{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Junior here. I’m currently 117% utilized (which I know may not be a lot to many ppl…) but I feel i am nearing capacity and cannot take on more work. I see all the time people say “dont make the mistake of not saying no to work early on.”\n\nWhen does that apply? How do you say no? I don’t want to make a mistake that has me billing 2300+ a year, but I also don’t want to look bad. My sweet spot is 2050 hours, if i can help it.", "post_id": "61c076fbab7e5f002b83fd8a", "reply_count": 38, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Junior here. I’m currently 117% utilized (which I know may not be a lot to many ppl…) but I feel i am nearing capacity and cannot take on more work. I see all the time people say “dont make the mistake of not saying no to work early on.” When does that apply? How do you say no? I don’t want to make a mistake that has me billing 2300+ a year, but I also don’t want to look bad. My sweet spot is 2050 hours, if i can help it.

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at
Highlighted IconHIGHLIGHTED

The best thing you can do is inform people who assign you work what other major commitments you have as you approach 90% utilization. You may have to take on 120% every now and again, but you shouldn't be expected to be at that level for too long. Saying no outright is not the right way, but when you say yes you should be able to calculate in your mind how long you will be working each day if you commit to getting it done by tomorrow vs. the day after. You should build in the necessary time to take care of yourself so you don't burn out. Remember, few people are interested in your longevity in big law, so they aren't going to take that into account when pressuring you to take on more. But you yourself do have to take it into account.

likesmart

I see a lot of posts like this. Your well being is important and the firm should want that as well. If the firm doesn’t want that, then look elsewhere. You knew the hours goal when you took the job. Make your billed hours your goal. If you make that goal, and you do a good job, any criticism would be unwarranted. When I was an associate, I never turned down work. But when a partner came to give me work, I always told the partner what work was ahead of his assignment, and if there was a priority, to get with partners who assigned work ahead of him to work out the priority. I never had a problem. If my hours were in line with the goal, and my work was good, no partner would or could ever complain. I protected myself. BUT NEVER TURN DOWN WORK. Have the implicated partners assign the priority. You will be ok.

like
Recent IconRecent

Man, some of you are toxic AF. Senior litigation associate here. I’m fine with my juniors saying no at 110%+. You are a human, you need to sleep and relax and recharge. Burnout is very real. Your 2300 hours may not feel the same as someone else’s for a million reasons ranging from your stress and anxiety tolerance to what’s going on in your personal life to who you are working for and what you’re being asked to do. Ignore every comment here belittling your hard work or work ethic. This is a complicated question, though, and one you should check in about with your group. I’d talk to a couple partners and senior associates about what hours expectations are. I’d be honest about feeling overwhelmed and being concerned about finding a balance between your productiveness and being a team player with work quality and avoiding burnout.

likeupliftingsmart

Decide who you want to work for. There are partners that I can't say no to or if I have a conflict they will help find a solution. There are other partners that I had to stop accepting work from, and they've been told. As for stuff from other offices that I don't want, I'll pass it to another associate if appropriate. It's always better to suggest a different solution then to tell someone no. Figure out how your office operates and distributes work. If you are dedicated to a specific partner, then you are expected to be available to that person.

likesmart

FWIW (I am trying to figure this out too so probably not the best to take advice from), you’re already going 50-100 hours beyond the expectation. It’s time we hold firms accountable to the formal hours expectation that they set.

likesmart

You’re not going to want to hear this but a junior’s real value is not saying no and being available / responsive since you have not developed the skills / experience to be really substantively helpful. That being said, you should take care of yourself and if biglaw hours aren’t for you maybe look for something that lines up more with the WLB you want.

like

A2: could you please expand on what you mean by “if the partners think you are busy?” How is that made clear, versus just partners thinking I am padding hours/spinning wheels?

I’d take stock of how your peers are doing before you turn down work. If they are also around that utilization rate, then you’ll only lose brownie points & forced to take on the work anyway. If they are below 100%, then you can afford to say no to work.

like

I mean no is a complete sentence. But depending on the person I’d say something like I could maybe at x (non-today) time or if x person can move this deadline.

like

I’m at 165% utilization. Your numbers are rookie numbers

funny

Yea A5, but I still bill more than you

funny

Your premise is that you cannot work an hour more per day? Because it is your "sweet spot" to not do so?

like

That's great, A1. What is the firm doing to make significantly exceeding the target worth my while?

