So what do lawyers DO exactly?

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Confus3d
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So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby Confus3d » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:59 am

As a confused senior planning to enroll in med school for most of my life, I'm in the proverbial dark when it comes to other careers. After doubting medicine, I'm wondering what exactly lawyers DO all day? I've seen Law and Order and all those nonsense shows, but obviously law entails much much more. Just trying to gather some insight from people who may know better than me.

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MrKappus
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby MrKappus » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:00 am

This is kind of like asking "What do scientists do?" An answer might provide some general insight (that you probably already have), but you'll need to focus your inquiry a bit more to get a useful answer. IMO.

lawschooliseasy
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby lawschooliseasy » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:19 am

law·yer
   /ˈlɔyər, ˈlɔɪər/ Show Spelled[law-yer, loi-er] Show IPA
–noun
1.
a person whose profession is to represent clients in a court of law or to advise or act for clients in other legal matters.
2.
New Testament. an interpreter of the Mosaic Law. Luke 14:3.

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Unemployed
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby Unemployed » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:22 am

According to ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, it is an attorney's job to zealously represent his client in matters involving the law.

-----------
Bill of Service

Attorneys: Unemployed, et al.
Average rate: $350/hr

Items:
-March 10, 2010 (1 hr). "Conference call" - AssociateA
-March 10, 2010 (1 hr). "Conference call" - AssociateB
-March 10, 2010 (1 hr). "Conference call" - Senior Associate
-March 10, 2010 (1 hr). "Conference call" - Unemployed
-March 11, 2010 (15 hrs). "Legal Research." - AssociateA
-March 12, 2010 (10 hrs). "Legal Research." - AssociateB
-March 12, 2010 (6 hrs). "Prepare memorandum" - AssociateB
-March 13, 2010 (5 hrs). "Review Memorandum" - SeniorAssociate
-March 13, 2010 (2 hrs). "Review memorandum" - Unemployed
-March 14, 2010 (8 hrs). "Draft opinion letter" - SeniorAssociate
-March 14, 2010 (3 hrs). "Review opinion letter" - Unemployed
-March 14, 2010 (3 hrs). "Revise opinion letter" - SeniorAssociate
-March 15, 2010 (2 hrs). "Review revised opinion letter" - Unemployed

Total billable Hours: 58 hours = $17,500

Misc Costs:
-Copying/Scanning: $1,400
-Dinner/car service: $800
-Fedex: $200

Total: $19,900

Confus3d
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:57 am

Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby Confus3d » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:37 am

I guess, what do lawyers really do outside straight criminal defense litigation. Like my girlfriend's mom did real estate/contract law back in the day, but from what I gathered she just reviewed contracts all day. I guess I just don't understand what's really out there or what those jobs entail.

And the smart-ass remark, while useful for padding your post count, do little to add to the discussion.

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kazu
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby kazu » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:26 am

Unemployed wrote:According to ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, it is an attorney's job to zealously represent his client in matters involving the law.

-----------
Bill of Service

Attorneys: Unemployed, et al.
Average rate: $350/hr

Items:
-March 10, 2010 (1 hr). "Conference call" - AssociateA
-March 10, 2010 (1 hr). "Conference call" - AssociateB
-March 10, 2010 (1 hr). "Conference call" - Senior Associate
-March 10, 2010 (1 hr). "Conference call" - Unemployed
-March 11, 2010 (15 hrs). "Legal Research." - AssociateA
-March 12, 2010 (10 hrs). "Legal Research." - AssociateB
-March 12, 2010 (6 hrs). "Prepare memorandum" - AssociateB
-March 13, 2010 (5 hrs). "Review Memorandum" - SeniorAssociate
-March 13, 2010 (2 hrs). "Review memorandum" - Unemployed
-March 14, 2010 (8 hrs). "Draft opinion letter" - SeniorAssociate
-March 14, 2010 (3 hrs). "Review opinion letter" - Unemployed
-March 14, 2010 (3 hrs). "Revise opinion letter" - SeniorAssociate
-March 15, 2010 (2 hrs). "Review revised opinion letter" - Unemployed

Total billable Hours: 58 hours = $17,500

Misc Costs:
-Copying/Scanning: $1,400
-Dinner/car service: $800
-Fedex: $200

Total: $19,900


I think that honestly, TITCR.... at least for corporate lawyers?

