I need help

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timmyd

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I need help

Postby timmyd » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:26 am

I'm in my second year of practice after doing a fed clerkship right out of school. I work for essentially an insurance defense shop, but my practice area is mostly municipal and entity defense like bad cop stuff. We also defend a mid size city, so I get a ton of random stuff that they feed to outside firms like breach of contract, even defamation action against the mayor.

I can't take this shit anymore. My schedule is insane. I have like 2 briefs due every week, depositions somewhat regularly, and a myriad of other, bullshit tasks like meeting with clients and updated then on every fucking thing that happens. I'm arguing a pretty big state court motion in a week in a half as well. I wake up every day, to the extent I was able to sleep at all, feeling nervous and dreading the work day. I also work a lot on weekends recently and I'm just broken down. My digestive system is fucked up because I'm so stressed and nervous all the time. I make it a point though, to work out at least 4-5 times a week with heavy weights.

I'm considering giving notice without anything else lined up. I know that's stupid for my "career" but I don't want to do this shit anymore. I've considered just becoming a bartender or something and driving Uber on the side. I'd be poor as shit but way happier. Anyone else been here? Any tips for excessive stress and nervousness? I feel like I have an insane amount of responsibility for a barely second year associate. Some people get off on that shit; I just don't though because it means I spend my life in the office. To me, life is too short for that. What other jobs might be available to a poli sci major that graduate is with pretty high marks from a good(UT) but not great school.

1styearlateral

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Re: I need help

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:07 am

If you're doing a lot of insurance defense stuff you could try and go in house with an insurance company as claims counsel. Much less stress. Sounds like you're getting a lot of experience so you might be an ideal candidate for such a position.

spud3000

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Re: I need help

Postby spud3000 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:02 pm

Yes, been there. You now know what being "at capacity" feels like. Every tiny emergency blows up your whole calendar. You need to start protecting yourself immediately. Say "no" to new work and let the partners know you are under water, ask for extensions from opposing counsel and the court (or a second or third extension), ask for help from fellow associates, and grind out the next few months while you reset your work baseline. Your new baseline needs to have some margin of time in every work day/week for fire-drills. Good luck and you can do it!

estefanchanning

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Re: I need help

Postby estefanchanning » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:42 pm

Have you tried speaking frankly with your superiors and telling them that you're at capacity? Sometimes you can work out an arrangement that benefits everyone. Might as well give it a try if you're going to quit anyways.

kyle1978

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Re: I need help

Postby kyle1978 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:07 pm

Of all the types of insurance defense out there, 1983 actions seem most interesting. If I were you, I'd speak with supervisors before quitting. Also, exiting the law to become a bartender and part time uber driver seems pretty bohemian.

ur_hero

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Re: I need help

Postby ur_hero » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:41 pm

If you're willing to quit your job because of the workload, then you should be willing to first try turning down work and/or talking to Partners/superiors.

lolwat

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Re: I need help

Postby lolwat » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:53 pm

ur_hero wrote:If you're willing to quit your job because of the workload, then you should be willing to first try turning down work and/or talking to Partners/superiors.


Yeah this.

No idea if the OP is trolling somehow, though. Going from a federal clerkship to an insurance defense shop. And then talking about working out 4-5 times a week "with heavy weights." Wtf?

Damage Over Time

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Re: I need help

Postby Damage Over Time » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:58 pm

lolwat wrote:Going from a federal clerkship to an insurance defense shop.


Is this really that strange? I have a friend who's finishing up a clerkship and considering doing this.

lolwat

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Re: I need help

Postby lolwat » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:55 pm

Damage Over Time wrote:
lolwat wrote:Going from a federal clerkship to an insurance defense shop.


Is this really that strange? I have a friend who's finishing up a clerkship and considering doing this.


I guess it depends what "insurance defense shop" means to you. Many good firms do some insurance defense as part of their practice. If you're at one of those firms and just happen to be in the insurance litigation practice, then it's not bad at all. But those aren't the firms I was referring to and that doesn't seem like the case here either. OP wrote about "municipal and entity defense like bad cop stuff," which doesn't seem like something that high-powered litigation firms would be doing. There are firms that do, more or less, volume insurance defense work, and they get paid and pay their associates shit because they take such a huge cut in their hourly rates. There are probably still reasons to go to some of those firms; maybe the hours and quality of life, maybe the people are great, etc.--but I tend to think it's, at least, "less common" for a fed. clerk to choose to go to an insurance defense shop.

kyle1978

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Re: I need help

Postby kyle1978 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:59 pm

lolwat wrote:
ur_hero wrote:If you're willing to quit your job because of the workload, then you should be willing to first try turning down work and/or talking to Partners/superiors.


Yeah this.

No idea if the OP is trolling somehow, though. Going from a federal clerkship to an insurance defense shop. And then talking about working out 4-5 times a week "with heavy weights." Wtf?


You must have a low threshold for determining what is a troll and what isn't. I know a few that have gone from clerkship to insurance defense. It's not unreasonable

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: I need help

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:06 pm

I've tended bar for about 2 years before law school. If you really want to do that, don't bother with "bartender licenses" and shit like that. Also, don't take bartending classes.

The best way to get into bartending is to pick a nice restaurant/bar with a good bar manager and start there as a waiter. If you kick ass as a waiter and hit it off with the other bartenders/bar manager, after a while, you can ask to sub in for slow shifts when one of the bartenders need a day off or something. Kick ass as a bartender, get more shifts, and that's how you get experience.

