First Year in Biglaw

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axel.foley
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby axel.foley » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:06 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


Isn't civil discovery unavoidable for a biglaw lit associate?

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:32 pm

Holy crap this is depressing. Just accepted my biglaw offer. Advice for making the first year as minimally soul crushing as possible?

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:08 am

axel.foley wrote:
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


Isn't civil discovery unavoidable for a biglaw lit associate?


Yeah that's why I'm trying to warn people away from lit

I mean obviously it all sucks but idk if I was fully informed about how mindless and awful civil discovery is

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:10 am

umichman wrote:
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


Pick litigation

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Holy crap this is depressing. Just accepted my biglaw offer. Advice for making the first year as minimally soul crushing as possible?


Come in with very low expectations.

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Lincoln
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Lincoln » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:18 am

Fourth-year NYC litigator here. Keep your chin up, everyone!

It's overwhelming and frustrating at first, but it gets better. It took me 9 months to feel like I had the slightest clue what I was doing, and it took me 18 months to start feeling like I actually added some value to my cases. As you get better, it gets more fun. And as you get more senior, you stop doing some of the more menial tasks.

The hours will continue to be tough, and always being on call takes its toll, but you get better at managing that, too.

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hopefuljumbo23
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby hopefuljumbo23 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:31 am

1styearlateral wrote: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.


Gah this is what I'm most worried about tbh... procedure is terrifying, esp. at all the diff levels.

byrdscales
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby byrdscales » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:05 pm

I'm almost a year in at a west coast office of a v10. Hasn't been soul crushing really, although occasionally very stressful. I'm lucky (?) enough to do a mix of lit and transactional work, which is unusual. It means double the not-knowing-what-I'm-doing but also a range of experiences. Discovery/doc review and diligence are unavoidable and pretty awful, but they're also pretty low intensity. Depending on the work I can even have radio/podcasts going in the background.

I'm definitely still pretty useless but it's getting better, and non-junior people seemed to know what to expect from me so that hasn't been terrible. Hours have been very up and down but I think that's not unusual. Long hours suck and tight deadlines are stressful, but the challenges of the job are part of what make it compelling work.

Tbf, I'm also very lucky to work with a lot of very nice, smart people. If I was getting screamed at when I screwed up, I think the job would be intolerable.

smoked
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby smoked » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:41 pm

Second year, west coast corporate biglaw. First year was fine. Hours were a pattern of peaks and valleys (worst month was around 270 hours, had a month or two in mid-high double digits, but generally averaged around 150/mo). I wouldn't have made hours without pro bono work, and that seemed to be the case for everyone in my class.

My experience on the west coast definitely differs from my friends in NY, though, who all seem to work later/harder on a consistent basis. In our office, I'd actually say the common problem among juniors in our group isn't necessarily being overworked, but instead getting consistent work and making sure you hit hours come November, which is definitely a problem I wasn't expecting. I suspect this is due to overpopulation in the group, though. Also, I like the people I work with, the partners are really great, as are most of the associates (wouldn't describe anyone in the group as "bad to work with").

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:57 pm

The experience depends on more than anything who you work for. I work for some truly aweful people and it's been miserable.

juzam_djinn
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby juzam_djinn » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:43 pm

Nearing end of 1st year lit associate here

Hate this job. One thing I want to note for everyone that I wish someone had explained to me in the beginning is that the job, including discovery, is not "mindless." The only truly mindless things are first level doc review for stuff like confidentiality and privilege, and if you're at a good firm you're not going to be doing much of that stuff. The other discovery tasks, like researching, depo outlines, rogs, etc. all require thinking about the overall strategy and carefully tailoring the things you're putting down on paper.

What REALLY sucks isn't that the work is mindless, it's that it actually DOES require thinking yet there's virtually no room for creativity or innovative thinking. You're essentially sitting there being forced to absorb boring and complicated material and to think critically/deeply about how it applies to some BS minute issue in the case. There's rarely any room for creative argument.

When I was coming in, I told myself that I'd be fine with mindless work for hours and hours if I got paid well. I would also be okay with creative, engaging work, even if it was rigorous. Big law lit is neither of those categories. It's neither creative nor easy. It just sucks.
Last edited by juzam_djinn on Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:11 pm

Current first year, started back last fall. Corporate. At what point do you start to monitor/care more about still getting bitch non substantive work? My first concern was getting the type of work I want, and now that I'm on those deals more, now I'm concerned that I'm not really learning much or getting beyond administrative tasks.

My biggest and only concern is making myself valuable as a lateral. Will all of this come naturally and I should just relax or is it something worth monitoring more and more as I near being around for a full year?

