How to Coast in Biglaw

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:23 pm

Seems to me that midlaw doesn't really ameliorate many of the problems with biglaw. Firm life is firm life, with all it entails.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:32 pm

double post
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:34 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:Seems to me that midlaw doesn't really ameliorate many of the problems with biglaw. Firm life is firm life, with all it entails.


I am the anon from before who cautioned the move, tbf, on average "mid"law was a world of difference in day-to-day life from biglaw for me personally... but removing that terrible lens and looking at it in terms of lifestyle generally, it is still a more stressful time commitment than that of the average bear.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:49 pm

I am not certain that BL coasting exists. However, if you become indispensable to the partner(s) heading up your group, they will find ways to protect you so they can keep you to themselves. What this mainly accomplishes is protecting you from having to work on a lot of time-consuming non-billable assignments from others.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:15 pm

I've worked in biglaw and regional biglaw (midlaw).

Someone posted that midlaw doesnt equal less hours, but it almost always equals less pay. That was true for me. I was a decent amount busier at my midlaw job as compared to my biglaw job.

Also, people seem to confuse biglaw with shitty personalities and midlaw with good personalities. To be honest, I think it depends heavily on who you work for. I didn't notice a huge difference. Both firms had shitty and good people to work for. I may actually say that I think the biglaw firm actually has a higher percentage of people with better personalities.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:38 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:Seems to me that midlaw doesn't really ameliorate many of the problems with biglaw. Firm life is firm life, with all it entails.


I've worked midlaw but not biglaw so can't really compare. I will say most of the lawyers are out of my office by 6-630 at latest. Sure some of them work from home that night a little. There are stressors and crazy partners for sure and we work slightly more hours than the average American, but it doesn't feel like a sweatshop. I can come in at 9, leave at 6, and not check my emails every hour on the weekend without feeling guilty. Of course there are variances in the work, some weeks are a rush, some are more relaxed.

I think your bolded firm life statement is true in part, but I'd also argue there are degrees to which firm life exists. Our firm has a certain degree of firm life realities, but it doesn't have the crazy rush IMO of a biglaw firm. Although there's a mild balance that there's more business development, but I'm never a part of it (and I don't expect to be on a partner track because of it).

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:Seems to me that midlaw doesn't really ameliorate many of the problems with biglaw. Firm life is firm life, with all it entails.


I've worked midlaw but not biglaw so can't really compare. I will say most of the lawyers are out of my office by 6-630 at latest. Sure some of them work from home that night a little. There are stressors and crazy partners for sure and we work slightly more hours than the average American, but it doesn't feel like a sweatshop. I can come in at 9, leave at 6, and not check my emails every hour on the weekend without feeling guilty. Of course there are variances in the work, some weeks are a rush, some are more relaxed.

I think your bolded firm life statement is true in part, but I'd also argue there are degrees to which firm life exists. Our firm has a certain degree of firm life realities, but it doesn't have the crazy rush IMO of a biglaw firm. Although there's a mild balance that there's more business development, but I'm never a part of it (and I don't expect to be on a partner track because of it).

Are you in lit or corporate and how many attorneys does your office have?

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:05 pm

Spend less time in the office. As long as you work hard when you're there and don't miss deadlines, it's not very noticeable if you just happen to be gone at 9:14 a.m. on a Tuesday or over lunch on a Thursday. Be somewhat less responsive. Not missing deadlines, but not eagerly responding to everything. Turn away a few assignments.

If you tighten your funnel, less water will get through.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:Seems to me that midlaw doesn't really ameliorate many of the problems with biglaw. Firm life is firm life, with all it entails.


I've worked midlaw but not biglaw so can't really compare. I will say most of the lawyers are out of my office by 6-630 at latest. Sure some of them work from home that night a little. There are stressors and crazy partners for sure and we work slightly more hours than the average American, but it doesn't feel like a sweatshop. I can come in at 9, leave at 6, and not check my emails every hour on the weekend without feeling guilty. Of course there are variances in the work, some weeks are a rush, some are more relaxed.

