DPW Associates Taking Q's

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Re: DPW Corporate Junior Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this, OP!

Anonymous User wrote:would love to hear any general thoughts you have on the FIG group


Would also be interested in this question. They seemed like a very strong group both internally and across peer firms, but curious to know about:

(1) your sense of the people,
(2) how the group differs in terms of practice from peer FIG groups (e.g. heard S&C does more bank M&A, while DPW is more regulatory? true? and if so, what does that mean?),
(3) how the lifestyle differs if at all from the big corp groups,
(4) what kinds of exits have you seen,
(5) and whether FIG is a "safe" practice area in terms of the consistent workflow and political winds.


1. Seem fine to me. I've worked with FIG a few times and am friends with some of the juniors, all nice/pleasant to work for even if the stuff they ask us to do kinda sucks lol

2. I honestly don't think there are peer FIG groups other than S&C...maybe Cleary? They do more international work. The rest of our traditional peers don't really swim in this pool. The firm has basically monopolized the living wills scene. In addition to living wills, you have your standard broker-dealer work, advising commercial banks etc...it's not deal work. Largely ongoing advisory work.

3. I've heard it used to be more lifestyle because it involved more long-term/predictable advisory work. But the sheer volume of living wills work has kinda ruined that. The work flow is still more predictable....But being on flat terrain only helps so much if you're still at a super high altitude anyway.

4. Don't know enough to comment.

5. Some would say too safe in terms of workflow and there was a training session on living wills a few weeks after the election and the partners seem to think that politically we're fine
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Re: DPW Corporate Junior Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:Have you seen anyone get shitcanned in your time there/do you suspect stealth layoffs?

Haven't seen/heard of it while i've been here. I doubt they'd start laying people off because there's not enough work to go around. The firm is still very understaffed and the salary raises haven''t held partner profits back, i think they actually went up substantially this year.

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Re: DPW Corporate Junior Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:25 am

Joscellin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not to steal anyone's thunder, but I'm a former lit associate and happy to answer any lit questions as well.


I know this gets asked a lot, but can you talk about your day-to-day in lit? What's the typical schedule look like?


Lit was really busy during my time, and the hours were consistently long for myself and most of the other juniors. A typical day started around 9:30-10:00 and people don't really begin to filter out until at least 7:30, though 9-9:30 was more the average. Weekends were hit or miss, and really depended on if a deadline was looming. I never billed below 200 in a month, and there was a four month period where I billed 250-290 each month. 220 was probably the average. For the most part it's tolerable, but there is definitely an expectation that you'll be working in the office into the evening most days rather than from home. There were definitely some people who escaped this, but it was by virtue of the cases they were on and the expectations of those teams.

It's hard to say what a typical day looks like because it's largely dependent on the cases you are assigned to. Most of my cases ebbed and flowed in terms of volume, and people are very reasonable when multiple cases blow up at the same time as long as you are communicating. There are, however, some partners and senior associates who can be very painful to work for. Not in the sense that they are unpleasant, but just in terms of the demands. On bigger teams, you can maneuver to try to phase yourself out by taking on other work when things die down and tying yourself up, but that only works under the right circumstances.

Initially you'll be assigned to cases by the staffing coordinator. Later, you'll want to build your own relationships and reach out for work. The consensus is that anything they have to pull people into by way of the coordinator is probably not something you want to be working on. The coordinator also monitors hours and will fill cases where the needs change.

As a junior, the smaller case teams tend to yield the best experiences. On large teams, the juniors are often handling the brunt of the doc reviews. I think this especially true of investigations that are just taking off. On smaller teams, you'll have more opportunities to contribute substantively. Avoid RMBS cases if you can. Like I said, you won't have much control at first, but it's a good idea to reach out to a partner that you'd be interested in working for when you hit a lull so you can at least choose your own adventure rather than being staffed.

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Re: DPW Corporate Junior Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Have you seen anyone get shitcanned in your time there/do you suspect stealth layoffs?

Haven't seen/heard of it while i've been here. I doubt they'd start laying people off because there's not enough work to go around. The firm is still very understaffed and the salary raises haven''t held partner profits back, i think they actually went up substantially this year.

