1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

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1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:45 pm

I'm a first year associate at a D.C. firm. I started off the year at a relatively consistent billable pace. Generally, when I finish work for a partner, I let them know that I'm available to take more work, or I will stop in folks' offices and do the same.

I just finished up some large projects at the end of last week, and I've been asking around for work, but haven't received anything; the only project I've got currently is a non-billable one. I feel like I would be pesky if I went around and asked again, but the stress of not having work is almost worse than the stress of having too much. I find myself wondering why some other associates have things to do and I don't. Is this normal? What's the best way to let people know that I'm available without being a pain?

bk1

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:52 pm

Chill, this is normal. If the firm doesn't have enough work for you at the moment, you will be slow. It's not abnormal that some of your peers are busy at the same time (this would be worrying if it was a long term trend).

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby favabeansoup » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a first year associate at a D.C. firm. I started off the year at a relatively consistent billable pace. Generally, when I finish work for a partner, I let them know that I'm available to take more work, or I will stop in folks' offices and do the same.

I just finished up some large projects at the end of last week, and I've been asking around for work, but haven't received anything; the only project I've got currently is a non-billable one. I feel like I would be pesky if I went around and asked again, but the stress of not having work is almost worse than the stress of having too much. I find myself wondering why some other associates have things to do and I don't. Is this normal? What's the best way to let people know that I'm available without being a pain?


It's normal. Enjoy your downtime. Your billables will never be a constant stream of X hours per week. Most of my work comes in cycles, so I'll be really busy for two weeks then have little to do for a few days, then back again.

You've let people know you are available for work, don't kill yourself looking for more stuff to do right now, it will come.

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby BigZuck » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:28 pm

I've never heard a good ending to stories that start with "I was slow so I went around and asked everyone for work." Literally every ending I've heard to that story involves getting buried with too much work to do like 3 weeks later. And regret.

I'm also just a first year though so grain of salt

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elendinel

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby elendinel » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:42 pm

BigZuck wrote:I've never heard a good ending to stories that start with "I was slow so I went around and asked everyone for work." Literally every ending I've heard to that story involves getting buried with too much work to do like 3 weeks later. And regret.

I'm also just a first year though so grain of salt


This guy/gal gets it.

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby westphillybandr » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:31 pm

BigZuck wrote:I've never heard a good ending to stories that start with "I was slow so I went around and asked everyone for work." Literally every ending I've heard to that story involves getting buried with too much work to do like 3 weeks later. And regret.

I'm also just a first year though so grain of salt


Yea don't be so eager to ask for work....

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Bluem_11 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:12 pm

Whose taking bets on this anon user posting in 3-6 months about how much big firm life sucks and how crushing the workload is?

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:50 am

Wtf is wrong with you people I had no work for my first three months and it was awesome.

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby rpupkin » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a first year associate at a D.C. firm. I started off the year at a relatively consistent billable pace. Generally, when I finish work for a partner, I let them know that I'm available to take more work, or I will stop in folks' offices and do the same.

I just finished up some large projects at the end of last week, and I've been asking around for work, but haven't received anything; the only project I've got currently is a non-billable one.

I literally laughed when I got to the bolded. Based on the thread title, I expected to read a description of an office-full of associates in panic because business had been dry for months. Instead, you've gone literally five days without work after finishing up several large projects. This is not only normal, it's desirable. You have to work a ton as an associate. One of the only things that makes it tolerable is the occasional few days of down time after finishing a busy period. Enjoy it. If you're lucky, it'll last another week.

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:01 pm

While I agree you are likely overreacting, and I hate to fan the flames of first year anxiety, I am a v5 2nd year (been at the firm for roughly 18 months) that just got shit canned. There were a bunch of times I wasn't getting work while my peers did.

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:While I agree you are likely overreacting, and I hate to fan the flames of first year anxiety, I am a v5 2nd year (been at the firm for roughly 18 months) that just got shit canned. There were a bunch of times I wasn't getting work while my peers did.


Dam, they at least give you a few months severance? What was the reason for letting you go?

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bruinfan10

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:36 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:Wtf is wrong with you people I had no work for my first three months and it was awesome.

+1

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:While I agree you are likely overreacting, and I hate to fan the flames of first year anxiety, I am a v5 2nd year (been at the firm for roughly 18 months) that just got shit canned. There were a bunch of times I wasn't getting work while my peers did.


Wow, that is early. Was there a warning?

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:While I agree you are likely overreacting, and I hate to fan the flames of first year anxiety, I am a v5 2nd year (been at the firm for roughly 18 months) that just got shit canned. There were a bunch of times I wasn't getting work while my peers did.


Wow, that is early. Was there a warning?


Tbh this kind of sounds like bullshit

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:While I agree you are likely overreacting, and I hate to fan the flames of first year anxiety, I am a v5 2nd year (been at the firm for roughly 18 months) that just got shit canned. There were a bunch of times I wasn't getting work while my peers did.


Wow, that is early. Was there a warning?


Tbh this kind of sounds like bullshit


I wish it was BS. I was given time to find a new job but no real warning prior to that.

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jrf12886

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby jrf12886 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:28 pm

I had a similar feeling when I was slow during my first year. Please do not go asking again for work. Trust me, work will find you and there will come a time very soon when you miss the downtime. Seriously, unless its like 3+ weeks with nothing to do at all, I wouldn't sweat it in the least. Also, do pro bono.

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:While I agree you are likely overreacting, and I hate to fan the flames of first year anxiety, I am a v5 2nd year (been at the firm for roughly 18 months) that just got shit canned. There were a bunch of times I wasn't getting work while my peers did.


Wow, that is early. Was there a warning?


Tbh this kind of sounds like bullshit


I wish it was BS. I was given time to find a new job but no real warning prior to that.


Sorry to pepper you with more questions but have you been able to find a new job? How is the lateral market for juniors?

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:30 am

jrf12886 wrote:I had a similar feeling when I was slow during my first year. Please do not go asking again for work. Trust me, work will find you and there will come a time very soon when you miss the downtime. Seriously, unless its like 3+ weeks with nothing to do at all, I wouldn't sweat it in the least. Also, do pro bono.


Yeah, I guess my thought is that everyone will assume I'm busy unless I ask for work. Perhaps that is incorrect.

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Re: 1st Year -- Not enough work is causing panic

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jrf12886 wrote:I had a similar feeling when I was slow during my first year. Please do not go asking again for work. Trust me, work will find you and there will come a time very soon when you miss the downtime. Seriously, unless its like 3+ weeks with nothing to do at all, I wouldn't sweat it in the least. Also, do pro bono.


Yeah, I guess my thought is that everyone will assume I'm busy unless I ask for work. Perhaps that is incorrect.


Fired poster above. No I was not a lateral, I was ~18 months into my career as a lawyer.

OP, if you are doing consistently good work, then yes I think it is fine to enjoy the lull times. If your performance has been shakier, and you think you have corrected the mistakes you made previously, getting more work to make a good impression is a good idea.

Also, if your firm uses a rotation system, it would behoove you to impress the group you wish to join as much as possible. At my firm, the rotation system amounted to a competition between associates. Those that billed more were more likely to be placed in the group of their choosing.



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