the work just isn't there. I get it that I should be enjoying this honeymoon phase of not having to bill 12+ hours each day and I get that it takes time to assimilate new associates into the stream of cases, but the constant breathing down my neck from the higher ups in the firm about my numbers is stressful.

How long does it take before an associate finally has a big enough caseload to pull 8+ hours a day with no problem?

Also, this may sound taboo..i don't know...but...is leaving the firm an option? If one is asked why you left a firm, is it bad to say that the firm simply didn't have enough work for me (without bad mouthing the firm and anybody else of course) ??

I left an offer from another firm on the table to join this firm all because I was sold on their generous bonus program. Small bits of regret come to light now as I'm getting the shaky feeling that meeting my hours will be a hard fought battle...let alone raking in bonus $$$.

thegrayman

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby thegrayman » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:48 pm

This is 100% normal. It took me about 4-5 months to get busy, but once I did, I got insanely busy and it never stopped. Enjoy the lull in the action while it's there, the firm will make sure you are earning every penny of your paycheck in the near future, guaranteed.

Bluem_11

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Bluem_11 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:32 pm

In your first year or so you have to ask for work to make your hours, in your mid-associate career you have to turn away work (usually to the first year associate whose asking for work). For partners they know when it's a straight newbie there may/will be headaches, so it's about gaining trust. Once they trust you, the work never stops coming. On one hand, enjoy the slow days when you can, on other nothing wrong with asking around office on an email blast or poking your head in a door if anyone needs help if you really dry up.

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zot1

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby zot1 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:36 pm

Take an extra two hours doing the research? :lol:

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Re: First Month Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:39 pm

Also, this may sound taboo..i don't know...but...is leaving the firm an option? If one is asked why you left a firm, is it bad to say that the firm simply didn't have enough work for me (without bad mouthing the firm and anybody else of course) ??


This is acceptable and a common reason to switch firms - things being slow, not getting the kind of work you want, etc. Better to have more reasons as well, though.

But also, you're 3 months in - give it time. By that time many associates are having 200+ hour months but at other places things might be slow. I know I was my first 3 months, and everyone acknowledged it was normal (including partners), then come January and onward I was billing like a regular associate. Maybe ask more senior associates in your practice if their experience was the same as yours (and take it with a grain of salt because biglaw associates are shitheads who lie about how busy they are). Do good work and the work will come to the point you wish it didn't, don't you worry.



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