How soon can I leave biglaw?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
deepseapartners

Bronze
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:49 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby deepseapartners » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:07 am

umichman wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:
sanzgo wrote:is all of biglaw really that tedious and non-intellectual or is it just like that for junior associates? i come from a math/finance background and i loved trading in my previous job b/c of how intellectual it was. i couldn't sleep many days but that was only b/c i was addicted to the psychological and intellectual thrill of the job.

The vast majority of transactional Biglaw work is extremely tedious and not that intellectual. There are high stakes, in the sense that an error by a lawyer could cost the company a lot of money, but those are the stakes. Doing a good job means making zero errors, not contributing some incredible value to the deal, because your job is to limit your client's future liability. There's a reason that so many people who stick around focus on critiquing people for things that are, in all likelihood, pretty inconsequential - if you don't have that mindset, you're not going to enjoy the work.

Basically, if you are really into thrilling, intellectually-challenging, high-stakes work, you should try and get hired at a hedge fund or VC fund. If you are into deals, you should be a banker. If you are into creating value, you should be on the business-side. If you are into policy and big-picture intellectual work, you should go work for a think tank. Very specific transactional practices do require you to be extremely smart and apply that intelligence to your work, i.e. FRG, cross-border tax, maybe(?) high-level fund formation, but your generic M&A or cap markets deal will be extremely tedious.


What is frg

Financial regulatory groups or financial institutions groups. They operate a lot like a tax practice, but for financial regulation.

User avatar
Barack O'Drama

Gold
Posts: 3268
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:22 am

Martin Brody wrote:
Barack O'Drama wrote:0L and I'm sorry if this is a no-no

To answer a question about the tediousness of big law, a friend of mine who is a first year associate at a V10 (Real Estate dept) told me last night that his new project was essential to go through about 250 leases for a merger between food companies. He had to make sure that I guess certain things didn't transfer under the lease agreements. I know I'm wording this like fucking Charlie from It's Always Sunny because I have no idea what I'm talking about, all I know is he basically said it's like doing "accounting with words." I think this type of work would more or less fall under due diligence.

This is a good friend of mine, about 5 years my senior, and was always happy. Now he's regretting it like a lot of you guys above.


Again, 0L. I just wanted to add that to maybe give a small example of the tedium the work requires.


Sounds like an assignment/change of control analysis. It's tedious as fuck.


Damn, sounds like a bummer...
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:51 am

BernieTrump wrote: Bankruptcy and finance have, by far, the worse exit options in biglaw. People just don't need those skills outside of biglaw firms.


Sorry to derail, but can you explain what makes you say this? I am a summer associate in NY at a firm with a solid bankruptcy practice (not K&E/Weil) and it seems like M&A enjoys the best exit options, but finance and restructuring people are still moving to great jobs. Finance people seem to be going in-house in assistant GC-type roles and restructuring people seem to do the same, but a few recent departures have gone to the business side in Hedge Funds or financial advisory firms (Lazard, Greenhill, etc.).

I understand I am not getting the full picture on exits, but I was assuming that since all of the groups are trying to paint the rosiest picture, my understanding of the relative quality of their respective exit options would at least be somewhat accurate. Appreciate any perspective you can offer.

User avatar
homestyle28

Gold
Posts: 2362
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:48 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:58 am

dailygrind wrote:Another shitty thing about corporate work is the unpredictability of the day to day. Sometimes you get advance warning, but a lot of deals come out of nowhere and suddenly you're going from a slow week to a lost weekend. My understanding is that litigation is a lot more predictable.

The major advantage of corporate is in-house exit options, though. Just not as much need for litigators in-house (though litigators get more gov opportunities).


Yep. Also on the corporate side you know that every year your December is going to be a nightmare, so plan on celebrating Thanksgiving in early November and Christmas/Hannukah in January. Enjoy explaining why that is to your family/kids/non-lawyer friends.

User avatar
jaekeem

New
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:05 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby jaekeem » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:17 am

homestyle28 wrote:
dailygrind wrote:Another shitty thing about corporate work is the unpredictability of the day to day. Sometimes you get advance warning, but a lot of deals come out of nowhere and suddenly you're going from a slow week to a lost weekend. My understanding is that litigation is a lot more predictable.

