Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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dkb17xzx
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby dkb17xzx » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
dkb17xzx wrote:any project finance lawyers?


I do a mix of project finance and leveraged finance, so someone specializing exclusively in projects work might have a different pov. Compared to traditional leveraged finance, projects involve a lot more paperwork and agreements and the structure can vary significantly from deal to deal depending on the underlying project. My work has almost been entirely renewable energy related. In that field, one of the more common structures is a tax equity finance, where the "lender" invests in a project to earn the tax credits. In such an arrangement, the main two documents are the Equity Contribution Agreement and the LLC Agreement (or whatever membership/ownership agreement it is). As a first year, your duties are not too different from a first year in finance/corporate. You turn documents, you update checklists, you perform due diligence on the construction/service contracts, you draft certificates (if borrower side), you draft simpler documents (estoppel certificates; enforcement opinions; etc), and most importantly, you keep track of where everything is (which is pretty important considering there are SO many moving parts).

On a typical, non-closing day:

9:00-9:30 get in the office, grab coffee
9:30-12:00 read email and get working on whatever I need to from the previous night/ that morning; by 12, hopefully I'll have some documents that are done that I can blackline and send over to the senior associate
12:00-1:00 lunch
1:00-1:15 afternoon coffee
1:15-3:30 get comments back at some point and continue working; in my downtime, I browse the web while keeping PLI open so I can get some CLE credit in
3:30-4:30 inevitably something else on a different deal comes up, so I do some side work
4:30-6:30 try to get whatever needs to go out today done so I can send a draft to all parties by 6:00
6:30 if not too busy, I'll go home or to the gym, make a quick dinner
9:00 check my email, see if anything else has come through. If it needs to get done that night, it gets done; otherwise, I wait till the next morning.



Also, if you don't mind, could you give some info on leveraged finance? I am looking into PF / Cap Mkts / Leveraged finance.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:49 pm

dkb17xzx wrote:

this is helpful. thanks! Based on your knowledge, what's the outlook for PF? growth all over? only in asia / africa / MENA? and what's the outlook particularly for the renewable energy field? I'm interested in infrastructure (roads / telecoms) and renewable. I've been told that secured credit is one of the most important classes I can take for PF -- any other recommendations?


Really have no idea what the outlook is like to be honest. Deals are still coming in steadily, so that's a good sign. If renewables goes to shit, I also do oil&gas financings, and that's not going anywhere in our lifetime. As for classes, I think some schools have a Project Finance class, which would probably be most on point. Secured Credit is probably the most relevant class for finance, generally.

dkb17xzx wrote:Also, if you don't mind, could you give some info on leveraged finance? I am looking into PF / Cap Mkts / Leveraged finance.


Another poster talked about leveraged finance earlier and it was pretty spot on:

I don't have time right now to do a full write-up, but its very close to the M&A write-up from earlier in this thread (viewtopic.php?f=23&t=228583&start=25#p7651355). The biggest difference are the documents that you're working with (commitment papers/credit agreement/security documents vs. merger agreement for example). If you represent the company/sponsor/borrower as a junior you will primarily be responsible for schedules and negotiating minor security/ancillary documents. If you represent the lender as a junior you will be reviewing the schedules and drafting and then negotiating the minor security/ancillary documents (unless sponsor's counsel holds the pen, which is becoming more common lately). As you get more senior and prove yourself you'll be allowed to do more things on your own and begin working on the more substantive documents (such as the commitment letter/term sheet and credit agreement). There's also typically diligence to do (much, much more if you're representing the buyer than the lender, since the buyer's counsel is typically responsible for preparing a diligence memo, whereas lender's counsel normally just reviews that/diligence room and bring red flags, if any, to the banks). Other stuff includes payoff documents (especially if you're representing an existing lender/agent being paid off), joinder/incremental documents (which come into play after a financing closes but then another acquisition occurs) and refinancings.

Caveat: I typically do just leveraged finance/high yield work, normally in connection with a sponsor's acquisition, so it's possible that some of the above items are not applicable for investment grade companies' financings. I'll let others confirm or speak to those.


I will say, compared to PF, LF is a lot more predictable and a first year can get more involved with the credit documents because so much of it is based on precedence.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:25 am

chipotle123 wrote:Any Tax Lawyers out there?


I'm starting at the IRS in a major market next week. I'm sure I won't have a "typical" day for a few weeks, but I'll post once I have a good feel for it.

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dudnaito
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby dudnaito » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:59 am

lsatClay wrote:Recent law grad. Prosecutor in a territory of the United States. I've been working the traffic docket for the past month, and I've gradually been worked into the felony groups. I should be moving up to SBO soon.

I don't really have a typical day. Mornings I get ready for the upcoming weeks arraignments, evaluate case files, prepare plea offers, and communicate with defense attorneys.

During the lunch hour I usually go to the beach and go swimming, play volleyball, or just eat lunch on the beach. I often get in at 7:30 so I can take an extended lunch.

