Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:10 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:This is an awesome thread! Civil legal services staff attorney here, in housing and homelessness prevention, serving some of the poorest families in my city, who would otherwise lack representation. I have two years of experience, and I work at a small to medium sized nonprofit organization. I am required to work 35 hours per week, though I usually exceed that by a decent amount. I am expected to handle 50 cases per year. My hours can be flexible except on mornings when I have court. Here is a typical court day:

9:30 am -- arrive at housing court, go to each part (courtroom) where I have a case, to greet my clients and check them in with the court clerk. File answers and notices of appearance.
10 am to 1pm-- Meet with opposing counsel to attempt to settle cases on favorable terms for my clients. If this is impossible, I will generally draft and serve a motion to dismiss, which I will argue before the judge. Most judges reserve decision and mail me a written decision a few months after my oral argument
1pm to 2pm-- lunch with my coworkers, or on my own if no one from my unit has court that day. On nice days, we like to get food to go and sit outside to enjoy the city atmosphere.
2pm-- make phone calls to my clients and opposing counsel, and write emails to contacts at various government agencies on behalf of our clients, generally to help them get assistance with payment of rent
3pm-- legal research and drafting-- I usually will have an answer, a motion to dismiss, or opposition papers to draft and serve. I create my own bluebacks and take care of most of my own administrative work, like many public interest attorneys
6pm-- I usually leave around this time, though I can leave earlier or much later, depending on when my day started.

I was recently promoted from fellow to permanent staff attorney, and I love my job. I feel very lucky to have it, given the budget realities facing public interest organizations.


sounds like my perfect jerb! :)

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

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:03 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:This is an awesome thread! Civil legal services staff attorney here, in housing and homelessness prevention, serving some of the poorest families in my city, who would otherwise lack representation. I have two years of experience, and I work at a small to medium sized nonprofit organization. I am required to work 35 hours per week, though I usually exceed that by a decent amount. I am expected to handle 50 cases per year. My hours can be flexible except on mornings when I have court. Here is a typical court day:

9:30 am -- arrive at housing court, go to each part (courtroom) where I have a case, to greet my clients and check them in with the court clerk. File answers and notices of appearance.
10 am to 1pm-- Meet with opposing counsel to attempt to settle cases on favorable terms for my clients. If this is impossible, I will generally draft and serve a motion to dismiss, which I will argue before the judge. Most judges reserve decision and mail me a written decision a few months after my oral argument
1pm to 2pm-- lunch with my coworkers, or on my own if no one from my unit has court that day. On nice days, we like to get food to go and sit outside to enjoy the city atmosphere.
2pm-- make phone calls to my clients and opposing counsel, and write emails to contacts at various government agencies on behalf of our clients, generally to help them get assistance with payment of rent
3pm-- legal research and drafting-- I usually will have an answer, a motion to dismiss, or opposition papers to draft and serve. I create my own bluebacks and take care of most of my own administrative work, like many public interest attorneys
6pm-- I usually leave around this time, though I can leave earlier or much later, depending on when my day started.

I was recently promoted from fellow to permanent staff attorney, and I love my job. I feel very lucky to have it, given the budget realities facing public interest organizations.


sounds like my perfect jerb! :)


With your Spanish fluency you have a good shot at at job like mine, but you should aim for a fellowship if at all possible. I see a trend of direct hiring not happening until after bar admission, which can be mitigated if you get temporary funding.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:11 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:This is an awesome thread! Civil legal services staff attorney here, in housing and homelessness prevention, serving some of the poorest families in my city, who would otherwise lack representation. I have two years of experience, and I work at a small to medium sized nonprofit organization. I am required to work 35 hours per week, though I usually exceed that by a decent amount. I am expected to handle 50 cases per year. My hours can be flexible except on mornings when I have court. Here is a typical court day:

