{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Junior associate here with very little work. I reached out to the assigning partner, but I haven’t heard back. I’m struggling to motivate myself to seek out more work by talking to other partners or coming up with ideas for articles and other non-billable work. Instead I find myself reading books, watching movies, and generally just kicking back and enjoying the free time. That said, I feel guilty that I’m not working a ton like I used to. I’m also worried that my lack of pro activity when it", "post_id": "5eb70f5b3b2387001c77e7ef", "reply_count": 36, "vote_count": 17, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Junior associate here with very little work. I reached out to the assigning partner, but I haven’t heard back. I’m struggling to motivate myself to seek out more work by talking to other partners or coming up with ideas for articles and other non-billable work. Instead I find myself reading books, watching movies, and generally just kicking back and enjoying the free time. That said, I feel guilty that I’m not working a ton like I used to. I’m also worried that my lack of pro activity when it

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I’ve had a similar problem. Aside from asking partners for work, I’ve been going through cases I’ve previously done work on and trying to come up with suggestions/strategies for pushing the case forward and recommending those to the partner. I’ve found they appreciate it as they’re busy and if you pitch an idea and they like it, you’ll be the one doing the work (and that’s all billable time and they’ll appreciate you being pro-active). On a similar note, if I write a letter to the client on a case, I’ll make a note in my
Calendar to follow up with the partner in a week about any suggestions/ plans of action We’ve given the Client and see if they’d like me to get started with on those action items. Little things like that can be helpful and even if they don’t take your suggestions, they’ll still appreciate you proactively looking for work

likehelpful

Communicate. If you’re low on work, the onus is on you to reach out to partners to try to find work. If there is no work, take advantage of this time to meet your CLE requirements, check in with client contacts to see how they are doing, and write an article or involve yourself with other non-billable work that is going to get your name out in the community, expose you to potential or existing clients, and make you a better lawyer. Another suggestion would be to check in with your office leader/management committee member/mentor to see if there are opportunities to add value to the firm during this time. Perhaps there is a committee you can join or a firm policy you can help draft. You might also consider revising/improving any form documents that your practice area routinely uses or putting some thought into ways to improve your work group’s efficiency. Just showing that you are dedicated to your employer and are not sitting at home using the pandemic as an excuse to stop working hard (while still getting paid) will speak volumes.

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I have stated my availability and received no new assignments. Therefore, Netflix and chill it is. 😂

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I’ve been having weekly calls with my mentor partner and my practice group head about what’s on my plate, what’s coming up, and what we can do. I’m in litigation and labor and employment, so I’m like half busy/half stuck in idle. I’ve spoken to every partner in my office that I’ve done work for and told them I’m open for business. I’ve also volunteered myself to other offices in my practice group, though there’s some firm politics involved in that. I’ve been doing a lot of non-billable work. I’ve tried to do some general education stuff, but it’s hard when your state doesn’t have CLE.

The basic message I’ve gotten is don’t kill yourself because we’re expecting an uptick, but it’s not a vacation ever. Just keep asking or letting it be known that you’re available. All you can really do.

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Honestly you should be worried. If you don’t think bosses are using this crisis to vet associates you are mistaken. Who is working harder than ever and who is on a covidcation? If there is work do it, if there isn’t ask for work, but really you just add stress to the assigning partner if there is none. Sounds like you know exactly what you should do. Non billable work, personal education you have control of. You wouldn’t be where you are if you didn’t have the ability to buckle down and work. Now is the time to show off dedication not take it easy. Grinding out all your cle requirements online taking free options which are everywhere today is easy and saves firm money.

likesmart

If you are saying someone has covid then covid paid sick leave act applies and most likely fmla. I don’t believe we are talking about that. We are talking about people wfh who are otherwise healthy

I sometimes feel the same way - the important thing to do is to show that you’re always ready to assist with work (if and when it comes) otherwise you can’t control what’s out of your control

likeuplifting

This is me but the fear of getting laid off/pay cut is enough motivation.

likesmart

Routinely asking if they have work or if I can ask a senior associate for work - even just to show I’m trying to be keen. And yea non-billable as well - CLE, social media, website, tech stuff - anything that could translate into business development.

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comes to finding work is going to hurt me in the future. Idk fam. Any advice? Should I just enjoy this free time or should I get it together and work work work like always?

likesmart

I think it depends on how long you want to be at the firm. I’m a junior as well and I don’t freak out during my slow periods. I enjoy them. But I also hate biglaw and am already planning my exit.

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You should definitely reach out to other partners for billable work, but I’m skeptical of the position that loading up on nonbillable work will matter in terms of layoffs at most shops, unless (big maybe) it’s something business development related. If you aren’t making the firm money, they will lay you off: That’s the unfortunate reality. On the “freeing” side, however, if there is no work, it’s out of your control (i.e., not your fault).

likesmart

In my experience the one who gets the ax will be the weaker associate review-wise. Taking on nonbillable work just to look busy makes virtually no difference.