Afternoons I do whatever traffic stuff is left over and help out with the felony groups, covering for court appearances, doing legal research, doing intakes. Basically whatever is needed.

Usually out by 5:00. As long as I get my stuff done, I feel my boss doesn't really care when I'm in and when I leave. Sometimes I cut out early so I can go scuba diving or fishing before I go home. My boat is like a block from where I work, so it makes things easy.


Guam? Puerto Rico? Although it doesn't seem like you want to divulge.

dkb17xzx
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby dkb17xzx » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dkb17xzx wrote:

this is helpful. thanks! Based on your knowledge, what's the outlook for PF? growth all over? only in asia / africa / MENA? and what's the outlook particularly for the renewable energy field? I'm interested in infrastructure (roads / telecoms) and renewable. I've been told that secured credit is one of the most important classes I can take for PF -- any other recommendations?


Really have no idea what the outlook is like to be honest. Deals are still coming in steadily, so that's a good sign. If renewables goes to shit, I also do oil&gas financings, and that's not going anywhere in our lifetime. As for classes, I think some schools have a Project Finance class, which would probably be most on point. Secured Credit is probably the most relevant class for finance, generally.

dkb17xzx wrote:Also, if you don't mind, could you give some info on leveraged finance? I am looking into PF / Cap Mkts / Leveraged finance.


Another poster talked about leveraged finance earlier and it was pretty spot on:

I don't have time right now to do a full write-up, but its very close to the M&A write-up from earlier in this thread (viewtopic.php?f=23&t=228583&start=25#p7651355). The biggest difference are the documents that you're working with (commitment papers/credit agreement/security documents vs. merger agreement for example). If you represent the company/sponsor/borrower as a junior you will primarily be responsible for schedules and negotiating minor security/ancillary documents. If you represent the lender as a junior you will be reviewing the schedules and drafting and then negotiating the minor security/ancillary documents (unless sponsor's counsel holds the pen, which is becoming more common lately). As you get more senior and prove yourself you'll be allowed to do more things on your own and begin working on the more substantive documents (such as the commitment letter/term sheet and credit agreement). There's also typically diligence to do (much, much more if you're representing the buyer than the lender, since the buyer's counsel is typically responsible for preparing a diligence memo, whereas lender's counsel normally just reviews that/diligence room and bring red flags, if any, to the banks). Other stuff includes payoff documents (especially if you're representing an existing lender/agent being paid off), joinder/incremental documents (which come into play after a financing closes but then another acquisition occurs) and refinancings.

Caveat: I typically do just leveraged finance/high yield work, normally in connection with a sponsor's acquisition, so it's possible that some of the above items are not applicable for investment grade companies' financings. I'll let others confirm or speak to those.


I will say, compared to PF, LF is a lot more predictable and a first year can get more involved with the credit documents because so much of it is based on precedence.


very helpful...thank you

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:28 pm

How's the average day for a junior associate post-appellate clerkship working in the appellate practice of a firm?

lsatClay
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby lsatClay » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:04 pm

dudnaito wrote:
lsatClay wrote:Recent law grad. Prosecutor in a territory of the United States. I've been working the traffic docket for the past month, and I've gradually been worked into the felony groups. I should be moving up to SBO soon.

I don't really have a typical day. Mornings I get ready for the upcoming weeks arraignments, evaluate case files, prepare plea offers, and communicate with defense attorneys.

During the lunch hour I usually go to the beach and go swimming, play volleyball, or just eat lunch on the beach. I often get in at 7:30 so I can take an extended lunch.

Afternoons I do whatever traffic stuff is left over and help out with the felony groups, covering for court appearances, doing legal research, doing intakes. Basically whatever is needed.

Usually out by 5:00. As long as I get my stuff done, I feel my boss doesn't really care when I'm in and when I leave. Sometimes I cut out early so I can go scuba diving or fishing before I go home. My boat is like a block from where I work, so it makes things easy.


Guam? Puerto Rico? Although it doesn't seem like you want to divulge.


The VI.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:24 pm

A little late to the party but I'll play.

Midlevel, Biglaw, Big City. Practice area - Shipping Finance

A few people have already posted more generally about finance and transactional work, so I won't go to loads of detail about the documentation etc, but basically I do finance and corporate but specifically involving ships. A broader niche is asset finance, which is based on the premise that there is no corporate security, the only valuable security for the lender is the underlying asset. The asset could be anything - a plain, train, rollercoaster...

