2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

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t-14orbust
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby t-14orbust » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:05 pm

How do you manage your time? How do you estimate how long certain assignments might take and whether or not you can take on more work? Is it hard to do so? Maybe these questions would be better suited for someone in corporate

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:09 pm

tirakon wrote:Since you've that mentioned you're a YLS grad, I feel like it's fair game to ask:

Any advice or recommendations for an incoming YLS 1L? Did you find during FIP that there were grade cut-offs or that firms used extra-transcript proxies to assess your competence/ability?

Why did you decide not to clerk? Do you feel that you've missed out or been disadvantaged in any way?


Of course it's fair game. That's why I mentioned it. My advice: get to know the big-name profs. Go to office hours, take seminars with them, write with them. It'll be huge for you. Also, please take Fed Courts w/ Resnik, Property w/ Ellickson, and do a clinic. And don't just do Supreme Court clinic because it has the words "Supreme Court" in it. Do a clinic you actually like and care about.

I think there are some very loose grade cut-offs. I think the very top firms would probably raise an eyebrow if you don't have one H on your transcript. People probably get around that in various ways, but it's easier if you have one. As for extra-transcript proxies -- I mean, if you are bumbling idiot in your interview, then that will feed into the assessment of your competency. Similarly, if you are passionate, knowledgeable, personable, etc., those are some good qualities to have. Things like references? Doubtful, unless it's a partner at the firm you're applying to (in which case, begin measuring the windows for your drapes).

legends159
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby legends159 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:10 pm

t-14orbust wrote:How do you manage your time? How do you estimate how long certain assignments might take and whether or not you can take on more work? Is it hard to do so? Maybe these questions would be better suited for someone in corporate


The work is so varied it's tough to give a good answer. You need to learn how to prioritize work quickly and also how to delegate. For example, if I am working on a memo and I have a research issue to look up, I'll email our library immediately to pull stuff for me rather than look up thing myself. It's important to delegate as much as you can as early as possible. It's also important to tell people when you're slammed and to turn down work. It's always easier for them to find someone else than to take you on and then be disappointed when you turn in shoddy work or have to ask for an extension. Finally, it's very important to manage upward - if you know something can wait and is not urgent, make sure to discuss in a polite way with the senior person about timing so they set realistic expectations for you.

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EijiMiyake
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby EijiMiyake » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:15 pm

Do your 9:45am - 9pm hours mean that you Seamless pretty much every weekday dinner?

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:15 pm

t-14orbust wrote:How do you manage your time? How do you estimate how long certain assignments might take and whether or not you can take on more work? Is it hard to do so? Maybe these questions would be better suited for someone in corporate



I manage my time and estimate assignments the same way you do. It's not different from school, or working in another profession. That sounds glib, but it's true -- after a few months you'll have a sense of how long it's going to take you to draft a motion to dismiss on a particular issue, or whether a particular document review project will eat up the rest of your week. As for when to take on new work -- I'll look at my upcoming schedule and what I currently have on my plate to see if I have time to handle something new. As you note, it's different from corporate where when the deal's closed your involvement is essentially over -- in litigation, matters take a very long time to resolve so even if I have a slow period I may not take on work if I know I have a brief due next month.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:16 pm

EijiMiyake wrote:Do your 9:45am - 9pm hours mean that you Seamless pretty much every weekday dinner?


Yes, although sometimes I leave earlier on Fridays. Complaining about there being no good options on Seamless is a good way to pass the time.

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t-14orbust
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby t-14orbust » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:19 pm

How many suits do you own?

californiauser
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby californiauser » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:53 pm

Why didn't you clerk?

12 hour days seems brutal

How is your firm's culture? Cutthroat, collegial?

jmkelly
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby jmkelly » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:11 pm

alexb240 wrote: I could speak with some knowledge about . . . the difference between NYC and DC


Since you offered, mind saying a bit more about this?

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:16 pm

californiauser wrote:Why didn't you clerk?

12 hour days seems brutal

How is your firm's culture? Cutthroat, collegial?


The main reason I didn't clerk was because I had to be in or near NYC b/c of my SO. I applied to judges in NYC, but those are extremely difficult clerkships to get and I didn't go about it the right way. I went through the conventional OSCAR system, which nobody uses any more. The best way to get a clerkship, particularly one that's competitive (think SDNY/2d Cir/9th Cir./DC Cir.) is to have a professor reach out to judges personally off the timetable. For these competitive clerkships, there are literally over a thousand people applying for two or three spots. Even with good grades at a top school plus law review, you need someone going to bat for you in order to stand out. The OSCAR system is essentially broken and if you use it (as I did) then in my opinion you're a sucker. Outside of these hot spots it's probably much easier, but again I was bound geographically.