9:30 am -- arrive at housing court, go to each part (courtroom) where I have a case, to greet my clients and check them in with the court clerk. File answers and notices of appearance.
10 am to 1pm-- Meet with opposing counsel to attempt to settle cases on favorable terms for my clients. If this is impossible, I will generally draft and serve a motion to dismiss, which I will argue before the judge. Most judges reserve decision and mail me a written decision a few months after my oral argument
1pm to 2pm-- lunch with my coworkers, or on my own if no one from my unit has court that day. On nice days, we like to get food to go and sit outside to enjoy the city atmosphere.
2pm-- make phone calls to my clients and opposing counsel, and write emails to contacts at various government agencies on behalf of our clients, generally to help them get assistance with payment of rent
3pm-- legal research and drafting-- I usually will have an answer, a motion to dismiss, or opposition papers to draft and serve. I create my own bluebacks and take care of most of my own administrative work, like many public interest attorneys
6pm-- I usually leave around this time, though I can leave earlier or much later, depending on when my day started.

I was recently promoted from fellow to permanent staff attorney, and I love my job. I feel very lucky to have it, given the budget realities facing public interest organizations.


sounds like my perfect jerb! :)


With your Spanish fluency you have a good shot at at job like mine, but you should aim for a fellowship if at all possible. I see a trend of direct hiring not happening until after bar admission, which can be mitigated if you get temporary funding.


Yeah, my T30 thankfully just started offering school-sponsored fellowships.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:28 pm

DAs office here (appeals unit)

7:30am-8:00am: get to office but do personal stuff (pay bills, respond to personal emails, read the news, etc). I could do this at home, but face time is stressed here for some reason.

8:00-9: respond to work emails, do busy work like getting signatures and creating an appendix, read and edit all motions/responses that need to be filed that day.

9-12: generally respond to/oppose all post-conviction petitions/motions that need to be filed the next day.

12-1: lunch

1-5: work on whatever appeal is due soon and make changes to whatever appeal I submitted for review that was returned to me. some weeks I have 3 that need to be filed, some weeks I only have 1. Read replies to my responses that generally call me stupid and the devil and take everything I said out of context (PDs are mean, mean people).

5-6:30/7: work on whatever needs to absolutely get done and filed by tomorrow. Send emails and CC higher ups so they know I am working late.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:20 pm

biglawbust wrote:Junior associate in biglaw lit department:

9:30: Get into the office. Get coffee. Check news. Contemplate career alternatives and wallow in existential crisis. Check my student loan balances.

10:00: Start working. Typically, this means doc review. I open document 1 of 300. I read it. It's an email from Employee A to Employee B about TPS reports. I click "non responsive" and load document 2.

12:00: My brain is numb from doing work I could have done at age 17 and from staring at a screen. I head down to pick up lunch, come back, and eat at my desk. I'd like to get lunch with a friend but I need billable hours so I limit that to once per week.

12:15: Work on researching incredibly specific question of law. Senior associate gunning for partner tells me that "there must be a case on this. I think I've seen it." He's wrong, and I spin my wheels for two hours.

2:15: We're doing a witness interview in California. By we, I mean the partner. So I need to search the database for all important, topical emails he received between 2007 and 2009. I put them in on a flash drive. Finding them is time consuming and I'm worried about missing the April, 2008 monthly expense ratio report email.

5:00: Giving up and hoping that I put all the right files on the flash drive, I go back to doc review.

7:50: Head home and eat dinner.

7:50 - 11:00: Read and respond to various work emails as they come in. Tomorrow, a senior associate would like me to compile a list of documents missing from the other side's document production so that we can put it in a motion. I may get to draft a paragraph of that motion.

Welcome to biglaw!



This is pretty much consistent with my first year at a biglaw lit department, with some slight variation. Sure looks like fun work when you're the partner dealing with high-level stuff, though . . .

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:15 pm

2nd month Associate at biggest law firm in flyover state (approx. 150 lawyers). I guess by NY standards it would be considered midlaw.

I'm usually doing one of two things: (a) some form of discovery work (read: doc review) for large case everybody in the office is working on; or (b) researching esoteric and nuanced area of law. However, I essentially have my own federal diversity case now because the client wants to keep costs low. I get to really do everything for that including talking to client or opposing counsel, and writing/submitting briefs. That's pretty cool.

