Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

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Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby paperrev » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:08 am

Hello. I am a 2nd year junior associate in corporate at a pretty large firm. I am starting to realize that while I don't mind the work nor do I necessarily mind working late, the constant need to be on call and respond immediately to emails has been making me miserable. I used to work a regular 9-to-5 prior to law school, and what I liked the most is that I was able to fully log-off when I'm not at the office. Now, I am constantly staying late in the office, waiting around in fear of random emails that trickle into my inbox every other night of the week. I am one of those people who gets anxious when I have things to do, and the constantly having to be on-call is really, really stressing me out. I don't really go out or make plans during the week because of a fear that I will be emailed at 9PM to be asked to do something by tomorrow morning. It is really starting to take a toll on my mental health, and I wanted to ask: (i) is this generally how corporate law (big law, mid law) is like all around everywhere, and (ii) does it get better? Thanks..

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:01 am

No, it doesn't get better. In fact, it gets worse. As a senior associate, you are more integral to every single deal you are on. The client relies on you, the partners rely on you and the juniors rely on you to give them direction. What does that mean? It means being on-call to clients now, as well as your bosses. The job is a miserable existence, start looking to go in house.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby papermateflair » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:13 am

This is pretty typical of M&A/most corporate work. I do think as you get more senior you'll be more aware about what's coming down the pike and it'll give you a better sense of control, even if the hours don't actually change. When you're a junior things are often given to you piecemeal, so you aren't aware of what's going on in the background, and as you move up you'll be more integrated and know that, say, the other side is coming back with comments on Thursday, so you'll want to make sure you're near your computer on Thursday night.

If you want to stay in big law and don't want to ride it out on the corporate side, see if you can get re-tooled into a tax or regulatory lawyer - tax has long hours, but we often say there's no such thing as a tax emergency. All of my last minute (9 PM emails) have to do with corporate transactions that I support, but there are plenty of tax folks who don't support transactions at all. I'm not like, actually worried about someone demanding something from me immediately 99.9% of the time - there are obviously times when I know something is coming and I make sure I'm available, but it's not ALL the time.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby Neff » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:13 pm

Corporate/M&A is certainly the worst when it comes to being on-call almost 24/7. So if that is a problem for you, you will simply have to switch to another practice or go in-house. Sorry to say that it only gets worse from here on -- as a junior you are mostly just doing discrete assignments, but as a mid-level and beyond the work never really ends because there is always something to do/some way to push the deal forward. The only respite is when you are not staffed on multiple deals.

The only reason why I have lasted 4+ years in this practice is because I am at a firm in a secondary market that is very generous with remote working. When there is no express need to be in the office, you can work from home. In my view this is only a fair trade-off for having to be always on-call, but this is usually not allowed at NYC firms.

As for retooling, as a general rule of thumb all of the transactional support groups (transactional tax, EB, transactional IP, etc.) have bad schedules as well -- we would know because we are the ones emailing them at midnight. In short, any practice with the word "transactional" in it has volatile hours, and anything with the word "cross-border" in it can be hellish (time-zone issues). And smaller deals are not necessarily better, as VC/start-up focused practice tends to have super-demanding entrepreneurs who keep strange hours.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby barkschool » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:43 pm

Neff wrote:Corporate/M&A is certainly the worst when it comes to being on-call almost 24/7. So if that is a problem for you, you will simply have to switch to another practice or go in-house. Sorry to say that it only gets worse from here on -- as a junior you are mostly just doing discrete assignments, but as a mid-level and beyond the work never really ends because there is always something to do/some way to push the deal forward. The only respite is when you are not staffed on multiple deals.

The only reason why I have lasted 4+ years in this practice is because I am at a firm in a secondary market that is very generous with remote working. When there is no express need to be in the office, you can work from home. In my view this is only a fair trade-off for having to be always on-call, but this is usually not allowed at NYC firms.