I think your bolded firm life statement is true in part, but I'd also argue there are degrees to which firm life exists. Our firm has a certain degree of firm life realities, but it doesn't have the crazy rush IMO of a biglaw firm. Although there's a mild balance that there's more business development, but I'm never a part of it (and I don't expect to be on a partner track because of it).


I work at a regional biglaw (midlaw) and this sounds about right. Late nights and working on weekends are INCREDIBLY RARE. Average day is probably 830/9 to 6/630. Our billables target is 1900-1950, which isn't much of a downgrade from Big Law though. However, as the post above said, there's usually not much craziness so the stress I imagine is significantly less than a BigLaw firm. I rarely stress about work unless the reason is that I'm slow (which is definitely possible at midlaw firms, but I imagine that could be true at biglaw firms too). Also first years are paid 180k (though the raises after that are tiny and mysterious). Also like the guy said, there's a big emphasis on business development even as a junior, which is quite annoying. I imagine that's not the case at BigLaw firms since usually they have more institutional and larger clients.

That said, the job still sucks. Some people here still probably bill close to 2200 hours, which to me is idiotic, might as well work at a Big Law firm and get paid way more. But then again, they probably want to be partners.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:14 pm

I have friends in midlaw working for 80k a year and leaving at 8pm almost every week day.. I'm sure they have to bill the same or more because their hourly rate is lower

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby jkpolk » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:51 pm

Can big law associates unionize already. Like all it takes is someone persuasive with a megaphone to canvas the t14 and sign people up. I guess maybe morons think they're part of "management" but so false. 200K debt, work 2700 hours, bill 2200 hours, make $70/hr so some shithead partner can make $2000/hr.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:34 pm

jkpolk wrote:Can big law associates unionize already. Like all it takes is someone persuasive with a megaphone to canvas the t14 and sign people up. I guess maybe morons think they're part of "management" but so false. 200K debt, work 2700 hours, bill 2200 hours, make $70/hr so some shithead partner can make $2000/hr.

This is all very well thought out.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby jkpolk » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:21 pm

rpupkin wrote:
jkpolk wrote:Can big law associates unionize already. Like all it takes is someone persuasive with a megaphone to canvas the t14 and sign people up. I guess maybe morons think they're part of "management" but so false. 200K debt, work 2700 hours, bill 2200 hours, make $70/hr so some shithead partner can make $2000/hr.

This is all very well thought out.

Going to law school and gunning for big law seems well thought out too. Some things have to be lived to be known.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:07 pm

I'm an expert on this. The key is to look kinda angry at all times like you're overworked (thanks Costanza) and stay under the radar. I billed between 1700 and 1900 for 4 years in M&A at a V10 firm and another year at a similar practice in a secondary market. Well regarded and in no danger of being asked to leave. Here's how I survive.

1. Showed up late.
2. Worked from home at night frequently.
3. Trusted my juniors once I was managing people.
4. Pushed back on unreasonable expectations.
5. Blew deadlines when I knew I could. On this one, if you know a client wants something by X date, make sure you hit timing so that it can get to the client by X date. But if you know it's a true bullshit false internal deadline, you can get away with sending an email like midnight the night before from your iphone while you're at a bar or relaxing watching tv saying you need a bit more time in the morning. People will bitch and moan but ignore it and forge ahead.
6. Said no to new deals.
7. Did perfect work. If you're going to be a low biller and a bit of a pain in the ass, you have to do work that makes it worth keeping you around. Luckily, you're getting 15+ hours more of sleep a night than your competition since you're aggressively saying no to work, so you can actually pull it off.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an expert on this. The key is to look kinda angry at all times like you're overworked (thanks Costanza) and stay under the radar. I billed between 1700 and 1900 for 4 years in M&A at a V10 firm and another year at a similar practice in a secondary market. Well regarded and in no danger of being asked to leave. Here's how I survive.