As to culture -- i think it's collegial and friendly. 97% of the people I've worked with have been friendly, open, etc. And I get to work with some truly brilliant and exceptional lawyers, who I learn a lot from -- how to create great work product, think creatively, etc. I wouldn't know what cutthroat feels like to be honest, or why anyone would be that way except for just being an asshole. There's more than enough work going around, so there's no need to compete for it. And most people don't plan on becoming partners anyway (especially at the junior level, it's too far off to even plan for), so there's no pressure there.

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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby legends159 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:18 pm

t-14orbust wrote:How many suits do you own?


I own about 6. I've worn a suit maybe 5 times since starting. Once on the first day, three times while on client meetings (though the senior and partner was business casual each time so i felt overdressed). I also wore it once while on a summer lunch at a restaurant that required it (it was either Le Bernardin or Bouley).

Some associates wear suits everyday. I usually roll in with sneakers and gym shorts as I work out in the morning and change in my office. It's really up to you.

legends159
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby legends159 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:20 pm

alexb240 wrote:As to culture -- i think it's collegial and friendly. 97% of the people I've worked with have been friendly, open, etc.


Now I'm convinced we're at the same place. Or one/both of us is/are delusional.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:23 pm

jmkelly wrote:
alexb240 wrote: I could speak with some knowledge about . . . the difference between NYC and DC


Since you offered, mind saying a bit more about this?


Sure thing. My view is that DC hours are slightly more relaxed than NYC -- but that's true of everywhere outside of NYC, and the difference won't be as pronounced as it would be between NYC and, say, Charlotte. The big difference between the two is the type of work you'll do. If you are at a top firm in NYC the great majority of your work will (predictably) revolve around financial institution clients. In litigation, this will be securities law with some other variants thrown in. In DC, your practice is going to gear more towards regulatory and lobbying. In essence, the work reflects the city -- NYC is a financial capital, DC is the government capital. Top DC firms will also have a dedicated appellate/Supreme Court practice, unlike NYC firms. If you go to DC, I have a high opinion of Williams & Connolly and Gibson Dunn.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:24 pm

legends159 wrote:
t-14orbust wrote:How many suits do you own?


I own about 6. I've worn a suit maybe 5 times since starting. Once on the first day, three times while on client meetings (though the senior and partner was business casual each time so i felt overdressed). I also wore it once while on a summer lunch at a restaurant that required it (it was either Le Bernardin or Bouley).

Some associates wear suits everyday. I usually roll in with sneakers and gym shorts as I work out in the morning and change in my office. It's really up to you.



Boulet is good, but the summer lunches take foreverrrrr.... Future summers, please order the chocolate cake. So good.

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EijiMiyake
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby EijiMiyake » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:30 pm

Did you think about applying to clerk again as an alum? If not, why not? Wouldn't you have a better shot of sticking in NYC?

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:29 pm

EijiMiyake wrote:Did you think about applying to clerk again as an alum? If not, why not? Wouldn't you have a better shot of sticking in NYC?


I've thought about it. Frankly, I like my life and I don't see much need to do it. Plus I'm busy and applying is a huge pain. But yes, I think applying as an alum has its benefits in that you don't even need to pretend to follow the schedule. And I believe (although I don't know) that many judges -- particularly in the SDNY -- are increasingly favoring work experience.

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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:54 am

What kinds of jobs have people from your firm at your experience level left for? If you know.

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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby americanman » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:34 pm

legends159 wrote:
t-14orbust wrote:How many suits do you own?


I own about 6. I've worn a suit maybe 5 times since starting. Once on the first day, three times while on client meetings (though the senior and partner was business casual each time so i felt overdressed). I also wore it once while on a summer lunch at a restaurant that required it (it was either Le Bernardin or Bouley).

Some associates wear suits everyday. I usually roll in with sneakers and gym shorts as I work out in the morning and change in my office. It's really up to you.



You have an office already? Does everyone get an office when hired? The only image I have of associates is Suits. Theyre all in the cubicles.

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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby legends159 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:54 pm

You either have your own office or you share one for a few years. None of the associates are in cubicles.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:09 pm

legends159 wrote:You either have your own office or you share one for a few years. None of the associates are in cubicles.