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:57 am

I think there really is a lot of variance. Like I have no idea what they do in M&A, but litigation associates spend a lot of time using Westlaw or Lexis to look up relevant cases and then writing documents that say, "look, these rulings totally support our argument." Also, if a case gets to the discovery phase, there's doc review, which means going through every document your client has and sorting out which ones you do and do not have to disclose to the other side.

2lstudent
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby 2lstudent » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:19 am

I'm currently a 1st year attorney, so I figured I'd give an answer. This probably makes the most sense in terms of what I do in a given week, so I'll give you a snapshot of this week. I work at a nonprofit agency, so we don't really have the support staff to draft pleadings and letters for us. This unfortunately has to stay kinda vague.

Monday (yesterday): 2 hour interview with potential client (rejected). .5 hour drafting and faxing document to demand paperwork from government office. 2 hours team meeting. 2 hours drafting pleadings. 1 hour reviewing paperwork from court (needed to review entire court file from a case that started in 04, probably about 300-400 pages total). 1 hour misc. paperwork.

Tuesday: 2 hour pre-filing interview with client 1. 2 hour pre-filing interview with client 2. 2 hour interview with potential client. Hopefully 2 hours work on a motion to deny comity. 1 hour court prep.

Weds: 3 hours at court in a.m. (this is usually wasted time--court takes forever, and I'm maybe actually in a hearing for 30 minutes of the time. Our court is highly inefficient with scheduling). 2 hours bar meeting. 1 hour paperwork after court. Hopefully another hour or two work on the motion.

Thurs: 2 hours prep for court on Friday (more complicated case). Finish motion, start research on assigned project for agency. That's all that's on the list right now.

Friday. 3 hours court in a.m. Return to agency, and take out co-worker for a goodbye lunch. (note this is the ONLY day this week I'll probably manage lunch). 1 hour post court paperwork. Leave early as I'm going out of town this weekend.

There are also random phone calls and emails thrown in there. My week actually looks pretty light, so I'll probably get assigned another case or two. I should also note that I only work part-time theoretically, but that's kinda tricky to pull off in reality.

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reasonable_man
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:31 am

As a second year attorney (litigation at a mid-sized firm), barring anything crazy that can/might pop up, today I will:

Go to Court in the morning for a pre-trial conference. I'll sit around in Court for about an Hour until my case gets called, talk a bit, check something with the clerk and leave. When all is said and done.. Probably about 3.0 billable hours.

Get back to my office and sit down, wait for my secretary to come in and tell me what is going on and drop off the file I e-mailed her to print last night and the documents I e-mailed to her at 9am that the partner on the project "oked" at 8am this morning (per my e-mail requesting a review from yesterday).

I'll look over all that stuff, sign it and then walk to the kitchen and get a soda (maybe a juice, I don't know, I don't know if I'll have time).

After that, I'll probably dictate a few letters, etc.

Then after that, probably a nice lunch break.. maybe an hour or so.

After lunch, I'll bang out this memo I've been dreading, figure another good 2 hours on that (most of the research is done already).

After that, I'll go back through my to do list and just try to knock out similar items until around 8pm or so tonight.



That's a pretty standard day for me. It varies from day to day based on what is going on, etc. If I were a corporate associate or worked at a larger or smaller firm, clearly my day would look very different.

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Panther7
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby Panther7 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:56 am

reasonable_man wrote:As a second year attorney (litigation at a mid-sized firm), barring anything crazy that can/might pop up, today I will:

Go to Court in the morning for a pre-trial conference. I'll sit around in Court for about an Hour until my case gets called, talk a bit, check something with the clerk and leave. When all is said and done.. Probably about 3.0 billable hours.

Get back to my office and sit down, wait for my secretary to come in and tell me what is going on and drop off the file I e-mailed her to print last night and the documents I e-mailed to her at 9am that the partner on the project "oked" at 8am this morning (per my e-mail requesting a review from yesterday).

I'll look over all that stuff, sign it and then walk to the kitchen and get a soda (maybe a juice, I don't know, I don't know if I'll have time).

After that, I'll probably dictate a few letters, etc.

Then after that, probably a nice lunch break.. maybe an hour or so.

After lunch, I'll bang out this memo I've been dreading, figure another good 2 hours on that (most of the research is done already).

After that, I'll go back through my to do list and just try to knock out similar items until around 8pm or so tonight.