I'm usually in the office by 8:30 and out by 5:30. I have had to work on one weekend. Everything takes WAY longer than it should.

Edit: I'm in the smallest of three offices in the state.

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

Postby hous » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:15 am

New to this but here we go:

8:00 - Come into my office and check emails.
8:30-1:00 and 2:00-5:30 draft motions / do discovery / do simple hearings like CMC's
5:30-7:00 - Go home somewhere between these times, generally 6:00-6:30.

Sometimes go in for a few hours during the weekend.

Pretty laxed so far.

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

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:20 am

It would be helpful to tell us what kind of law office you work at.

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

Postby Icculus » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:30 am

09042014 wrote:Desert Fox Intellectual Property Litigator Lover Larger-than-Life

Wake up my dogs ass in my face at 9 am.

shit shower shave

Get to train station at 9:45-10:00

Read email on teh train

Get to work at 10:15.

Pretend to work for an hour.

Do research on my own schedule.

Read documents that are important.

Think about shit.

Negotiate which food truck we are getting lunch from. Luckily it's taco tuesday

12-12:45 lunch.

Google " plasma etching"

Reads wikipedia for 20 minutes

1:45

"DF do you have ten minutes to discuss Y case"

Walks up stairs

Tell partner why his idea is retarded but do it gently

"How is that compliant going?"

(never mentioned actually starting it before right now

"Ok when do you need it"

Tomorrow

Goes back to desk and starts copying a complaint filed by other lawyer in same type of case.

2:30 goes and gets coffee with girls from the floor

2:45 "Upon information and belief, Opponent sucks small asian cock for a living."

3:45 "Alarm: Technical Team Meeting for Case X in 15 minutes."

3:55: "Alarm: Technical Team Meeting for Case X in 15 minutes."

4:00 - beep boop boop beeeep bep booop booop bib bob beep

4:01 - Number confirmed

4:01 - if you are the meeting coordinator press 1 now

4:02- Please say your name after the beep .. . . (says nothing).

4:07- NYC here, DC, Here, SF here.

4:08 - Email :Where r u

4:08 - Email : Come to Lee

4:09 walks up stairs to conference room nobody mentioned we were meeting in/

4:10-15 - Parnter I don't know from NYC describes the client is stonewalling but is definitely totally fucked

4:20-45 slowly go over list of stupid assignments that really can't get started because the client doesn't get information

4:45 - DF how is your thing going. "GOOD" (already has it done but I don't want another assignment)

5-8 work on complaint

8 - email version to partner of local counsel who cites checks it for me. PRESTIGE

8 ride subway home

8:30 order indian food

9-11 finish work

11- watch game of thrones

12 finish bottle of wine

4am wake up from teh couch and crawl into bed. Find dog spread eagle on my pillow.


I have always been a huge fan but this may be the best thing you have written in awhile (minus your shit list).

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

Postby hous » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:52 am

Danger Zone wrote:It would be helpful to tell us what kind of law office you work at.


creditor's rights - litigation. Pretty boring but will get plenty of court experience, pays great for low COL city (70k), good work-life balance compared to most private firms. Really boring and not a lot of room to grow.

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

Postby Pleasye » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:57 am

hous wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:It would be helpful to tell us what kind of law office you work at.


creditor's rights - litigation. Pretty boring but will get plenty of court experience, pays great for low COL city (70k), good work-life balance compared to most private firms. Really boring and not a lot of room to grow.

Thanks for contributing. Can you expand on why you believe it's boring? Is it just the subject matter?

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

Postby hous » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:03 am

Pleasye wrote:
hous wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:It would be helpful to tell us what kind of law office you work at.


creditor's rights - litigation. Pretty boring but will get plenty of court experience, pays great for low COL city (70k), good work-life balance compared to most private firms. Really boring and not a lot of room to grow.

Thanks for contributing. Can you expand on why you believe it's boring? Is it just the subject matter?


Its repetitive. I guess all fields are though.