I also haven't seen anyone get obviously laid off or fired. There's just too much work. That being said, while I've seen people mess up, everyone I worked with on the lit side was pretty damn competent.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:33 am

Changing title

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Re: DPW Corporate Junior Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:34 am

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Based on what you know, what are the main differences between the top lit firms (DPW, Boies, Cravath, Gibson, Quinn, PW, etc.) in NY? Is it just culture, or is there a big difference in the substantive work?

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:09 am

What are the exit options like from DPW for those in lit?

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Re: DPW Corporate Junior Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Based on what you know, what are the main differences between the top lit firms (DPW, Boies, Cravath, Gibson, Quinn, PW, etc.) in NY? Is it just culture, or is there a big difference in the substantive work?


For the most part, my sense is that there is not much difference in terms of the substantive work. The lit in NY revolves around the banks and the work variety reflects that. I think any deviations are partner-specific rather than firm-specific. That being said, those firms do tend to excel in different areas. DPW, PW, and S&C are perceived as excelling in white collar for instance.

There are other differences to pay attention to though. Boies, while no longer a "boutique," is smaller and less leveraged in NY, which lends itself to more responsibility than you're likely to get at the behemoths early on. Quinn, which was also once a boutique, does some institutional plaintiffs work that the other firms you mentioned do not dabble in. I know they've done some RMBS plaintiffs work recently along with Kasowitz, Patterson, and Mololamken. From my perspective, the biggest differences in substantive work as it applies to you as a junior associate come from the size of the firm. Large firms handle large matters and as a result filed large teams. The work gets distributed based on seniority, with the juniors handling the worst of it. Smaller case teams yield better work because it needs to get done. I wrote portions of several briefs and attended witness interviews on smaller teams, whereas I reviewed documents/managed doc reviews on larger teams.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:45 am

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:What are the exit options like from DPW for those in lit?


Pretty strong from what I've seen. Almost all of the departures I saw were to government, with a few in-house jumps. I saw people become AUSAs (SDNY, EDNY, DDEL, DNJ), go to DOJ (Civ and Antitrust), FTC, SEC, NY Solicitor's office, etc. I do not recall anyone jumping straight to another firm, though I know a number who left to clerk and went to a different market after. I'm not a fan of the big law lit model, but DPW is a comfortable place to work, the people are great, and I would choose it over the other large NY firms again, all things equal. Whether or not the large firm model makes for a good place to litigate is another matter.
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Re: DPW Corporate Junior Taking Q's

Postby Lincoln » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Based on what you know, what are the main differences between the top lit firms (DPW, Boies, Cravath, Gibson, Quinn, PW, etc.) in NY? Is it just culture, or is there a big difference in the substantive work?


For the most part, my sense is that there is not much difference in terms of the substantive work. The lit in NY revolves around the banks and the work variety reflects that. I think any deviations are partner-specific rather than firm-specific. That being said, those firms do tend to excel in different areas. DPW, PW, and S&C are perceived as excelling in white collar for instance.

There are other differences to pay attention to though. Boies, while no longer a "boutique," is smaller and less leveraged in NY, which lends itself to more responsibility than you're likely to get at the behemoths early on. Quinn, which was also once a boutique, does some institutional plaintiffs work that the other firms you mentioned do not dabble in. I know they've done some RMBS plaintiffs work recently along with Kasowitz, Patterson, and Mololamken. From my perspective, the biggest differences in substantive work as it applies to you as a junior associate come from the size of the firm. Large firms handle large matters and as a result filed large teams. The work gets distributed based on seniority, with the juniors handling the worst of it. Smaller case teams yield better work because it needs to get done. I wrote portions of several briefs and attended witness interviews on smaller teams, whereas I reviewed documents/managed doc reviews on larger teams.


I was at one of the other firms in the list above. From my experience and observation, one of the few substantive differences is in the amount of white collar work you are likely to get. While I haven't come close to being on a white collar investigation in my three years, some of my friends at other firms have spent a majority of their time on it.

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Re: DPW Corporate Junior Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:42 am

Lincoln wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Based on what you know, what are the main differences between the top lit firms (DPW, Boies, Cravath, Gibson, Quinn, PW, etc.) in NY? Is it just culture, or is there a big difference in the substantive work?