My work is a mix of the following:

- bank lending (market is slow), which involves drafting/negotiating a straight loan agreement between bank and borrower for the borrower to either buy a vessel or refinance (ie borrow against an existing vessel). The borrower gives the bank a mortgage over the ship and hey presto.
- private equity (market is more lively). This is a mixture of sale and leasebacks and joint ventures. In a sale and leaseback, the PE fund buys ship from struggling shipowner, charters (ie hires) it back to the shipowner, shipowner pays hire payments to repay the purchase price. A joint venture is exactly what it sounds like, PE guys get in cahoots with struggling shipowner to set up a company and both put money into it and the shipowner goes off and runs the company, subject to agreed terms in a shareholders agreement with the PE fund.
- sale and purchase of ships
- advising on shipbuilding contracts
- restructuring existing deals where the struggling shipowner has failed to pay his dues

As a midlevel, I generally have the day-to-day running of the file, working with a partner who oversees everything. I draft and review documents (loan agreements, shareholders agreements, sale and purchase agreements, shipbuilding contracts...), conduct due diligence (though juniors often do this), manage the closings etc. Juniors would, depending on the deal in question, deal with conditions precedent, liaise with ship registries, keep closing checklists and prepare transaction bibles at the end.

Pros (for me, you may disagree)
- international - you're always dealing with people from all over the world, local counsel, clients, ship registries in obscure jurisdictions...
- I like the transactional nature generally and the shipping element makes it a bit more interesting than just churning out loan agreements, as almost every deal is different
- shipping is generally a nice industry with nice, reasonable people (PE a bit less so)
- when there's no deal on it's QUIET and you get to go home early/drink in the afternoon
- there's always work to do because in the uptick it's new deals, in the downturn it's restructuring old ones

Cons
- transactional work can be long intense hours while a deal is on
- international is great except for time difference (think 7am conference calls with Asia)
- it's niche so there aren't that many firms who do it and it's largely NY-based

rdawkins28
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby rdawkins28 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:47 pm

Small Firm
General Practice Law

This morning worked on a personal injury case. Have to get medical records from all the providers. Since we're a small 2 lawyer operation, i.e. no paralegal*, that means I have to call them all up, figure out where to send the requests, and what's needed from each provider (small variation among them). That's just boring secretary work there.

Then worked on a Response for a Request for Admissions in a landlord/tenant case. Also mind-numbing.

Now onto more discovery responses for a contract dispute case. Kind of a boring day.

*Technically, we have a paralegal, but she only shows up once a blue moon.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:23 am

DC Regulatory BigLaw (Banking and Financial Services)

Days are pretty typical in regulatory, I cannot really think of a time when I had a crazy day or worked on something outside the wheelhouse. Mostly I am looking at state and federal regulation of financial institutions such as banks and consumer lenders. Primarily I research law and draft summary emails or memos all day. Occasionally I will work on a 50 state survey looking at lending restrictions in credit cards, mortgages, or personal loans - and the dreaded licensing work.

We get questions from clients on a wide range of regulatory issues such as depository rules, BSA-AML, data privacy, borrower disclosures, loan servicing, and escrow provisions. All this stuff is regulated on the state and federal level. Most of the time the question is pretty complex but it needs to be boiled down to a three paragraph response or so. Clients will sometimes want a full memo on the more general topics such as whether fair lending applies to commercial loans.

About 20% of my time is spent on civil investigations by regulators or advising the litigators on a related issue. Once in a while we prepare and submit legislative changes for clients or draft a comment letter. Even more rarely we are obtained to do regulatory diligence in a transactions involving a regulated client such as a payday lender or mortgage originator/seller/servicer.

Pros: learning an area of law and becoming an expert in a field pretty quickly, predictable hours close to 9-6 every day and very few weekends or late nights, very few deadlines or much pressure compared to other biglaw groups, exit options are good because companies need in house compliance people, publishing and speaking opportunities are aplenty

Cons: making hours can be difficult, clients hate you because you are doing compliance before there are any problems and they think you made up the laws that over-regulate them, not exciting or deal driven, constant pressure to build a brand and bring in business (may be specific to this firm)

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Danger Zone
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Danger Zone » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:44 am

Anyone work in the general corporate department of a big firm?

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:00 pm

IAFG wrote:Now I am embarrassed about attention whoring for interest but here goes.

I'm Delaware local counsel in a bankruptcy practice.

My average day looks like:

8:55 - arrive. All the partners are already in and about half the associates have shown up. I sorta pretend to read Bloomberg/Bankruptcy 360 alerts. We will be staffed on at least one of the cases discussed because local rules require non-Delaware counsel to hire local counsel to practice before any DE state or federal court, and there are only so many DE firms with respected BK practices.

9:30 - start substituting dates and parties from a form motion, notice or application. Realize I am missing some key detail, go hassle my assigning partner or associate. Print it out, find errors, correct, print out, find another error, correct, print out, think it's clean, ask my secretary to look at it, she finds one more thing, and then I send it to assigning attorney to review.

11:00 - get asked to research whether a certain DE judge has allowed some certain specific thing. Ask the librarian to see what he can find on Bloomberg while I do some work on a nonbillable project. Because we are supposed to be experts on local law, we spend a decent amount of time collecting internal databases of information, for example a chart of pre-pack cases and some useful details about them.

1:00 - librarian emails me what they have but I go to lunch instead of looking at it.

2:15 - get back in and re-do most of what I got from the library. Summarize what I found in an email.

4:00 - work on another filing, this time making more significant changes to the form version but still nothing too strenuous. Print, proof, print, proof, secretary left, dammit, send.