The major advantage of corporate is in-house exit options, though. Just not as much need for litigators in-house (though litigators get more gov opportunities).


Yep. Also on the corporate side you know that every year your December is going to be a nightmare, so plan on celebrating Thanksgiving in early November and Christmas/Hannukah in January. Enjoy explaining why that is to your family/kids/non-lawyer friends.


sorry if this is obvious, but why is december/end of year so bad for corporate associates?

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:53 am

jaekeem wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:
dailygrind wrote:Another shitty thing about corporate work is the unpredictability of the day to day. Sometimes you get advance warning, but a lot of deals come out of nowhere and suddenly you're going from a slow week to a lost weekend. My understanding is that litigation is a lot more predictable.

The major advantage of corporate is in-house exit options, though. Just not as much need for litigators in-house (though litigators get more gov opportunities).


Yep. Also on the corporate side you know that every year your December is going to be a nightmare, so plan on celebrating Thanksgiving in early November and Christmas/Hannukah in January. Enjoy explaining why that is to your family/kids/non-lawyer friends.


sorry if this is obvious, but why is december/end of year so bad for corporate associates?


1) It's the end of the fiscal year for most companies.
2) It is the end of the tax year (obvious exceptions) for most people.
3) When tax changes come into effect it is usually as of Jan 1.
4) It's a great artificial deadline to get folks engaged. Business people are like small children, you need to keep them engaged and driving towards the goal.

These are a few of the reasons, as an m&a lawyer, our clients push to get deals closed over the holidays. Now, take into account the holidays in our own lives and the lives of the business drones we rely on to get things done and you begin to see the shit show.

User avatar
downing

Bronze
Posts: 278
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:03 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby downing » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just hate the work and find it so boring/useless.


This is me as well. I work in "regional" biglaw, where my hours aren't that bad--particularly when compared to what people have posted in the "Hours Check" thread. And I have good friends among the associates at my firm. But like BernieTrump said, the work is "indescribably tedious." I can't imagine what it would be like to do this job for the next 10-20 years.

I've been looking to lateral for multiple reasons and teaching myself how to code. But I don't know if I'm just lying to myself when I think that lateraling will help me hate the job any less, and I think it would take me a while (couple years, maybe?) to build marketable coding skills to make a career change--if that's even possible. So for now, I'm stuck.



I'm teaching myself how to code too! What language are you starting with? I spent some time teaching myself java and now I'm trying to use it to build android apps.

Phil Brooks

Bronze
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:59 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Phil Brooks » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:55 am

sanzgo wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:I practice international arbitration, international trade and public international law. It is wonderfully intellectual and legitimately interesting. That is the tradeoff for the lifestyle.

From the minute I started law school I zeroed in on a firm that would allow me to practice in these fields.

If you just take the path of least resistance at each step and let yourself fall into a generic corporate or commercial litigation group, yes, it will not be interesting, and there will be little redeeming about it. You will likely have better exit options than I will, though.


lol and here i was thinking international law was a myth.

how do you get into international law?


Know foreign languages. Take all relevant coursework in law school, including administrative law (international trade agreements are enforced by the Department of Commerce). Participate in international moot court competitions.

Then--most importantly--research your firms carefully. There are a minute number of firms whose international law practice areas are headquartered out of an American office. These are the firms you want. By contrast, there are several firms whose international law practices are run out of their London, Paris, or Singapore offices, with very little work sent to people in NY and DC.

Think very carefully if you want to go into this field. It is very difficult to get exit options. I'm sure I will be kicking myself in a few years.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:19 pm

Just a few brief counterpoints from a midlevel litigator about litigation since it seems to be getting boosted pretty heavily ITT:

1) The exit options are, in general, far worse than corporate. Once you are a big firm litigator, its is exceptionally difficult to do anything other than litigation. In-house opps are usually very limited (non-existent for some niches) and gov. will permanently cap your salary and career.

2) While you may have some more predictability than corporate work, that doesn't mean that it's predictable. I've still had many weekends and nights blown up by last minute unexpected work. Other side files a Friday ex parte? Too bad. Senior associate or partner doesn't get around to looking at your assignment until Friday afternoon and needs massive revisions by Monday? Too bad. Junior gives you unusable work and you have to fix it all yourself? There goes your night. Also, from a longer-term perspective, being slow in lit can be much more dangerous than being slow in corporate. If your anchor cases that you thought were going to get you through the next few months/years settle, you're screwed. And then it can take a while to get enough matters and work to get back to full time. If you get a string of poorly timed settlements, you could be out.

