I am an associate at a small, general practice law firm with multiple offices in non-urban Midwest locations. I'm sorry if that and some other things to follow may be vague, but I would like to remain anonymous.
There isn't a "typical" day for me, so I've outlined a "typical" week, which decompresses the schedule enough to give you a decent idea of the nature and rhythm of my practice. There's no rhyme or reason as to when these things happen, so the days and times throughout the week are more or less interchangeable (minus court days). Obviously this is bare-bones and, for example, only includes a small fraction of the phone conversations I have.
8:45 - This is when I usually get to the office. Take a quick inventory of what's on my desk, double-check deadlines on cases, particularly on civil motions practice and criminal defense cases. Send an email to a prosecutor about a plea deal for a felony defendant in a drug/gun case.
9:20 - Write a letter to opposing counsel on behalf of our client city regarding a nuisance property.
9:40 - Take a phone call from a client about an ongoing child custody matter. Discuss the documents I still need from her for discovery and answer a few questions on case strategy.
10:00 - Hearing on a small criminal matter at the courthouse; reach agreement with prosecutor and continue the hearing for two months.
10:45 - Do some research about conservatorships on an ongoing memo project I should send to a partner this week.
11:30 - Lunch with wife at home. Play with kids. Get soy sauce on my shirt.
12:50 - Back at the office. Review trial information received this morning on a drunken driving case.
2:00 - Finish up a memorandum in support of a resistance to a motion for summary judgment in a case where my client is being foreclosed upon.
2:05 - Small talk with my secretary about the past weekend, weather, some ongoing cases and one particularly strange client.
2:30 - Send a letter notifying a party that my client is rescinding a contract and making a settlement offer for damages.
2:45 - Initial consult with a prospective client who was served in a suit regarding site preparation on a commercial construction project. Notice he's getting close to the deadline to file an answer. Discuss case strategy, take retainer and client signs fee agreement.
4:15 - Finish drafting answer for new client. Stack up a few papers on my desk and head home.
9:00 - Get into office, return a missed call from a client who has a dispute with an insurance company regarding damage to an agricultural property. Then call a state administrative agency regarding the related insurance complaint.
9:30 - Go to coffee at the diner two doors down with mostly local retirees.
10:00 - Research contract issue for appellate brief, start outlining the brief.
11:45 - Lunch with professional / fraternal organization
1:00 - Research for brief, outlining brief, surfing the internet.
3:30 - Read deposition transcript from previous week and send email to the prosecutor as part of ongoing plea negotiations in a sex offender registry case. Head home at 3:45
8:00 - Start driving to one of our other offices, meet up with lead counsel, discuss voir dire, review juror questionnaires.
9:15 - Commence voir dire. Monitor jurors while lead counsel asks questions, take notes, make list of strikes, etc.
1:30 - Voir dire done, go to lunch with lead counsel. Discuss pre-trial motions at lunch.
2:45 - Back in court, sans jury. Argue a motion in limine on liability, hang out while lead counsel and opposing counsel argue other motions and make evidentiary objections, etc.
4:00 - Chat with opposing counsel, head home.
8:45 - In office. Continue writing appellate brief.
10:15 - Review proposed city ordinance from a city councilmember of a client city. Research federal employment law on a city employee benefits issue. Draft a short memo, then head home for lunch.
1:00 - Finish drafting arguments section of appellate brief, forward to partner.
3:00 - Receive exhibit list from opposing counsel on an upcoming family law hearing. Review and make notes.
4:15 - Head home.
9:15 - Come in (a bit late, Thursday was a late night...). Assemble exhibits and witness list for upcoming family law hearing. Serve on opposing counsel.
11:00 - Review letter from opposing counsel on a divorce. Read proposed stipulation, discuss with my client, make revisions and counter-offer.
1:30 - Return from lunch, return call to counsel for insurance company and negotiate settlement for my client auto accident victim. Tell counsel he is wasting my time and finally coax a slightly more favorable offer from him.
1:36 - Write nasty letter to insurance company counsel.
1:47 - Revise nasty letter to insurance company counsel. Send professional letter to insurance company counsel.
2:15 - Get a favorable plea offer from prosecutor on a weapons charge, draft guilty plea and mail to client.
3:15 - Clean up desk, realize I failed to return a call from that morning, give zero fucks.
3:20 - Review daily record, realize I forgot to bill for two things. Add them. Head home for the weekend.