Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

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scifiguy
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Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby scifiguy » Tue May 28, 2013 2:08 pm

What is the social atmosphere like in various biglaw firms?

I've sometimes heard it's virtually non-existent, due to the general busyness people are engaged in. ..But is it also hard, because biglaw work is physically isolating (having to do stuff alone much of the time) or b/c of any competitive attitudes?

And in cases where there is socializing, is it often about law and biglaw life itself? Or can you find lighter conversation in firms that's non-work related?

And is there ever any "fun" in biglaw firms the way that you might find at many Silicon Valley companies (where they have ping pong tables, video games, basketball courts, etc.) that help employees relax or go to think creatively?

09042014
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 28, 2013 2:52 pm

At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.

bananapeanutbutter
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Tue May 28, 2013 2:53 pm

Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.

So you can't talk in the office?

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dsn32
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby dsn32 » Tue May 28, 2013 2:55 pm

Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.


I hope this isn't common.

09042014
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 28, 2013 2:57 pm

bananapeanutbutter wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.

So you can't talk in the office?


About work you can. Otherwise, it's a risk.

09042014
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 28, 2013 2:58 pm

dsn32 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.


I hope this isn't common.


In NYC, that's why they put you in an office with two people. To see how well you can work with a potential distraction of talking.

You can't bill a social conservation at 400 dollars an hour. They aren't a charity.

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scifiguy
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby scifiguy » Tue May 28, 2013 3:01 pm

dsn32 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.


I hope this isn't common.


S/he's probably joking around. DF is known for her/his TLS humor (which is often crude and crass, btw).

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scifiguy
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby scifiguy » Tue May 28, 2013 3:08 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
bananapeanutbutter wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.

So you can't talk in the office?


About work you can. Otherwise, it's a risk.


Assuming you aren't kidding us, DF, how literal and stringent is this no social chattering "rule" in biglaw? I could certainly imagine that having long conversations (of over 10-15 minutes) about the latest NBA or NFL playoff game during non-meal/break hours would be inappropriate for many work environments, but would literally just mentioning that your favorite team has made it into the finals and you're so excited, for example, get you fired or warned?

Even 2-3 minute quick convos aren't allowed? Apologies if I'm being naïve about anything. Just an 0L!

bananapeanutbutter
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Tue May 28, 2013 3:10 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
dsn32 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.


I hope this isn't common.


In NYC, that's why they put you in an office with two people. To see how well you can work with a potential distraction of talking.

You can't bill a social conservation at 400 dollars an hour. They aren't a charity.

What if you can talk about sports while working? You don't need to give the person eye contact when it's not about something personal once you're friends with the people. You can type and talk.

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thefuturenow
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby thefuturenow » Tue May 28, 2013 3:18 pm

Some of these questions. Ridiculous!
On a more serious note, How do narcissists fare in biglaw?

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scifiguy
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby scifiguy » Tue May 28, 2013 3:34 pm

thefuturenow wrote:Some of these questions. Ridiculous!
On a more serious note, How do narcissists fare in biglaw?


Social environment is an important facet of work life that people should consider when making career decisions. It relates to your personal happiness, which can lead back to affecting work performance.

It's just good to know what type of an environment certain jobs have and whether or not you'd be happy in that environment generally.

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Tue May 28, 2013 3:45 pm

159 trolling. Enjoy Villanova.

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DCDuck
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby DCDuck » Wed May 29, 2013 9:08 am

Scifiguy- You're getting way ahead of yourself with most of your questions.

It turns out, people who work in biglaw are people. They talk. They talk about current events, family, vacations, work, sports. Sometimes associates speak to partners and vice versa! I rarely get to use the firm bowling alley, with all the work I have to do. I, and most others, try to work as much as they can while at the office, so that they can go home to their families/eat food/sleep. But speaking occurs. Occasionally I grab lunch or coffee with a friend or two.

You spend a lot of time thinking about things that are, in the big picture, not very important, and you seek lots of details. Law is not mysterious. It's not a completely foreign culture populated by aliens. What's more, experiences aren't uniform. It depends on the location, type of practice, office, people, day, year. And your experiences will almost certainly be different different than mine, even if everything else is identical. Biglaw is not all that different from other firms. People work. They have hour requirements, clients, they research and write. The clients differ. The firm resources differ. The hours can differ. But it's an office employment environment. With people.