3) The work can often be just as tedious. Drafting pretrial exhibit lists that have exhibits numbering into the thousands is not fun. Objecting to that list is not fun. Drafting interrogatory answers, etc... it's not like litigation is some endless fountain of intellectual stimulation.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:20 pm

double post

jd20132013

Silver
Posts: 1378
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just a few brief counterpoints from a midlevel litigator about litigation since it seems to be getting boosted pretty heavily ITT:

1) The exit options are, in general, far worse than corporate. Once you are a big firm litigator, its is exceptionally difficult to do anything other than litigation. In-house opps are usually very limited (non-existent for some niches) and gov. will permanently cap your salary and career.

2) While you may have some more predictability than corporate work, that doesn't mean that it's predictable. I've still had many weekends and nights blown up by last minute unexpected work. Other side files a Friday ex parte? Too bad. Senior associate or partner doesn't get around to looking at your assignment until Friday afternoon and needs massive revisions by Monday? Too bad. Junior gives you unusable work and you have to fix it all yourself? There goes your night. Also, from a longer-term perspective, being slow in lit can be much more dangerous than being slow in corporate. If you anchor cases that you thought were going to get you through the next few months/years settle, you're screwed. And then it can take a while to get enough matters and work to get back to full time. If you get a string of poorly timed settlements, you could be out.

3) The work can often be just as tedious. Drafting pretrial exhibit lists that have exhibits numbering into the thousands is not fun. Objecting to that list is not fun. Drafting interrogatory answers, etc... it's not like litigation is some endless fountain of intellectual stimulation.



Agreed entirely with points two and three.

surrealfx

New
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby surrealfx » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:36 pm

jd20132013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just a few brief counterpoints from a midlevel litigator about litigation since it seems to be getting boosted pretty heavily ITT:

1) The exit options are, in general, far worse than corporate. Once you are a big firm litigator, its is exceptionally difficult to do anything other than litigation. In-house opps are usually very limited (non-existent for some niches) and gov. will permanently cap your salary and career.

2) While you may have some more predictability than corporate work, that doesn't mean that it's predictable. I've still had many weekends and nights blown up by last minute unexpected work. Other side files a Friday ex parte? Too bad. Senior associate or partner doesn't get around to looking at your assignment until Friday afternoon and needs massive revisions by Monday? Too bad. Junior gives you unusable work and you have to fix it all yourself? There goes your night. Also, from a longer-term perspective, being slow in lit can be much more dangerous than being slow in corporate. If you anchor cases that you thought were going to get you through the next few months/years settle, you're screwed. And then it can take a while to get enough matters and work to get back to full time. If you get a string of poorly timed settlements, you could be out.

3) The work can often be just as tedious. Drafting pretrial exhibit lists that have exhibits numbering into the thousands is not fun. Objecting to that list is not fun. Drafting interrogatory answers, etc... it's not like litigation is some endless fountain of intellectual stimulation.



Agreed entirely with points two and three.


I agree with 2 and 3. I don't have enough experience to comment on 1.

I fight 2. I may not respond until the next day if people are emailing me late at night. If they aren't organized enough to email during business hours, that's their problem. I think it's always worth testing people on this. If they don't notice that I don't respond or don't care, I'll keep doing that. If they get mad, I may be more cautious with how I act around them.

Despite what people say, I do not operate a 24/7 on-call service. I worry about things blowing up and how it looks that I'm slow to respond, but my time and other activities I'm doing are more valuable than staying up late for fake deadlines and the worry I have. One great thing about litigation is that everyone knows the real deadlines--the filing deadlines. When someone wants to posture/blow smoke that something is needed "ASAP," it's usually not. You can either say no (risky depending on supervisor), say yes and do it later, or ignore it and do it when you can, knowing that nothing will happen except perhaps a negative performance review. The court will not enter a default judgment. I had some negative comments about this on a recent review, and I negatively reviewed that supervisor as well, as he increased the pressure in the work environment and led us to produce lower quality work so that he could get a gold star by sending partners documents that they didn't review for several days late at night and on weekends.