As for retooling, as a general rule of thumb all of the transactional support groups (transactional tax, EB, transactional IP, etc.) have bad schedules as well -- we would know because we are the ones emailing them at midnight. In short, any practice with the word "transactional" in it has volatile hours, and anything with the word "cross-border" in it can be hellish (time-zone issues). And smaller deals are not necessarily better, as VC/start-up focused practice tends to have super-demanding entrepreneurs who keep strange hours.


OP, i have a similar experience as the above. I never check my email after leaving work and most of the time that’s between 545-630. Still “big law”, just different clients and expectations.

If youre from anywhere, maybe see what opportunities are available in that secondary market.

Otherwise Try switching to another practice group at another firm and see if the grass is greener.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby ghostoftraynor » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:56 pm

barkschool wrote:
Neff wrote:Corporate/M&A is certainly the worst when it comes to being on-call almost 24/7. So if that is a problem for you, you will simply have to switch to another practice or go in-house. Sorry to say that it only gets worse from here on -- as a junior you are mostly just doing discrete assignments, but as a mid-level and beyond the work never really ends because there is always something to do/some way to push the deal forward. The only respite is when you are not staffed on multiple deals.

The only reason why I have lasted 4+ years in this practice is because I am at a firm in a secondary market that is very generous with remote working. When there is no express need to be in the office, you can work from home. In my view this is only a fair trade-off for having to be always on-call, but this is usually not allowed at NYC firms.

As for retooling, as a general rule of thumb all of the transactional support groups (transactional tax, EB, transactional IP, etc.) have bad schedules as well -- we would know because we are the ones emailing them at midnight. In short, any practice with the word "transactional" in it has volatile hours, and anything with the word "cross-border" in it can be hellish (time-zone issues). And smaller deals are not necessarily better, as VC/start-up focused practice tends to have super-demanding entrepreneurs who keep strange hours.


OP, i have a similar experience as the above. I never check my email after leaving work and most of the time that’s between 545-630. Still “big law”, just different clients and expectations.

If youre from anywhere, maybe see what opportunities are available in that secondary market.

Otherwise Try switching to another practice group at another firm and see if the grass is greener.


I think this is a bit misleading. I think its a pretty unicorn scenario to be in actual biglaw and generally not check your email after 545-630.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby shock259 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:22 pm

Didn't have time to read the other replies, but generally speaking, this won't change as you progress in biglaw. The only mitigating factors I can think of will be: (1) sometimes it becomes more predictable as you get more familiar with your deal structure and particular clients, and/or (2) you get better at knowing when you actually need to do something.

By way of example on #2, maybe you get an email at 7pm with draft agreement that you need to review. As a midlevel or senior associate, you know you'll need to turn it tomorrow but you also know that it will only take you about an hour to review. You can get to it tomorrow between calls. So you read the email, you reply with a quick "thanks, we'll review" at 7pm, and then go back to whatever it was you were doing. That's the best case scenario, I think. But it's better than canceling your dinner plans to review the agreement that night, like some juniors would do who don't know that it can wait.

What sucks is that as you get more senior, the buck tends to drop in your lap more and more. You'll become the focal point of the deal and everyone will correspond with you on all matters relating to it. If you get a document at 10pm that really needs to be reviewed right away, are you going to try and raise the first year on the deal to take a look at it, send you comments back, and then you have to review it anyway? Or are you just going to do it yourself?

All that said, you usually can't just check out entirely from email after hours. Unfortunately it's expected that you'll always be reading them, even if they usually don't require follow up.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby misterjames » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:32 pm

This is exactly why I left my firm job, absolutely hated the feeling that I couldn't ever fully step away from work. That life just isn't for me, and I recognized that and did something about it. Now I'm in-house, any work I put in after say 630p is greatly greatly appreciated, but never expected.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby inter-associate » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:41 pm

Agree with the sentiment that it doesn't get better, and does in fact get worse as you get more senior. The only people I know who can (almost) check out are senior partners that do not run the day to day work on transactions, and even they have to be generally responsive when issues come up. My view is that it is not the hours that get you in this job, it is the constant intrusions that can literally ruin any moment of your (or your family's) life. I feel like I have been on call 24 hours a day for the last 7 years and counting.