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

Postby goden » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:50 am

Wait DF do you really do IP lit? If you have the choice between general lit and IP lit (but w no tech background) what do you recommend?

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby smallfirmassociate » Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:33 am

hous wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:It would be helpful to tell us what kind of law office you work at.


creditor's rights - litigation. Pretty boring but will get plenty of court experience, pays great for low COL city (70k), good work-life balance compared to most private firms. Really boring and not a lot of room to grow.


I don't know how you do it. I occasionally serve as local counsel for bill collector firms (what's with "creditor's rights?"), which generally involves going to magistrate court on a motion to quash to listen to some lady cry about how she can't afford to pay even $100 per month because all of her kids have terminal cancer, her car broke down six times yesterday, and she's applied to 46 jobs in the past two hours with no luck. I only do it because I basically extort the firms for exorbitant sums since I know they don't want to drive six hours out here for a magistrate hearing. I'm not trying to be a dick, I just seriously, honestly, don't know how you can do it. The whole process sucks and is frustrating to me, and I deal with enforcing judgments rather rarely.

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

Postby hous » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:22 pm

smallfirmassociate wrote:
hous wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:It would be helpful to tell us what kind of law office you work at.


creditor's rights - litigation. Pretty boring but will get plenty of court experience, pays great for low COL city (70k), good work-life balance compared to most private firms. Really boring and not a lot of room to grow.


I don't know how you do it. I occasionally serve as local counsel for bill collector firms (what's with "creditor's rights?"), which generally involves going to magistrate court on a motion to quash to listen to some lady cry about how she can't afford to pay even $100 per month because all of her kids have terminal cancer, her car broke down six times yesterday, and she's applied to 46 jobs in the past two hours with no luck. I only do it because I basically extort the firms for exorbitant sums since I know they don't want to drive six hours out here for a magistrate hearing. I'm not trying to be a dick, I just seriously, honestly, don't know how you can do it. The whole process sucks and is frustrating to me, and I deal with enforcing judgments rather rarely.


That's not what we do. We don't collect on credit card debt. We acquire judgments, real property, and personal property for our clients. We do not do bill collecting. We enforce security agreements. You don't pay, you don't keep. I do not feel bad about it at all.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:38 pm

There's already a post here by a Law Firm Patent Prosecutor, but either it is incredibly sarcastic or just totally unrepresentative of the work that most people in the same position do. I thought I would put in my two cents. I'll start with a general rundown and, if I have time, come back for further edits later.

My work boils down into two main tasks: (1) Preparing/writing patent applications and (2) Prosecuting patent applications.

Preparing Patent Applications
Depending on the current stage, I may correspond with inventors or in-house counsel to determine the specifics of the invention and, in some cases, to get a bit of the background on currently existing technologies in the same field. I then work with the inventor or in-house attorney to develop a claim strategy that covers something novel while avoiding what currently exists. Once this is done, I will draft a description of the invention that contemplates different variations and interpretations of terms, components, etcetera, in a way that ideally describes the invention without telling competitors the exact specifications intended to be used. The amount of time this entire process takes may vary between 15 and 30 hours (or more for particularly complex technologies), and may require communication with a draftsman to put together technical drawings where applicable.

Prosecuting Patent Applications
The primary goal of prosecuting a patent application is to respond to rejections by the patent office. The patent office has examiners, and the examiners search old patents, publications, and other documents to find disclosure of the same or similar inventions. They then issue rejections under one of a few legal grounds. They may say that someone has invented and disclosed the exact invention, or they may say that a few different inventions render the application obvious. There are other rejections as well, but these two variants are the most common. I then respond with legal arguments, technical arguments, or a combination of the two to explain to the examiner why the invention is new and not obvious. This is all handled in written responses.

Much of this work is handled on a flat fee basis, although there are a number of clients that still choose to operate on an hourly rate basis. It is somewhat more difficult to bill freely in patent prosecution than in certain other areas, such as litigation, because clients view this work as more of a commodity than a service.

