Lawyer thread

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Jax Teller, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    Sent the email 5 minutes ago. Just venting. Obviously happy to have work and be where I am at, just slightly annoying change in my work life.
     
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  2. Oranjello

    Oranjello Well-Known Member
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    When I'm slow or sense I'll have availability soon, I send an email. Late April or early May, I probably sent 3 of those emails a week. Work has picked up now, but last week I sent 1 I think (weeks WFH blur together). Three emails looking for work over a 2 month span is not a lot, and not something I'd worry about but every firm is different. Until they get a report on your hours, they may not know you're slow unless you tell em. Also good to have a paper trail, but not like that would do you any good in a law firm
     
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  3. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    that is good perspective. My other issue is the one partner who has been a bit 'checked out' since covid forced us all home. He was giving me tons of work (commercial trucking defense). I asked for some work 2 weeks ago, got some assignments, sent work back, circled back a couple times, and still don't really have any movement on the work I was given. Tough to ask him specifically for more work when he isn't being quite responsive regarding prior work.
     
  4. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    If he's doing trucking work, he's got less work to do right now. Either way, still ask him if you can help with anything. I think individually asking partners once a week (Partner 1 Monday, 2 Wednesday, 3 Friday, 4 Monday, 5 Wednesday, 1 Friday, etc.) is probably a better idea than sending an email to all five three times in two months.
     
    #10205 wes tegg, May 19, 2020
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  5. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    appreciate the poorly formatted advice
     
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  6. Z

    Z Well-Known Member
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    Maybe I’m simple but the keys always are facts and venue. Want a big verdict, have one. Want a huge verdict, have both.

    I just don’t get into whatever is the new Plaintiff shtick.
     
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  7. Nelson

    Nelson Can somebody please get Ja Rule on the phone
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    Gardened today. Cooked a pork butt. Cleaned a bit. Played FIFA. Rode the peloton. Drafted an indemnity claim for an hour.

    :notobamanotbad:
     
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  8. Ray McKigney

    Ray McKigney Feel my ubiquity
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    :clap:
     
  9. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    Lawddddd
     
  10. Sammy Meatballs

    Sammy Meatballs Well-Known Member
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    Goldberg and his partner are two of the best Plaintiffs lawyers out there and I respect the shit out of them. The way they’re trying 8 figure trucking cases in 3 days is amazing. They’re also genuinely good guys.

    Keenan is, at this point, a blowhard who wants to just sell his books.
     
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  11. El Tiburon

    El Tiburon Well-Known Member
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    I couldn’t read the full letter because I don’t subscribe. But if Goldberg‘a point is that the Reptile technique is a crock of shit and big verdicts are happening because insurers are being stupid about which cases they decide to try, then I’m on board with him.
     
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  12. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    That’s exactly it.
     
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  13. CoastalOrange

    CoastalOrange Well-Known Member
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    At least you seemingly grew out of your idiocy. I took a class for the LSAT. But for the Bar exam I borrowed someone's book and partied my ass off until around the second week of July. Studied for 3 days then partied the weekend. Then zoned in for about 2 weeks of studying between 10 am and 6 pm. Still passed, though no idea how. Someone once asked if I ever checked my score and a) I didn't know that was a thing and b) even if it is, I don't want to know because part of me assumes there was a mistake and I didn't actually pass.

    This kind of lends credence to what Big Meech was saying a few pages back abt being in the office.
     
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  14. bwi2

    bwi2 Not affiliated with BWI
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    sounds like you did it right; a perfect score on the bar examination is right on the pass line
     
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  15. Z

    Z Well-Known Member
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    I bought BamaNug 's books and started studying for the bar about 3 weeks beforehand. I worked all summer.

    Don't know what I made, don't care.
     
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  16. Gallant Knight

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    We have one with State Farm where our client has a broken ankle and got a neck fusion. Liability is good. she went to a chiro for 3 visits for a car wreck 2.5 years before my wreck

    State Farm has a $250k policy

    We mediated it last week and State Farm offered $6k and the mediator said that State Farm just told their lawyer to go try it and if he comes in under $250k they’ll consider it a win
     
  17. Bo Pelinis

    Bo Pelinis WE GO HARD ON EARTH
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    Yeah I studied my ass off for the bar for 8 weeks because of being terrified of failing.
     