Hours, diversity of work, etc. are otherwise good.

jd20132013
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:20 am

juzam_djinn wrote:Nearing end of 1st year lit associate here

Hate this job. One thing I want to note for everyone that I wish someone had explained to me in the beginning is that the job, including discovery, is not "mindless." The only truly mindless things are first level doc review for stuff like confidentiality and privilege, and if you're at a good firm you're not going to be doing much of that stuff. The other discovery tasks, like researching, depo outlines, rogs, etc. all require thinking about the overall strategy and carefully tailoring the things you're putting down on paper.

What REALLY sucks isn't that the work is mindless, it's that it actually DOES require thinking yet there's virtually no room for creativity or innovative thinking. You're essentially sitting there being forced to absorb boring and complicated material and to think critically/deeply about how it applies to some BS minute issue in the case. There's rarely any room for creative argument.

When I was coming in, I told myself that I'd be fine with mindless work for hours and hours if I got paid well. I would also be okay with creative, engaging work, even if it was rigorous. Big law lit is neither of those categories. It's neither creative nor easy. It just sucks.


I still describe as mindless but I don't disagree with what you've said here

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Vincent Adultman
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Vincent Adultman » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:17 am

Lincoln wrote:Fourth-year NYC litigator here. Keep your chin up, everyone!

It's overwhelming and frustrating at first, but it gets better. It took me 9 months to feel like I had the slightest clue what I was doing, and it took me 18 months to start feeling like I actually added some value to my cases. As you get better, it gets more fun. And as you get more senior, you stop doing some of the more menial tasks.

The hours will continue to be tough, and always being on call takes its toll, but you get better at managing that, too.


Don't you regularly work 2700-3000 hours per year?

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:03 am

.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:52 am

jd20132013 wrote:
juzam_djinn wrote:Nearing end of 1st year lit associate here

Hate this job. One thing I want to note for everyone that I wish someone had explained to me in the beginning is that the job, including discovery, is not "mindless." The only truly mindless things are first level doc review for stuff like confidentiality and privilege, and if you're at a good firm you're not going to be doing much of that stuff. The other discovery tasks, like researching, depo outlines, rogs, etc. all require thinking about the overall strategy and carefully tailoring the things you're putting down on paper.

What REALLY sucks isn't that the work is mindless, it's that it actually DOES require thinking yet there's virtually no room for creativity or innovative thinking. You're essentially sitting there being forced to absorb boring and complicated material and to think critically/deeply about how it applies to some BS minute issue in the case. There's rarely any room for creative argument.

When I was coming in, I told myself that I'd be fine with mindless work for hours and hours if I got paid well. I would also be okay with creative, engaging work, even if it was rigorous. Big law lit is neither of those categories. It's neither creative nor easy. It just sucks.


I still describe as mindless but I don't disagree with what you've said here


This is actually really accurate.

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:14 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
jd20132013 wrote:
juzam_djinn wrote:Nearing end of 1st year lit associate here

Hate this job. One thing I want to note for everyone that I wish someone had explained to me in the beginning is that the job, including discovery, is not "mindless." The only truly mindless things are first level doc review for stuff like confidentiality and privilege, and if you're at a good firm you're not going to be doing much of that stuff. The other discovery tasks, like researching, depo outlines, rogs, etc. all require thinking about the overall strategy and carefully tailoring the things you're putting down on paper.

What REALLY sucks isn't that the work is mindless, it's that it actually DOES require thinking yet there's virtually no room for creativity or innovative thinking. You're essentially sitting there being forced to absorb boring and complicated material and to think critically/deeply about how it applies to some BS minute issue in the case. There's rarely any room for creative argument.

When I was coming in, I told myself that I'd be fine with mindless work for hours and hours if I got paid well. I would also be okay with creative, engaging work, even if it was rigorous. Big law lit is neither of those categories. It's neither creative nor easy. It just sucks.


I still describe as mindless but I don't disagree with what you've said here


This is actually really accurate.


I'd describe the work that I do as complex, yet boring. It's so boring, it's hard to focus.

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Lincoln
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Lincoln » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:07 pm

Martin Brody wrote:
Lincoln wrote:Fourth-year NYC litigator here. Keep your chin up, everyone!

It's overwhelming and frustrating at first, but it gets better. It took me 9 months to feel like I had the slightest clue what I was doing, and it took me 18 months to start feeling like I actually added some value to my cases. As you get better, it gets more fun. And as you get more senior, you stop doing some of the more menial tasks.

