Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby Lacepiece23 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:Id just stop doing work and let them fire me. Id say no to everything. Make up excuses and start looking aggressively for a new job. Way better than quitting and giving up the paychecks before you really have to.


The issue with this is that a lot of jobs (and esp, all government jobs) will ask for multiple references. You don't want to burn bridges. I'd rather leave on my own terms than get fired.


Fair enough.

ur_hero

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby ur_hero » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:56 pm

Curious - What happens if you say "no" to an assignment, either bluntly or by qualifying that you simply have too much else to do? Or advise a partner that you won't be able to get to it until "XYZ"?

I don't know that you have to go to the extreme of turning down all work - maybe just highly prioritizing one partner that likes your work?

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:20 pm

OP what city are you practicing in? And what is your practice area? Though I'm still a 3L I know quite a few attorneys in smaller markets, and the difference can be huge in terms of work-life balance. I mean quite smaller than NYC, DC, Chicago, or LA/SF--like smaller Midwest cities and in the South. But if you are open to relocating then that might be an option for you

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:23 pm

I have no debt...but I have no idea what else I can do for a career. Golden handcuffs. I'm happy to take less money, but not half the money.

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shelob

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby shelob » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have no debt...but I have no idea what else I can do for a career. Golden handcuffs. I'm happy to take less money, but not half the money.


enjoy the suffering, then

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:31 pm

shelob wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have no debt...but I have no idea what else I can do for a career. Golden handcuffs. I'm happy to take less money, but not half the money.


enjoy the suffering, then


Oh, I know it's messed up. I wish I didn't feel that way. But living in NYC (where I am now) or SF (where I'm from) making less than 100k is also suffering.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby deepseapartners » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
shelob wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have no debt...but I have no idea what else I can do for a career. Golden handcuffs. I'm happy to take less money, but not half the money.


enjoy the suffering, then


Oh, I know it's messed up. I wish I didn't feel that way. But living in NYC (where I am now) or SF (where I'm from) making less than 100k is also suffering.

Honestly if you aren't willing to take a substantial pay cut you should try extremely hard to make it to at least year 3 and then go in-house. Take an extremely long vacation as soon as you can, if nothing else.

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smokeylarue

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby smokeylarue » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:10 pm

Honestly, my advice is to just stick it out. 300+hours a month is not normal, most people will never bill that much in a single month in their entire careers, so you're just unlucky. It will pass. Stick it out another year and re-evaluate. You're especially not in danger of being let go or anything if you're billing that much, so you can definitely cruise at least for another year and half (end of 2018) at a MINIMUM.

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:14 am

shelob wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have no debt...but I have no idea what else I can do for a career. Golden handcuffs. I'm happy to take less money, but not half the money.


enjoy the suffering, then


For the record, the quoted anon is just some rando, not OP. OP definitely has debt, and a lot of it. I don't think I'd mind the pay cut, though. I guess I just don't know what else to do with my life. What if it turns out I just don't like . . . anything?

oblig.lawl.ref

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:07 am

smokeylarue wrote:Honestly, my advice is to just stick it out. 300+hours a month is not normal, most people will never bill that much in a single month in their entire careers, so you're just unlucky. It will pass. Stick it out another year and re-evaluate. You're especially not in danger of being let go or anything if you're billing that much, so you can definitely cruise at least for another year and half (end of 2018) at a MINIMUM.


Yeah, I agree with this. Idk if you're like at WLRK or Cravath or what but 300+ hours is not the norm anywhere, I don't believe. I have never gotten that close to 300 and only rarely work much above 200 in corporate. I would definitely start telling people you can't take on more work. If there's HR/assignment people, etc., tell them too. Tell everyone you're being crushed. Also take a two week vacation as soon as you can. You need to save your career. It would be a shame if you didn't try everything you can to make it work and I think that means pushing back to get at a more manageable workload ASAP.

ThisLawyerLife

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby ThisLawyerLife » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:15 am

I've been in NYC biglaw for several years and can count on one hand the number of months I have had over 300. It's rough, so good job hanging in.

It can be really hard to turn down work, especially if you like to be a good team player, so here's what I suggest instead. Tell the partner/sr associate, "Sure, I can help out with that. I have deadlines X and Y on case Q and R at the moment though, so I cannot get to it until tomorrow/next week/whenever." If all your work is coming from the same case, just tweak the script a bit: "Sure, I can help out with that. I'm currently working on projects A and B for this case. I will wrap those up tomorrow afternoon and then I can start on your project C and finish it by the end of the week. Let me know if that works or if you want me to prioritize differently."

This puts the burden on them to decide just how urgent their project actually is. As a junior, you don't always have insight into what is truly urgent vs. what can wait. It also helps them figure out if they need to staff up the team, which can be helpful to lighten your load.

Finally, when you tell them when you can get to their project, be kind to yourself. Meaning, if you can get to their project tomorrow only if you pull an all-nighter tonight, then don't say that! Give yourself an extra day. Nobody will protect your time but you. This can get tough if the entire team is pulling all-nighters constantly or if you're up against a hard filing deadline - you don't want to be the associate who always logs off at 10pm while everyone else works until 2am.

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elendinel

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Re: Think I'm ready to quit biglaw

Postby elendinel » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:46 am

ur_hero wrote:Curious - What happens if you say "no" to an assignment, either bluntly or by qualifying that you simply have too much else to do? Or advise a partner that you won't be able to get to it until "XYZ"?

I don't know that you have to go to the extreme of turning down all work - maybe just highly prioritizing one partner that likes your work?


In my experience partners talk and they're going to find out that you're telling one person you're swamped while telling another you can add more to your plate. It could lead to neither giving you work, or both expecting you to get all their work done, depending on the level of petty in your group. If your group leaders aren't petty it's worth considering, though.

ETA: But never be shy to say you have xyz projects already but can do their thing after, though. There may still be pettiness but at that point it'll at least go over your head.

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Desert Fox

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