First Year in Biglaw

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gaddockteeg
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby gaddockteeg » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. How are you all adjusting to the demand of billable hours?


1 year in, IME, billables are a non-issue to me. I keep track of my time and then I dont think about yearly or monthly goals at all. Just checked and I'm on track for 2300+ but I'm planning to tkae december very easy by going on vacation so I'll be prob be at 2200ish at year end. I think hitting billables gets harder when youre a mid level and you cant just do a week of doc review to hit 50/week.

notgreat
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby notgreat » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. How are you all adjusting to the demand of billable hours?


I mean for the stub years among us adrenaline is probably a big part of making the adjustment, at least it is for me. Also, I have been abusing caffeine. Luckily, there is enough work right now, but I have billed a lot so far and adrenaline and caffeine have powered me through. I imagine the adrenaline ebbs once you become more comfortable and established, but someone more senior can answer that.

This is unrelated, but to echo dixiecup's comment on the last page, you learn who to work with. There are some good people and some very bad people and people in between. My friends and I were able to figure out within the first month and a half who the bad people are. Unfortunately, some of the bad people have the best and most work, so it is hard to just avoid them.

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kalvano
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby kalvano » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:41 pm

gaddockteeg wrote:I think hitting billables gets harder when youre a mid level and you cant just do a week of doc review to hit 50/week.


Can confirm that the more detailed and advanced the work gets, the harder it gets to just sit and bill. You get pulled in a bunch of different directions and can't just get stuff done. I lose a lot of time jumping back and forth between matters.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:58 pm

kalvano wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:I think hitting billables gets harder when youre a mid level and you cant just do a week of doc review to hit 50/week.


Can confirm that the more detailed and advanced the work gets, the harder it gets to just sit and bill. You get pulled in a bunch of different directions and can't just get stuff done. I lose a lot of time jumping back and forth between matters.


Right, you spend a lot of time helping partners with new case intake and matters that never go anywhere. You're also expected to be generally available to everyone all the time (often you are the person who knows the most about the facts of the matter), so you spend all day fielding calls and random questions. I have a lot of days where I don't start "work" until 4:30/5:00 because I've spent all day on calls or in meetings.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
kalvano wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:I think hitting billables gets harder when youre a mid level and you cant just do a week of doc review to hit 50/week.


Can confirm that the more detailed and advanced the work gets, the harder it gets to just sit and bill. You get pulled in a bunch of different directions and can't just get stuff done. I lose a lot of time jumping back and forth between matters.


Right, you spend a lot of time helping partners with new case intake and matters that never go anywhere. You're also expected to be generally available to everyone all the time (often you are the person who knows the most about the facts of the matter), so you spend all day fielding calls and random questions. I have a lot of days where I don't start "work" until 4:30/5:00 because I've spent all day on calls or in meetings.


But can't you bill for calls and meetings?

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kalvano
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby kalvano » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
kalvano wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:I think hitting billables gets harder when youre a mid level and you cant just do a week of doc review to hit 50/week.


Can confirm that the more detailed and advanced the work gets, the harder it gets to just sit and bill. You get pulled in a bunch of different directions and can't just get stuff done. I lose a lot of time jumping back and forth between matters.


Right, you spend a lot of time helping partners with new case intake and matters that never go anywhere. You're also expected to be generally available to everyone all the time (often you are the person who knows the most about the facts of the matter), so you spend all day fielding calls and random questions. I have a lot of days where I don't start "work" until 4:30/5:00 because I've spent all day on calls or in meetings.


But can't you bill for calls and meetings?


Yes but there's a world of difference between sitting down uninterrupted for 6+ hours straight and billing all of that time to one or two matters, and constantly being pulled from one thing to another without even time to complete your notes or even sometimes to get a new timer going for the next call. For reference, there are some days in which I bill a .1 - .3 to upwards of 30 matters (or more), and trying to jump back and forth between them is demanding and headache-inducing.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:43 am

kalvano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
kalvano wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:I think hitting billables gets harder when youre a mid level and you cant just do a week of doc review to hit 50/week.


Can confirm that the more detailed and advanced the work gets, the harder it gets to just sit and bill. You get pulled in a bunch of different directions and can't just get stuff done. I lose a lot of time jumping back and forth between matters.


Right, you spend a lot of time helping partners with new case intake and matters that never go anywhere. You're also expected to be generally available to everyone all the time (often you are the person who knows the most about the facts of the matter), so you spend all day fielding calls and random questions. I have a lot of days where I don't start "work" until 4:30/5:00 because I've spent all day on calls or in meetings.


But can't you bill for calls and meetings?


Yes but there's a world of difference between sitting down uninterrupted for 6+ hours straight and billing all of that time to one or two matters, and constantly being pulled from one thing to another without even time to complete your notes or even sometimes to get a new timer going for the next call. For reference, there are some days in which I bill a .1 - .3 to upwards of 30 matters (or more), and trying to jump back and forth between them is demanding and headache-inducing.

damn, I thought I could relate, but 30 matters is some otherworldly shit.

1styearlateral
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:25 am

The first year is the funniest because you graduate law school being one of the smarter people in your class and then you get to the firm being the dumbest person there simply because you just don't know how things work in the real world. Practicing law is like 90% procedure and you really don't learn it until you're 3-5 years in.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:33 am

1st year DC biglaw.

It depends on the work that you're doing. I can try out a lot of different things, which I like. There's a world of difference between the work in different groups. For instance, I have learned in a few short weeks that I fucking HATE antitrust work. I hate the work, I hate the people, I hate every fucking thing about it (at least the merger review work, haven't done any lit yet). Luckily my firm is highly regarded enough in that area that a lot of first years want in that group, so I probably don't have to worry about being pulled in there.

