kykiske wrote:To OP:
When you were in biglaw, how many depositions (on billable files) did you get to take, and how many billable hearings did you appear for in which you personally argued? Or, rather, were you simply grinding out discovery responses, motions, and research memos?
I was never in "biglaw," so I have no personal foundation to comment on the daily life of a biglaw associate. My classmates who went to regional large firms are telling me they have yet to take a single billable deposition or argue a motion.
I'm at a pretty small firm (~20 lawyers) and I've taken a handful of depositions and appeared for non-dispositive motion hearings.
I find taking depositions and arguing at hearings to be quite fun.
I did not take a deposition and I did not argue at a billable hearing. I conducted interviews in internal investigations and was starting to have some more client contact when I left. The partners definitely do rely on you to know the facts - and, to a degree, the law - cold in the cases you are working on, so it's not like you're not adding any value at all and you're just a billing automaton. What would get frustrating for me is that you're doing research and/or learning the case so that you can pass that information onto someone else, who then writes it, who might pass it on to someone else to revise/rewrite. You're often feeling like you are trying to channel the mindsets of multiple people, instead of just taking every step on your own and carrying it through.
I did argue some pro bono hearings. An associate below me got to argue before the Court of Appeals on one of those cases. (There was a companion state court of appeals proceeding that I was handling.)