On an average day, I will come in around 8:30am, eat lunch at my desk, leave betwen 5pm and 6pm, and bill 7ish hours (sometimes less). My billable goal is somewhat atypical though, and similar attorneys at biglaw firms will often be required to bill 8 hours per day, which means 9, 10, or more hours at their desk on weekdays.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby gk101 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There's already a post here by a Law Firm Patent Prosecutor, but either it is incredibly sarcastic or just totally unrepresentative of the work that most people in the same position do. I thought I would put in my two cents. I'll start with a general rundown and, if I have time, come back for further edits later.

My work boils down into two main tasks: (1) Preparing/writing patent applications and (2) Prosecuting patent applications.

Preparing Patent Applications
Depending on the current stage, I may correspond with inventors or in-house counsel to determine the specifics of the invention and, in some cases, to get a bit of the background on currently existing technologies in the same field. I then work with the inventor or in-house attorney to develop a claim strategy that covers something novel while avoiding what currently exists. Once this is done, I will draft a description of the invention that contemplates different variations and interpretations of terms, components, etcetera, in a way that ideally describes the invention without telling competitors the exact specifications intended to be used. The amount of time this entire process takes may vary between 15 and 30 hours (or more for particularly complex technologies), and may require communication with a draftsman to put together technical drawings where applicable.

Prosecuting Patent Applications
The primary goal of prosecuting a patent application is to respond to rejections by the patent office. The patent office has examiners, and the examiners search old patents, publications, and other documents to find disclosure of the same or similar inventions. They then issue rejections under one of a few legal grounds. They may say that someone has invented and disclosed the exact invention, or they may say that a few different inventions render the application obvious. There are other rejections as well, but these two variants are the most common. I then respond with legal arguments, technical arguments, or a combination of the two to explain to the examiner why the invention is new and not obvious. This is all handled in written responses.

Much of this work is handled on a flat fee basis, although there are a number of clients that still choose to operate on an hourly rate basis. It is somewhat more difficult to bill freely in patent prosecution than in certain other areas, such as litigation, because clients view this work as more of a commodity than a service.

On an average day, I will come in around 8:30am, eat lunch at my desk, leave betwen 5pm and 6pm, and bill 7ish hours (sometimes less). My billable goal is somewhat atypical though, and similar attorneys at biglaw firms will often be required to bill 8 hours per day, which means 9, 10, or more hours at their desk on weekdays.


Can you talk a little bit more about how the atypical billable goal works? For flat fee stuff like OA responses etc, does the firm just look at your billable vs amount billed out efficiency?

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

Postby patogordo » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:52 pm

you don't do interviews? that's the shit that made me want to read war and peace

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gk101
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby gk101 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:17 pm

Biggest complaint I have heard re pros is that the work is boring/repetitive and its hard to get a ton of hours. How true is this? Can you see yourself doing pros over the long haul? From the outside, pros seems like a chill way to work 9-5 with very few last minute due dates and still make good money but everyone in the group seems to hate it

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:20 pm

gk101 wrote:Can you talk a little bit more about how the atypical billable goal works? For flat fee stuff like OA responses etc, does the firm just look at your billable vs amount billed out efficiency?


Sure. Some clients have a flat fee arrangement in place. On the time entry side, it's all the same. I enter my time as I do it. Then the bill comes around, and I (or the billing attorney if I am not the billing attorney) audit the time to ensure that the total fees come in at the flat fee. If I need to write off time, so be it (although hopefully not very much time). The firm does look at my efficiency (I have a target percentage of original vs. billed). If my time entered is less than the flat fee amount, the firm wins and we bill out the flat fee. If my time entered is more than the flat fee amount, the firm loses and we bill out the flat fee.

Part of the problem with the atypical billing arrangement is that clients typically set a budget for patent billing (as a flat fee or as a cap to the number of hours they will pay for), so in many cases, interviews with inventors or examiners may run you into the territory of "too expensive" or "not really billable". For instance, say I travel to a client to talk to the inventor. I am not going to bill that "windshield time", but a litigator might be able to.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:24 pm

patogordo wrote:you don't do interviews? that's the shit that made me want to read war and peace

I interview a large proportion of office action responses. I don't include it here, but as I said, I may go through and edit my response to be fuller.

gk101 wrote:Biggest complaint I have heard re pros is that the work is boring/repetitive. How true is this?