Don't fall for fancy cocktail places. It's pretty fun to make complex cocktails and you get some great ingredients to work with, but the volume is so low that your tips aren't going to be very good. Pick a place that is a tap beer/simple cocktail place with high volume. In the Midwest, where I bartended, you could bring in ~1500 a week in tips if you work Thurs/Fri/Sat nights easily. If you're an attractive woman, make that ~2500.

It's a pretty fun job. If you want to just tend bar and drive Uber, you can.

ur_hero

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Re: I need help

Postby ur_hero » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:18 pm

lolwat wrote:
ur_hero wrote:If you're willing to quit your job because of the workload, then you should be willing to first try turning down work and/or talking to Partners/superiors.


Yeah this.

No idea if the OP is trolling somehow, though. Going from a federal clerkship to an insurance defense shop. And then talking about working out 4-5 times a week "with heavy weights." Wtf?


I dunno about the clerkship stuff. Sometimes just doesn't work out. No matter how busy things get, I also kinda try to consistently workout too - maybe missing a day here and there - so I feel that.

BUT...OP should at least try changing the situation or otherwise coasting while looking for a new better job. Logically, I don't understand when people leave abruptly or announce they're leaving before they have a new job. Just need to care less and life will be more enjoyable in the interim.

BigZuck

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Re: I need help

Postby BigZuck » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:28 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:I've tended bar for about 2 years before law school. If you really want to do that, don't bother with "bartender licenses" and shit like that. Also, don't take bartending classes.

The best way to get into bartending is to pick a nice restaurant/bar with a good bar manager and start there as a waiter. If you kick ass as a waiter and hit it off with the other bartenders/bar manager, after a while, you can ask to sub in for slow shifts when one of the bartenders need a day off or something. Kick ass as a bartender, get more shifts, and that's how you get experience.

Don't fall for fancy cocktail places. It's pretty fun to make complex cocktails and you get some great ingredients to work with, but the volume is so low that your tips aren't going to be very good. Pick a place that is a tap beer/simple cocktail place with high volume. In the Midwest, where I bartended, you could bring in ~1500 a week in tips if you work Thurs/Fri/Sat nights easily. If you're an attractive woman, make that ~2500.

It's a pretty fun job. If you want to just tend bar and drive Uber, you can.

Dude you gave up a chill 3 day a week, 70K a year job to go to law school? Are you a 3L? Drop out. NOW. Run back to that job. RUN. I'm dead serious.

timmyd

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Re: I need help

Postby timmyd » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:35 pm

I know other fed clerks that do the same type of work that I do. Actually, my clerkship might be more useful to my current practice than typical biglaw stuff because I did a ton of section 1983 stuff as a clerk. But I don't really know what biglaw lit is like so I could be wrong.

I'm working at this firm, primarily, because my uncle is a co founder and I really actually like the people; that's not the issue.

As to the weight lifting, I don't get what's trollish about that, but I guess not many lawyers lift. Kind of Broish for sure. Thanks for all the insight.

sparty99

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Re: I need help

Postby sparty99 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:23 pm

timmyd wrote:I know other fed clerks that do the same type of work that I do. Actually, my clerkship might be more useful to my current practice than typical biglaw stuff because I did a ton of section 1983 stuff as a clerk. But I don't really know what biglaw lit is like so I could be wrong.

I'm working at this firm, primarily, because my uncle is a co founder and I really actually like the people; that's not the issue.

As to the weight lifting, I don't get what's trollish about that, but I guess not many lawyers lift. Kind of Broish for sure. Thanks for all the insight.


You can easily do Insurane claims for an insurance company.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: I need help

Postby PeanutsNJam » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:04 am

BigZuck wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:I've tended bar for about 2 years before law school. If you really want to do that, don't bother with "bartender licenses" and shit like that. Also, don't take bartending classes.

The best way to get into bartending is to pick a nice restaurant/bar with a good bar manager and start there as a waiter. If you kick ass as a waiter and hit it off with the other bartenders/bar manager, after a while, you can ask to sub in for slow shifts when one of the bartenders need a day off or something. Kick ass as a bartender, get more shifts, and that's how you get experience.

Don't fall for fancy cocktail places. It's pretty fun to make complex cocktails and you get some great ingredients to work with, but the volume is so low that your tips aren't going to be very good. Pick a place that is a tap beer/simple cocktail place with high volume. In the Midwest, where I bartended, you could bring in ~1500 a week in tips if you work Thurs/Fri/Sat nights easily. If you're an attractive woman, make that ~2500.

It's a pretty fun job. If you want to just tend bar and drive Uber, you can.

Dude you gave up a chill 3 day a week, 70K a year job to go to law school? Are you a 3L? Drop out. NOW. Run back to that job. RUN. I'm dead serious.


TBF those numbers weren't only for 3 days of work a week, it was just a requirement that you work Thurs/Fri/Sat in addition to other days if you want to hit those weekly rates. Also, [drinking] holidays. So much money. I might be overestimating how much the women make, but I've seen women take home $700 after a good Friday night. Tbf you probably can't consistently hit those #'s, I'd guess average is much closer to 1k/week for men (if you're a primary bartender). I'm also not saying that I never reported cash tips to the IRS. I'm not saying that at all.

I'm holding the idea of retiring early and opening a bar in my back pocket. If you've got a good location and good staff, you could really make some big bucks. The profit margin at some of the places I've worked must have been huge. We sold $11 Moscow Mules. With 1 bottle of our shelf vodka (~$10 from distributor), we could make about ~10-15 drinks per bottle. You need a healthy contingent of regulars though, because bar business always comes from "hey let's hit up PNJ's Awesome Bar after ____." Starting a new bar is always super hard, because why try PNJ's Awesome Bar when you can just go to Trusted Regular Bar after work?



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