Yep.

dixiecupdrinking wrote:What kinds of jobs have people from your firm at your experience level left for? If you know.


I assume this question is for me, as the corporate associate already answered. Truth be told, I haven't paid that much attention to where people go, but it's certainly more legal-oriented than corporate departures. At my level (again, 2nd year about to become a 3rd year), it's still pretty common for people to leave to pursue clerkships. Otherwise, it's frequently leaving NYC for a firm job elsewhere. I've seen a couple of people leave to join boutique firms here in NYC. The one person I know who did it had a specific interest in a particular type of work, and went there. A couple of other moves I recall are someone taking an academic position and another person leaving to pursue nonprofit legal work. Certainly at my level, there aren't yet the opportunities to move in-house/join a DA's office absent some unusual background circumstance.

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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby jeeptiger09 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:23 am

Do you ever take personal time off? Like a weekend getaway or a quick vacation?

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Sinatra
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby Sinatra » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:00 pm

What is the earliest time an associate can start working? Instead of a 9:45-9:00, can an associate hit up an 8:00-7:15?

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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:23 pm

alexb240 wrote:Also, please take Fed Courts w/ Resnik, Property w/ Ellickson, and do a clinic.


Ellickson doesn't teach Property anymore, sadly.

legends159
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby legends159 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:41 am

jeeptiger09 wrote:Do you ever take personal time off? Like a weekend getaway or a quick vacation?


You get vacation time - it should be about 4 weeks a year. If you need to take a weekend off just let your teammates know. If the deal is not going gangbusters that weekend, most seniors are cool with you taking time off and they'll cover for you. Just let them know you'll have some availability but limited computer access and they'll understand. I've taken many weekends off for weddings, family outings, travel plans. I've also had to cancel plans because of work. We're all adults and we all have a life outside of work but we understand that the client's needs come first.

Biglaw is like any other job 80% of the time. It's those 20% of the times when you're doing all nighters or working everyday for a month straight and billing 350 hours that's the reason we get paid the big bucks. It's important to keep this in perspective because the bad times will come and go and it's important to know that it's not permanent.

Sinatra wrote:What is the earliest time an associate can start working? Instead of a 9:45-9:00, can an associate hit up an 8:00-7:15?


You're an adult and you'll be treated like one. Come in whenever you feel like it to get the work done. Just don't expect that if you come in earlier that you can leave earlier. It's all about getting the work done. No one babysits you to check in and make sure you're at the office. Sometimes if I know it'll be slower in the afternoon but busy at night (i.e., waiting for the other side to get a draft back to us which they promise will come "tonight") - I will take care of personal stuff, like going to the gym or doing laundry, in the middle of the day and come back at night to wrap stuff up.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:05 pm

jeeptiger09 wrote:Do you ever take personal time off? Like a weekend getaway or a quick vacation?


I'll echo legends159's comments re: vacation time. I'll add that upon reflection I think I over-stated how much I work on the weekends. Many weekends I won't need to do anything. Just this past weekend I didn't log in once. Of course, I could have logged in and taken care of some upcoming things (there's always something to do/prep for), but I didn't feel like it. I think in litigation it's rarer that an associate will be urgently needed to work the weekend -- it's more like, you have so much on your plate that you want to take care of a few things during a time when you know people won't be bugging you by phone/email. Again, this is is partially a function of longer timetables -- it's pretty rare that there's truly urgent and unexpected weekend work. That said, it's often assumed that you'll work on things over the weekend (e.g., someone gives you an assignment on Friday and asks to see a draft early next week), but with things like that you can work from home and work around your previously scheduled plans. I've only actually come into the office a handful of times on the weekend -- I'll do everything I can to just work from home. Generally speaking, the only time I'll inform people that I'm unavailable on the weekend is if I know I'll be out of town the entire weekend and unable to do any work at all.

What is the earliest time an associate can start working? Instead of a 9:45-9:00, can an associate hit up an 8:00-7:15?


Legend's response is again on point. I know someone my year who comes in early and makes it a point of leaving at 7 pm. The beauty of remote log-in is he can work from home and answer questions during the evening. Now, the nature of the office environment is that because everyone else is there at certain times (e.g., 9:30 to 8ish) it's kind of informally expected you'll be around then too. Again, not a big deal, but I find that for convenience's sake people are generally coalesce their schedules around those of their superiors -- if you know that the partner gets in at 9 every day and starts calling people but then leaves at 7 sharp, it kind of makes sense to do the same. But you have an incredible amount of flexibility in how you actually manage your day.




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