{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Am I screwed? I’m on track for about 1300 billables for 2021, target is 2000. While one month I did not reach out for work every other month I have, including the heads of my groups, and have told many people I am slow and can take on work. I had 4 deals die/get pushed this December, so this month was significantly slower than anticipated. Additionally, the main partner I work with has been out for months with a serious health issue. I have only received positive reviews and (cont’d in comments)", "post_id": "61cbba0a5a4548002b6cadfb", "reply_count": 33, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Am I screwed? I’m on track for about 1300 billables for 2021, target is 2000. While one month I did not reach out for work every other month I have, including the heads of my groups, and have told many people I am slow and can take on work. I had 4 deals die/get pushed this December, so this month was significantly slower than anticipated. Additionally, the main partner I work with has been out for months with a serious health issue. I have only received positive reviews and (cont’d in comments)

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How busy are all the other 2020 grads in your group? If everyone is low, then you should be cool. If your the only low, then you need to hustle up. No need to be concerned and you won’t be let go, but hit the pavement asking for work. Don’t email, call. Ask people outside your group. If you can’t get hours in your group then get hours elsewhere. Good or bad, at your level the firm looks at hours (just that) and it doesn’t matter if those were litigation, corporate, tax, real estate, or whatever hours. When I started out, I got cool with all types of partners at my firm and in my second year I drafted a complaint for a breach of contract action, a mortgage, terms and conditions, did due diligence on a PE deal, doc review on a litigation, briefed a motion in a BK case, and even drafted the first draft of an MSJ. I’m not a small firm, but I hustle up and firms don’t care where your hours come from as long as the client is paying for them.

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I admire the hustle approach, but I would personally not recommend a junior deviate too far from their practice group. I could see the other groups interpreting the junior being at their disposal whenever they need support in the future as well. It’s a great temporary solution when you need work, but you should make sure your boundaries are clear so that when you don’t need work, you don’t have people piling on matters in every direction. The partners you actually report to should be keeping you busy.

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Sounds like the firm has a staffing issue. I’m sure it’s already been visible to leadership in other ways with other lawyers. Also, as a junior, it’s not like you can be expected to bring in your own work. You can only do the work that’s given to you. As long as you’ve done everything you reasonably can to offer yourself as a resource (and it sounds like you have), it would be crazy for anyone to criticise you.

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1300 is fine for a first year.

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It's low, but you'll get a better sense of whether or not you should be worried at your review.

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You are probably fine as a 2020 grad.

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You’re fine. I hit about 1350 (2000 target) as a 2020 grad and was told at my review that “the firm is aware that a major contributor to your slow year is the lack of routing work to you.” But that was the extent on the commentary as to hours

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You are totally fine unless they say something - I have seen lots of people in this situation and as long as you are doing great work and reaching out you are fine

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I had a similarly slow first year and got the “it’s fine don’t worry just get them up going forward” speech at my review.

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Ha, I billed 1,300 in six months this year. You’ve been slacking all year and you come here looking for validation?

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Congratulations for helping break down the stereotype that only late-20s to early-30s white males can be insufferable hardos.

You’ll be fine. Sounds like you were proactive in asking for work. Not much else you can do. Good luck!

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… everyone has said they would work with me again. Corporate m&a and finance, 2020 grad. Should I be concerned?

At my firm it's way more about potential than actual hours in the first two years. I literally didn't have a single billable hour for the first six months of my career (and I was panicking about it) and then it was still kinda slow the second half of the first year. My review was fine (i.e., the average grade that almost everyone got) that year and my work picked up drastically in the next several years as people that liked my work kept coming back and putting me on teams. With that said, keep hustling if you are slow. It's more about appearance than anything and if people think you aren't trying to "fix" the lack of work, that can hurt you. Reach out to people and let them know you have capacity. In pre-covid times, that meant face time in the office even if you didn't have work to do. Look to help with publishing, pro bono, or other non-billable work. Etc.

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Just go in-house is my advice. It’s the best

Too early right now, only about to start my second year. I do have the final round of interviews for a lateral position though

likesmart

Thank you everyone, appreciate the comments/reassurances!

You’ll be fine. Sounds like you did all the right things (and presumably you do good work) and you just had a quiet year. Don’t listen to any other “advice” on here telling you that’s it’s a huge problem and you’ll get fired etc.

Oh my god take me back

Echoing others that it’s not a problem if you are proactive in reaching out and also being told you do good work.

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