1. Showed up late.
2. Worked from home at night frequently.
3. Trusted my juniors once I was managing people.
4. Pushed back on unreasonable expectations.
5. Blew deadlines when I knew I could. On this one, if you know a client wants something by X date, make sure you hit timing so that it can get to the client by X date. But if you know it's a true bullshit false internal deadline, you can get away with sending an email like midnight the night before from your iphone while you're at a bar or relaxing watching tv saying you need a bit more time in the morning. People will bitch and moan but ignore it and forge ahead.
6. Said no to new deals.
7. Did perfect work. If you're going to be a low biller and a bit of a pain in the ass, you have to do work that makes it worth keeping you around. Luckily, you're getting 15+ hours more of sleep a night than your competition since you're aggressively saying no to work, so you can actually pull it off.


Dude, you my friend, won the legal lottery. Good for you, sir.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an expert on this. The key is to look kinda angry at all times like you're overworked (thanks Costanza) and stay under the radar. I billed between 1700 and 1900 for 4 years in M&A at a V10 firm and another year at a similar practice in a secondary market. Well regarded and in no danger of being asked to leave. Here's how I survive.

1. Showed up late.
2. Worked from home at night frequently.
3. Trusted my juniors once I was managing people.
4. Pushed back on unreasonable expectations.
5. Blew deadlines when I knew I could. On this one, if you know a client wants something by X date, make sure you hit timing so that it can get to the client by X date. But if you know it's a true bullshit false internal deadline, you can get away with sending an email like midnight the night before from your iphone while you're at a bar or relaxing watching tv saying you need a bit more time in the morning. People will bitch and moan but ignore it and forge ahead.
6. Said no to new deals.
7. Did perfect work. If you're going to be a low biller and a bit of a pain in the ass, you have to do work that makes it worth keeping you around. Luckily, you're getting 15+ hours more of sleep a night than your competition since you're aggressively saying no to work, so you can actually pull it off.



Were you also an attractive white male ?

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:09 pm

White male, debatable about being attractive and I'm far from charming haha. But yeah that could have played a factor of course.

And YMMV. Not every partner will tolerate this and you always run the risk of bumping into a partner who won't stand for it and is willing to burn you for it. I never did (part luck, part studiously avoiding certain partners) but they're out there.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an expert on this. The key is to look kinda angry at all times like you're overworked (thanks Costanza) and stay under the radar. I billed between 1700 and 1900 for 4 years in M&A at a V10 firm and another year at a similar practice in a secondary market. Well regarded and in no danger of being asked to leave. Here's how I survive.

1. Showed up late.
2. Worked from home at night frequently.
3. Trusted my juniors once I was managing people.
4. Pushed back on unreasonable expectations.
5. Blew deadlines when I knew I could. On this one, if you know a client wants something by X date, make sure you hit timing so that it can get to the client by X date. But if you know it's a true bullshit false internal deadline, you can get away with sending an email like midnight the night before from your iphone while you're at a bar or relaxing watching tv saying you need a bit more time in the morning. People will bitch and moan but ignore it and forge ahead.
6. Said no to new deals.
7. Did perfect work. If you're going to be a low biller and a bit of a pain in the ass, you have to do work that makes it worth keeping you around. Luckily, you're getting 15+ hours more of sleep a night than your competition since you're aggressively saying no to work, so you can actually pull it off.


Have seen this approach be successful at my west coast BL firm. I've seen a lot of approaches work. I personally think west coast BL, even corporate, is pretty chill compared to NY V-anything. OP may want to escape from NY and/or try caring just a tiny bit less. Caring just a little bit less than 9/10 on a scale of 10 seems to help, at least psychologically.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an expert on this. The key is to look kinda angry at all times like you're overworked (thanks Costanza) and stay under the radar. I billed between 1700 and 1900 for 4 years in M&A at a V10 firm and another year at a similar practice in a secondary market. Well regarded and in no danger of being asked to leave. Here's how I survive.