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Speak to your PGL and the other partners in your group. If you have a relationship with partners in other groups, reach out.

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If your firm has a bankruptcy practice and junior staffing is flexible between departments, try to retool and ask for work from the groups that are busy these days like bankruptcy.

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Related Posts

Hi all- I’m making the switch from an admin to a consultant (I’m the nonprofit sphere) in the coming months. I have a good handle on the technical side of what i need to know, but having never worked for a consultancy in the past I’m wondering if y’all have any resource or tips to prepare on that front.

For example:
-how companies typically track billable hours
-common challenges/pitfalls for new consultants
-good tips for staying organized across multiple projects
-Tips for discovery process

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I went on an interview yesterday. To say it was disappointing would be an understatement. The partner that interviewed me was nice, but he did not understand transactional law. At my last firm, I was a hybrid between transactional tasks and litigation. When billable hours came up, he scoffed at my previous requirement and stated that his were at minimum 60% more. He told me about the “good ole days” when associates were expected to work 200 billable hours a month. He can’t find anyone.

likefunny

How big of a reduction in billable hrs req would it be worth it to you to take a 40K pay cut?

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Debate:
If you’re interviewing for a new position outside the firm and the interviewer is unavailable after your billable hours (staff augmentation project). Typically for appointments (dentist, doctor), we make up the time outside of working hours. Would you A) block off the time on your calendar as an appointment and make up the 30 min outside of normal working hours
OR B) take 30 minutes of PTO for interview

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Obligatory financial info post. 1) size of firm, 2) billable requirements, 3) salary, 4) bonus, 5) quality of life, 6) debt, and and 7) family/married/single. Go!

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Is it billable hours if I have a 5 hour on-site interview at the client site to work for them full time? 👀

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People who work 50, 60, 70+ hours a week: how do you do that without putting your project over budget? Are your engagements written to have a resource work over 40+hours a week? Are you spending over 10-30 hours a week on added non billable time? What are y’all doing with all of that time?!

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Thought experiment for you, fishies.

We all love to hate on billable hours. What’s a real, feasible alternative???

Small agency owner 🙋🏻‍♂️ I’ve wracked my brain and have 3 biz model options, none great:

Billable hrs: Generally accepted. We all know the downsides.

Pay4performance: Big upside potential, tons of risks.

Project pricing: Cloak for billable hours. You have to estimate project cost with something.

Who’s thought of a better approach??? Genuinely curious if there is one.

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Guilty or Not Guilty of Slacking?
The sitch: Father of two, 3.75 and 1.5 y/o. Wife is a teacher WFH during 5 hrs a day. I am working from home as well, just can't get in all the billable hours.

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How are firms handling the economic downturn in terms of billable hour requirements for associates? Are annual billable requirements being updated or mitigated in any way? Curious to see how other firms are handling this issue, and also afraid of not being able to take any time off until 2021 😳

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Is 180 billable hours per month a high “target” (to use the firm’s vernacular) or expectation?Although it may not be unreasonably high, I believe it is a high number and would at least appreciate someone at my firm acknowledging that. Perhaps I’m wrong and I’m sure you’ll tell me if so.

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What busy season? I ended this week with zero billable hours.

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Excluding doctors and lawyers, do you think that it is fair to say that working as a consultant is a lot more demanding that many other business jobs? (Billable hours, 24/7 availability, etc..)

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Opportunity freelancers - What’s your goal for billable hours per week?

I’m 8 weeks pregnant and am exhausted all the time. Like, sleeping 8 hours a night and still can’t keep my eyes open during the day. My work is insanely busy and the pressure is really on for billable hours. Our firm has furloughed some lawyers and laid off others. So even quick naps during the day aren’t a possibility. I’m typically working from 8:30-7, break for dinner, and then back on the computer from 9-10:30 before bed. I exercise most mornings and eat well. What can I do to make it thru?!

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Hi all! I received an offer at an insurance defense firm but recently received a slightly better offer at a plaintiffs firm. Not sure which direction to go in. The defense firm has a crazy billable hours requirement and at the plaintiffs firm I will be managing a large docket of cases. Not sure which is more or less stressful.

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I've only been in biglaw for a year, but have been practicing for seven years so far. I used to be a state regulator for this practice area and generally enjoy working at a private firm. A partner at a boutique firm that I'm friends with has called me every few months to check-in and see how I'm doing. During our last call he essentially offered a job after I get another year of experience in private practice. Five year track to partnership. No billable hours.

New to billing and having trouble getting used to the concept that I get sick time only if I make up all the hours later. On sick days, I am not able to work, even at home. There must be lawyers out there with chronic conditions that need regular sick time off (say a day or two per month.) If this is you, how do you handle billable targets? Do you just have to ratchet up daily/weekly targets to try and build up a bank of hours?