That's a pretty standard day for me. It varies from day to day based on what is going on, etc. If I were a corporate associate or worked at a larger or smaller firm, clearly my day would look very different.



sounds like every office job.

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reasonable_man
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:48 am

Panther7 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:As a second year attorney (litigation at a mid-sized firm), barring anything crazy that can/might pop up, today I will:

Go to Court in the morning for a pre-trial conference. I'll sit around in Court for about an Hour until my case gets called, talk a bit, check something with the clerk and leave. When all is said and done.. Probably about 3.0 billable hours.

Get back to my office and sit down, wait for my secretary to come in and tell me what is going on and drop off the file I e-mailed her to print last night and the documents I e-mailed to her at 9am that the partner on the project "oked" at 8am this morning (per my e-mail requesting a review from yesterday).

I'll look over all that stuff, sign it and then walk to the kitchen and get a soda (maybe a juice, I don't know, I don't know if I'll have time).

After that, I'll probably dictate a few letters, etc.

Then after that, probably a nice lunch break.. maybe an hour or so.

After lunch, I'll bang out this memo I've been dreading, figure another good 2 hours on that (most of the research is done already).

After that, I'll go back through my to do list and just try to knock out similar items until around 8pm or so tonight.



That's a pretty standard day for me. It varies from day to day based on what is going on, etc. If I were a corporate associate or worked at a larger or smaller firm, clearly my day would look very different.



sounds like every office job.



That's cause it is. On other days, I might be at a deposition all or part of the day. Small trial coming up in April that will change stuff up a bit and then there are the big motions that can take days and days to get ready (but are billable hour fests).

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crazycanuck
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby crazycanuck » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:37 pm

reasonable_man wrote:As a second year attorney (litigation at a mid-sized firm), barring anything crazy that can/might pop up, today I will:

Go to Court in the morning for a pre-trial conference. I'll sit around in Court for about an Hour until my case gets called, talk a bit, check something with the clerk and leave. When all is said and done.. Probably about 3.0 billable hours.

Get back to my office and sit down, wait for my secretary to come in and tell me what is going on and drop off the file I e-mailed her to print last night and the documents I e-mailed to her at 9am that the partner on the project "oked" at 8am this morning (per my e-mail requesting a review from yesterday).

I'll look over all that stuff, sign it and then walk to the kitchen and get a soda (maybe a juice, I don't know, I don't know if I'll have time).

After that, I'll probably dictate a few letters, etc.

Then after that, probably a nice lunch break.. maybe an hour or so.

After lunch, I'll bang out this hooker I picked up and snort some blow, figure another good 2 hours on that (most of the research is done already).

After that, I'll go back through my office to do my secretary and just try to knock her up until around 8pm or so tonight.



That's a pretty standard day for me. It varies from day to day based on what is going on, etc. If I were a corporate associate or worked at a larger or smaller firm, clearly my day would look very different.


Fixed. Pretty much like every other day.

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reasonable_man
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:45 pm

crazycanuck wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:As a second year attorney (litigation at a mid-sized firm), barring anything crazy that can/might pop up, today I will:

Go to Court in the morning for a pre-trial conference. I'll sit around in Court for about an Hour until my case gets called, talk a bit, check something with the clerk and leave. When all is said and done.. Probably about 3.0 billable hours.

Get back to my office and sit down, wait for my secretary to come in and tell me what is going on and drop off the file I e-mailed her to print last night and the documents I e-mailed to her at 9am that the partner on the project "oked" at 8am this morning (per my e-mail requesting a review from yesterday).

I'll look over all that stuff, sign it and then walk to the kitchen and get a soda (maybe a juice, I don't know, I don't know if I'll have time).

After that, I'll probably dictate a few letters, etc.

Then after that, probably a nice lunch break.. maybe an hour or so.

After lunch, I'll bang out this hooker I picked up and snort some blow, figure another good 2 hours on that (most of the research is done already).

After that, I'll go back through my office to do my secretary and just try to knock her up until around 8pm or so tonight.



That's a pretty standard day for me. It varies from day to day based on what is going on, etc. If I were a corporate associate or worked at a larger or smaller firm, clearly my day would look very different.


Fixed. Pretty much like every other day.


I wish my days were that interesting lol.

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TTH
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Re: So what do lawyers DO exactly?

Postby TTH » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:59 am

OP, there's a show you can watch that we all agree gives a pretty accurate representation of firm life: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-deep-end




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