Honestly it hasn't been that bad. I'm doing pretty steady 40-50 billable weeks with no late nights on weekdays, and not too much weekend work. I leave around 6 every day and rarely work more than an hour or two from home. I've had a couple Saturdays that I've worked a full day.

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Danger Zone
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Danger Zone » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:42 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:It really does get better. My personal nadir was around six months to a year in. Once you make it through that period, the job gets easier to deal with (although the work gets substantively harder!). You start to understand when you can push back on timelines, like "hey I'm busy tonight can I do this tomorrow," you know who you should try to work with and who sucks, and you aren't reinventing the wheel every time you need to do some basic task like figuring out which three separate support people you need to talk to to get a binder made and Fedexed out. Also you begin to realize how nobody knows shit - even the partners encounter things they've never dealt with on a daily basis. That helps with the imposter syndrome thing.

Came here to post exactly this. You'll all make it, albeit possibly with an anxiety or digestive tract issue.

thegrayman
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby thegrayman » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:51 pm

Who you end up working for makes a monumental difference. Some partners take the time to coach and don't yell, others have no time and love yelling at you for everything because they get shit on all day and need to vent. To the extent you have a say in it (which might be a tad idealistic), try to gun for the right partners to work under.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:14 pm

Status check

Did it get better for any of you guys ?

Almost a year in and I've just learned I don't want to practice law at all if this is what law practice is.

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MarkinKansasCity
#MAGA
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Status check

Did it get better for any of you guys ?

Almost a year in and I've just learned I don't want to practice law at all if this is what law practice is.


I spent the last 4 working days prepping a corporate rep and a third-party witness for depositions with no supervision or direction, and it was actually pretty fun. Today I had a meeting with one of our clients to go over some supporting documentation on a $2 million dollar claim, which was also pretty cool. The pressure to be right is still there, but at least 40% of the time I don't feel like I'm flailing around blindly any more, and competence at some indefinite point in the future is starting to seem like a real possibility.

I also no longer feel like I'm committing fraud when I call someone and introduce myself as an attorney from X firm.

Basically, things are looking up, although there's still definitely parts of this job that suck.

Just to be clear here, I work for a small firm (maybe boutique?). We have great clients and do niche work that doesn't involve insurance companies. I don't know shit about biglaw.
Last edited by MarkinKansasCity on Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Actively looking for other jobs outside of biglaw although not outside of law yet. I work in M&A and can definitively say it's probably the worst practice area.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:47 pm

Looking to lateral right now. The people are fine but I realize I don't like the work we do/clients we have. Also, work distribution has been a little f'd up between us 1st years and I'm not a fan of the deals I've been on despite always pushing for more and always offering to help when a cool deal comes up. But I've been pretty slow, so that's nice. Maybe it's a grass is greener thing, idk.

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Danger Zone
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Status check

Did it get better for any of you guys ?

Almost a year in and I've just learned I don't want to practice law at all if this is what law practice is.

I quit my law firm job a couple months after my post ITT lol

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:06 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Status check

Did it get better for any of you guys ?

Almost a year in and I've just learned I don't want to practice law at all if this is what law practice is.

I quit my law firm job a couple months after my post ITT lol


As a first year? What made you make the move?

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Yugihoe
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Yugihoe » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:07 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Status check

Did it get better for any of you guys ?

Almost a year in and I've just learned I don't want to practice law at all if this is what law practice is.

I quit my law firm job a couple months after my post ITT lol


Lol what are you up to these days?

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Danger Zone
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:13 pm

As a second year. I made the move because working at a law firm was a terrible, terrible job that only got marginally better over time. The number one worst thing however was never going to change: being on call 24/7. That shit is life ruining and actually affected my health over time.

Now I moved in house. My work touches M&A, which was my specialty at the firm, but is far less soul crushing in terms of hours and quality of people I work with. The culture is much nicer here.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:25 pm

Danger Zone wrote:As a second year. I made the move because working at a law firm was a terrible, terrible job that only got marginally better over time. The number one worst thing however was never going to change: being on call 24/7. That shit is life ruining and actually affected my health over time.

Now I moved in house. My work touches M&A, which was my specialty at the firm, but is far less soul crushing in terms of hours and quality of people I work with. The culture is much nicer here.


How did you cop an in-house gig so junior? Give us yo secrets bro

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Status check

Did it get better for any of you guys ?

Almost a year in and I've just learned I don't want to practice law at all if this is what law practice is.



Wow, same

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Danger Zone
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:As a second year. I made the move because working at a law firm was a terrible, terrible job that only got marginally better over time. The number one worst thing however was never going to change: being on call 24/7. That shit is life ruining and actually affected my health over time.

Now I moved in house. My work touches M&A, which was my specialty at the firm, but is far less soul crushing in terms of hours and quality of people I work with. The culture is much nicer here.


How did you cop an in-house gig so junior? Give us yo secrets bro

Applied for everything I found and had two recruiters looking for me as well. It helped to be in NYC.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:30 pm

Has anyone tried switching practice groups across firms? I think I want to switch to lit before my second year.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:03 pm

If I can just get through this year and to the bonus, I'll quit law before I ever do civil discovery again. Don't do what I did guys

umichman
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby umichman » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I can just get through this year and to the bonus, I'll quit law before I ever do civil discovery again. Don't do what I did guys


what did you do




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