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Am 2 months in to a new job with billable hours and I am miserable. How do I seamlessly go back to my old firm? Is this move a career killer?

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Hey thanks for giving me two fewer days I can use to meet my billable hours target for the year. Ugh...

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Hello Fishesh,

How is it going on so far with Leagto?

Share your exp.

Hello,

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Any tips or advice would be really appreciated on how to proceed further in this case.

Thank you

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uplifting

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how much are first year associates earning at your firm?

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Post Photo
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As a data nerd sitting at home, i highly encourage you to checkout the hobby of ham radios.
I have been listening to all kinds of radio frequencies lately. Eg. international space station can be heard

likehelpful

I did my first copywriter internship over the summer, I worked along the ECD (small shop) and served as liaison between him and the designers + gave art direction to designers every day.

(Contd.)

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Starting new year to fulfill this year a life long dream to work at Microsoft, any mentors working at Microsoft to help / guide for the same ? Thanks in advance!

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How much life insurance do you guys have?

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Is it normal to feel like my project managers are super pushy? I understand we have deadlines, but lately I have been feeling very rushed. The workload and meeting amount has been getting crazy. Today I had 12 meetings, then a route comes to me with copy change requests and my project manager checks in with me 45 minutes after. I can’t sit in a meeting then come up with copy lines 45 minutes later. I guess I’m a slow worker but I’m still learning. Is this common?

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Do you use the “he/him” “she/her” in your email signature?

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Anyone else celebrating Labor Day with labor?

likefunny

As a newly-admitted associate in a corporate firm, I am already being asked by family and friends to do legal work, such as drafting a will, which is outside of my practice's focus. What is the appropriate response? Try to help on the side? Refer to another attorney in my firm?

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Poll: do your work clothes still fit? Do you know where they are? Do they smell from being stashed away for so long? I think I’ll need a new wardrobe

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What percentage raises do your staff get each year?

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Has anyone here ever gotten a waiver from the NY 3rd Department for bar admission after the 3 year limitation on reciprocity is up? Any insight on the process? NJ 2019 grad who missed the 3 year deadline for NY admission and was told I’ll need a waiver.

Seniors/Partners who make you cite to docs that don’t make sense in the analysis 🙃

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For zoning/permit proceedings... how to charge for this type of work? And how much?

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The billing guidelines for my client say they will not pay for parking or speeding tickets if you get one on a trip for them (I’m serious). Every warning has a story to tell, but I guess this is why people don’t like lawyers?

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Anyone go from biglaw to specializing in FCA/whistleblower practice at a boutique or midlaw? Or otherwise currently working in that field? Curious what the pros and cons of doing that type of work are, typical salary/bonuses, and what exit options look like if you ever wanted to leave private practice. TYIA.

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Endorphins from working out so essential now.

likeupliftingsmart

Should I give 3 weeks notice? Accepted a new job. Start date is 12/6, but planning for last day at this one to be 11/23 so I have time to cook for Thanksgiving and then go away 11/29-12/5. Problem is that the one person in my office who works with similar clients has been sick and out and not responding to emails. There’s a big motion due 12/29 he or someone else will have to handle. Already pushed start date into Dec because we have a big pre-trial filing due 11/16. So 11/2 or 11/9?

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For people who have returned to the office, are you feeling more or less productive? Today’s my first day back (going in only twice a week) and it feels like being new again. I also feel less productive since it’s harder to randomly to play music or step out for a walk to recalibrate and focus. Is it just me?

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Ever since I became a lawyer, almost ten years ago, I feel like the time just flies by. I suppose this is a combination of being extremely busy (2200+ billable hours per year) and dealing with litigation deadlines. Any suggestions as to how I can make the time feel slower, the way it did in college and law school?

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For those who are preparing to sit for the bar next week, breathe. It will be okay. Whatever the outcome of the test— you are valuable, you’ve worked hard, and I am proud of you.

likehelpfuluplifting

With tax season upon us, is the below accurate? If so, I can have grandma take out a loan in her name while we live in it 😈

“Seniors who still pay a mortgage can deduct all mortgage interest on mortgages that do not exceed $750,000.”

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Anyone move states and have to take a new bar exam with less than 2 years of practice? What was your job application process like and how did you time studying for/taking the bar?

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Advice on how to respond to/get on the good side of a paralegal/office manager who is sarcastic & talks down to you? She consistently implies that my work is sub-par, but all attys are pleased w/ me.

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I started a new job with Flex work hours and I gotta say I love it. I work from 5-6:30 then take care of my family get them to school. Back online at 9:30 and off by 5. So far it’s been great.

likefunny

Anybody experience brain fog post-covid? How did you get over it?

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