5:45 - mistake found in my filing from this morning. God fucking dammit. Adopt change, get thumbs up, give to paralegal to file on the docket.

6:50 - shove nonbillable project in purse and leave. Never work on it.

Bad day - conflicts checks and only conflicts checks, all day. This means going through fat stacks of paper looking for entity names to make sure we don't accidentally end up representing clients on BOTH SIDES of an adversary proceeding and get sued for malpractice.

Good day - researching and drafting dispositive motion for what is probably a case of first impression on some quirky point of law. This is just LRW without the shitty professor.

Best day - prepping for and attending hearing. That means putting together supply boxes, coordinating the assembly of documents for the partners to reference in the courtroom, doing an emergency research project to address an idea the partner had, running back to the firm for a fresh order reflecting some change agreed to in the hearing and taking notes on what happens.


Any NYC bankruptcy?

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5ky
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby 5ky » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:53 am

Danger Zone wrote:Anyone work in the general corporate department of a big firm?


General corp at a big firm will mostly just be one of the m&a/finance/cap markets above, really, depending on what you're staffed on at the time.

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vidhartha
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby vidhartha » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:49 pm

I'm an attorney with a NY regional office for the general counsel's office for social security administration (SSA) and have been here for nearing 2 years. Definitely not what I thought I'd be doing after law school, but I love it. It is litigation heavy (civil), our office handles all appeals of denial for SS benefits in federal court in NY, CT, VT, PR, and Virgin Islands - typically about 50 briefs filed a year per attorney.

A typical day goes like this:

9-930 - get in the office/chat with interns/attorneys
930-1030 - check email, make/drink tea, figure out what i need to get done that day
1030-1pm - work on SS disability case (reviewing record/drafting brief)
1-2 - lunch, check gmail/reddit/espn
2-630 - continue/finish brief (this can end later depending on deadlines)

Honestly, there is no typical day, we do a little bit of everything. Aside from the civil litigation, we handle all the employment matters for our region - EEOC, MSPB, and arbitrations - and there are about thousands of employees in this region. We handle all stages of employment matters. I'm also on the bankruptcy group, which means we review every bankruptcy filing that lists SSA as a debtor to determine if we need to file an objection to discharge, and prepare/file it if need be. There are also frequent requests from our client for a legal opinion as to whether an individual is entitled to benefits, this is mainly in areas where the law is not clear (e.g., same sex couples, child born through artificial reproduction, marriages performed in other jurisdictions). We also handle all ethics questions, contracts, disclosure requests, civil rights investigations, and anything else that might occur. I can go into greater detail about any of this since, but it might just be easier to answer any questions since there is a lot going on.

The benefits litigation tends to be the bulk of our work, roughly 60-70 percent. We are special assistant u.s. attorneys in most of the districts we practice in, which means we file briefs, perform oral arguments, and handle any appeals to the circuit courts, which is pretty neat.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:56 am

Junior biglaw tax associate here. While tax usually doesn't involve all-nighters, it does involve a LOT of juggling. A good part of my day is dealing with calls from various corporate associates complaining that their 1 thing that is consuming all of their time and they have had on my desk for a whole 24 hours is not currently at the top of my priority list of about 10 active deals. At least at my firm, tax is probably best in terms of sheer hours but worst in terms of predictability.

Monday-Thursday: Usually wander in somewhere between 9 and 10, try to do any mindless work, billing, etc. in the morning, deal with whatever random corporate associate inevitably sent me at some ungodly hour. On average, until at least mid-afternoon I end up dealing with things as they arise rather than actually getting anything done--turning comments (from partner/corporate/other side/client), negotiating with the other side, status meetings, sitting in on client calls, dealing with questions from partners/corporate associates and nagging partners for comments or sign-off.

If I have a busy day in terms of pure flow, actual real substantive work usually gets pushed to later in the day, on less hectic days I can get to it earlier. This includes drafting memos, first turns of agreements and offering documents (versus turning comments), big research projects, etc. My median departure is probably around 745 with 25th percentile/75th percentile probably around 715 and 9.

However, this often gets flipped on its head--when some offering has to be finalized the same night and, for example, the other side doesn't have their comments to us until an hour before everything goes to the printer. Sometimes it's only when the urgency is this strong that we can get everyone focused on the deal and able to make decisions.

Fridays are usually a lot calmer because either everything has to have already been wrapped up or will be dealt with over the weekend. If I'm in the office at 645 on a friday, something has gone horribly wrong.

Weekends often involve wrapping up things that need to be finalized sunday night/monday, often turning comments with the other side. These are often the worst as I may only bill a few hours but I can't stray too far from my computer for too long because once that draft comes in at god-knows-when, it invariably needs to be turned to ASAP. In addition, maybe one weekend a month, I will pledge to have a big drafting/research session for some project I'm working on, but most of the time that ends up translating to Sunday after 7pm.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:31 am

I'm a clinical teaching fellow at a law school.