I very much enjoy litigation. It's what I want to do (thank goodness). Unfortunately, because big firm rates are so high (far too high for litigation in my opinion), the "litigation" we get often involves case teams of 10 or more attorneys over various offices. This leads to limited substantive responsibility for anyone except senior associates, or in many (perhaps most) cases, partners. Other offices send me the trash work they don't want to do. At my firm, it appears that someone needs at least 20 years of experience to argue discovery motions and attend status conferences. The partners do not make an effort to let associates speak in court, except in pro bono. They hoard that for themselves. In my pro bono cases, I just go to court and don't tell anyone until I get back because I don't really care, and neither do they.

A lot of the "litigation" (regulatory, white collar, antitrust, securities) work is more or less professional document review. Find documents saying X or documents that seem interesting and summarize them. There is no legal argument associated (i.e. why document x relates to x legal claim). I call this "practicing facts." It's good to learn how to argue about facts, but that alone is not what I want to do.

I'll be leaving a big firm for a boutique firm soon. Big firm litigation has no future. I'm a third-year associate, and seventh years are either doing what I do now or supervising junior associates doing it. That's not where I want to be in four years. Perhaps at a boutique I can work on more interesting cases (I like breach of contract) and have more substantive experience (maybe speak in a courtroom, draft more substantive motions, etc.) That won't happen here.

jd20132013

Silver
Posts: 1378
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:06 pm

Practicing facts is a great way to describe it. It's mind numbing

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:17 pm

downing wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just hate the work and find it so boring/useless.


This is me as well. I work in "regional" biglaw, where my hours aren't that bad--particularly when compared to what people have posted in the "Hours Check" thread. And I have good friends among the associates at my firm. But like BernieTrump said, the work is "indescribably tedious." I can't imagine what it would be like to do this job for the next 10-20 years.

I've been looking to lateral for multiple reasons and teaching myself how to code. But I don't know if I'm just lying to myself when I think that lateraling will help me hate the job any less, and I think it would take me a while (couple years, maybe?) to build marketable coding skills to make a career change--if that's even possible. So for now, I'm stuck.



I'm teaching myself how to code too! What language are you starting with? I spent some time teaching myself java and now I'm trying to use it to build android apps.


Oh, you're probably farther along than I am. I'm working through some online courses, most of which are survey courses, although there's an in-depth C++ tutorial I would like to complete eventually. I figure I will get some of the basics down to figure out which language I like the most and then move on from there (I'm about 1/3 to 1/2 done with one set of courses). I enjoy Python quite a bit, though.

User avatar
unlicensedpotato

Silver
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:35 pm

tomwatts wrote:I tried to do transactional biglaw for about 4 weeks as a summer. At one point, a senior associate described a transaction that I was assigned to (an IPO, maybe?) as "really fun." I asked him, "What makes it fun?" He said that it was fun because it was a wacky Norwegian fishing business, and learning about how the business worked (in order to write disclosures or whatever) was fun. It was at that moment that I realized that even the "fun" parts of transactional practice were excruciatingly boring to me. The boring parts were enough to make me hate my life. So I decided not to do any more transactional work.

Have not regretted it for a moment.


This is hilariously spot-on.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:12 pm

I have noticed I enjoy big law generally except I really hate working with assholes. Maybe its becauss my previous job was exceedingly boring. Fortunately, I've really only encountered one sob so far...

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:26 am

I wonder how much of the misery ITT is caused by the hierarchal structure of most big law shops. Especially regarding the tedious parts. I feel like the job would be a lot more tolerable at less leveraged shops (like boutiques or 1:1 ratio biglaw shops) where associates at least spend their hours billing substantive assignments instead of mindless, mechanical work over and over. Idk if the work would feel more "meaningful" -- or if it makes any difference at all tbh -- but it seems like it would.

oblig.lawl.ref

Bronze
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:30 am

While I'll admit this seems to be well off topic, this is where this thread has evolved. I personally think this thread, like most threads like this, has a lot of really smart people making a lot of assumptions about things being universally intellectually stimulating or not intellectually stimulating or horrible or not so horrible.

I was a paralegal in a lit shop and decided I never wanted to do lit. I thought the practice was sleazy. I've talked to a few other corporate associates with the same experience. I personally find a lot of the skills that some people think make litigators great to be a kind of low cunning.

