Business development and admin assignments

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Business development and admin assignments

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:35 pm

First-year at V20. Our office continually assigns us to various BD and knowledge management assignments – deal trackers, antitrust M&A decision trackers etc. Does anyone have advice on dealing with these assignments? Completing them diligently takes up at least 30 hours a week. I know that billable work should be prioritized above these knowledge management things, but I’ve already blown one knowledge management deadline and don’t want to get a reputation for consistently doing so.

hdr

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by hdr » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:45 pm

If you're busy just do the bare minimum, unless you're sending directly to a rainmaker. It's not realistic to do 30+ hours of nonbillable work when you're billing >200/month. I've found that most associates' nonbillable work product is fairly mediocre--far below the standard for billable work--so I don't think anyone will bat an eye.

davecrocket

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by davecrocket » Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:51 pm

I had to do a lot of this work as a junior at a V50 firm. Effectively writing about legal work that other law firms did. I can't tell you how miserable it made me. Associates would spend dozens, even hundreds of hours per year on this stuff. We didn't get billable credit (didn't count toward our bonus), and we didn't even get name recognition, either. Everything went out under the partners' names. Not that different from doing yardwork or other chores for a partner, for free, if you ask me.

Find a way to dodge the work.

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:25 pm

Don’t know what your career goals are, but try to take pitch decks and other non-billable client development stuff (so not BD gigs like freebie legal research or writing a blog) seriously and learn as much as you can out of it. Understanding what are the talking points when pitching to a client will be your most important skill if you want to be partner and build your own rolodex.

Buglaw

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by Buglaw » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:35 pm
First-year at V20. Our office continually assigns us to various BD and knowledge management assignments – deal trackers, antitrust M&A decision trackers etc. Does anyone have advice on dealing with these assignments? Completing them diligently takes up at least 30 hours a week. I know that billable work should be prioritized above these knowledge management things, but I’ve already blown one knowledge management deadline and don’t want to get a reputation for consistently doing so.
Do you really care about getting a bad reputation at a firm that makes you do 30 hours a week of work that isn't getting you billable credit?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:35 pm
First-year at V20. Our office continually assigns us to various BD and knowledge management assignments – deal trackers, antitrust M&A decision trackers etc. Does anyone have advice on dealing with these assignments? Completing them diligently takes up at least 30 hours a week. I know that billable work should be prioritized above these knowledge management things, but I’ve already blown one knowledge management deadline and don’t want to get a reputation for consistently doing so.
30 hours?! This seems crazy to me. I'm a first-year at a V50, and I'm rarely asked to do anything like this.

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papermateflair

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by papermateflair » Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:49 am

Are you at my firm? This sounds like something we would do...honestly, if you have both billable and nonbillable work that conflicts, do the billable work and then talk to whoever is giving you the billable work about how to balance the nonbillable garbage. If you're lucky they will talk to someone to help cut back the nonbillable. If not, then I would start looking around to lateral because it won't get better. The amount of nonbillable work some groups expect from their associates is what really makes the job suck. I am happy to bill all day but writing articles no one reads and that have never gotten us a single piece of business? That's the worst. So at the end of the day we aren't bringing in new clients with this AND you bill less than associates in "normal" groups, all while burning out. Good times.

Itcamefromthesea

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by Itcamefromthesea » Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:25 pm

My experience was this work was rarely worthwhile and needed to be pushed off with a combination of lack of enthusiasm, not volunteering, and doing the bare minimum even if there is a reputational risk. Partners take advantage of associates willing to do non-billable work (senior partners seem worse about this) and you likely won’t receive internal credit or attaboys for KM contributions. I found that if billable work comes out of it, it is a wash because the work will go to the associates the partner usually prefers anyways, whether you or someone else. If there is a whiff of a new client from an external resource you helped with, you will be shouldered out as the partner’s EWYK insticts come to life.

I fell for this repeatedly as a junior and mid-level. It is different if a partner you regularly work with asks for help, but unless you truly enjoy trying to build your personal brand through Sisyphean toil, I would skip this stuff whenever possible.

jotarokujo

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by jotarokujo » Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:53 pm

paid work>pro bono>bd/admin in terms of building your reputation at a firm

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12YrsAnAssociate

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by 12YrsAnAssociate » Sun Apr 11, 2021 1:58 am

You 100% need to be too busy for that shit.

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:08 am

papermateflair wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:49 am
Are you at my firm? This sounds like something we would do...honestly, if you have both billable and nonbillable work that conflicts, do the billable work and then talk to whoever is giving you the billable work about how to balance the nonbillable garbage. If you're lucky they will talk to someone to help cut back the nonbillable. If not, then I would start looking around to lateral because it won't get better. The amount of nonbillable work some groups expect from their associates is what really makes the job suck. I am happy to bill all day but writing articles no one reads and that have never gotten us a single piece of business? That's the worst. So at the end of the day we aren't bringing in new clients with this AND you bill less than associates in "normal" groups, all while burning out. Good times.
This.

Last year, I had to do so much nonbillable BD crap. My billable hours for March-May were 210, 200, 180 or something. My hours including this BD crap was 240, 280, and 250.

At the end of the year, I slowed down tremendously (partly due to fatigue), and I barely hit my hours. The partners said that I should’ve focused on more billable work. These were the same people who kept pushing this crap on me. I ended up leaving.

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:13 pm

What if the firm offers billable credit for the work, but is in an area you don’t want to pursue, and it is preventing you from taking on matters in areas you’d like to gain experience in?

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Re: Business development and admin assignments

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:39 pm

Maybe my seniority is showing, but I’m a bit dumbfounded by people thinking blog posts don’t get read or get firms work. The ones my firm writes I know at least get read as a jumpstart for research by me, and I send relevant blog posts to clients all the time as part of developing the relationship. I also will try and staff associates listed as authors if the post was really good. I’d take those seriously, it’s one of the best ways to demonstrate you know what you are talking about.

That said, 30 hours a week required nonbillable is either exaggeration or your firm is in desperate need of billable work. 30 hours is the amount you should be doing in a month unless you are really slow on billables.

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