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Author Topic: Life As An Associate  (Read 170265 times)

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1670 on: July 29, 2008, 11:40:23 AM »
Okay, I have a very serious question.  I just finished 8 weeks as a summer associate, and to be honest, I didn't enjoy it all that much.  The events were stressful, and there was a lot of pressure to attend them (small summer class).  I liked the work, and I liked the other members of my summer class.  I felt like a lot of the attorneys were two-faced... for instance, I got positive feedback from someone on a project, and then I went to my midsummer review and that person had slammed me because I had asked for an hour extension.  An HOUR.  Another partner gave me a negative comment in my review because, when asked for an "update," I had sent an email instead of giving an oral report.  WTF?  How could I have known she wanted an oral report?  Is it normal to get such nitpicky comments in reviews like this?

Do I just not like Biglaw practice, or is it the firm? 


As I understand it, while your particular criticisms are not the norm, it is somewhat common in pretty much any law firm whenever they are doing a review to come up with random stuff to critique you on.  Associates and partners are often instructed to think of at least one negative to critique us on, so you may see something as trivial as "asked for a one hour extension" because that's literally all that that person could say about you in terms of criticisms, and the rest is probably all positive.  So take that for what its worth.


I second this. I've worked in three different law firms and a legal aid thus far and have had very different experiences at each. One of my summer firms was just as you described yours and I can honestly say that they aren't all like this. There are places where the behavior outlined above goes against the grain of the corporate culture, and while every law firm will work you long hours, you want to be in a place where people treat and evaluate you fairly. You want a place that facilitates your professional development.

It's a tough market, so I am not saying that this is going to be easy (or not somewhat risky), but I think you should talk to your classmates who've had positive experiences at their firms and interview with those firms (if you can) through 3L OCI.

It's obviously true that a firm that puts on a great summmer program isn't guaranteed to treat you so well after you sign your name on the dotted line, but it has to be better than the place that treats you unfairly from the outset.

And, as others have mentioned, there's public interest and government work if you decide the firm thing really isn't for you.

Good luck!
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

Budlaw

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1671 on: July 29, 2008, 06:55:09 PM »
Hey y'all, is anyone on here applying to the GA Bar? Need to get all my stuff together but I heard the process is an 8-month-long mess. True?

Only takes about 12 weeks once they get it. Watch out for deadlines though. They are a lot different than most other jurisdictions. Example: Normal deadline for the July exam is early December.

But...they have a "late deadline" that goes until March. I think they just want more money.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1672 on: July 30, 2008, 05:53:59 AM »
Hey y'all, is anyone on here applying to the GA Bar? Need to get all my stuff together but I heard the process is an 8-month-long mess. True?

Only takes about 12 weeks once they get it. Watch out for deadlines though. They are a lot different than most other jurisdictions. Example: Normal deadline for the July exam is early December.

But...they have a "late deadline" that goes until March. I think they just want more money.

Thanks. I am hoping to take it in Feb, but I don't know if I will get everything together by then. I've got the fingerprint cards, but getting the actual fingerprints might be a challenge with me being in London. Florida was going to let me do mine at the Embassy or at any UK police station, but I think GA is more strict. I was hoping to at least be able to say that I am registered to take the GA Bar when I apply for ATL jobs. We'll see if that works out for me.
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1673 on: August 14, 2008, 08:33:38 PM »
Episode from court today on a pro bono case:

Sit in the back of the courtroom and wait for about an hour while the clerk calls everybody else on the docket...each group takes their turn...wait some more...surf the web on BlackBerry...read emails...surf the web some more...finally get called.

Take my seat at the defense table, pro se plaintiff takes his seat at the plaintiff table..."Please state your appearances for the record"...plaitiff says his name, I say my name...Judge, who surprisingly has already read the briefs, turns to pro se plaintiff and says "the defense states that you did not serve the complaint through proper service...how did you serve the complaint on their client?"

Pro Se: "well I just mailed it."

Judge: [in Office Space voice] "Yeahhhhh.....see that's not proper service. I have to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction.  Case dismissed."

Burning Sands:  "Thank you, Your Honor."  And I leave.


Time spent waiting in court - $600 dollars
Time spent actually in front of the Judge - $25 dollars
Price of subway ticket to get to court - $2 dollars
Winning a motion without even making a single argument - Priceless



"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Saucony Jazz

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1674 on: August 14, 2008, 08:49:23 PM »
lol lol lol...

That's tight!

lol...
You my Son and I Love You!

cui bono?

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1675 on: August 15, 2008, 12:24:52 PM »
Episode from court today on a pro bono case:

Sit in the back of the courtroom and wait for about an hour while the clerk calls everybody else on the docket...each group takes their turn...wait some more...surf the web on BlackBerry...read emails...surf the web some more...finally get called.

Take my seat at the defense table, pro se plaintiff takes his seat at the plaintiff table..."Please state your appearances for the record"...plaitiff says his name, I say my name...Judge, who surprisingly has already read the briefs, turns to pro se plaintiff and says "the defense states that you did not serve the complaint through proper service...how did you serve the complaint on their client?"

Pro Se: "well I just mailed it."

Judge: [in Office Space voice] "Yeahhhhh.....see that's not proper service. I have to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction.  Case dismissed."

Burning Sands:  "Thank you, Your Honor."  And I leave.