I teach or co-teach two clinical courses, so a total of about 6 teaching hours each week. I only have to be at work Monday morning and then all day Wednesday and Friday.

The rest of the time I am lesson planning, grading and reviewing student work, responding to issues on student cases, or making plans for new clinic projects.

I also occasionally have faculty meetings or professional development meetings but that's 2 hours a week at most.

In all I spend about 20 hours a week working. The rest of the time I work on some of my own publications and do some pro-bono work.

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sundance95
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby sundance95 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a clinical teaching fellow at a law school.

I teach or co-teach two clinical courses, so a total of about 6 teaching hours each week. I only have to be at work Monday morning and then all day Wednesday and Friday.

The rest of the time I am lesson planning, grading and reviewing student work, responding to issues on student cases, or making plans for new clinic projects.

I also occasionally have faculty meetings or professional development meetings but that's 2 hours a week at most.

In all I spend about 20 hours a week working. The rest of the time I work on some of my own publications and do some pro-bono work.

Nice, can you share an approximate typical salary for this type of work?

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Borhas
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Borhas » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:28 am

As a public defender

Docket day (M T W )
pretrial conferences, sentencings, probation revocations, on Tuesdays we also have motions hearings in the afternoons, and in the mornings I may have random folks who were picked up on warrants. I usually get out of court around 11 am them grab lunch. Catch up on voicemails, call clients back, brainstorm about cases, visit folks in jail.

Civil day (Th)
No criminal cases on the docket. Gives chance to meet with clients and do errands like dry cleaning etc.

Readiness (F)
Like docket day only more intense. It's when we declare ready or not ready for trial. Friday readiness determines how many trials I have to prep for next week. A lot of people plea out on this day. This is usually the most hectic day. Most negotiation happens on this day.

Weekend (Sat Sun)
If I declared ready on trials this is when I prep them. Meet with client again and go over testimony and do a mock cross exam. Last minute negotiations w/ DA. If I didn't declare ready or the trials went away then I'll write motions and do housekeeping/ organizing my files. I may completely take the weekend off if there is a light week ahead but that's rare.

Trial day (M W)
If I declared ready on trials on Friday then I I'll have trials set on the following Monday and Wednesday. If a trial goes then I will do nothing else that day, not even return phone calls. ( though there is docket stuff to take care of first before jury selection)


This routine can vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and judge to judge.

mmorrell94
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby mmorrell94 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:15 pm

sundance95 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a clinical teaching fellow at a law school.

I teach or co-teach two clinical courses, so a total of about 6 teaching hours each week. I only have to be at work Monday morning and then all day Wednesday and Friday.

The rest of the time I am lesson planning, grading and reviewing student work, responding to issues on student cases, or making plans for new clinic projects.

I also occasionally have faculty meetings or professional development meetings but that's 2 hours a week at most.

In all I spend about 20 hours a week working. The rest of the time I work on some of my own publications and do some pro-bono work.

Nice, can you share an approximate typical salary for this type of work?


In addition to this, could you also share any tips for someone who wants to get into this/any insight into what helped you get the job?

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:42 am

Contract Manager - Fortune 100 Technology Company

Low cost of living area
Salary: 100K+, 401k, multiple bonus programs, and stock grants
2014 graduate who interned 1L, 2L, and 3L

Standard types of deals: Purchasing agreements, various NDAs, IP licensing/strategic/joint development deals

Average day:
8 - 9: Misc. contract management projects and emails.
9 - 10: Internal meetings to determine negotiation positions with various stakeholders
10 - 10:30: Redlines for negotiations
10:30 - 11: Business process improvement meeting
11 - 11:30: Internal meeting to discuss new legal escalation or negotiation
11:30 - 12: Projects/drafting/negotiating/meetings
12 - 1: Lunch
1 - 1:30: Projects/drafting/negotiating/meetings
1:30 - 2:30: Negotiation with external party and their counsel
2:30 - 3: Any items from the negotiation
3 - 3:30: Business unit meeting/team meetings
3:30 - 4: Legal research for negotiation or request from attorney
4 -5: Projects/drafting/negotiating/meetings
5+: Go home, maybe work if pressing deal/deadline

Omerta
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Omerta » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DC Regulatory BigLaw (Banking and Financial Services)

Days are pretty typical in regulatory, I cannot really think of a time when I had a crazy day or worked on something outside the wheelhouse. Mostly I am looking at state and federal regulation of financial institutions such as banks and consumer lenders. Primarily I research law and draft summary emails or memos all day. Occasionally I will work on a 50 state survey looking at lending restrictions in credit cards, mortgages, or personal loans - and the dreaded licensing work.

We get questions from clients on a wide range of regulatory issues such as depository rules, BSA-AML, data privacy, borrower disclosures, loan servicing, and escrow provisions. All this stuff is regulated on the state and federal level. Most of the time the question is pretty complex but it needs to be boiled down to a three paragraph response or so. Clients will sometimes want a full memo on the more general topics such as whether fair lending applies to commercial loans.