1. Showed up late.
2. Worked from home at night frequently.
3. Trusted my juniors once I was managing people.
4. Pushed back on unreasonable expectations.
5. Blew deadlines when I knew I could. On this one, if you know a client wants something by X date, make sure you hit timing so that it can get to the client by X date. But if you know it's a true bullshit false internal deadline, you can get away with sending an email like midnight the night before from your iphone while you're at a bar or relaxing watching tv saying you need a bit more time in the morning. People will bitch and moan but ignore it and forge ahead.
6. Said no to new deals.
7. Did perfect work. If you're going to be a low biller and a bit of a pain in the ass, you have to do work that makes it worth keeping you around. Luckily, you're getting 15+ hours more of sleep a night than your competition since you're aggressively saying no to work, so you can actually pull it off.


You never got a talking to about your hours?

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an expert on this. The key is to look kinda angry at all times like you're overworked (thanks Costanza) and stay under the radar. I billed between 1700 and 1900 for 4 years in M&A at a V10 firm and another year at a similar practice in a secondary market. Well regarded and in no danger of being asked to leave. Here's how I survive.

1. Showed up late.
2. Worked from home at night frequently.
3. Trusted my juniors once I was managing people.
4. Pushed back on unreasonable expectations.
5. Blew deadlines when I knew I could. On this one, if you know a client wants something by X date, make sure you hit timing so that it can get to the client by X date. But if you know it's a true bullshit false internal deadline, you can get away with sending an email like midnight the night before from your iphone while you're at a bar or relaxing watching tv saying you need a bit more time in the morning. People will bitch and moan but ignore it and forge ahead.
6. Said no to new deals.
7. Did perfect work. If you're going to be a low biller and a bit of a pain in the ass, you have to do work that makes it worth keeping you around. Luckily, you're getting 15+ hours more of sleep a night than your competition since you're aggressively saying no to work, so you can actually pull it off.


This is pretty good. I am a third year in corporate practice in NYC and have developed a really great rhythm and balance for myself, but it took about 18 months or so to get into and has taken further time to cultivate. I am not typically in the office for more than 9 hours a day, but am responsive via email and phone when needed to make up for the somewhat limited office time, and take full advantage of working remotely/from my phone. A few things:

1. Find a group that isn't huge (so that you aren't just a cog in the machine getting more and more work) but isn't too small that your whereabouts are always known to everyone. Older partners or partners that all don't stay super late can also help a lot. A practice area with less crazy expectations can help a great deal (m&a and capital markets being the two known as the craziest).
2. Do excellent work. Do it reliably and efficiently and as perfectly as possible. Be super responsive, polite, cordial, happy to everyone. Take things on gladly, but also be guarded and communicative if something is going to be too much. Be proactive. Guide things, push them along. Try and predict what is likely to happen on deals to minimize surprise. Time things well and get out ahead of things. Do this for 18+ months or so until you are known as reliable and dependable, and people will give you more autonomy.
3. Get a good phone so that you can be responsive to emails. Use apps like skype business that let you answer calls on your phone as if you are in the office (rings on both work phone and personal phone).
4. Try and stay under the radar as much as you can, but not appear to be hiding from things. Be seen when you know its good to be seen, and not seen when you know its not good to be not seen (i.e., if you're leaving at 5:30pm, make sure you leave when partners don't see you).
5. Have your secretary open your door and turn your light on in the morning early when they get in, and leave your light on in your office and a coat on the chair when you leave, so people don't know exactly where you are.
6. Work remotely whenever possible, including weeknights after 7pm and weekends. I have only come into the office one weekend day in 2.5 years. If things are slower, don't advertise or ask for permission to work remotely, just do it when you know no one is going to be looking for you anyway. If no one is looking for you, no one knows where you are/is wondering where you are, so there's no need to draw attention to your absence.
7. Use all 4 weeks of vacation and all holidays/floating holidays. Use personal days and a sick day here and there, but mostly, if you aren't coming in, work remotely on days where you can confidently say that nothing too much is going on.
8. Get all weekend work done as early as possible, and sit on things strategically. For instance, if I get a redraft of a document back on a Friday afternoon and the partner wants it on Monday, I will work on it Friday night til 7 or so, and then wake up early saturday morning (like 6am or so) to get it done. But I won't send it back until Sunday night or Monday morning, so as to preserve the rest of the weekend (not to mention that the partner thinks you were working all weekend on it).
9. Work feverishly during the time you are in the office and set firm deadlines to get things done. If someone needs a memo or a report, do the best workable job you can and get it out by the deadline, but don't put extra time into it that is only going to make marginal improvement.
10. Go out of your way for colleagues on coverages and helping in other ways. Foster that sort of selfless collegiality, and then when you need a solid, people will help without batting an eyelash.