One thing that does get better as you get more senior is not having to deal with all the minutia. I stress a lot less about random emails now than I used to because I can almost always forward an email to someone more junior to handle the bulk of the work. As you have more resources to get things done it does become more manageable and less anxiety inducing.

Another skill that helps a lot is learning to immediately acknowledge receipt of an email and note that you are on it. For supervising attorneys, I would immediately acknowledge and, if not clear, ask timing. I can't count the number of times I have stressed about racing back to a computer to get things done and then learning that the senior/partner was just trying to get the email out but did not need anything for a couple of days. Ditto with clients, with the added bonus of being able to manage expectations on timing instead of asking about it based on the current lay of the land. In either case, the immediate response saves hours of unnecessary stress and anxiety.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby dabigchina » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:23 pm

people who lasted 4+ years - how do you do it? is it the money, or do you just not mind as much?

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:49 pm

dabigchina wrote:people who lasted 4+ years - how do you do it? is it the money, or do you just not mind as much?


I've lateraled 2x - meaning I've worked at 3 different firms, including one in a secondary/tertiary market. That has helped the paychecks keep flowing. Also got into a new practice area so there was a ramp up period, but that ended quickly and soon I was pretty underwater once word got around I was good.

Trying to leave firm life for good now. Officially i'm a 5th year but a bit of a journeyman and while lateraling I would take a few months off at a time. Ultimately, the job is miserable and I can't wait to be done with it.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:58 pm

Most “urgency” in this job is fake and 90% of things that come in after 8 PM can be handled the next morning with no consequences. The more senior you get, the more you set the schedule. I always answer questions that can be handled in a minute; otherwise it waits.

The sanity that saves you will extend your career for far longer than any trouble you get in will shorten it.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:37 pm

How does litigation compare? I’m currently in a bifurcated practice but I hate the transactional aspects so looking to move to a litigation-only role.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby burritotaco » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:How does litigation compare? I’m currently in a bifurcated practice but I hate the transactional aspects so looking to move to a litigation-only role.


I'm a relatively recent big law litigation refugee. My schedule was generally more predictable compared to my corporate friends, but it can still be unpredictable and require grueling 250-300 hour months. You can definitely plan vacations where you're entirely off the grid, which did not always seem possible with some corporate colleagues. That was a big plus compared to them. As with every firm, it really just depends on (1) the partners you work with; (2) the ebb and flow of your matters; and (3) client expectations.

I routinely got emails after 7pm that asked me to do things ASAP, but it very rarely was necessary to drop everything and do it right away. Trial is the one exception. Preparing for and going to a week-long trial (which is relatively short) was the worst professional experience of my life.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:How does litigation compare? I’m currently in a bifurcated practice but I hate the transactional aspects so looking to move to a litigation-only role.

Fifth, almost sixth year litigator who's been at a few firms in different practice areas, but all under the litigation umbrella. This is highly, highly dependent on the partners you work for and to a lesser extent opposing counsel and clients. I've worked with partners who expect near 24/7 responsiveness and have zero compunction about dumping something on you on a Friday or Saturday with a fake fire drill deadline of 12-24 hours. I've also worked with some who meticulously plan every task with reasonable deadlines and lots of lead time for associates. It's also highly dependent on whether the people you work for are the types to take a draft of something and take it over themselves, or if they're the type to insert a bunch of poorly thought out comment bubbles and expect an immediate response. Opposing counsel can always ruin your plans with an ex parte motion or something, but that's not super common IME. Certain clients can make things difficult, too, although most are reasonable.

I do think in litigation it is a little easier to push things down the chain if necessary, which means it gets "better" as you get older in a way transactional doesn't always. But that will be highly case and partner dependent.

If you actually like litigation, it might make sense to go over to it 100%. If you're looking for a better lifestyle or dislike biglaw in general, I'd highly recommend gutting out a couple more years in transactional and going in house when the opportunity presents itself. Once you become a litigator those opportunities become much rarer and tend to require more experience than transactional roles.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby misterjames » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:47 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Most “urgency” in this job is fake and 90% of things that come in after 8 PM can be handled the next morning with no consequences. The more senior you get, the more you set the schedule. I always answer questions that can be handled in a minute; otherwise it waits.