About 20% of my time is spent on civil investigations by regulators or advising the litigators on a related issue. Once in a while we prepare and submit legislative changes for clients or draft a comment letter. Even more rarely we are obtained to do regulatory diligence in a transactions involving a regulated client such as a payday lender or mortgage originator/seller/servicer.

Pros: learning an area of law and becoming an expert in a field pretty quickly, predictable hours close to 9-6 every day and very few weekends or late nights, very few deadlines or much pressure compared to other biglaw groups, exit options are good because companies need in house compliance people, publishing and speaking opportunities are aplenty

Cons: making hours can be difficult, clients hate you because you are doing compliance before there are any problems and they think you made up the laws that over-regulate them, not exciting or deal driven, constant pressure to build a brand and bring in business (may be specific to this firm)


Can you please PM me? This is an area that I'm interested in and am getting ready to interview with one of the best firms in this practice area.

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prezidentv8
Posts: 2825
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:02 pm


Anonymous User
Posts: 302738
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:22 am

Small county district attorney here, in a ski town. It's a mix of rural, townies, tourists, and everything in between. I handle ALL misdemeanor and traffic cases for the entire county.

It's hard to define a typical "day" in my job, because my days are very different depending on what my court schedule is that day.

I have a first appearance docket one day a week, for 2-4 hours, depending on case volume and how complicated the cases are. (An expired tags or no proof of insurance traffic ticket is in-and-out in three minutes, tops. A contested domestic violence case with a parallel divorce/custody case, or a dogs murdering livestock case (yes, seriously) will take significantly longer to address.)

I have my attorney/return appearance docket on a different day, and that usually keeps me in court until mid-afternoon. I may also have motions hearings that day. I usually have maybe 50 cases set on a return docket day. After the holidays or on a crazy weekend it can be triple digits. I have private attorneys and pro se in the morning, at staggered times, and public defender cases, any in-custodys, and sentencings in the afternoon.

I cover jail advisements every day at 1 if there are any. There's usually at least one, but it's a small county so the volume isn't massive for advisements. I think the most I've ever seen in one day is 7. Our public defenders come to jail advisements daily and argue everyone should get a PR bond.

I can have jury trials scheduled the other 2-3 days a week. My trial calendar is currently full about two months out. Some will inevitably take a plea, fall apart, or get resolved for any number of reasons. On average, I probably do 1 jury trial per week. I've gone three or four weeks without any going, and I once did 4 in 4 straight business days. On a trial day, just assume I get nothing else done.

On average, I have the other two days a week to sit at my desk and get everything else done. It probably takes a half-day total to review my dockets (first appearance and return docket) - read files, contact victims, develop plea offers, convey those offers to attorneys (mostly phone and email). I deal with the same 15 so attorneys on the vast majority of my cases. We all have a pretty working relationship, except the small minority who are categorically unreasonable, incompetent and/or annoying as shit. I probably spend a good hour a day just returning phone calls, emails, reviewing my inbox from court. Another hour gets sucked up by walk-ins. (In a small jurisdiction, defendants, attorneys, victims, friends, family, etc., walk into our office and we help them or talk to them about whatever it is they're here for. Our elected is big on community customer service. I'm sure it's quite different in a big jurisdiction.) I also do trial prep, respond to motions or draft motions as necessary, review warrants, answer questions from law enforcement officers, etc. My schedule on a day-to-day basis is just constant prioritizing. What do I have to get done, when do I have to get it done, and what can be slacked on or ignored. You simply cannot give 100% to everything when you have 2,000 cases a year.

I've been in this job since last fall. When I started, I worked 8 to 6 easy, and probably tacked another 8-10 hours on through staying late and coming in on the weekend. Now that I have a better idea what I'm doing and my docket is pretty under control, I rarely stay later than 6 or take home work pretty rarely. It's typically only trial prep, or recently I've had appeals to work on, too.

Today I was in the office all day. Here's what I did, as best I can remember:
8:30 - roll in fashionably late, make coffee, chat with admin staff re: advisements
8:30 - 9:30 - lots of small tasks; my inbox gets dumped on after docket days, so I weeded through those files and just kind of tried to clear off my desk (things like trying to contact victims, requesting missing discovery from law enforcement agencies, adding/amending charges -- mostly tasks I assigned myself during docket, if that makes sense); had a convo with my boss re: a 4thA "training issue" we need to address at one of our agencies
9:30 - 9:45 - reviewed a Defendant's request to get off supervised probation early, talked to his PO, filed a response
9:45 - got a call from an atty who wants to stop by and talk about a half-dozen cases; found those cases and prepped for said meeting
10:30-11 - met with atty on those; discussed offers, etc.
11 - got a late advisement delivered (warrantless affidavit had some issues, defendant is a "frequent flier" who was released yesterday ... ); discussed it with some of my co-workers
12 - left at lunch to buy hummus
12:20 - back at office, received (angry but basically frivolous) motion to dismiss from opposing counsel for my trial tomorrow, began drafting response
1 - jail advisements
2 - finish response and file it (motion was denied before COB)
2-3:30 - draft jury instructions for trial tomorrow
3:30 -5 - review exhibits for trial (including a 90-minute audio recording, dispatch tapes, photos, etc.)
5 - 6 - reviewing reports for tomorrow's trial, back-and-forth emailing with primary officer on a few points (we met the day prior like a half hr to discuss the case, after an unrelated motions hearing), print out bullet points for voir dire, review jury list
6 - 7 - go to drugstore to print enlargements of trial photo exhibits (our color printer is broken); wait around for prints

