Not getting any work

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Not getting any work

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:24 am

Junior associate here, been here 6 months.

For the first four or five months, I was doing great billables-wise. I was hitting between 150-200 hours a month consistently (iirc I'm about 800 for the year so far). But then February hit. I think I've billed a total of 10 hours this month. I've asked around for work but no one seems to have anything for me, except for the one partner I've worked with in the past. I'm not going to get anywhere close to where I want to be this month. Should I be getting worried?

(p.s. I do plan on leaving the firm after a year for a variety of reasons but that's a discussion for another post.)

SFSpartan

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Re: Not getting any work

Postby SFSpartan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:47 pm

Probably not a reason for concern unless this drags on for a couple more months. Work for juniors can be inconsistent.

Anonymous User
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Re: Not getting any work

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:03 pm

I had a 20 hour month as a first year. No one really batted an eye or cared (though I'm sure it put me on a shorter leash if I have nothing-months in the future).

minnbills

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Re: Not getting any work

Postby minnbills » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:07 pm

If you're only hanging on for a year - then I wouldn't sweat it at all

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Re: Not getting any work

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:22 pm

In the same boat. First year at mid/large respectable firm. Posted about this in about December, and it hasn't really picked up. I no longer stress because I've reached out to multiple partners for work and it seems to be falling on deaf ears. I was frustrated at first but I no longer stress because if I ever get the "talk", I can tell them I have done everything I can do and prove it too.

If you haven't already done so, I'd do something similar just to show you're trying to work.

lagamemnon

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Re: Not getting any work

Postby lagamemnon » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:29 pm

minnbills wrote:If you're only hanging on for a year - then I wouldn't sweat it at all


This is the correct response. If you're not trying to make it a career, who cares? They probably wouldn't even fire you after a year for being slow.

Anonymous User
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Re: Not getting any work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:27 pm

Although this shouldn't be a big issue as Feb is typically the slowest month and things would probably pick up by March, you'll have to look at the financial health of your whole office. Are you in a big class? Do you have a big class coming in? Has any partner left? Has any client left? In extreme cases junior associates do get let go. Reach out to other offices for work, and preemptively look at market demand for your class year if you have to.

Anonymous User
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Re: Not getting any work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:14 pm

You could go the passive aggressive route and pick up a pro bono project the partner has to sign off on/supervise. This depends on how your firm handles pro bono, of course, but whenever a partner here sees a lot of pro bono work, he takes notice.

Anonymous User
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Re: Not getting any work

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:59 am

lagamemnon wrote:
minnbills wrote:If you're only hanging on for a year - then I wouldn't sweat it at all


This is the correct response. If you're not trying to make it a career, who cares? They probably wouldn't even fire you after a year for being slow.


Risk of being fired aside, DAE worry about not learning when they're slow? I don't want to be a second-year and have little to show for it.

nick417

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Re: Not getting any work

Postby nick417 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:50 pm

If you are leaving the firm in a year, then I am not sure why you're concerned.

But for others in a similar spot, the best move (as mentioned above) is to reach out to (1) work assigners and (2) partners and express interest in their work.

(1) reaching out to work assigners at least shows you are trying to get work. When your review comes up, you can always say look at email x, y, and z where I was reaching out for work.

(2) reaching out to partners and expressing interest in their work can also be beneficial. Even if they do not need associate help, they may be interested in writing an article or doing some other sort of non-billable client development. Who better to do the legwork than a junior associate. Like point 1 above, when your review comes up, you can always say look at email x, y, and z, to the partner.

At the bare minimum, following points 1 and 2 above shows initiative and a general interest in working at the firm.

Finally, there are lots of reasons why junior associates do not get work, so I would not sweat it. Things like office location (completely out of your control) may lead to work. Also, work tends to be given randomly, and some are lucky at landing on a large case while others get stuck with one-off research. Thus, I would not worry that you are not getting work because you are a bad associate (unless you were specifically told that is the reason).

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Toni V

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Re: Not getting any work

Postby Toni V » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:53 am

There were several weeks between Jan-Feb that were incredibly slow. During the past week new projects poured in, as in suddenly slammed. The Jan-Feb sluggish phase will pass, as it always does.



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