The sanity that saves you will extend your career for far longer than any trouble you get in will shorten it.


I'll never forget one evening at my firm job, a client emails us at 730p asking if they could receive a document "by sometime tomorrow." No problem I thought, as the document was 95% done and I only needed to include a few edits the partner suggested, 15-20 minutes of work maximum. Naive me, thinking I could bang this out first thing at 9a tomorrow and the client would be happy. Well how wrong was I apparently, because I later learned, according to the partner, "when a client says they want something tomorrow, they really mean tonight."

Instead of asking me if I could do it that evening the partner went ahead and did it herself at 11p, and when she sent it out she forgot to copy the client, so it only went to me and the paralegal. When I got in the next morning, I realized her mistake and sent it to the client. The client receives the document at 930 am, as I intended, and responds with "thanks!"

So. F.u.cking. Dumb.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby trebekismyhero » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:33 pm

misterjames wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Most “urgency” in this job is fake and 90% of things that come in after 8 PM can be handled the next morning with no consequences. The more senior you get, the more you set the schedule. I always answer questions that can be handled in a minute; otherwise it waits.

The sanity that saves you will extend your career for far longer than any trouble you get in will shorten it.


I'll never forget one evening at my firm job, a client emails us at 730p asking if they could receive a document "by sometime tomorrow." No problem I thought, as the document was 95% done and I only needed to include a few edits the partner suggested, 15-20 minutes of work maximum. Naive me, thinking I could bang this out first thing at 9a tomorrow and the client would be happy. Well how wrong was I apparently, because I later learned, according to the partner, "when a client says they want something tomorrow, they really mean tonight."

Instead of asking me if I could do it that evening the partner went ahead and did it herself at 11p, and when she sent it out she forgot to copy the client, so it only went to me and the paralegal. When I got in the next morning, I realized her mistake and sent it to the client. The client receives the document at 930 am, as I intended, and responds with "thanks!"

So. F.u.cking. Dumb.


Yep, I was on a deal that was not going to close until July and our client was a gigantic company where everyone was off from like December 23-January 2nd. The partner told the client on December 20th that we would have the diligence memo to them on Xmas Eve. Spent all night December 23rd working and Xmas eve morning on a call with the partner making edits before sending it out Xmas eve night. The client responded on January 3rd.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby yodamiked » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:15 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
misterjames wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Most “urgency” in this job is fake and 90% of things that come in after 8 PM can be handled the next morning with no consequences. The more senior you get, the more you set the schedule. I always answer questions that can be handled in a minute; otherwise it waits.

The sanity that saves you will extend your career for far longer than any trouble you get in will shorten it.


I'll never forget one evening at my firm job, a client emails us at 730p asking if they could receive a document "by sometime tomorrow." No problem I thought, as the document was 95% done and I only needed to include a few edits the partner suggested, 15-20 minutes of work maximum. Naive me, thinking I could bang this out first thing at 9a tomorrow and the client would be happy. Well how wrong was I apparently, because I later learned, according to the partner, "when a client says they want something tomorrow, they really mean tonight."

Instead of asking me if I could do it that evening the partner went ahead and did it herself at 11p, and when she sent it out she forgot to copy the client, so it only went to me and the paralegal. When I got in the next morning, I realized her mistake and sent it to the client. The client receives the document at 930 am, as I intended, and responds with "thanks!"

So. F.u.cking. Dumb.


Yep, I was on a deal that was not going to close until July and our client was a gigantic company where everyone was off from like December 23-January 2nd. The partner told the client on December 20th that we would have the diligence memo to them on Xmas Eve. Spent all night December 23rd working and Xmas eve morning on a call with the partner making edits before sending it out Xmas eve night. The client responded on January 3rd.