On the other hand I like corporate work generally and have found it very intellectually stimulating at times. But no less times than I think I would in just about any other practice. I don't go for the concept that tax and FIG and things like that are just so much more stimulating and rewarding. It's still just telling people how other people have interpreted boring regulations and what structures other people have had success with. I had the chance to go into those practice groups and probably still could even now (still junior and firm is very flexible when a need arises). I have no interest.

Alls that's just to say 0Ls/1Ls/2Ls/3Ls should take everyone's opinions in here, at least when they sound like statements of fact, with a healthy grain of salt and try things out and make up their own minds. I find how happy I am is like 95% based on how many hours I'm working and how nice/understanding the people I'm working for are. And the two are often interrelated.

User avatar
Vincent Adultman

Silver
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 2:08 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Vincent Adultman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:53 am

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:While I'll admit this seems to be well off topic, this is where this thread has evolved. I personally think this thread, like most threads like this, has a lot of really smart people making a lot of assumptions about things being universally intellectually stimulating or not intellectually stimulating or horrible or not so horrible.


I have no idea what this means.

BlueParrot

New
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby BlueParrot » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jaekeem wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:
dailygrind wrote:Another shitty thing about corporate work is the unpredictability of the day to day. Sometimes you get advance warning, but a lot of deals come out of nowhere and suddenly you're going from a slow week to a lost weekend. My understanding is that litigation is a lot more predictable.

The major advantage of corporate is in-house exit options, though. Just not as much need for litigators in-house (though litigators get more gov opportunities).


Yep. Also on the corporate side you know that every year your December is going to be a nightmare, so plan on celebrating Thanksgiving in early November and Christmas/Hannukah in January. Enjoy explaining why that is to your family/kids/non-lawyer friends.


sorry if this is obvious, but why is december/end of year so bad for corporate associates?


1) It's the end of the fiscal year for most companies.
2) It is the end of the tax year (obvious exceptions) for most people.
3) When tax changes come into effect it is usually as of Jan 1.
4) It's a great artificial deadline to get folks engaged. Business people are like small children, you need to keep them engaged and driving towards the goal.

These are a few of the reasons, as an m&a lawyer, our clients push to get deals closed over the holidays. Now, take into account the holidays in our own lives and the lives of the business drones we rely on to get things done and you begin to see the shit show.


I would say this varies, probably by what sort of corporate work you do. I'm in lev. finance and the end of the year normally isn't bad/ a lot of people take the holidays off without a problem.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:I wonder how much of the misery ITT is caused by the hierarchal structure of most big law shops. Especially regarding the tedious parts. I feel like the job would be a lot more tolerable at less leveraged shops (like boutiques or 1:1 ratio biglaw shops) where associates at least spend their hours billing substantive assignments instead of mindless, mechanical work over and over. Idk if the work would feel more "meaningful" -- or if it makes any difference at all tbh -- but it seems like it would.
\

Ehh, you'd think that, but if you don't enjoy the work, the higher stress positions of being one on one with partners and client contacts actually make the job even more stressful. At least a big firm, you can hide out, clients never call you directly and you don't work for a partner directly until you hit year 4-5. At small firms, if you love what you do, then yea, it can be more rewarding. But if you don't really like it, it makes the job worse IMO because you have added stress. Problem is that clients don't give a shit about you. They call you at the end of their day so that you work on it while they go home to their family and expect it done tomorrow morning. I routinely will get client calls to do stuff at 6:30 - 7 PM that could have been told to me earlier in the day, which ruins the entire night.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I wonder how much of the misery ITT is caused by the hierarchal structure of most big law shops. Especially regarding the tedious parts. I feel like the job would be a lot more tolerable at less leveraged shops (like boutiques or 1:1 ratio biglaw shops) where associates at least spend their hours billing substantive assignments instead of mindless, mechanical work over and over. Idk if the work would feel more "meaningful" -- or if it makes any difference at all tbh -- but it seems like it would.
\

Ehh, you'd think that, but if you don't enjoy the work, the higher stress positions of being one on one with partners and client contacts actually make the job even more stressful. At least a big firm, you can hide out, clients never call you directly and you don't work for a partner directly until you hit year 4-5. At small firms, if you love what you do, then yea, it can be more rewarding. But if you don't really like it, it makes the job worse IMO because you have added stress. Problem is that clients don't give a shit about you. They call you at the end of their day so that you work on it while they go home to their family and expect it done tomorrow morning. I routinely will get client calls to do stuff at 6:30 - 7 PM that could have been told to me earlier in the day, which ruins the entire night.


