What keeps you motivated? I’m a first year associate, been working for about six months, and I’m finding the transition to big law incredibly difficult. Tips for pushing through? When did you start to feel comfortable in your position?

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Find at least one partner to work under that acknowledges your effort/work. Ive found that the occasional “hey great job on that XX, minor edits in redline” makes me feel like I’m growing as a lawyer

-rising 2nd year

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This. I keep happy thank you emails in one folder to flip through when I'm feeling down.

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I go on Redfin and I look at the nice houses I might be able to buy one day

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Haha that definitely is motivating

What keeps me motivated? The money. Tips for pushing through? Keeping my head down and grinning and bearing it. Most of us never feel comfortable.

- third year associate

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It’s the money honey. No one likes this job. Anyone who does is lying because they want something from you (to recruit you, etc.) or the job has broken them and they are crazy.

Keep your head down. Don’t tie your self worth to your job. Spend and save responsibly. You’ll be ok.

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Fifth year associate here. No offense to the money comments (agree with them obviously), but my main motivation is achieving at a high level and continuing to “make it”. That looks different for everyone, and obviously most attorneys are type-a “overachievers”, but sometimes I just get a sense of internal pride when I ride up the elevator to my office, shut the door, make a few phone calls where I feel confident in my knowledge and experience in my practice area, and I feel like I can really collaborate with partners and clients. And yes, I’m burnt out most months of the year, and I’d give you a different answer if I were in a worse mood, but still.

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I guess. To me, this is nothing more than a job. Pride has nothing to do with it...being a big law lawyer has to be one of the most thankless jobs on the planet.

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Knowing that at the end of it, I learned something and used my brain to make my life better. Whether it was worth the abuse, I can’t say. Still, owning that piece of property I saw on Redfin was a nice goal. I own it now, became a managing attorney at a midsize firm, and generally like what I do. It will be ok. Right now is not permanent. Stick w the five year plan to get that home. It’ll happen.

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How much was the property?

I’m in the same position as OP and sometimes I feel a little main character energy from the job to keep me going when I’m actively contributing to the team during very busy times. It makes the imposter syndrome die down for a little while. And the $$ of course.

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Big law sucks. There's life outside Big Law. I joined Big Law and am leaving to go to a firm where I'll be respected and given work-life balance.

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