For the most part, my sense is that there is not much difference in terms of the substantive work. The lit in NY revolves around the banks and the work variety reflects that. I think any deviations are partner-specific rather than firm-specific. That being said, those firms do tend to excel in different areas. DPW, PW, and S&C are perceived as excelling in white collar for instance.

There are other differences to pay attention to though. Boies, while no longer a "boutique," is smaller and less leveraged in NY, which lends itself to more responsibility than you're likely to get at the behemoths early on. Quinn, which was also once a boutique, does some institutional plaintiffs work that the other firms you mentioned do not dabble in. I know they've done some RMBS plaintiffs work recently along with Kasowitz, Patterson, and Mololamken. From my perspective, the biggest differences in substantive work as it applies to you as a junior associate come from the size of the firm. Large firms handle large matters and as a result filed large teams. The work gets distributed based on seniority, with the juniors handling the worst of it. Smaller case teams yield better work because it needs to get done. I wrote portions of several briefs and attended witness interviews on smaller teams, whereas I reviewed documents/managed doc reviews on larger teams.


I was at one of the other firms in the list above. From my experience and observation, one of the few substantive differences is in the amount of white collar work you are likely to get. While I haven't come close to being on a white collar investigation in my three years, some of my friends at other firms have spent a majority of their time on it.


Definitely agree, and perhaps the reputation comes more from the volume than anything else. Just about everyone I know was involved in an investigation during their first year at the firm.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:What are the exit options like from DPW for those in lit?


Pretty strong from what I've seen. Almost all of the departures I saw were to government, with a few in-house jumps. I saw people become AUSAs (SDNY, EDNY, DDEL, DNJ), go to DOJ (Civ and Antitrust), FTC, SEC, NY Solicitor's office, etc. I do not recall anyone jumping straight to another firm, though I know a number who left to clerk and went to a different market after. I'm not DPW's biggest fan, but it's a comfortable place to work, the people are great, and I would choose it over the other large NY firms again, all things equal. Whether or not the large firm model makes for a good place to litigate is another matter.


Could you expand on why you aren't DPW's biggest fan? Is it gripes about biglaw life in general, or something specific to the firm?

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:What are the exit options like from DPW for those in lit?


Pretty strong from what I've seen. Almost all of the departures I saw were to government, with a few in-house jumps. I saw people become AUSAs (SDNY, EDNY, DDEL, DNJ), go to DOJ (Civ and Antitrust), FTC, SEC, NY Solicitor's office, etc. I do not recall anyone jumping straight to another firm, though I know a number who left to clerk and went to a different market after. I'm not DPW's biggest fan, but it's a comfortable place to work, the people are great, and I would choose it over the other large NY firms again, all things equal. Whether or not the large firm model makes for a good place to litigate is another matter.


Could you expand on why you aren't DPW's biggest fan? Is it gripes about biglaw life in general, or something specific to the firm?

Sorry, poor choice of words. That was directed at the culture of large firm litigation rather than DPW. It's just not great to be a junior litigator at a huge firm, between massive discovery doc reviews and investigation doc reviews. Like I said, I would choose it over its peers if I was doing it all over again though. I don't have any gripes specific to the firm--just the nature of the beast.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry, poor choice of words. That was directed at the culture of large firm litigation rather than DPW. It's just not great to be a junior litigator at a huge firm, between massive discovery doc reviews and investigation doc reviews. Like I said, I would choose it over its peers if I was doing it all over again though. I don't have any gripes specific to the firm--just the nature of the beast.


Can you speak to the lockstep salary/bonus system? At least from the outside, it sounds great. Do you feel like that had an impact on people either gunning for extra billable hours and/or people feeling like they could slack off because their bonus wasn't riding on how much time they put in?

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:15 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Can you speak to the lockstep salary/bonus system? At least from the outside, it sounds great. Do you feel like that had an impact on people either gunning for extra billable hours and/or people feeling like they could slack off because their bonus wasn't riding on how much time they put in?