That is not always true. It depends on which office, how big the office is, and what group you are in. My experience at a big firm has always been working directly with partners, even as a 1st or 2nd year. Regulatory work has some jr associates working directly with partners. Same with other groups like tech trans. Depending on what work, some firms have associates work with client starting their 2nd year.

oblig.lawl.ref

Bronze
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I wonder how much of the misery ITT is caused by the hierarchal structure of most big law shops. Especially regarding the tedious parts. I feel like the job would be a lot more tolerable at less leveraged shops (like boutiques or 1:1 ratio biglaw shops) where associates at least spend their hours billing substantive assignments instead of mindless, mechanical work over and over. Idk if the work would feel more "meaningful" -- or if it makes any difference at all tbh -- but it seems like it would.
\

Ehh, you'd think that, but if you don't enjoy the work, the higher stress positions of being one on one with partners and client contacts actually make the job even more stressful. At least a big firm, you can hide out, clients never call you directly and you don't work for a partner directly until you hit year 4-5. At small firms, if you love what you do, then yea, it can be more rewarding. But if you don't really like it, it makes the job worse IMO because you have added stress. Problem is that clients don't give a shit about you. They call you at the end of their day so that you work on it while they go home to their family and expect it done tomorrow morning. I routinely will get client calls to do stuff at 6:30 - 7 PM that could have been told to me earlier in the day, which ruins the entire night.


That is not always true. It depends on which office, how big the office is, and what group you are in. My experience at a big firm has always been working directly with partners, even as a 1st or 2nd year. Regulatory work has some jr associates working directly with partners. Same with other groups like tech trans. Depending on what work, some firms have associates work with client starting their 2nd year.


Yeah I got calls from clients as a first year at my big firm. I worked with partners also as a first year. In a general corporate practice. It's fairly common at my firm. Also Decembers are often chill here.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313973
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:31 pm

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I wonder how much of the misery ITT is caused by the hierarchal structure of most big law shops. Especially regarding the tedious parts. I feel like the job would be a lot more tolerable at less leveraged shops (like boutiques or 1:1 ratio biglaw shops) where associates at least spend their hours billing substantive assignments instead of mindless, mechanical work over and over. Idk if the work would feel more "meaningful" -- or if it makes any difference at all tbh -- but it seems like it would.
\

Ehh, you'd think that, but if you don't enjoy the work, the higher stress positions of being one on one with partners and client contacts actually make the job even more stressful. At least a big firm, you can hide out, clients never call you directly and you don't work for a partner directly until you hit year 4-5. At small firms, if you love what you do, then yea, it can be more rewarding. But if you don't really like it, it makes the job worse IMO because you have added stress. Problem is that clients don't give a shit about you. They call you at the end of their day so that you work on it while they go home to their family and expect it done tomorrow morning. I routinely will get client calls to do stuff at 6:30 - 7 PM that could have been told to me earlier in the day, which ruins the entire night.


That is not always true. It depends on which office, how big the office is, and what group you are in. My experience at a big firm has always been working directly with partners, even as a 1st or 2nd year. Regulatory work has some jr associates working directly with partners. Same with other groups like tech trans. Depending on what work, some firms have associates work with client starting their 2nd year.


Yeah I got calls from clients as a first year at my big firm. I worked with partners also as a first year. In a general corporate practice. It's fairly common at my firm. Also Decembers are often chill here.


I'm a first year in a funds practice and work directly with partners every day. Also get calls from clients all the time if they can't reach the partner. It doesn't make the work any more enjoyable. In fact it's kind of depressing because you realize that the stuff you are working on as a first year is the same stuff the partner/client are working on and it doesn't get any more interesting.

dixiecupdrinking

Gold
Posts: 3440
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: How soon can I leave biglaw?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:18 pm

Why would you want to work directly with partners? Working directly with partners sucks. It's just like working under a senior associate except you have to give a shit about what they think and if you give them bad work there's no doubt where it came from.



Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.