These stories are so prevalent and easy to relate to for anyone that's worked in big law, it makes me wonder what has happened to these partners and senior associates to make them the way they are. Have they complete lost sight of life outside the office or "real" life? So infuriating. This is one of many reasons why I have yet to talk to anyone who's left big law (or really anyone still in big law) who doesn't hate it.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:48 pm

yodamiked wrote:These stories are so prevalent and easy to relate to for anyone that's worked in big law, it makes me wonder what has happened to these partners and senior associates to make them the way they are. Have they complete lost sight of life outside the office or "real" life? So infuriating. This is one of many reasons why I have yet to talk to anyone who's left big law (or really anyone still in big law) who doesn't hate it.


It's risk aversion, and the industry selects for it.

Getting the above-mentioned doc turned by Jan 1 might not be an issue 90% of the time, but the 10% it is? You embarrassed THE FIRM in front a client and maybe you get bopped off the partner track. So the people who make it to partner are the ones who program a ton of leeway into their deadlines.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby QContinuum » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:56 pm

misterjames wrote:I'll never forget one evening at my firm job, a client emails us at 730p asking if they could receive a document "by sometime tomorrow." No problem I thought, as the document was 95% done and I only needed to include a few edits the partner suggested, 15-20 minutes of work maximum. Naive me, thinking I could bang this out first thing at 9a tomorrow and the client would be happy. Well how wrong was I apparently, because I later learned, according to the partner, "when a client says they want something tomorrow, they really mean tonight."

Instead of asking me if I could do it that evening the partner went ahead and did it herself at 11p, and when she sent it out she forgot to copy the client, so it only went to me and the paralegal. When I got in the next morning, I realized her mistake and sent it to the client. The client receives the document at 930 am, as I intended, and responds with "thanks!"

So. F.u.cking. Dumb.

So trebek's fake Christmas Eve deadline story is legit awful, but in the above case I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to the partner. Firstly, 7:30 PM isn't all that late. If this was me, I would have just put in those 15-20 minutes and gotten the edits out the door. You never know what the next morning will bring, or what emails might come in overnight. Secondly, it doesn't sound like you informed the partner of your plan of banging it out the first thing in the morning. It sounds like a short "this is close, will finish first thing in the morning if okay" email would have solved this whole situation. Finally, partners are generally supposed to (though don't always in practice, of course) review associate work product before it gets sent out. The partner may have feared (rightly or wrongly) the possibility of needing to make significant revisions to your work product, and may have had a packed schedule the next day.

Obviously, the partner also handled the whole situation kind of badly, in that she should have simply communicated to you that she wanted the draft out that night. But, I really don't think this makes the cut of "awful BigLaw stories".

The Lsat Airbender wrote:It's risk aversion, and the industry selects for it.

Getting the above-mentioned doc turned by Jan 1 might not be an issue 90% of the time, but the 10% it is? You embarrassed THE FIRM in front a client and maybe you get bopped off the partner track. So the people who make it to partner are the ones who program a ton of leeway into their deadlines.

As far as I can tell, there was no 1/1 deadline. trebek's deal was a slow-moving one that wasn't going to close until July. Nor did trebek's partner program any leeway into their deadline. Quite the opposite, trebek's partner created a 100% self-inflicted fire drill by needlessly promising a Christmas Eve delivery date for the due diligence memo. The client didn't request it, the deal didn't demand it, the client wasn't even going to look at the report until 1/2 at the earliest. There was zero need to gratuitously promise that deadline, and in fact promising that aggressive, self-imposed deadline put the firm's reputation at risk (by creating a realistic possibility of missing the deadline, which - although ultimately harmless - might still make the firm look sloppy/unreliable).

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:05 pm

QContinuum wrote:
misterjames wrote:I'll never forget one evening at my firm job, a client emails us at 730p asking if they could receive a document "by sometime tomorrow." No problem I thought, as the document was 95% done and I only needed to include a few edits the partner suggested, 15-20 minutes of work maximum. Naive me, thinking I could bang this out first thing at 9a tomorrow and the client would be happy. Well how wrong was I apparently, because I later learned, according to the partner, "when a client says they want something tomorrow, they really mean tonight."