Things I wanted to do today and didn't get done:
- actually label and organize exhibits (I'll probably do that at counsel table while waiting for jury selection to start)
- make a powerpoint of my visual exhibits (I'll just come in early and do it frantically at 7 a.m.)
- review docket for next week since I have two one-day trials in a row and don't want to come in this weekend (wishful thinking)
- prepare myself to meet with my complaining witness for trial number two, who's coming in a 4 p.m. tomorrow (when I should be done with trial, or at worst waiting for a verdict) for trial prep. or contact any of my law enforcement witnesses regarding that case ... which I forgot I need to do until right now
- draft a reply brief for an interlocutory appeal I filed, or at least start. I have three more days ...
- call my public defender and find out whether he's found his client for a different trial next week ... He's MIA and I'd prefer not to prep if the Defendant can't be located.
- file a few motions for various cases recently set for trial

On a trial day, it's more like this:
7 a.m. - get to work, do last minute stuff (mentally prepare, read reports, finalize exhibits, print stuff, etc.)
8 a.m. - pretrial chambers conference with judge, exchange jury instructions (if not already done), discuss any outstanding issues on either side (admissibility of evidence, witness problems, whatever)
8:30 - 10 a.m. - venire seated, jurors introduce themselves, judge asks some questions, each attorney gets half an hour to have it, challenges for cause are heard on approach, peremptories on paper via the baliff, jury selected and sworn
10:15 - 10:30 - openings (usually brief in misdemeanor/traffic cases, a DUI isn't usually that complicated for opening statement purposes)
10:30 - 12 - People's case in chief
12 - 1 - lunch
1 -2 - I'm usually done with case in chief by now; People will rest, Defendant will make an MJOA, it will be denied
2- 3 - defense puts on any case they have
3-3:30 - closing arguments and rebuttal
3:30 - 4:30 - get absolutely nothing accomplished while jury is out, except jail advisements
Most juries are back within an hr, and I'm out of the office by 5 or 6. I'll chat about how stuff went with other people in the office, put out any can't-wait small fires that erupted while I was in trial, and leave as soon as I can get out of there.

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kalvano
Posts: 12024
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby kalvano » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:Things I wanted to do today and didn't get done:



This list is probably the longest list of things to do that I have going.

Question Everything
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:55 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Question Everything » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:Small county district attorney here, in a ski town. It's a mix of rural, townies, tourists, and everything in between. I handle ALL misdemeanor and traffic cases for the entire county.

It's hard to define a typical "day" in my job, because my days are very different depending on what my court schedule is that day.

I have a first appearance docket one day a week, for 2-4 hours, depending on case volume and how complicated the cases are. (An expired tags or no proof of insurance traffic ticket is in-and-out in three minutes, tops. A contested domestic violence case with a parallel divorce/custody case, or a dogs murdering livestock case (yes, seriously) will take significantly longer to address.)

I have my attorney/return appearance docket on a different day, and that usually keeps me in court until mid-afternoon. I may also have motions hearings that day. I usually have maybe 50 cases set on a return docket day. After the holidays or on a crazy weekend it can be triple digits. I have private attorneys and pro se in the morning, at staggered times, and public defender cases, any in-custodys, and sentencings in the afternoon.

I cover jail advisements every day at 1 if there are any. There's usually at least one, but it's a small county so the volume isn't massive for advisements. I think the most I've ever seen in one day is 7. Our public defenders come to jail advisements daily and argue everyone should get a PR bond.

I can have jury trials scheduled the other 2-3 days a week. My trial calendar is currently full about two months out. Some will inevitably take a plea, fall apart, or get resolved for any number of reasons. On average, I probably do 1 jury trial per week. I've gone three or four weeks without any going, and I once did 4 in 4 straight business days. On a trial day, just assume I get nothing else done.

On average, I have the other two days a week to sit at my desk and get everything else done. It probably takes a half-day total to review my dockets (first appearance and return docket) - read files, contact victims, develop plea offers, convey those offers to attorneys (mostly phone and email). I deal with the same 15 so attorneys on the vast majority of my cases. We all have a pretty working relationship, except the small minority who are categorically unreasonable, incompetent and/or annoying as shit. I probably spend a good hour a day just returning phone calls, emails, reviewing my inbox from court. Another hour gets sucked up by walk-ins. (In a small jurisdiction, defendants, attorneys, victims, friends, family, etc., walk into our office and we help them or talk to them about whatever it is they're here for. Our elected is big on community customer service. I'm sure it's quite different in a big jurisdiction.) I also do trial prep, respond to motions or draft motions as necessary, review warrants, answer questions from law enforcement officers, etc. My schedule on a day-to-day basis is just constant prioritizing. What do I have to get done, when do I have to get it done, and what can be slacked on or ignored. You simply cannot give 100% to everything when you have 2,000 cases a year.