Certain aspects are repetitive in the sense that "Oh, I am drafting another set of arguments to a 102(b) response", but every office action is different, every set of considerations is different (from a technical perspective, an overall prosecutions strategy perspective, and from a prior art perspective). To people who don't like it because it's repetitive, I would posit that their work is not varied or particularly sophisticated. Or they don't like the technology areas that they prosecute.


gk101 wrote:its hard to get a ton of hours. How true is this?

Hours? Sure, I am not going to sit down for 8 hours and bill 8 hours like associates in the litigation group at my firm, but just like any practice, if you're busy, your hours will go up. Many GP firms understand that and adjust billable goals accordingly (disclaimer: no one in NYC/DC is going to do this).

gk101 wrote:Can you see yourself doing pros over the long haul?

I can see myself doing this over the long haul. A ton of people do it for their entire careers. I don't see why I would be any different. It also helps to do opinion work in addition to prep/pros. I often consider going in-house to focus more on general strategy and less on prep/pros. I'm not there yet, though, so we will see.

gk101 wrote:From the outside, pros seems like a chill way to work 9-5 with very few last minute due dates and still make good money but everyone in the group seems to hate it

That lifestyle depends very heavily on who supervises you, what your billable goals are, the type of clients you have, and how efficient you are. For example, I have fewer non-billable tasks to do that get in the way of my billable work because I am a junior associate. A more senior associate than I am has to work an hour or two more per day to bill the same number of hours. Most people get in at or before 8:30 and leave well after 5. One guy works 6:30-5. One guy works 8:30-6 or 7. One guy works 8-6.

Hating prosecution is like any other area of the law. Know what you're getting into and you're less likely to hate it.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby smallfirmassociate » Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:26 pm

hous wrote:
smallfirmassociate wrote:
hous wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:It would be helpful to tell us what kind of law office you work at.


creditor's rights - litigation. Pretty boring but will get plenty of court experience, pays great for low COL city (70k), good work-life balance compared to most private firms. Really boring and not a lot of room to grow.


I don't know how you do it. I occasionally serve as local counsel for bill collector firms (what's with "creditor's rights?"), which generally involves going to magistrate court on a motion to quash to listen to some lady cry about how she can't afford to pay even $100 per month because all of her kids have terminal cancer, her car broke down six times yesterday, and she's applied to 46 jobs in the past two hours with no luck. I only do it because I basically extort the firms for exorbitant sums since I know they don't want to drive six hours out here for a magistrate hearing. I'm not trying to be a dick, I just seriously, honestly, don't know how you can do it. The whole process sucks and is frustrating to me, and I deal with enforcing judgments rather rarely.


That's not what we do. We don't collect on credit card debt. We acquire judgments, real property, and personal property for our clients. We do not do bill collecting. We enforce security agreements. You don't pay, you don't keep. I do not feel bad about it at all.


You don't enforce the judgments you get? You don't garnish, levy, or execute?

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

Postby hous » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:56 pm

smallfirmassociate wrote:You don't enforce the judgments you get? You don't garnish, levy, or execute?


If its a building or item we will obtain equitable relief and foreclose or repossess it. We generally don't garnish peoples assets or income but if we do, its not just for a couple grand.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:38 pm

I'm a junior associate in the bankruptcy group at a big firm.

My primary responsibility is drafting--motions, replies to objections, deal documents, PowerPoint presentations (a lot of PowerPoint presentations), charts, memos, summaries, letters to other law firms, emails. A typical document that a junior restructuring associate might draft, for example, is a motion to approve a debtor-in-possession or "DIP" loan--a loan incurred by a company in bankruptcy at the beginning of the case to finance operations and restructuring costs.

In my practice group, a junior lawyer typically takes primary drafting responsibility for a document from beginning to end. This can be interesting and exciting, and it can be incredibly painful, often at the same time. At big firms, documents are drafted by committee and at multiple levels.