Get a hobby. Read some Grisham novels. Grab a drink and enjoy the sun. This is advice for you, because I find your threads entertaining.

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Bronte
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby Bronte » Wed May 29, 2013 9:12 am

scifiguy wrote:
dsn32 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.


I hope this isn't common.


S/he's probably joking around. DF is known for her/his TLS humor (which is often crude and crass, btw).


Lol.

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Borg
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby Borg » Wed May 29, 2013 9:44 am

Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.


Yeah, that same thing happened at my firm. He should have known to not talk about sports at the office, especially during a trial. He'd been warned about a lot of stuff before though and was known as a slacker. Used to take two bathroom breaks a day, took FIVE DAYS off after his kid was born, and also got caught without his coat on at his desk a few times. Had it coming.

NYstate
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby NYstate » Wed May 29, 2013 10:00 am

scifiguy wrote:What is the social atmosphere like in various biglaw firms?

I've sometimes heard it's virtually non-existent, due to the general busyness people are engaged in. ..But is it also hard, because biglaw work is physically isolating (having to do stuff alone much of the time) or b/c of any competitive attitudes?

And in cases where there is socializing, is it often about law and biglaw life itself? Or can you find lighter conversation in firms that's non-work related?

And is there ever any "fun" in biglaw firms the way that you might find at many Silicon Valley companies (where they have ping pong tables, video games, basketball courts, etc.) that help employees relax or go to think creatively?


What is wrong with you. Do you have any common sense?

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Ruxin1
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby Ruxin1 » Wed May 29, 2013 10:20 am

180 on the "You're done here" , brother.

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traehekat
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby traehekat » Thu May 30, 2013 10:28 am

lol

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scifiguy
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:47 pm

Since I'm not allowed to start anymore TLS threads, I thought I would ask my question here in a semi-related existing one:

Biglaw Screamers

What is it like to work in a "screamer firm" or with a "screamer" in biglaw? Are these screamers approachable in social conversation when they're not in scream/verbal abuse mode?

Is there constant fear around them whether or not it's busy at the moment? Or, do the screamers return to a "normal" mode that makes them nice and frirendly after the busy period?

DCDuck wrote:Get a hobby. Read some Grisham novels. Grab a drink and enjoy the sun.


Oh, I do have many hobbies. I use TLS to ask things I'm curious about when taking a break from studying and other stuff. 8)
Last edited by scifiguy on Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Danger Zone
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:50 pm

Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.

Lol'd hard

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TheThriller
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby TheThriller » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:07 pm

.
Last edited by TheThriller on Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NYstate
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby NYstate » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:17 pm

scifiguy wrote:Since I'm not allowed to start anymore TLS threads, I thought I would ask my question here in a semi-related existing one:

Biglaw Screamers

What is it like to work in a "screamer firm" or with a "screamer" in biglaw? Are these screamers approachable in social conversation when they're not in scream/verbal abuse mode?

Is there constant fear around them whether or not it's busy at the moment? Or, do the screamers return to a "normal" mode that makes them nice and frirendly after the busy period?

DCDuck wrote:Get a hobby. Read some Grisham novels. Grab a drink and enjoy the sun.


Oh, I do have many hobbies. I use TLS to ask things I'm curious about when taking a break from studying and other stuff. 8)


Scify guy: are you 17 years old or something? Perhaps an aspiring novelist trying to understand the atmosphere of a big firm? I hope this isn't too personal but I think you need to get out more.

Because you are not starting threads anymore, I'll answer. Screamers are being faded out as far as I can tell because firms don't want to deal with their shit and the PR and HR nightmares. Screamers are often irrational in their rage but they don't scream all the time. The worse screamer I ever heard of got thrown out of his firm despite huge business because even the partners couldn't take it anymore. He is a legend and ran through associates constantly. The people who could deal with him carved a niche for themselves, but it took a certain personality. One guy threw a stapler at an associate and almost hit her in the head. That was infamous too. But he was amiable most of the time.

The way to deal with screamers is to stay calm, don't answer back, figure out what they want and escape quickly. Keep your mouth shut. Let it roll off your back. Seek advice from more senior people if you need help.

