{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m a junior associate just wondering when to expect to get to take a deposition or defend one. I’ve seen some second years get those opportunities but wondering if the fact that I haven’t yet means the partners don’t think I’m ready/I haven’t proven myself. So just wondering if others have felt this way or if I’m overthinking it", "post_id": "6163125413c57a002a6073a4", "reply_count": 14, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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I’m a junior associate just wondering when to expect to get to take a deposition or defend one. I’ve seen some second years get those opportunities but wondering if the fact that I haven’t yet means the partners don’t think I’m ready/I haven’t proven myself. So just wondering if others have felt this way or if I’m overthinking it

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I know biglaw counsel who have not yet first-chaired a deposition…it’s a joke

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It's very uncommon for juniors in biglaw to take or defend a deposition. I started defending small depositions of lesser importance in my 4th year. This is not comparable to taking the lead in any deposition, especially a party deposition. I am currently preparing to take the lead in a party deposition for the first time, and I've taken lesser roles in many depositions before this point, including third party deps and follow up questioning after co-defendant. As a junior, you should be focusing on helping prepare for depositions and maybe even drafting outlines.

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You’re in big law? You don’t actually mean take a deposition but just like attend? Outside if pro Bono and even there I would think it’s not uncommon not to have that experience.

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A5 is right. This is exactly how I ended up with all the best experiences I've gotten while in biglaw. When partners have too much work, they are forced to delegate to associates, and you've just got to step up when asked.

It really depends on the case. Sometimes when we want to do that, the client pushes back. We’ve let junior associates take and defend certain low risk deps on important billable matters. Keep your eye open for opportunities in your cases and don’t be afraid to ask. A good place to start would be a low stakes third party deposition or a plaintiff in a class action (they usually know nothing/have nothing to offer).

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Depends on where you are, who you work with, how interested they are in developing you quickly, and how busy the cases you’re on may be. I took two expert deps my first year at a V10 and have taken multiple deps every year since. Going into my fourth year with 8 deps under my belt all in paying cases expect one. But I recognize my experience is probably atypical.

If you’re not getting the opportunity in paying cases, look out for pro bono opportunities. Also don’t be afraid to ask partners for the opportunities you want. My guess is that sometimes they’re not thinking about us until we bring it up.

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I just took a dep at the end of my second year. V50 firm. It was a third party and not very critical to the case but was a great experience that I jumped at.

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The worst kept secret in biglaw is associates don’t get any real experience. If you want real litigation experience, I’d consider moving to one of the litigation heavy firms that actually lets juniors do things. They are out there. Just as an example, I took the depo of a c suite exec in a case and a 2-3 year defended it (as in first chair). The notion that you need to be a partner to do this stuff is a joke.

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What sort of cases are the second years getting those oops? Sometimes there’s a lot of unimportant depositions and that’s where lots of opportunities come.

I'm in "Biglaw" to the extent that I'm at an AmLaw 100 firm. But being in my third year, with dozens of depositions and a handful of state and federal appellate court arguments under my belt, I see comments like these here and realize I'm not actually in capital B BigLaw. I can't imagine being years in and not having even taken a depo 😖

As a first year all I’ve done is second chair so far. I was told I could take some third party depos in March (as a second year).

It depends on your firm’s staffing model and cases. I work at a leanly staffed firm, so when our MDL had dozens of depositions, the two partners on the case couldn’t handle all of them, so we all got opportunities. A friend on another team got several opportunities cause he was an engineer with expertise on the expert witness’s specialty.

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