Time spent waiting in court - $600 dollars
Time spent actually in front of the Judge - $25 dollars
Price of subway ticket to get to court - $2 dollars
Winning a motion without even making a single argument - Priceless





hilarious! 
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1676 on: August 27, 2008, 08:01:06 PM »
I often wonder exactly whose interests the ABA looks out for:

ABA Gives Thumbs Up to Legal Outsourcing
Anthony Lin
08-27-2008

The American Bar Association has waded into the debate over legal outsourcing with an ethics opinion blessing the outsourcing trend as "a salutary one for our globalized economy."

A growing number of legal process outsourcing (LPO) companies have sprouted up in recent years to offer the services of lawyers abroad to handle the most labor-intensive aspects of U.S. legal matters, especially document review in large-scale litigation. India has been the most popular destination for legal outsourcing because it has a common-law system and English is widely spoken.

Companies operating there have hailed the advisory by the ABA's ethics committee as a major step forward for their nascent industry.

"Several of us were waiting for this," said Ram Vasudevan, the chief executive officer of New York-based Quislex, which has 170 lawyers in Hyderabad, India. "This lays out the framework for how to do this."

Ethics Opinion 08-451, dated Aug. 5 but announced by the ABA Tuesday, states that sending legal work overseas is ethically permissible as long as the lawyer doing the outsourcing takes steps to ensure the protection of client confidences and preservation of attorney-client privilege. The advisory also states that attorneys should check to make sure that foreign lawyers are suitably trained and competent and that bills for outsourced work be reasonable.

Vasudevan said the major LPO companies already took all of the precautions outlined by the ABA but said the advisory would help set industry standards for newcomers and also comfort potential clients still wary of outsourcing legal work.

David Perla, the co-founder and co-CEO of New York-based Pangea3, one of the largest LPOs with 300 lawyers in Mumbai, India, said the positive language of the ABA's opinion was particularly heartening. A handful of state bar groups, including the New York City Bar Association, have already signed off on overseas outsourcing, but none has been as enthusiastic as the ABA, he said.

The advisory noted that outsourcing "affords the lawyers the ability to reduce their costs and often the cost to the client to the extent that the individuals or entities providing outsourced services can do so at lower rates than the lawyers' own staff." The ABA also said outsourcing created new opportunities for smaller firms to handle larger matters.

Such language would "lessen the fear and uncertainty that opponents of this are spreading," said Perla.

The most visible opponents to overseas outsourcing of legal services are U.S. lawyers performing document review work on a contract basis. Many temporary lawyers, who generally earn a fraction of the pay of full-time associates at large firms, fear that outsourcing to India will drive their wages down even further.

Though lawyers, they are as vociferous in their opposition to outsourcing as union members. After Perla compared the skills of U.S. contract lawyers unfavorably with those of Pangea3 lawyers in an interview with the Law Journal earlier this year, he was vilified in online message boards and blogs frequented by contract lawyers. The blog "Temporary Attorney: the Sweatshop Edition" called Perla an "anti-American traitor."

Scott Bullock, a contract lawyer who has blogged about the woeful economics of non-big-firm practice, said, "It's just preposterous that we have to go to an American law school and pass a bar exam and then see our jobs shipped overseas. Why even require people to go to law school?"

But Bullock said he was not surprised to see the ABA back outsourcing. He said the bar group is widely perceived among contract lawyers as representing the interests of wealthy partners at large law firms.

Vasudevan said the perception of job loss in the legal profession due to outsourcing is exaggerated.

"I don't think we have taken any legal jobs away," he said. "We've made the process more efficient, but there is still plenty of work."

LPOs face some potential obstacles to continued growth. The number of new entrants in the industry has made recruiting of well-qualified Indian lawyers more competitive. The expansion of the Indian profession and a possible opening of the now-closed market to international law firms may rob LPOs of their best staff down the road.

But the trends so far are positive, said Pangea3's nonexecutive chairman, Lawrence G. Graev, the former law firm head whose private equity fund is now a major backer of the LPO. He said Pangea3 had its best month ever in July and that the company was benefiting from a critical mass of a strong and seasoned staff in India, and greater acceptance among U.S.-based clients. He said the ABA's ethics opinion would only increase client interest.

"It's like a perfect storm," he said, "for us."


http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202424085117

naturallybeyoutiful

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1677 on: August 29, 2008, 01:33:22 AM »
Time spent waiting in court - $600 dollars
Time spent actually in front of the Judge - $25 dollars
Price of subway ticket to get to court - $2 dollars
Winning a motion without even making a single argument - Priceless
:D

Harvard Law: What, like it's hard?

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1678 on: August 29, 2008, 05:51:21 AM »
And the fall brings long hours again. Two hundred hour months, here I come! :(
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

"Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application"

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1679 on: August 30, 2008, 03:17:59 PM »
Quick question:  I drafted part of a brief this summer, and a partner just told me he'd like to put my name on it.  Anyone know if it's possible to put a summer associate's name on a brief, or would I should look?  The Court rules?  ABA rules?

Incidentally, this partner works at my second firm--not my miserable first firm.  I LOVED my second firm so so so much!!!  It's a national midlaw firm known for being nice, and it had the specialty practice I was looking for... but I loved all the work I was doing there.  It didn't have a real summer program--just great work, great people, which is all I really wanted anyway.  The fact that this partner even thought about including my name on this brief is just so indicative of the awesome firm culture.  I was depressed the weekend after I left because I didn't get to go back to work on Monday.

The bummer is, they don't hire right out of school, so I am stuck doing 3L OCI.  As you might expect given the economy, it's particularly miserable this year.  Plus, it's like walking a tightrope trying to explain why I didn't like Firm #1 without dissing it, and trying to express my liking for Firm #2 without being too enthusiastic... since I don't  want the firms to think I will just leave them for Firm #2.  Argh!

I am officially a law school graduate : )