I can mention others, but this has been my approach, and it is working excellently so far. Happy to answer more questions here or via PM.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm an expert on this. The key is to look kinda angry at all times like you're overworked (thanks Costanza) and stay under the radar. I billed between 1700 and 1900 for 4 years in M&A at a V10 firm and another year at a similar practice in a secondary market. Well regarded and in no danger of being asked to leave. Here's how I survive.

1. Showed up late.
2. Worked from home at night frequently.
3. Trusted my juniors once I was managing people.
4. Pushed back on unreasonable expectations.
5. Blew deadlines when I knew I could. On this one, if you know a client wants something by X date, make sure you hit timing so that it can get to the client by X date. But if you know it's a true bullshit false internal deadline, you can get away with sending an email like midnight the night before from your iphone while you're at a bar or relaxing watching tv saying you need a bit more time in the morning. People will bitch and moan but ignore it and forge ahead.
6. Said no to new deals.
7. Did perfect work. If you're going to be a low biller and a bit of a pain in the ass, you have to do work that makes it worth keeping you around. Luckily, you're getting 15+ hours more of sleep a night than your competition since you're aggressively saying no to work, so you can actually pull it off.


This is pretty good. I am a third year in corporate practice in NYC and have developed a really great rhythm and balance for myself, but it took about 18 months or so to get into and has taken further time to cultivate. I am not typically in the office for more than 9 hours a day, but am responsive via email and phone when needed to make up for the somewhat limited office time, and take full advantage of working remotely/from my phone. A few things:

1. Find a group that isn't huge (so that you aren't just a cog in the machine getting more and more work) but isn't too small that your whereabouts are always known to everyone. Older partners or partners that all don't stay super late can also help a lot. A practice area with less crazy expectations can help a great deal (m&a and capital markets being the two known as the craziest).
2. Do excellent work. Do it reliably and efficiently and as perfectly as possible. Be super responsive, polite, cordial, happy to everyone. Take things on gladly, but also be guarded and communicative if something is going to be too much. Be proactive. Guide things, push them along. Try and predict what is likely to happen on deals to minimize surprise. Time things well and get out ahead of things. Do this for 18+ months or so until you are known as reliable and dependable, and people will give you more autonomy.
3. Get a good phone so that you can be responsive to emails. Use apps like skype business that let you answer calls on your phone as if you are in the office (rings on both work phone and personal phone).
4. Try and stay under the radar as much as you can, but not appear to be hiding from things. Be seen when you know its good to be seen, and not seen when you know its not good to be not seen (i.e., if you're leaving at 5:30pm, make sure you leave when partners don't see you).
5. Have your secretary open your door and turn your light on in the morning early when they get in, and leave your light on in your office and a coat on the chair when you leave, so people don't know exactly where you are.
6. Work remotely whenever possible, including weeknights after 7pm and weekends. I have only come into the office one weekend day in 2.5 years. If things are slower, don't advertise or ask for permission to work remotely, just do it when you know no one is going to be looking for you anyway. If no one is looking for you, no one knows where you are/is wondering where you are, so there's no need to draw attention to your absence.
7. Use all 4 weeks of vacation and all holidays/floating holidays. Use personal days and a sick day here and there, but mostly, if you aren't coming in, work remotely on days where you can confidently say that nothing too much is going on.
8. Get all weekend work done as early as possible, and sit on things strategically. For instance, if I get a redraft of a document back on a Friday afternoon and the partner wants it on Monday, I will work on it Friday night til 7 or so, and then wake up early saturday morning (like 6am or so) to get it done. But I won't send it back until Sunday night or Monday morning, so as to preserve the rest of the weekend (not to mention that the partner thinks you were working all weekend on it).
9. Work feverishly during the time you are in the office and set firm deadlines to get things done. If someone needs a memo or a report, do the best workable job you can and get it out by the deadline, but don't put extra time into it that is only going to make marginal improvement.
10. Go out of your way for colleagues on coverages and helping in other ways. Foster that sort of selfless collegiality, and then when you need a solid, people will help without batting an eyelash.

