I hate big law hierarchies. Easy to feel dismissed/not appreciated as a junior. The work that trickles down isn’t that engaging and I feel like I could easily handle many of the things mid levels do..

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Good news: you probably could do some of the stuff mid-levels do.

Bad news: when you are a mid-level you will be dealing with other pressures and making the call on whether to gun for partnership. You will need juniors to help you with stuff and — even though they could do a lot of the stuff you can do — rates and other factors cut against it (midlevels can’t do junior-level diligence, etc.). You aren’t seeing all of that.

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There are also soft skills that take time to develop. Things like client management, training juniors, etc. might seem easy from your vantage, but can actually be quite challenging and take years to develop.

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It’s bad all around, agree. But it’s worse when you have a supervisor who goes all in on the hierarchy and just treats you like absolute dirt / their servant. I have only one person who does this and it still makes my life a living hell.

I just cannot wrap my mind around treating people unkindly or without basic decency, and man, some people really have no problem with it.

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Just hang in there, do your best, be positive (or at least not negative) at the office, pace out your year, set the boundaries (take time off) and try not to take things too seriously or personally. Very few younger people want to do live in this bizarre bubble long term and most don’t have the grit or patience or ability to eat daily shit sandwiches anyway. I don’t really blame them. But I think this is a fairly secure 6 figure job that will always be in demand, especially as the herd thins out. And it’s going to. People are smartening up and realizing that paying 40k a year for a degree at Tom Dick and Harry School of Law just isn’t going to pay dividends long term.

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I especially feel bad when the firm makes decisions that purely benefit the partners, not the entire firm, but the partners individually, and they know it hurts associates but they don’t care. It actually happens a lot more frequently than I thought.

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If you’ve been assigned a mentor, talk to her about it. If not, approach a partner about wanting to do more substantive work. Good luck!

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