Associates can not be screamers- way too unprofessional.

Most partners are too professional to treat others badly. But be careful there too. Make sure you know where you stand because they could quietly be building up claims against you that might surprise you in a review. Just stay on top of your work and you will be fine.

As a junior associate you can never ever scream at anyone. Stay even keeled and flexible.


Scifi guy: don't ask follow ups please. This was a reward for not starting threads. I'm not interested in further discussion.

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Crowing
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby Crowing » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:31 pm

DCDuck wrote:Scifiguy- You're getting way ahead of yourself with most of your questions.

It turns out, people who work in biglaw are people. They talk. They talk about current events, family, vacations, work, sports. Sometimes associates speak to partners and vice versa! I rarely get to use the firm bowling alley, with all the work I have to do. I, and most others, try to work as much as they can while at the office, so that they can go home to their families/eat food/sleep. But speaking occurs. Occasionally I grab lunch or coffee with a friend or two.

You spend a lot of time thinking about things that are, in the big picture, not very important, and you seek lots of details. Law is not mysterious. It's not a completely foreign culture populated by aliens. What's more, experiences aren't uniform. It depends on the location, type of practice, office, people, day, year. And your experiences will almost certainly be different different than mine, even if everything else is identical. Biglaw is not all that different from other firms. People work. They have hour requirements, clients, they research and write. The clients differ. The firm resources differ. The hours can differ. But it's an office employment environment. With people.

Get a hobby. Read some Grisham novels. Grab a drink and enjoy the sun. This is advice for you, because I find your threads entertaining.


180

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guano
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby guano » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:57 pm

NYstate wrote:
scifiguy wrote:Since I'm not allowed to start anymore TLS threads, I thought I would ask my question here in a semi-related existing one:

Biglaw Screamers

What is it like to work in a "screamer firm" or with a "screamer" in biglaw? Are these screamers approachable in social conversation when they're not in scream/verbal abuse mode?

Is there constant fear around them whether or not it's busy at the moment? Or, do the screamers return to a "normal" mode that makes them nice and frirendly after the busy period?

DCDuck wrote:Get a hobby. Read some Grisham novels. Grab a drink and enjoy the sun.


Oh, I do have many hobbies. I use TLS to ask things I'm curious about when taking a break from studying and other stuff. 8)


Scify guy: are you 17 years old or something? Perhaps an aspiring novelist trying to understand the atmosphere of a big firm? I hope this isn't too personal but I think you need to get out more.

Because you are not starting threads anymore, I'll answer. Screamers are being faded out as far as I can tell because firms don't want to deal with their shit and the PR and HR nightmares. Screamers are often irrational in their rage but they don't scream all the time. The worse screamer I ever heard of got thrown out of his firm despite huge business because even the partners couldn't take it anymore. He is a legend and ran through associates constantly. The people who could deal with him carved a niche for themselves, but it took a certain personality. One guy threw a stapler at an associate and almost hit her in the head. That was infamous too. But he was amiable most of the time.

The way to deal with screamers is to stay calm, don't answer back, figure out what they want and escape quickly. Keep your mouth shut. Let it roll off your back. Seek advice from more senior people if you need help.

Associates can not be screamers- way too unprofessional.

Most partners are too professional to treat others badly. But be careful there too. Make sure you know where you stand because they could quietly be building up claims against you that might surprise you in a review. Just stay on top of your work and you will be fine.

As a junior associate you can never ever scream at anyone. Stay even keeled and flexible.


Scifi guy: don't ask follow ups please. This was a reward for not starting threads. I'm not interested in further discussion.

Having worked for a screamer in a past life, this is 180 advice

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Devlin
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Re: Biglaw Social Atmosphere?

Postby Devlin » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:08 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
bananapeanutbutter wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:At my summer firm, a 5th year got immediately fired for talking about sports while a trial was going on (even though he wasn't on it).

The partner yelled from 4 offices down, "McKibens, you are done here." I changed the name.

So you can't talk in the office?


About work you can. Otherwise, it's a risk.


Where the fuck do you work?

That is ridiculous and far from reality unless you work at whatever insufferable place this guy worked at.




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