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  18. Gallant Knight

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    I failed the bar because I didn’t study/thought I was the smartest guy ever

    best thing that ever happened to me
     
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  19. CoastalOrange

    CoastalOrange Well-Known Member
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    It's one of those things that I look back on and think, "You got really lucky" which is quickly followed by, "You are a fucking idiot."
     
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  20. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    Definitely for new associates that are still doing projects/assignments. Once you get to a position where you're running your own cases, there's always something to do.

    But that takes a while. I think for 4-5 years I was like bro and jello (lol), needing assignments and annoying the fuck out of partners asking for work. But once you demonstrate that you know what you're doing (it takes a bit), you can stop asking for work. But it's super frustrating.
     
  21. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    Keeping with the theme of bitching about work...

    My secretary went on maternity leave right as the shit hit the fan, about the end of March. Since then, I haven't had a legal assistant and have been serving my own discovery, sending my own correspondence, basically all administrative tasks except for filing documents. It sucks, but I'm just billing the hell out of it. Not trying to raise a stink given the situation, but still...

    Finally, they've assigned me the firm administrator -- who does not know how to convert Word docs to PDF. I'm baffled.
     
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  22. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    I don't disagree, although I'd say it is one of the very few drawbacks so far. Everything is a balance. I'd like to go back to the office soon. At the same time, I think instituting a certain amount of work from home days per month for associates would be a nice touch.
     
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  23. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    You don't get your score back in TN, which I think is crazy. But I agree it does not matter as long as you pass.

    Now that more states are UBE states, most people will get scores back (as I did for Colorado).

    I remember being asked by a friend's g/f if I really should be drinking this much on the July 4th before my first bar exam :leo:
     
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  24. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    Agree with this completely. I just joined this firm 8 months ago and graduated law school in 2017. The other associates have been there 4+ years and are seemingly running their own cases and probably have no issues keeping busy. I understand how it goes.
     
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  25. Sammy Meatballs

    Sammy Meatballs Well-Known Member
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    I have an assistant who has never been a paralegal. She has never even been a legal assistant.

    Needless to say, things are going wonderfully.

    I’m absolutely mortified of what’s going to happen when we get down to trial prep and the contentious scheduling wars I frequently find myself in.
     
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  26. Sammy Meatballs

    Sammy Meatballs Well-Known Member
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    Also I have somehow drawn the attorney that insists I only send her letters on yet another case.

    Not sure what I did to deserve this.
     
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  27. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    It's certainly how it goes, you have to play the game.

    But at the same time, I think it's super unfair to have your raise/bonus directly tied to your hours, and then the associate has trouble getting enough hours -- you can't go get your own clients or work, you're 100% dependent on delegation from other attorneys. Like was said earlier, just keep sending emails/leave a paper trail.
     
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  28. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    In short, insurance defense firms are glorified pyramid schemes.

    Thanks for coming to my TED talk
     
  29. Big Meech

    Big Meech I like turtles
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    To what should your bonus be tied?
     
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  30. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    A valuable piece of advice I was given as a young lawyer is that as an associate, the partners are your clients. Keep them happy, get work from them, and it pays off.
     
  31. Ray McKigney

    Ray McKigney Feel my ubiquity
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    This occurred to me when I joined the private sector back in 2012. Worked for 2 state-wide insurance defense firms and that is exactly what I realized early on.

    Thank God I moved up the ladder to big law, where everything is great! (Tongue planted firmly in cheek).
     
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  32. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    Quality of work and job performance? Which would be judged by the partners you work for? Especially for new associates, which is how the discussion initially began.

    In my experience, most law firms would prefer 2,000+ hours of average legal work to 1,800 hours of incredible legal work -- and I get it, that's more money for the firm. But insurance defense firms value quantity over quality 9/10 times. Of course, the response is that those 2,000 hours should be impeccable, which is dumb. I'm not saying completely ignore the hours, but lots of firms have that as a black and white number with no grey area.
     
  33. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    Clients pay by the hour, not by the quality of the work. Your work should be high quality to begin with. The volume isn't an impediment to that. It's kind of the opposite, really.
     
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  34. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    [​IMG]
     
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  35. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    I share my cynicism enough ITT, but coming to this realization early on eased a lot of stress in my work life. In 90-95% of my cases, I'm a glorified insurance adjuster.