I can mention others, but this has been my approach, and it is working excellently so far. Happy to answer more questions here or via PM.


Adding on to my post above, to clarify, I consider this "coasting" (or more aptly, effectively balancing work and life) because with this method I bill around 1900-2000 hours and am typically in the office from 10am-630pm and never on weekends, while using all vacation and other days allotted to me and working remotely a few times a month.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:30 am

Yes. I billed 1100-1200/year hours (a lot of it was bullshit, too, so probably actually worked quite a bit less) for 2.3 years at one firm (including stub), then received a warning during my review period in the first quarter of year 3 and immediately began to look for new opportunities. I still coasted at a very low daily hour while searching, but began setting up my exit as soon as I received a talk that I was done about 3 months later. I arranged for my lateral right as my 3 months of severance (which started 3 months after my warning) ended. Still received a pro-rated bonus for my 3rd year at my new firm.

I am now doing the same thing at my current job and plan to lateral once I receive another warning to a new geographic market as a way of explaining my most recent lateral move (both firms are in same market). I think I'll be able to get away with at least 1 more year before I receive a warning at my 2018 annual review, and then another 6 months to lateral after that... so basically planning to last another 2 years here after lasting 3 years at my first firm.

In my next geographic market, I plan to seek inhouse positions of any sort and maybe actually bust my butt a little to get the necessary credibility to make the move to a client perhaps. Hopefully I can skate by another year or so at my final firm before heading over to inhouse as a midlevel/senior.

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yes. I billed 1100-1200/year hours (a lot of it was bullshit, too, so probably actually worked quite a bit less) for 2.3 years at one firm (including stub), then received a warning during my review period in the first quarter of year 3 and immediately began to look for new opportunities. I still coasted at a very low daily hour while searching, but began setting up my exit as soon as I received a talk that I was done about 3 months later. I arranged for my lateral right as my 3 months of severance (which started 3 months after my warning) ended. Still received a pro-rated bonus for my 3rd year at my new firm.

I am now doing the same thing at my current job and plan to lateral once I receive another warning to a new geographic market as a way of explaining my most recent lateral move (both firms are in same market). I think I'll be able to get away with at least 1 more year before I receive a warning at my 2018 annual review, and then another 6 months to lateral after that... so basically planning to last another 2 years here after lasting 3 years at my first firm.

In my next geographic market, I plan to seek inhouse positions of any sort and maybe actually bust my butt a little to get the necessary credibility to make the move to a client perhaps. Hopefully I can skate by another year or so at my final firm before heading over to inhouse as a midlevel/senior.


If this is real, how do you even do this? Do people just not notice? How aggressively do you turn down work? And how awkward is it to be around people who might notice you're a slacker?

