Navigating Careers In Big Law

Chat anonymously with a Senior Counsel for a prominent DC-based firm about how to build your legal career.

All: Thanks so much for chatting with me today. Be well and take care of the people around you. We’ll make it through this and emerge wiser.

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I’m finding it harder to maintain work/life balance these days. I feel pressured to take on all work coming my way to prove my worth and reduce chances I’m laid off. This isn’t sustainable. Wwyd?

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Any advice for associates struggling to hit billable hour goals as less work comes in from partners? What’s the best way to hustle and get on partners’ radar esp if we haven’t worked with them before?

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What do you & your colleagues look for when deciding who to make partner? For instance, if two litigation candidates and neither had a book of business, why you would pick one over the other.

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What is the best advice anyone has ever given you in your career?

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Courts are closed in many states and trials are put on hold. How does this impact the system's ability to deliver justice?

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What long-term work policies do you expect Big Law Firms to change, if any, in response to covid?

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Can you give more insight on how the 2008 recession affected our industry and how we were able to pick up from it? Do you see any overlaps with what's happening now?

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A question for those of you who are following. What have you learned in the last month that surprised you? For example, many young people I know have commented how surprised they are how much (cont)

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Why do you think you’ve stayed in BigLaw as opposed to going on some other path (eg, moving inhouse)? Curious if you think it’s your own personality, characteristics of your firm, or a combo of both.

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Good morning, all. I look forward to chatting today. I thought I would open our conversation with a photo of my home office, which has gotten a lot more use in the last two weeks than ever before.

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likeuplifting
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How many years in do you think is the optimal time to move over and be in house counsel? For me work-life balance is a big motivator for that move.

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What’s the best way to leave work stress at work and not bring it home or let it affect your personal life? In general and especially these days

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I’m exactly one month away from graduating law school (and taking the bar in July). What does the job market look like considering recent events? Worried nobody will hire a fresh grad in this economy.

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Struggling to plan long-term for my career. How did you manage waves of recessions and layoffs?

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Parent of young kids. Under non-pandemic circumstances, what’s the best way to ask for more remote working flexibility so I can spend more time with my family?

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How have you assessed firm culture before making a lateral move? I’m not sure what to ask or how to be sure I’m getting real answers

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Frustrated many law firms didn’t allow remote working earlier in the covid-19 outbreak, seems like some partners don’t trust associates to work without supervision. How can we fix this as an industry?

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Our firm leadership hasn’t been transparent about potential layoffs but we know they’re coming. What’s the best way to prepare and get a head start on next steps?

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What is the biggest difference between the DC market and other comparable markets?

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