Instead of asking me if I could do it that evening the partner went ahead and did it herself at 11p, and when she sent it out she forgot to copy the client, so it only went to me and the paralegal. When I got in the next morning, I realized her mistake and sent it to the client. The client receives the document at 930 am, as I intended, and responds with "thanks!"

So. F.u.cking. Dumb.

So trebek's fake Christmas Eve deadline story is legit awful, but in the above case I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to the partner. Firstly, 7:30 PM isn't all that late. If this was me, I would have just put in those 15-20 minutes and gotten the edits out the door. You never know what the next morning will bring, or what emails might come in overnight. Secondly, it doesn't sound like you informed the partner of your plan of banging it out the first thing in the morning. It sounds like a short "this is close, will finish first thing in the morning if okay" email would have solved this whole situation. Finally, partners are generally supposed to (though don't always in practice, of course) review associate work product before it gets sent out. The partner may have feared (rightly or wrongly) the possibility of needing to make significant revisions to your work product, and may have had a packed schedule the next day.

Obviously, the partner also handled the whole situation kind of badly, in that she should have simply communicated to you that she wanted the draft out that night. But, I really don't think this makes the cut of "awful BigLaw stories".

I think I disagree, but the more salient point is that the fact that this is arguably justifiable and not an “awful BigLaw story” kind of perfectly sums up why BigLaw is awful.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby yodamiked » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:53 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:I think I disagree, but the more salient point is that the fact that this is arguably justifiable and not an “awful BigLaw story” kind of perfectly sums up why BigLaw is awful.


+100

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby trebekismyhero » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:21 pm

QContinuum wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:It's risk aversion, and the industry selects for it.

Getting the above-mentioned doc turned by Jan 1 might not be an issue 90% of the time, but the 10% it is? You embarrassed THE FIRM in front a client and maybe you get bopped off the partner track. So the people who make it to partner are the ones who program a ton of leeway into their deadlines.

As far as I can tell, there was no 1/1 deadline. trebek's deal was a slow-moving one that wasn't going to close until July. Nor did trebek's partner program any leeway into their deadline. Quite the opposite, trebek's partner created a 100% self-inflicted fire drill by needlessly promising a Christmas Eve delivery date for the due diligence memo. The client didn't request it, the deal didn't demand it, the client wasn't even going to look at the report until 1/2 at the earliest. There was zero need to gratuitously promise that deadline, and in fact promising that aggressive, self-imposed deadline put the firm's reputation at risk (by creating a realistic possibility of missing the deadline, which - although ultimately harmless - might still make the firm look sloppy/unreliable).


Correct, there was no deadline from the client, in fact they probably would have been ok with something on 1/10. This partner often did this, although this was probably the most memorable. I am not sure if partners are generally risk averse or if it is just something that gets beat into them as they came up through the ranks from other partners or some of the demanding PE clients.

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby QContinuum » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:31 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:Correct, there was no deadline from the client, in fact they probably would have been ok with something on 1/10. This partner often did this, although this was probably the most memorable. I am not sure if partners are generally risk averse or if it is just something that gets beat into them as they came up through the ranks from other partners or some of the demanding PE clients.

It's not uncommon, I think. It's unfortunate. I think it arises from the (incorrect, as far as I can tell) assumption that needlessly volunteering an aggressive turnaround time demonstrates one's initiative and work ethic, and makes clients/seniors happy. I have yet to see any evidence that this actually works. Of course, people who do this often do end up being professionally successful, but I'd argue that that's correlation and not causation. To the extent these folks succeed, I'd argue that they succeed because they do good work, are good at putting in the hours, and are good at networking, not because they earn any special brownie points as a direct result of imposing fake deadlines on themselves/their underlings.

Put another way, it's perfectly fine and helpful to get work product out early, to the extent one's workload reasonably permits. But it doesn't do any good, as far as I've been able to tell, to commit oneself upfront to an unrequested, needlessly aggressive deadline that one is then at risk of missing.

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Blessedassurance

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Re: Uncertainty of being off duty / not on-call

Postby Blessedassurance » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:08 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Most “urgency” in this job is fake


This is true.



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