You have to work at a free market firm right?

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yes. I billed 1100-1200/year hours (a lot of it was bullshit, too, so probably actually worked quite a bit less) for 2.3 years at one firm (including stub), then received a warning during my review period in the first quarter of year 3 and immediately began to look for new opportunities. I still coasted at a very low daily hour while searching, but began setting up my exit as soon as I received a talk that I was done about 3 months later. I arranged for my lateral right as my 3 months of severance (which started 3 months after my warning) ended. Still received a pro-rated bonus for my 3rd year at my new firm.

I am now doing the same thing at my current job and plan to lateral once I receive another warning to a new geographic market as a way of explaining my most recent lateral move (both firms are in same market). I think I'll be able to get away with at least 1 more year before I receive a warning at my 2018 annual review, and then another 6 months to lateral after that... so basically planning to last another 2 years here after lasting 3 years at my first firm.

In my next geographic market, I plan to seek inhouse positions of any sort and maybe actually bust my butt a little to get the necessary credibility to make the move to a client perhaps. Hopefully I can skate by another year or so at my final firm before heading over to inhouse as a midlevel/senior.


If this is real, how do you even do this? Do people just not notice? How aggressively do you turn down work? And how awkward is it to be around people who might notice you're a slacker?

You have to work at a free market firm right?


There are certain characteristics of a law firm that make this easier, but I'm not going into detail out of an abundance of caution. People definitely notice, and I admittedly developed a reputation for turning in mediocre work product, which makes people less likely to give me certain work. I never hang around with my work colleagues, so I wouldn't know how awkward it is. I just DGAF, which is the key.

For a few reasons, I think it will definitely be harder to skate by at my current firm for more than this calendar year, and same with my subsequent firm (which I hope to be my 3rd and last). The first 2-3 years at a big law firm are much easier to get away with.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: How to Coast in Biglaw

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yes. I billed 1100-1200/year hours (a lot of it was bullshit, too, so probably actually worked quite a bit less) for 2.3 years at one firm (including stub), then received a warning during my review period in the first quarter of year 3 and immediately began to look for new opportunities. I still coasted at a very low daily hour while searching, but began setting up my exit as soon as I received a talk that I was done about 3 months later. I arranged for my lateral right as my 3 months of severance (which started 3 months after my warning) ended. Still received a pro-rated bonus for my 3rd year at my new firm.

I am now doing the same thing at my current job and plan to lateral once I receive another warning to a new geographic market as a way of explaining my most recent lateral move (both firms are in same market). I think I'll be able to get away with at least 1 more year before I receive a warning at my 2018 annual review, and then another 6 months to lateral after that... so basically planning to last another 2 years here after lasting 3 years at my first firm.

In my next geographic market, I plan to seek inhouse positions of any sort and maybe actually bust my butt a little to get the necessary credibility to make the move to a client perhaps. Hopefully I can skate by another year or so at my final firm before heading over to inhouse as a midlevel/senior.


If this is real, how do you even do this? Do people just not notice? How aggressively do you turn down work? And how awkward is it to be around people who might notice you're a slacker?

You have to work at a free market firm right?


There are certain characteristics of a law firm that make this easier, but I'm not going into detail out of an abundance of caution. People definitely notice, and I admittedly developed a reputation for turning in mediocre work product, which makes people less likely to give me certain work. I never hang around with my work colleagues, so I wouldn't know how awkward it is. I just DGAF, which is the key.

For a few reasons, I think it will definitely be harder to skate by at my current firm for more than this calendar year, and same with my subsequent firm (which I hope to be my 3rd and last). The first 2-3 years at a big law firm are much easier to get away with.


Not particularly helpful if you aren't willing to share how you did it, like other posters have. This is a thread for tips, not for just saying you coasted (props to you though).

Also, lol @ being shameless about not giving a fuck and turning in mediocre work but cautious about posting any relevant details while anon.



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