I liked the lockstep salary/bonus system, mainly because it eliminates an unnecessary worry. I don't think it eliminates gunning for billables because that just wasn't really a thing in the first place. Speaking for lit, the firm is so busy that everyone would hit whatever hourly minimum was set anyway. The staffing coordinator also monitors hours and will pull you into things if you have an extended lull, so that kind of prevents anyone from free-riding. You would have to actively try to avoid working to keep your hours low enough that you would have otherwise missed a minimum. Having too much work is definitely more of a concern than having too little work.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:20 pm

If you're coming of a D.Ct./CoA clerkship combo, does it make any sense to come litigate at DPW if your goal is SDNY AUSA?

Or is it better to go to one of Wachtell/Patterson/Susman?

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you're coming of a D.Ct./CoA clerkship combo, does it make any sense to come litigate at DPW if your goal is SDNY AUSA?

Or is it better to go to one of Wachtell/Patterson/Susman?


Not the OP here, but that's a common route at DPW with the support of the number of important litigation and white collar partners there who were important AUSAs or US Attorneys.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you're coming of a D.Ct./CoA clerkship combo, does it make any sense to come litigate at DPW if your goal is SDNY AUSA?

Or is it better to go to one of Wachtell/Patterson/Susman?

I would say DPW (or the large peers like PW) for SDNY or EDNY. The investigation experience that you'll get is viewed favorably and there's a reputation for placing in those offices. It's also really helpful to have former SDNY partners vouching for you if you are shooting for SDNY. I'm not really sure how much Wachtell or Patterson do in the investigation sphere or what their reputation is for placing in that office. Susman is another beast, and your main selling point to the USAOs would be your substantive litigation experience. I actually met someone who had worked for Susman before transitioning to SDNY, but I'm not sure how easy it would be.

That being said, you should also consider whether investigations are your cup of tea, and if not, that might be a reason to go with one of those other firms. But DPW, PW and the rest all have a huge variety of work so you can try to mix up commercial lit and investigations rather than going all or nothing.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby quiver » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you're coming of a D.Ct./CoA clerkship combo, does it make any sense to come litigate at DPW if your goal is SDNY AUSA?

Or is it better to go to one of Wachtell/Patterson/Susman?

I would say DPW (or the large peers like PW) for SDNY or EDNY. The investigation experience that you'll get is viewed favorably and there's a reputation for placing in those offices. It's also really helpful to have former SDNY partners vouching for you if you are shooting for SDNY. I'm not really sure how much Wachtell or Patterson do in the investigation sphere or what their reputation is for placing in that office. Susman is another beast, and your main selling point to the USAOs would be your substantive litigation experience. I actually met someone who had worked for Susman before transitioning to SDNY, but I'm not sure how easy it would be.

That being said, you should also consider whether investigations are your cup of tea, and if not, that might be a reason to go with one of those other firms. But DPW, PW and the rest all have a huge variety of work so you can try to mix up commercial lit and investigations rather than going all or nothing.

In terms of biglaw, Wachtell is the top option if you're aiming for SDNY/EDNY based on recent hiring trends. (Although this could change in the new administration.) DPW and PW are also very good options given the amount of former AUSAs there. Also consider white collar lit boutiques; their partners are mainly former AUSAs as well and they tend to give more substantive experience than just run-of-the-mill investigations.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm

quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you're coming of a D.Ct./CoA clerkship combo, does it make any sense to come litigate at DPW if your goal is SDNY AUSA?

Or is it better to go to one of Wachtell/Patterson/Susman?

I would say DPW (or the large peers like PW) for SDNY or EDNY. The investigation experience that you'll get is viewed favorably and there's a reputation for placing in those offices. It's also really helpful to have former SDNY partners vouching for you if you are shooting for SDNY. I'm not really sure how much Wachtell or Patterson do in the investigation sphere or what their reputation is for placing in that office. Susman is another beast, and your main selling point to the USAOs would be your substantive litigation experience. I actually met someone who had worked for Susman before transitioning to SDNY, but I'm not sure how easy it would be.

That being said, you should also consider whether investigations are your cup of tea, and if not, that might be a reason to go with one of those other firms. But DPW, PW and the rest all have a huge variety of work so you can try to mix up commercial lit and investigations rather than going all or nothing.

