{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Attn: Biglaw associates who get solid reviews and are on track to bill 2100+ hours, repeat after me: “Thanks for reaching out. This sounds like a very interesting deal/case, but unfortunately, I am stretched too thin to take it on. I hope we can find an opportunity to work together on something else.” Repeat as necessary. Hold the line. Create the work-life balance you want by setting a boundary and aggressively defending it. Watch what happens. (Hint: you keep your job.)", "post_id": "60e45071c321850024e6ef2b", "reply_count": 45, "vote_count": 179, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Attn: Biglaw associates who get solid reviews and are on track to bill 2100+ hours, repeat after me: “Thanks for reaching out. This sounds like a very interesting deal/case, but unfortunately, I am stretched too thin to take it on. I hope we can find an opportunity to work together on something else.” Repeat as necessary. Hold the line. Create the work-life balance you want by setting a boundary and aggressively defending it. Watch what happens. (Hint: you keep your job.)

likeupliftinghelpfulsmart
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This is great advice and I follow the same. A lot of the big law whiners and complainers will find something wrong with this or some excuse, but it’s their own fault for now setting up boundaries. If the firm doesn’t respect it, then leave. It’s not that hard. I feel like some people think it’s cool to complain about working nonstop while doing nothing to help themselves.

like

Honestly so rare to meet likeminded people in the legal field. Everyone is so intense for all the wrong reasons.

like

I will add I find this line one of the more annoying perspectives of so many BigLaw partners. What does stretched too thin mean anyway? In my view, it means I cannot work on this assignment without creating unjustifiable pain for myself, my family etc. It does not mean my hours year-to-date are huge because frankly what I did or did not bill in January and February has little to do with the time I have available in mid-July. Try this, “Wow, that seems like a terrific deal [and I’d really like to have the opportunity to work with you again]. I am totally jammed this week with the X and Y deals, but, if you can wait for me to get started until a week from this Thursday, I’d really like to take on the assignment.”

like

I agree with this perspective!

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Thanks for this. Hit the holiday weekend on course for 2600. So tired I did nothing but sleep while friends were frolicking. This isn't living. They've crushed me. I must reclaim my soul.

like

Tried to take today off. Billed 12 hours. At least I will hit my hours in September and can take a sabbatical for Q4, right?

likefunny

Yasss this is the energy I love to see. This is great!!! But I do this and I’m only on track to bill the firm’s minimum 2000. Oops haha

like

I’ve tried this. The problem I’ve found is that if I say I’m stretched too thin to take on a case, my hours get scrutinized. They’ll see I’m billing under 2100 a year and tell me I’m not “stretched too thin” because we have other associates billing over 2200 and they are the ones who are really stretched too thin

likesmart

Agree with everyone saying to hold the line. If you accept work above your capacity (whatever number that is) the firm isn’t getting the feedback it needs to make hiring decisions. I’m on course for 2100, told everyone I work for last Thursday after completing a huge deadline on Wednesday that I needed to take a week for my family. No one pushed back on me and SEVERAL partners, counsel, and fellow associates wished me well on my time off. Just take the time. People will respect you more precisely because your time is limited.

like

I’m on track for 2800 (first year) and turned down work for the first time last week. It felt amazing! I said basically the same thing but threw in a line about “I’ll help you find someone else.”

like

Been there. Take some time around the holidays for sure.

like

I’ve tried this, but we are so understaffed that if I do not handle the matter, there is nobody else who can. Also makes it tough when you get new assignments from a different partner who would be a good source of work in the future.

likefunny

Yes, these are difficult times indeed. You have a very enlightened attitude. That said, you need to make sure to take care of your mental health. Very important.

like

What if you’ve already hit 2100 hours and there are three months left in the fiscal year…

likefunny

Take a vacation!

likesmart

Exactly right OP. Preach!

like

My brain shuts off after “deal/case,” and the rest of that turns into “Thanks!” I think I’m doing it wrong. #2500hours #whydoidothis

likefunny

I took a screenshot of this message to use later.

like

Me too 😂

like

I was on track for 2800 by mid May. Closed a few big deals then and work dried up a bit. Now happily just on 1-3 deals at a time doing solid 180-210 hour months and rejecting every other deal that comes in from senior associates and partners outside of my tiny subgroup. I say I'm stretched thin if I'm billing more than 45 hrs/week 😁

likesmart

This. My mental health and work life balance dramatically improved once I got comfortable saying no. I also always encourage more junior attorneys to do the same. If exploitative billing is the norm in your practice, it takes a group effort to break that norm.

likesmart

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