Difference between 1st and 2nd year

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Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:01 pm

I'm a 2017 grad, at a large firm in a somewhat niche transactional practice group, only 1st year in the group. Only 1 2nd year and 2 3rd years in the group. 2nd year associate is getting pounded with work since November and still getting daily availability requests. Not sure how busy 3rd years are. I'm at <50% utilization and haven't received any availability requests for 2 months. I've asked around for work but people tell me there isn't much work to go around to 1st years.

The people I've worked with haven't had many problems with my work product (at least they haven't told me so) and I've received follow up work from them when logical to do so. No missed deadlines or properly asked and received extensions if I needed more time. I've asked for feedback after completing every project, but only get the usual "you're a first year, don't worry about it, you're still learning." Responsive to emails, phone calls, etc. Enthusiastic about getting and doing work. I.e. don't think attitude is a problem.

Should I be worried that it's night and day between the 2nd year and me? I understand there are things clients/partners just don't want me doing but is it normal to hound a 2nd year associate when the 1st year is very slow? Am I a just a paranoid stub/1st year?

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Pokemon

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Pokemon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:10 pm

You may be paranoid. Typically when people are really busy they do not want to explain things so they will prefer a two-year. First years cost an associate more time via training etc,

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:11 pm

Could be that your clients only allow one associate per level or one associate period on the bill. That happens at my firm a lot and can lead to the person a year above being way to busy for only that reason.

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:23 pm

Both of you make good points. Should I just keep doing what I'm doing then and continue asking (non-annoyingly) for work?

eta: I've also asked the 2nd year if they needed help but haven't heard back yet.

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:34 pm

Especially in more specialized groups, the gulf between what a first year and second year can competently handle with the same amount of guidance is enormous. I wouldn't worry but would keep trying to get more work.

ETA: Oh, you're just now a first year, meaning you started ~4 months ago. Yeah, don't worry, you likely just don't know enough yet.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:49 pm

I also wouldn’t ask for feedback on every single assignment.

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:02 pm

unlicensedpotato wrote:Especially in more specialized groups, the gulf between what a first year and second year can competently handle with the same amount of guidance is enormous. I wouldn't worry but would keep trying to get more work.

ETA: Oh, you're just now a first year, meaning you started ~4 months ago. Yeah, don't worry, you likely just don't know enough yet.


Got it. I somewhat suspected this but didn't know if it was actually the case or I was convincing myself that everything is fine when it's not.

RaceJudicata wrote:I also wouldn’t ask for feedback on every single assignment.


I meant to say after I finished a large project with a lot smaller assignments or a closing but point taken.

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:25 pm

idk i'm a stub and i only billed like 300 hours TOTAL for Sept - Dec. I'm finding it hard to believe I'll be able to get over 2000 this year. Hoping things change.

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:idk i'm a stub and i only billed like 300 hours TOTAL for Sept - Dec. I'm finding it hard to believe I'll be able to get over 2000 this year. Hoping things change.

Just under 200 for me over the same time span. I’m sure it’ll pick up for us

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:idk i'm a stub and i only billed like 300 hours TOTAL for Sept - Dec. I'm finding it hard to believe I'll be able to get over 2000 this year. Hoping things change.

Just under 200 for me over the same time span. I’m sure it’ll pick up for us


Same here. I'm sure it'll pick up but even if it doesn't we can do pro bono to get some hours. Either way, by our 2nd year we'll be ok hours-wise.

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:idk i'm a stub and i only billed like 300 hours TOTAL for Sept - Dec. I'm finding it hard to believe I'll be able to get over 2000 this year. Hoping things change.

Just under 200 for me over the same time span. I’m sure it’ll pick up for us


Stub year billable hours don't matter in the slightest. Also, I billed ~150 hours for January + February at the start of my first full year and still EASILY made my hours by year end. Enjoy the slow times, because the reckoning will come.

Saltnpeppa1

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Re: Difference between 1st and 2nd year

Postby Saltnpeppa1 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:14 pm

I am a recent second year that was in exactly the same position as OP (i.e. one associate one year above me). OP, don't worry if you're aren't revving up with work yet. From what I figured out during my first year, the lack of work is most likely due to (1) clients not wanting first years on their projects, (2) partners are comfortable with second-year/don't want to explain new stuff, and/or (3) a rotation of work has not become available for you to jump in. Partners/senior associates will slowly become more comfortable and eventually include you in stuff. Just make yourself available a do good work.

Don't worry about it.



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