Anyone feel like being a corporate lawyer is basically not screwing up?

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Anyone feel like being a corporate lawyer is basically not screwing up?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:26 pm

For other jobs, I feel like being "good" at your job means adding value, producing a good deliverable, etc.

However, it seems like in corporate law, to be a "good lawyer" basically means you need to be a lawyer who fucks up at little as possible. This means: no typos, no substantive errors, etc.

It seems like substantively-wise, there's a baseline for the big-picture. If you are drafting a contract, as long as you get the big picture, there's diminishing returns on the value of the work. Other than this baseline, your work product seems to be dependent on your screw ups of the smaller stuff.

Maybe it's because I'm a junior level but I feel like my life is worrying about screw ups, rather than "how can I add value to this project/company/etc." It seems like being a corporate lawyer isn't so much "how can i be good at what I do" but more of "how can I not screw this up".

Anyone feel the same way? Is it because I'm too junior?

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MKC

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Re: Anyone feel like being a corporate lawyer is basically not screwing up?

Postby MKC » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For other jobs, I feel like being "good" at your job means adding value, producing a good deliverable, etc.

However, it seems like in corporate law, to be a "good lawyer" basically means you need to be a lawyer who fucks up at little as possible. This means: no typos, no substantive errors, etc.

It seems like substantively-wise, there's a baseline for the big-picture. If you are drafting a contract, as long as you get the big picture, there's diminishing returns on the value of the work. Other than this baseline, your work product seems to be dependent on your screw ups of the smaller stuff.

Maybe it's because I'm a junior level but I feel like my life is worrying about screw ups, rather than "how can I add value to this project/company/etc." It seems like being a corporate lawyer isn't so much "how can i be good at what I do" but more of "how can I not screw this up".

Anyone feel the same way? Is it because I'm too junior?


You've just described every lawyer everywhere. We're a transaction cost, not a value add.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone feel like being a corporate lawyer is basically not screwing up?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:36 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For other jobs, I feel like being "good" at your job means adding value, producing a good deliverable, etc.

However, it seems like in corporate law, to be a "good lawyer" basically means you need to be a lawyer who fucks up at little as possible. This means: no typos, no substantive errors, etc.

It seems like substantively-wise, there's a baseline for the big-picture. If you are drafting a contract, as long as you get the big picture, there's diminishing returns on the value of the work. Other than this baseline, your work product seems to be dependent on your screw ups of the smaller stuff.

Maybe it's because I'm a junior level but I feel like my life is worrying about screw ups, rather than "how can I add value to this project/company/etc." It seems like being a corporate lawyer isn't so much "how can i be good at what I do" but more of "how can I not screw this up".

Anyone feel the same way? Is it because I'm too junior?


You've just described every lawyer everywhere. We're a transaction cost, not a value add.


OP here

I need to get out of this field

umichman

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Re: Anyone feel like being a corporate lawyer is basically not screwing up?

Postby umichman » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:17 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For other jobs, I feel like being "good" at your job means adding value, producing a good deliverable, etc.

However, it seems like in corporate law, to be a "good lawyer" basically means you need to be a lawyer who fucks up at little as possible. This means: no typos, no substantive errors, etc.

It seems like substantively-wise, there's a baseline for the big-picture. If you are drafting a contract, as long as you get the big picture, there's diminishing returns on the value of the work. Other than this baseline, your work product seems to be dependent on your screw ups of the smaller stuff.

Maybe it's because I'm a junior level but I feel like my life is worrying about screw ups, rather than "how can I add value to this project/company/etc." It seems like being a corporate lawyer isn't so much "how can i be good at what I do" but more of "how can I not screw this up".

Anyone feel the same way? Is it because I'm too junior?


You've just described every lawyer everywhere. We're a transaction cost, not a value add.


I think this is much more true for corporate lawyers than for other types of lawyers tho.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Anyone feel like being a corporate lawyer is basically not screwing up?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:23 pm

Do you want to be a value-add? Or do you want a big apartment in a nice neighborhood despite having no STEM skills?

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abogadesq

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Re: Anyone feel like being a corporate lawyer is basically not screwing up?

Postby abogadesq » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:26 pm

Just read that a big pharmaceutical company laid off hundreds of software engineers; shipped those jobs off overseas.

Yeah, I'll stick with being a transactional cost.

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RedGiant

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Re: Anyone feel like being a corporate lawyer is basically not screwing up?

Postby RedGiant » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:23 pm

I think this is true when you are very junior. But as you get a chance to watch more experienced corporate lawyers, you will see that there's a lot more to it--how to handle clients, how to handle contentious and nuanced negotiations, how to navigate complex deals with a lot of moving parts, how to draft with brevity and elegance, how to serve as an outside GC/strategic advice, etc. That will come. Sure, your job now is not to screw up. But the best midlevels and seniors are proactive, understand what's coming next, and are one step ahead of the client and the attorneys they report to.
They know how to make the client feel like they are a trusted partner. They help the GC shine in front of the Board. You'll get there, if you want to. It takes time.



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