    Big Meech and myself obviously have different views on the practice of law (I think he does insurance defense as well?), but those important conversations he referenced has happened once, maybe twice, in my entire legal career. I've had one trial in 8 years. 90% of my clients are large insurers/TPAs/$5M self-insured policies that perform a risk assessment and settle everything.

    My guess is that prior to insurance companies becoming such a behemoth of an industry, there were a lot more trials and you had to litigate with an "eye towards trial" much more than you do now. Now, almost everything with a big policy/high risk of exposure results in settlement.
     
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  36. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    I don't disagree, and admitted as much in my post. But a lot of times volume of work is outside of a new associate's control; and it's unfair to penalize that new associate for not billing enough hours, even if those hours are high quality.
     
  37. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    It comes down to a math problem, though. If your hours are low, your revenue is low. If your revenue is low, then you're certainly not going to get a bonus that further reduces your effective revenue.
     
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  38. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    I get it, and understand your point. I'm just saying the model is fucked up wrt new associates in that situation. If their hours are low, and they have constantly asked for work, what are they supposed to do?

    Partners struggle with hours at times, too, and there are times when the partner will perform a task that could easily be delegated to an associate in order to get easy hours. In that situation, the partner (who is making significantly more in terms of salary/equity/etc.) still receives his same compensation because he got his hours, while his associate gets the short end of the stick because he didn't bill 2,000 that year (no matter how good that associate's work was).
     
  39. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    Typically, those billable hour requirements are used for budgeting. I agree that it can be "unfair" when one person is doing higher rate, less volume work than another who is doing higher volume, low rate work. That's why it's a better idea to set revenue goals rather than hour goals. One lawyer's 1800 hours could net more than another's 2200 hours in some firms. But, if an associate is routinely not getting the expected revenue numbers because of a lack of available work, then it's a bad sign for his future well beyond the bonus. It sucks, but to be truly profitable, insurance defense firms need to operate slightly short-staffed.
     
  40. BamaNug

    BamaNug Quentin Quarantino
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    I think we're acknowledging a lot of the same points, but just have different views. I also agree that revenue should be valued more than hours, but that's not the case in my experience. And it creates these inequities.

    More often than not it's the new associate getting fucked over for things that are completely out of his control. But, you are correct in that if the associate routinely missed his hours (I would assume over the course of 2+ years), then it may be a bigger problem -- but I don't think that was the start of this convo
     
  41. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    If there's not enough work for an associate to meet the expectations of him, then the firm doesn't really need the associate.
     
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  42. SmoochieWallace

    SmoochieWallace Ipse dixit
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    Unless you are on the NYC scale or at an eat-what-you-kill firm, typical associate bonuses for years 1-3 aren't worth worrying about. I'd focus doing quality work for the senior associates/partners who have the kinds work that interests you. Establishing strong pipelines early will pay bigger dividends in the long term than scrambling to rain hours as a junior associate.
     
  43. Big Meech

    Big Meech I like turtles
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    Primarily environmental but a lot of random regulatory work.

    One of the things that most associates and many older partner types fail to grasp is the business side of a law firm. Lawyers are horrible business people for the most part. It's not how many hours you bill, but rather how much revenue you are generating. I expect associates to produce good work etc. If not, you go find a new one. Bonuses are based on revenue generated.

    Agree entirely with wes tegg - treat partners like your clients.
     
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  44. Gallant Knight

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    How big are the bonuses y’all are arguing about
     
  45. Big Meech

    Big Meech I like turtles
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    A standard (and I believe very truthful) statement you will hear frequently within partner meetings - good associates never struggle to find work.
     
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  46. Nelson

    Nelson Can somebody please get Ja Rule on the phone
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    2019 NYC biglaw scale:
    Class of 2019 – $15,000 (pro-rated)
    Class of 2018 – $15,000
    Class of 2017 – $25,000
    Class of 2016 – $50,000
    Class of 2015 – $65,000
    Class of 2014 – $80,000
    Class of 2013 – $90,000
    Class of 2012 – $100,000
    Class of 2011 – $100,000
     
  47. Gallant Knight

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    we're talking about bonuses at insurance defense firms. not in nyc for dickheads from harvard
     
  48. Oranjello

    Oranjello Well-Known Member
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    There is a disconnect in that revenue expectations are communicated indirectly through billable hour requirements. Hourly rates can fluctuate among partners and clients, making actual revenue expectations hard to discern for the associate
     
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  49. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    That’s not the bonus framework I’m working with pal
     
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