In terms of biglaw, Wachtell is the top option if you're aiming for SDNY/EDNY based on recent hiring trends. (Although this could change in the new administration.) DPW and PW are also very good options given the amount of former AUSAs there. Also consider white collar lit boutiques; their partners are mainly former AUSAs as well and they tend to give more substantive experience than just run-of-the-mill investigations.

Yes, forgot to add that white collar boutiques like Lankler, Morvillo, etc. are good alternatives.

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:11 pm

Are exit options substantially different out of the three major corporate groups? I keep hearing folks in Credit have a much harder time finding good in-house opportunities at F500 or financial institutions. Is there truth to this? Or can a Credit associate who knows how to sell herself land a great in-house gig?

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:39 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry, poor choice of words. That was directed at the culture of large firm litigation rather than DPW. It's just not great to be a junior litigator at a huge firm, between massive discovery doc reviews and investigation doc reviews. Like I said, I would choose it over its peers if I was doing it all over again though. I don't have any gripes specific to the firm--just the nature of the beast.


Can you speak to the lockstep salary/bonus system? At least from the outside, it sounds great. Do you feel like that had an impact on people either gunning for extra billable hours and/or people feeling like they could slack off because their bonus wasn't riding on how much time they put in?


OP (corp junior) here.

I certainly don't gun for extra billables. Haven't seen anyone else do so either (at least at my level. Maybe seniors pursuing partnership would). If I seek out new work, it's cuz I'm bored (stuck at office anyway, might as well be doing something) or want to work with certain seniors or on a particular matter. Don't think about billables at all.

I don't think anyone here slacks off, but I will say none of us keep track of our billables or feel anxious when we're slow.
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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are exit options substantially different out of the three major corporate groups? I keep hearing folks in Credit have a much harder time finding good in-house opportunities at F500 or financial institutions. Is there truth to this? Or can a Credit associate who knows how to sell herself land a great in-house gig?

OP here.

I haven't worked in all three of the big groups but have more knowledge re Credit and M&A just based on my own rotations and friend group.

Our credit practice is still largely lender-side, so the bulk of our departures are to other firms in different cities or bank in-house. Credit funds are becoming more of a thing too as hedge/PE funds build out their platforms into that space. But I definitely think credit associates can secure good in house positions with public companies based on the offers/calls that the seniors get. Debt financing is a big part of a company's operations (varies depending on industry). They need lawyers who can navigate/manage credit facilities etc...I do think M&A associates enjoy more in-house opportunities at an earlier stage though. If you wanna go in-house before your 4th year then It's hard to beat M&A. The exit options even out across the groups once you're more senior.

If you wanna go in-house at a tech company or something then capital markets/M&A is probably better than Credit. Those companies (other than the giant ones who now sell hardware and devices) typically don't have assets that can secure a loan (I.e., most of their value lies in code or something) so they raise funds via equity

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:10 pm

Any tips on stamina/staying "on" for months at a time? I'm slowly realizing that I've gotten this far by being good at working really hard in short bursts/performing under pressure, but I've never had to put in a lot of hours at a high level day in day out for years at a time. How do I adjust from chillin and getting 8+ hours of sleep as a law student to the biglaw grind?

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Re: DPW Associates Taking Q's

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any tips on stamina/staying "on" for months at a time? I'm slowly realizing that I've gotten this far by being good at working really hard in short bursts/performing under pressure, but I've never had to put in a lot of hours at a high level day in day out for years at a time. How do I adjust from chillin and getting 8+ hours of sleep as a law student to the biglaw grind?


Not a DPW associate, but I think this question can be answered by anyone. You just kind of do. I remember my first 8 hours billable day where I was behind my comp for 8 hours, no social events, no bs trainings, just legal work. I was exhausted. You just kind of build stamina over time. I can easily bill 8 hours behind my computer and not break a sweat. Now, the bad days are 13/14 hour days where you have no phone calls, no meetings, no depositions, just work behind the comp.

The best days for me are where I have like 7 billables behind a comp and like 2-3 in calls/meetings/depositions. Also, doc review is pretty easy when your first start out. I miss having it.




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