It might start with a series of phone calls with the client and senior lawyers. After the calls, a (sometimes vague) concept of the deliverable emerges. Then I start drafting. This initial draft has significant if subtle influence. Although the document may change dramatically by the time it's filed, executed, or otherwise finished, its initial structure almost always shapes the discussion and the final product.

Then I send the first draft to a senior associate or a partner. He or she reviews it and provides "comments" (read: revisions)--in track changes, in the body of an email, over the phone, scribbled on the document, or in some combination. There are often many iterations of this process.

When I get the green light, I send it to a broader group of partners and associates on the matter. This is when it can get painful, if it hasn't already. Comments can come like an avalanche--often conflicting comments. Managing this process can be delicate and even political. It's one of the harder parts of the job--and, again, there are many iterations.

Then I send it to the client. Some clients have a light touch; others are very hands on. Incorporating client comments can be even more delicate than incorporating internal comments. Overruling a comment from an important person at the client can result in blowback, so you try to give yourself cover by flagging significant issues to someone more senior at the firm.

For important documents, depending on the situation, the next step is often to send the document to professionals at other firms. Lenders counsel, for example, will have a lot of input into a DIP motion. And in most major corporate bankruptcies, the lawyers for significant creditor groups also get input.

Finalization tends to be the most stressful phase. Although the entire drafting process might take a day or a month, there is almost always immense time pressure due to real or imagined deadlines. Comments often keep coming down to the wire. As you're preparing to file or otherwise finalize a document, your focus shifts to avoiding a cataclysmic fuckup. Typos and such are bad, but what you're really trying to avoid is a substantive error that causes a serious issue. Although people will tell you that junior associates aren't in a position to make a truly devastating error, in reality, as the primary drafters of critical documents, they're often in the best position to do so.

Afterward, I have a drink.

Outside of drafting, I spend a lot of time helping to coordinate the case. I travel to hearings and provide support for the team. I'm on the phone and sending emails to lawyers in our other practice groups, to our bankers and consultants, to the creditors' professionals, and to the client. I'm usually handling these tasks while drafting one or more documents. Juggling is a critical skill.

There are also more mundane tasks, although much less so than in other practice groups. We almost never do doc review or due diligence--I never have. But, for example, because a debtor's professional fees have to be approved by the court through an elaborate process, junior bankruptcy lawyers can spend a ton of time on "fee applications" and related work that is profoundly tedious. And because bankruptcy "law" is based as much on custom as it is on written law, one grueling responsibility of junior associates is to work with paralegals to dig through documents for "precedents"--examples of things happening in bankruptcy that don't make it into published opinions.

Overall, the work is good if you like business and finance, but the hours and the stress are incredible.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:47 pm

Junior In-House Counsel at a software company contributing. My company is on a quarterly system, like most publicly traded companies. This means that I know every three months things will get crazy as the business pushes to close deals in a particular quarter. This is what a non-quarter end day might look like.

8:45 am - Get in to the office, check emails.
9:00 am - Review minor EU data protection matter for deal with existing customer.
9:30 am - Call with account team to advise them on data protection matter.
10:00 am - 11:00 am - Draft amendment to cloud services contract.
11:00am - 12:00 noon - Internal meetings regarding on-going limitation of liability issue for another customer.
12:00 noon - 1:00 pm - Lunch in cafeteria on campus, read twitter, random sports articles, TLS, etc.
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm - Review requested reps and certs for a customer getting some federal funding (mostly FAR provisions customer wants to flow down to us).
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Review response to request for proposal for legal issues. Draft comments to be included in proposal.
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Review proposed deals for legal issues, draft new paperwork as needed. Possibly update some internal contract templates as time permits.
5:30 pm -6:30 pm - Gym
6:30 pm - whenever - Monitor blackberry for any urgent issues, most things can wait until morning.

In a quarter end month the days are typically longer and there is a lot more "review deals, draft new paperwork" or "negotiate with customer's unreasonable outside counsel." Responding quickly to emails outside work hours becomes more important as well.




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