I've been in this job since last fall. When I started, I worked 8 to 6 easy, and probably tacked another 8-10 hours on through staying late and coming in on the weekend. Now that I have a better idea what I'm doing and my docket is pretty under control, I rarely stay later than 6 or take home work pretty rarely. It's typically only trial prep, or recently I've had appeals to work on, too.

Today I was in the office all day. Here's what I did, as best I can remember:
8:30 - roll in fashionably late, make coffee, chat with admin staff re: advisements
8:30 - 9:30 - lots of small tasks; my inbox gets dumped on after docket days, so I weeded through those files and just kind of tried to clear off my desk (things like trying to contact victims, requesting missing discovery from law enforcement agencies, adding/amending charges -- mostly tasks I assigned myself during docket, if that makes sense); had a convo with my boss re: a 4thA "training issue" we need to address at one of our agencies
9:30 - 9:45 - reviewed a Defendant's request to get off supervised probation early, talked to his PO, filed a response
9:45 - got a call from an atty who wants to stop by and talk about a half-dozen cases; found those cases and prepped for said meeting
10:30-11 - met with atty on those; discussed offers, etc.
11 - got a late advisement delivered (warrantless affidavit had some issues, defendant is a "frequent flier" who was released yesterday ... ); discussed it with some of my co-workers
12 - left at lunch to buy hummus
12:20 - back at office, received (angry but basically frivolous) motion to dismiss from opposing counsel for my trial tomorrow, began drafting response
1 - jail advisements
2 - finish response and file it (motion was denied before COB)
2-3:30 - draft jury instructions for trial tomorrow
3:30 -5 - review exhibits for trial (including a 90-minute audio recording, dispatch tapes, photos, etc.)
5 - 6 - reviewing reports for tomorrow's trial, back-and-forth emailing with primary officer on a few points (we met the day prior like a half hr to discuss the case, after an unrelated motions hearing), print out bullet points for voir dire, review jury list
6 - 7 - go to drugstore to print enlargements of trial photo exhibits (our color printer is broken); wait around for prints

Things I wanted to do today and didn't get done:
- actually label and organize exhibits (I'll probably do that at counsel table while waiting for jury selection to start)
- make a powerpoint of my visual exhibits (I'll just come in early and do it frantically at 7 a.m.)
- review docket for next week since I have two one-day trials in a row and don't want to come in this weekend (wishful thinking)
- prepare myself to meet with my complaining witness for trial number two, who's coming in a 4 p.m. tomorrow (when I should be done with trial, or at worst waiting for a verdict) for trial prep. or contact any of my law enforcement witnesses regarding that case ... which I forgot I need to do until right now
- draft a reply brief for an interlocutory appeal I filed, or at least start. I have three more days ...
- call my public defender and find out whether he's found his client for a different trial next week ... He's MIA and I'd prefer not to prep if the Defendant can't be located.
- file a few motions for various cases recently set for trial

On a trial day, it's more like this:
7 a.m. - get to work, do last minute stuff (mentally prepare, read reports, finalize exhibits, print stuff, etc.)
8 a.m. - pretrial chambers conference with judge, exchange jury instructions (if not already done), discuss any outstanding issues on either side (admissibility of evidence, witness problems, whatever)
8:30 - 10 a.m. - venire seated, jurors introduce themselves, judge asks some questions, each attorney gets half an hour to have it, challenges for cause are heard on approach, peremptories on paper via the baliff, jury selected and sworn
10:15 - 10:30 - openings (usually brief in misdemeanor/traffic cases, a DUI isn't usually that complicated for opening statement purposes)
10:30 - 12 - People's case in chief
12 - 1 - lunch
1 -2 - I'm usually done with case in chief by now; People will rest, Defendant will make an MJOA, it will be denied
2- 3 - defense puts on any case they have
3-3:30 - closing arguments and rebuttal
3:30 - 4:30 - get absolutely nothing accomplished while jury is out, except jail advisements
Most juries are back within an hr, and I'm out of the office by 5 or 6. I'll chat about how stuff went with other people in the office, put out any can't-wait small fires that erupted while I was in trial, and leave as soon as I can get out of there.



Thanks for sharing. You said "small county district attorney" that handles "ALL misdemeanor and traffic cases for the entire county." Do I understand you correctly that you are THE DA, not an ADA? If so, is your position a political one (i.e. were you elected)? Who handles felony cases? I've never heard of a separate DA for traffic/misdemeanor. Lastly, and if you don't mind sharing, are your long term plans to stay doing what you are now or are you planning to make a change at some point? Thanks.




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