The hours will continue to be tough, and always being on call takes its toll, but you get better at managing that, too.


Don't you regularly work 2700-3000 hours per year?


I've billed more and less than that in my career, which is why I said "[t]he hours will continue to be tough." My point was more that I enjoyed the last 3,000 hours I billed a LOT more than the first 3,000.

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Nebby
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Nebby » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:22 pm

juzam_djinn wrote:Nearing end of 1st year lit associate here

Hate this job. One thing I want to note for everyone that I wish someone had explained to me in the beginning is that the job, including discovery, is not "mindless." The only truly mindless things are first level doc review for stuff like confidentiality and privilege, and if you're at a good firm you're not going to be doing much of that stuff. The other discovery tasks, like researching, depo outlines, rogs, etc. all require thinking about the overall strategy and carefully tailoring the things you're putting down on paper.

What REALLY sucks isn't that the work is mindless, it's that it actually DOES require thinking yet there's virtually no room for creativity or innovative thinking. You're essentially sitting there being forced to absorb boring and complicated material and to think critically/deeply about how it applies to some BS minute issue in the case. There's rarely any room for creative argument.

When I was coming in, I told myself that I'd be fine with mindless work for hours and hours if I got paid well. I would also be okay with creative, engaging work, even if it was rigorous. Big law lit is neither of those categories. It's neither creative nor easy. It just sucks.

Eh, you're describing lit generally, not just biglaw lit. What do you mean by "creative?" Some of the most creative and critical thinking is required during the bolded.

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Mr. Peanutbutter
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:24 am

Mid level nebby strikes again

juzam_djinn
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby juzam_djinn » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:39 pm

Nebby wrote:
juzam_djinn wrote:Nearing end of 1st year lit associate here

Hate this job. One thing I want to note for everyone that I wish someone had explained to me in the beginning is that the job, including discovery, is not "mindless." The only truly mindless things are first level doc review for stuff like confidentiality and privilege, and if you're at a good firm you're not going to be doing much of that stuff. The other discovery tasks, like researching, depo outlines, rogs, etc. all require thinking about the overall strategy and carefully tailoring the things you're putting down on paper.

What REALLY sucks isn't that the work is mindless, it's that it actually DOES require thinking yet there's virtually no room for creativity or innovative thinking. You're essentially sitting there being forced to absorb boring and complicated material and to think critically/deeply about how it applies to some BS minute issue in the case. There's rarely any room for creative argument.

When I was coming in, I told myself that I'd be fine with mindless work for hours and hours if I got paid well. I would also be okay with creative, engaging work, even if it was rigorous. Big law lit is neither of those categories. It's neither creative nor easy. It just sucks.

Eh, you're describing lit generally, not just biglaw lit. What do you mean by "creative?" Some of the most creative and critical thinking is required during the bolded.


fair enough, though I wasn't trying to limit my statement to biglaw lit only. It just so happens that this is a thread about "first year in biglaw" so I figured I'd describe my experience in "big law" lit

not gonna bother with the question about creativity. gonna have to agree to disagree on that one, bud

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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:29 am

First years who just started what have your billables been like? I feel pretty slow.

Started at the beginning of setember. Have been averaging about 16-17 hours a week.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:Current first year, started back last fall. Corporate. At what point do you start to monitor/care more about still getting bitch non substantive work? My first concern was getting the type of work I want, and now that I'm on those deals more, now I'm concerned that I'm not really learning much or getting beyond administrative tasks.

My biggest and only concern is making myself valuable as a lateral. Will all of this come naturally and I should just relax or is it something worth monitoring more and more as I near being around for a full year?

Hours, diversity of work, etc. are otherwise good.


For corporate it really depends on the firms, as all firms have different practices with how they ramp up their juniors (some do only checklists for a while, some do only diligence for a while, some start of with doing ancillary certificates, etc).

I don't really understand the bolded though. Monitoring what?

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smokeylarue
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby smokeylarue » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First years who just started what have your billables been like? I feel pretty slow.

Started at the beginning of setember. Have been averaging about 16-17 hours a week.


Very typical at many offices, even throughout your entire stub year (September to December 31). Just enjoy it.

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skers
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Re: First Year in Biglaw

Postby skers » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:14 pm

smokeylarue wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First years who just started what have your billables been like? I feel pretty slow.

Started at the beginning of setember. Have been averaging about 16-17 hours a week.


Very typical at many offices, even throughout your entire stub year (September to December 31). Just enjoy it.


Just a month ago or Sept 2016? 17 hours a week seems really, really slow. How busy is everyone else? Do you feel like you're starting to get traction?




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