I hate to tell you even if you’re at 2300+ and say no and lay it out what you have some partners will still say “okay so can you get this back to me by first thing tomorrow am”

Related Posts

I am curious how other inclusion teachers are being utilized when the school is doing remote learning. I find that I am sitting in the zoom class and have very little opportunity to contribute. I am having discussions with my teachers on ways that I can better support them and the students when remote.

like

If you were in charge of your firm, what would you do to improve staff retention right now?

likehelpful

How do Big4 or consulting companies make hiring decisions? Whose budget is utilized for initial hire? Is a signed SOW required or confirmed engagement before an offer is extended?

like

New to big 4 Strat consulting. How do I increase utilization by around 10 percent in the next 3 months ? We don’t seem to have won a lot of work!

like

Everyone I reach out to is saying that things are slow during this time of the year and I am starting to get worried about my utilization. Is it true for all staffs?

like

KPMG 🐠Does maternity/paternity leave affect chargeable utilization? Not AUVC.

like

The only real winners in PA are those who get promoted on-time with the lowest utilization.

like

Ive heard in advisory, utilization is the single most important factor in reviews, even though it’s usually out of your control (as it is for most staff/seniors). Curious if that’s true elsewhere?

like

When does utilization cut off for YE?

like

Is it bad that I'm not worried about my rating and utilization? I get my work done and get along well with my teams so I think I'm okay

like

EY: how important is it to meet your ARMS time? Is falling short a couple of hours ok? Is there any sort of ARMS metric we’re measured against or is it just utilization as a whole?

like

Does exceeding your utilization target matter for YE? Like, is beating it by one hour the same as by going over by 5% for review purposes?

like

Just had a terrible year professionally - became a new mom, but couldn’t travel once I got out of maternity, missed utilization and tanked at year end. Got $0 /$0 comp. I am feeling so low and

likehelpful

Take job now that pays ~$400K TC (next promo ~ $600K TC and final promo ~ $2M) and would take maybe 2 years for next promo then maybe 3-5 for next to reach top (5-7 total to top). $TC is based on firm and personal utilization. Or Start your own full spectrum firm making about $500-$600K immediately with next 8 months guaranteed for a single FTE. Thereafter, ready to scale study and team size to add some distance between myself and daily delivery.

likefunny

How are Business/functional analysts utilized at your company? Or do you have product owners (scrum) or product managers instead?

like

If I want to fly to london, is it best to transfer my AA points to BA? Or book through AA? I know I read the best utilization for AA points but I can't seem to figure out what's best

like

Does jumpstart positively affect your utilization's bottom line?

like

Staff here. Is There a certain utilization percentage you need to hit to be promoted? EY seems crazy about utilization. Everyone says to take advantage of weeks when there are only 40 hours in ARMS...

like

Where can I find the this years utilization goal for assurance?

like

Do all Big 4 and other major consulting firms measure utilization?

funnylike

Additional Posts

Post to test

like

Post for push testing

like

What are some good companies to work for in Dallas?

Testing for sound!

Do you see this post? 12:59am

@DeloitteConsulting what the hell are these Functional Domain Hours and am I screwed if I didn't finish them for this past year? This is my promotion year

like

Currently make 120k with 200k saved 3 years post college. Have option to live with parents rent free till 30 or move into NYC and pay 2.2k in rent. What would you do?

like

CSR PSA: 100k bonus points drops to 50k on January 12. If you want it, get it now.

like

have two offers to move from consulting to industry. Currently an associate, offers for Manager & Analyst.If thinking long term about B-school, would the Manager role be significicantbetter on paper?

like

Who's at Sunset Music Festival?

like

Can someone explain why msft made it so you have to take so many steps and hover overs to add someone on skype?

like

I was pretty young when the madoff scandal occurred. How does a guy that no major Wall Street firm would invest with, and that no broker has a record of trading with, end up as chair of the NASDAQ?

likefunny

KPMG Strategy vs PwC Advisory? Pros? Cons? Exit ops?

like

What is the base salary for newly promoted consultants at Deloitte? (Year 2 BTA -> Year 1 Consultant) I'm thinking about switching to a start up and need to know if a 100k offer is worth leaving for.

like

B4 folks who have left for Alvarez & Marsal or AlixPartners : How would you compare things operationally? Things like resource management, performance management, internal systems like timekeeping, access to analytics based tools, etc.

like

What factors would you look for in switching companies (within consulting)? Is a raise enough? Raise and promotion in title? Relocation? Travel preferences? Culture?

like

Is it true that managers at PwC get a free Amex gold card?

Signing bonus disappears thanks to all the family loans I had. #bittersweet

like

That moment when your manager tells u that you are doing a great job as the business analyst lead... and than you are the only ba in the whole project...

likefunny

Interviewing with other companies on the down low...trying to keep my expectations in check that there's no "perfect job" ...#hopeful

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal