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First-Year Corporate Lawyer Can't Believe His Job Is THIS Soul Crushing
BI ^ | 11/28/2012 | Law & Order

Posted on 11/28/2012 12:20:34 PM PST by GlockThe Vote

"You know it's going to be boring, but you just don't appreciate how boring it actually is," one first-year associate at a large New York law firm tells us.

The young lawyer describes long days of reading dense papers, which he only barely understands, and which seem to have no bearing on any actual case.

"Doc review is the most boring experience of your life, but strangely nerve-wracking because you know you're messing it up, but you just can't bring yourself to care that you're messing it up. And you're probably going to mess it up even if you did care, so [screw] it, why even bother," he says.

This is why Biglaw is often described as "soul crushing" and why even as many lawyers struggle to get jobs one recent grad is complaining about the one he has.

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: lawyer; legalese; whiner; woeisme
Big Law Firms are mostly a racket. I work for myself solo and like what I do. I dont make nearly what these guys do, but I would hate working at one of those slave shops.
1 posted on 11/28/2012 12:20:39 PM PST by GlockThe Vote
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To: GlockThe Vote

Is he getting a paycheck in this economy?

Tell him to shut up and be thankful.


2 posted on 11/28/2012 12:26:24 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: GlockThe Vote

for later


3 posted on 11/28/2012 12:26:43 PM PST by Doctor 2Brains
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To: GlockThe Vote

“...So I get there; from roughly 9:30 to 10:15 I check my email, read the Internet; then I do whatever meaningless task I’ve been assigned for the day. And I haven’t actually even had that much work, so it’s not that I can complain that I’m working too hard, because I’m really not.”

That sounds very Office Space-ish.

It also sounds like a very inefficient business model. What’s the point of hiring young talent if you’re not going to keep them busy? I get that they do the grunt work, but if there’s not enough grunt work to keep everyone busy, shouldn’t they lay a few people off?


4 posted on 11/28/2012 12:28:29 PM PST by DemforBush (100% Ex-Democrat.)
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To: GlockThe Vote
The young lawyer describes long days of reading dense papers, which he only barely understands, and which seem to have no bearing on any actual case.

"Doc review is the most boring experience of your life, but strangely nerve-wracking because you know you're messing it up, but you just can't bring yourself to care that you're messing it up. And you're probably going to mess it up even if you did care, so [screw] it, why even bother," he says.

 

Poor slob. He ought to take a crack at reading the 13,000 plus pages related to Obama Care.  Then lets talk. I wonder if Pelosi has ever read it? As we know, she said we have to pass the thing so we'll know what's in it.

I truly doubt anyone has ever read this crap.

5 posted on 11/28/2012 12:30:52 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: F15Eagle

Agreed - I work solo and am the AP / AR / Sales ? Marketing / HR etc and the lawyer to boot!

I like what I do since i deal w the clients and cases beginning to end on my own terms.

These big law firms are big rackets. They rip off clients like crazy - overpay and overbill associates, etc.


6 posted on 11/28/2012 12:31:15 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote

Boring...he should stand a mid-watch on the back end of a carrier in the north sea.


7 posted on 11/28/2012 12:41:16 PM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
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To: GlockThe Vote

My husband’s cousin is a lawyer. Says that 75% of the job is reading. I read once that lawyers have the highest amount of quitters in the business field. There’s more former lawyers around than any other professional occupation. Not sure if it’s true, but my husband and I used to eat at an upscale restaurant, and our favorite server was a former lawyer. He told us he was never happier. He HATED law, and for that reason, too much reading. Doesn’t anyone tell these people at the jump?


8 posted on 11/28/2012 12:41:46 PM PST by RushIsTheMan (Liberals lie)
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To: F15Eagle
Exactly.
9 posted on 11/28/2012 12:41:58 PM PST by teflon9 (Political campaigns should follow Johnny Mercer's advice--Accentuate the positive.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Section 1555: "No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act (or any amendments made by this Act), or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendment), and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs."

1) Because of the rush to passage, no Congressional history exists that would describe the meaning or explain the purpose of this section, thus no one is sure why it's in the law, who put it there, or what it means.

2) The language is ambiguous. There are two possible interpretations of the language:

Interpretation #1: The placement of the comma before the word "or" means that the words preceding it ("individual, company, business, nonprofit entity") are not modified by the words,"issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage."

Interpretation #2: If you disregard the placement of the comma, or otherwise disagree with the above interpretation, the entire opt-out section applies only to entities "offering group or individual health insurance coverage" -- including individuals, companies, etc.

3) Final interpretation may be left to judges if Section 1555 is used in a legal challenge.

4) Given all the mandates in the rest of the law (the totality of the law), some judges may dismiss this section, but others may not.

5) For states with health care freedom acts that challenge Obamacare in court, Section 1555's ambiguity may have to be considered and a legal interpretation made.

10 posted on 11/28/2012 12:42:06 PM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: GlockThe Vote

Why can’t he just hang a shingle and start his own?.............


11 posted on 11/28/2012 12:42:41 PM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: GlockThe Vote
Speaking of soul crushing lawyers:


12 posted on 11/28/2012 12:44:48 PM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: GlockThe Vote

Welcome to entry level jobs. It’s the sucky end of the stick where you prove you’re worthy to do interesting stuff.


13 posted on 11/28/2012 12:46:31 PM PST by discostu (Not a part of anyone's well oiled machine.)
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To: GlockThe Vote

I’m also a solo practioner; have my office on the Courthouse square in a suburban county. I thank God that He didn’t curse me with too many brains as I would likely have had the Big Firm draw me in with the lure of the large salary. And in so doing I would have sold my soul. Instead, I deal with real clients and not stacks of dry paper. For the associates at these firms, the Courtroom is a rumored place far far away. I’m in the Courtroom almost every day, and it is there that I feel more alive than anywhere else. More importantly, I am not a slave to a billable hours sheet in an office an hour’s commute away. I am free to spend time with my wife (who is an absolute saint), and I coached my sons’ sports teams. I am active in my church and in my community. Most importantly, I can post on Free Republic.

Big Law Firms are nothing but a pyramid scheme, started back in the 1960’s in California and spread later to the rest of the country. The partners in the Big Firms realized that the key to wealth was not billing more hours themselves, but instead hiring scores of young lawyers as cannon fodder out of the law schools, and then profiting off their billing hours. In order to make the scheme work, they needed the law schools to open the gates and flood the market with an annual oversupply of new lawyers. The law schools were all to keen to participate, as it allowed them to grow, too.

Thus, the Big Firm brings in a score of new lawyers each year, and sweats them to death. Many of them are then discarded five years later after they’ve been burned out, often having mental problems, divorce, and substance abuse issues. Their dead husks are replaced by the fresh young lawyers just out of law school. The really unlucky ones become “junior partners” where the cost of “buying in” to the partnership causes them to work even more hours, and for the 10 years they buy in they actually take home less money. They are tortured longer.

Like I said, it’s a pyramid scheme. I have been truly blessed by God that His plan for me was not to fall into that pit.


14 posted on 11/28/2012 12:50:15 PM PST by henkster ("The people who count the votes decide everything." -Joseph Stalin)
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To: DemforBush

Well Glock(like the name have 2 myself) it works like this. He only is billable only 10 hours a week, give him a promotion and charge 4 times as much.


15 posted on 11/28/2012 12:50:54 PM PST by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: GlockThe Vote

reminds me of the lawyer trying to prove up his fees before the judge and he asked for $300 an hour. The judge said he was too young to rate that fee..the lawyer’s associate responded but he has billed for hours far in excess of his age...


16 posted on 11/28/2012 12:52:18 PM PST by rolling_stone
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To: RushIsTheMan

Oh they’re told, but nobody ever thinks they’re going to wind up the stable boy, they always think they’re going to be the general. And if they do well eventually they do get to be the general, but you always start in the stables. Entry level in any field is the manure work. That’s what young people don’t get, when the guy explaining the reality of their field says “for every guy doing this awesome stuff that’s why you chose this field there’s a hundred doing stuff that makes your classwork seem fun” what they hear is “you’ll have a hundred guys doing all the scutwork while you get to do all the awesome stuff”. Young people are filled with dreams and even when you tell them the reality they don’t listen because they’re dreaming.


17 posted on 11/28/2012 12:53:20 PM PST by discostu (Not a part of anyone's well oiled machine.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

If somebody wrote it, then somebody read it.

You can bet when the time comes. (which means it is too late to stop it) we will find out a lot of things that are in it.

Right now some liberal jerk is sitting on something he cannot wait to spring on us.

What this man is comlaining about is that lawyers write things so that lay people cannot read it and many times lawyers cannot decipher it either.


18 posted on 11/28/2012 12:56:22 PM PST by Venturer
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To: GlockThe Vote
I work for myself solo and like what I do.


19 posted on 11/28/2012 12:57:09 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Labor unions are the Communist Party of the USA.)
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To: RushIsTheMan

The schools bs the students and set unrealistic expectations.


20 posted on 11/28/2012 12:57:40 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote
"long days of reading dense papers, which he only barely understands"

The kid is cut out for congress.

21 posted on 11/28/2012 1:01:59 PM PST by SparkyBass
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To: discostu

I hear what you’re saying. My son, fresh out of college, could only get a job putting tires on cars at Tire Barn. Dirty, exhausting work. But it was that or nothing. After nine months, he landed a job at a heating & cooling supply warehouse, and in February he will replace the shipping manager. I’m convinced he got the job because he proved that even with a college degree, he’s willing to get his hands dirty. And he also proved he’s dependable, competent and reliable. So his career is progressing.

That’s how it’s supposed to go. At Big Law, however, it appears that the dirty work is an end to itself, and it’s a deliberate plan to burn out and replace these young entry level attorneys. They are being used and discarded.


22 posted on 11/28/2012 1:04:30 PM PST by henkster ("The people who count the votes decide everything." -Joseph Stalin)
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To: henkster

The problem you run into in big law is that everybody above you in the food chain has proven to be skilled in dissecting language and redefining simple words to mean something else. So they’ve carefully crafted a system to keep them up and others down. But there’s still a path, even if it lead out the door to private practice. The key is don’t actually get burned out, people discard themselves.


23 posted on 11/28/2012 1:12:03 PM PST by discostu (Not a part of anyone's well oiled machine.)
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To: SparkyBass

True


24 posted on 11/28/2012 1:23:40 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote
This author remnds me of 3 movies:

Office Space

The Firm

The Verdict.

Soul crushing, ruined social lives, boring work, doing the grunt stuff, while the full partners make the big bucks.

25 posted on 11/28/2012 1:41:22 PM PST by boop ("I need another Cutty Sark"-LBJ)
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To: GlockThe Vote
The young lawyer describes long days of reading dense papers, which he only barely understands, and which seem to have no bearing on any actual case.
Excuse me - Isn't part of the training to become a lawyer supposed to teach them how to fully understand dense papers?
26 posted on 11/28/2012 1:46:58 PM PST by Bob
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To: SoFloFreeper

My wife’s office was in the same building as a guy like that until last year. You could really tell when that guy’s clientele were on the elevator with you. They were the ones who looked like they had no business being in an upscale hi-rise office building.


27 posted on 11/28/2012 1:48:16 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est.)
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To: GlockThe Vote
I used to do expert evaluations for a large defense firm. I was naive enough to be outraged when I realized how they would string along their clients, mostly insurance companies, way longer than necessary, just to rack up excessive and unnecessary billable hours. They had beautifully appointed offices and I'm sure they made a bundle, but they were little more than scam artists.
28 posted on 11/28/2012 1:52:05 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: GlockThe Vote; RushIsTheMan
The schools bs the students and set unrealistic expectations.

Yeah they do, and not just on law degrees.

We were interviewing for a marketing/web content type person about 3 years ago. Pretty entry-level kind of role, paid between 30-35K right out of college.

We had a fresh grad come in to interview and she told us according to her school counselors, people in these kind of roles should be making 60-65K. We told her only after they have years of experience and if she expected that sort of salary as a fresh grad, they were talking about someewhere other than Houston, TX.

She was good, I'll give her that, but we passed on her, she would have been forever looking for that 60-65K position and would have left us in a heartbeat.

29 posted on 11/28/2012 1:54:24 PM PST by RikaStrom ("To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ~Voltaire)
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To: hinckley buzzard

What these large firms get away with is ridiculous, but i blame the clients for permitting it.

Many mid level and smaller firms would give double the service at half the cost and get better outcomes if givin the chance.


30 posted on 11/28/2012 2:01:02 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: henkster

Yup. I work for myself and cant imagine being in one of those sweat shops.


31 posted on 11/28/2012 2:09:49 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote

Been practicing for 20 years. Started out in a 3 lawyer shop, worked for a big firm, and now am with a mid-size (for my area) firm of 20 lawyers. When I started out, I took a paycut from my last paralegal position, which sucked, but because it was a small firm, I got to do a little of everything and figure out what I wanted to do. Made a couple lateral moves, the second to a 150 lawyer firm where I moved up the ranks and made lots of money, except when you broke it down to an hourly rate. I routinely billed over 200 hrs a month. Real time, no padding. I had one month where I billed 328 hours followed by a 283 hour month. 600 hours in just two months. I was never home. I was not happy. My wife used the opportunity to, um, “explore other options”, if you know what I mean. It just wasn’t worth it.

I am with a smaller firm now. I make good money, enough to be be happy, but I get into the office around 8:45 and leave at 5:30 almost every day, with few weekends working. My life is mine. I do mostly corporate/M&A and enjoy my job and enjoy my life with my new wife, and our two boys (and my daughter from the fisrt marriage).

I tell kids coming out of school to pass on the big firms and go to work for a smaller firm. That way, they get actual experience, work with clients, even go to court, as opposed to their friends who go to the big firms and get big bucks, but bill over 200 hrs a month, buried in paper or in the library with no client contact, no real work experience and no chance to really learn how to practice law. In the big firms, they do a partnership track review around the 3rd year. If you’ve kissed enough ass and get in with the right partners, you may be on the partnership track. If not, you will likely find yourself on the street with no income and a lifestyle dependent on an income of $125k a year... We get this 3rd year associates applying for a job... looking for $125 or 130K and they have no real legal experience. They can’t draft a pleading or a contract, they’ve never done any real work. We tell them (as do others) that they are essentially first years and that the market for them is about half (or less) than what they are asking... but they bought the big house and the mercedes and they need the big bucks to pay the bills (along with their $150K in student loans). Its sad what happens to these kids. Many end up losing everything, including spouses.

Its not a glamorous life... the life of a young associate in a big firm just plain sucks. Many turn to drugs or alcohol. It truly sucks the life out of you.


32 posted on 11/28/2012 2:26:54 PM PST by RayBob (If guns kill people, can I blame misspelled words on my keyboard?)
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To: RayBob

I started out in two little ridiculous offices before creating my own little situation. No training nothing.

Learned EVERYTHING almost on my own and by screwing up.

Now 10 years later - I handle everything, litigation, closings, liens, but the construction lit and debt collection for subs is really what keeps me going.


33 posted on 11/28/2012 2:32:48 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote
No mention of that new law firm Do-em, Screw-em, and Howe.

Also no mention of the ultimate lawyer Test! Keep in mind that this was written in 6/11/2001, or at least that's the date on my file for it.

The Lawyer Test

Name the Law School drop-out

Patrick Henry: Tried 1,100 cases from age 19—31 ... Governor of the State of Virginia.

John Jay & John Marshall: Two of the most famous Supreme Court Justices at the foundation of the Republic.

Daniel Webster: Sec. of State. 1840-1842, son of Noah Webster the organizer of the first American Dictionary. A litigator so feared that other lawyer’s would withdraw rather than face Daniel Webster in court.

Abraham Lincoln & Steven F. Douglas: Remember the Lincoln / Douglas debates... Lincoln spoke for 90 minutes. Douglas rebutted for three hours...... image a politician today, saying anything cogent for 9 minute's.

Salman P. Chase: Sec. of State or Treasure during Abraham Lincoln Civil War administration.

Clarence Darrow: Chicago Attorney, The name most closely associated with the aggressive defense of the disenfranchised and the dispossessed.

Robert Morley: The head of the American Bar Association 1953-54.

Senator Strom Thurman: (Remember this article is from 2001, and Strom was very much alive) Who apparently was at the constitutional convention he’s been around so long. Is still a Licensed member of the South Carolina Bar Association.

Answer is Clarence Darrow.

(None of the other’s went to a law school)

Now you sir; would you prefer to have your rights defended by the likes of Patrick Henry or Clarence Darrow, or would you prefer a public government schooled trained attorney like Richard Nixon, H.R. Hallderman or John Mitchell or even impeached William Jefferson Bly Clinton./font color

34 posted on 11/28/2012 2:43:18 PM PST by Stanwood_Dave ("Testilying." Cop's don't lie, they just Testily{ing} as taught in their respected Police Academy.)
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To: Stanwood_Dave

Different times, different national charachter.


35 posted on 11/28/2012 3:00:03 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote

if it weren’t for lawyers, we wouldn’t need lawyers


36 posted on 11/28/2012 3:22:51 PM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: paul51

Everyone hates lawyers until you need one.


37 posted on 11/28/2012 3:33:14 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote
Everyone hates lawyers until you need one

That's when you learn to hate them even more. like I said, if it weren't for lawyers, we wouldn't need lawyers. I also love how lawyers talk about billable hours. Most people get paid based on production and what they actually accomplish. Lawyers expect to get paid for hours, productive / useful, or not.

38 posted on 11/28/2012 3:38:56 PM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: paul51

There is no easy way to do it since there are so many variables out of our control when it comes to litigation.

Many things are flat fee like will, closing, DWI or traffic matter, etc.

Most of my work is on contingency.


39 posted on 11/28/2012 3:50:05 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: paul51
I also love how lawyers talk about billable hours. Most people get paid based on production and what they actually accomplish. Lawyers expect to get paid for hours, productive / useful, or not.

That reminds me of the joke about the young lawyer who died and was arguing with the devil about he was too young to die. The devil says, "Well, it shows here on my list you're 87 years old." The lawyer replies, "Whoa, I'm only 42. Where did you get the idea I was 87 years old?"

The devil replied, "We added up your billable hours."

40 posted on 11/28/2012 4:02:08 PM PST by RightField (one of the obstreperous citizens insisting on incorrect thinking - C. Krauthamer)
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To: RayBob
I tell kids coming out of school to pass on the big firms and go to work for a smaller firm. That way, they get actual experience, work with clients, even go to court, as opposed to their friends who go to the big firms and get big bucks, but bill over 200 hrs a month, buried in paper or in the library with no client contact, no real work experience and no chance to really learn how to practice law.

It's not just in law. Software development is the same way. You go work for a small operation, and you're doing everything from doing client presentations, writing documentation, writing big pieces of software. Go to a big operation, and they're likely to pigeonhole you into a very narrow specialty.

41 posted on 11/28/2012 4:10:43 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: DemforBush
if there’s not enough grunt work to keep everyone busy, shouldn’t they lay a few people off?

It's the grunt work that lands approx. 30% of a multi-million dollar settlement. What have they got to lose by keeping him on?

As a side note, have you noticed the increasing number of attorneys advertising "if you've ever been ........." regarding a class action lawsuit? Keep this in mind, that law firm collected 30% of the settlement while all the alleged plaintiffs merely got dollars............

42 posted on 11/28/2012 4:13:08 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (Jab her with a harpoon.....)
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To: GlockThe Vote

When I was about 13 I thought I would become a lawyer, mainly from watching Perry Mason on TV. I quickly realized how incredibly boring lawyering is when I took a look at some law books. To this day I go into a complete state of ennui just looking at a law book.


43 posted on 11/28/2012 5:00:48 PM PST by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: henkster
hiring scores of young lawyers as cannon fodder out of the law schools, and then profiting off their billing hours. (snip) Thus, the Big Firm brings in a score of new lawyers each year, and sweats them to death. Many of them are then discarded five years later after they’ve been burned out, often having mental problems, divorce, and substance abuse issues.

Some law firms do that with their paralegals, too -- I know some great paralegals, very qualified and excellent at what they do, but are they really worth $150/hour??

44 posted on 11/28/2012 7:33:58 PM PST by Fast Moving Angel (A moral wrong is not a civil right: No religious sanction of an irreligious act.)
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To: Hot Tabasco

Dollars? I have a class action check for 14 cents. That’s right, 14 cents. The lawyers got over $600,000.


45 posted on 11/28/2012 9:22:52 PM PST by The Truth Will Make You Free
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To: Hot Tabasco

Dollars? I have a class action check for 14 cents. That’s right, 14 cents. The lawyers got over $600,000.


46 posted on 11/28/2012 9:22:52 PM PST by The Truth Will Make You Free
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