If you can't scrap up something, you're not trying hard enough.
well if you weren't getting any work, how would you go about getting it? i'm going to put you on the spot here and say that since you work at a law firm, i expect you to have some interesting insights. i totally forgot about that when i said you'd be surprised.
I got hired into the corporate department of my firm (large, regional firm). When I was out house hunting a few weeks ago I had drinks with a friend at the firm who is a class ahead of me. He told me things are very slow. He leaves at 5 pm everyday and is not tracking to make his hours.
Later that weekend I had lunch with some other friends in the litigation group. They said that they are plenty busy and had heard that corporate was slow as well. In fact, they just hired several more lateral litigation associates. When I told them that I was worried about making my hours they said they are happy to give me as much work as I can handle. I will be taking them up on that even though I've not much interest in litigation.
I have another friend that has been in practice for a year now in their firm's environmental group (branch office of a national firm). Their group is similarly situated and they also went to litigation (busy) and within a few months even had the opportunity to argue a motion in court.
Bottom line, from my limited data points, if you want to make your hours it definitely seems possible as long as you are flexible and proactive in getting work. I think my only worry is that if litigation is so hot that I might get pigeonholed.