Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week 1

So, I'm not a big fan of my new job.  Well, I guess I'm not sure if it's the job I dislike or just my new boss.  He's kind of a prick.  Let me give you the first of many examples.

Monday and Tuesday, everyone was gone except for  me and Office Manager.  Paralegal was on vacation, Other Associate was sick, and my boss was out for a trial.  Monday morning, my boss came in for about half an hour to give me some things to work on, but then I didn't see anyone other than Office Manager until Wednesday morning.

Wednesday afternoon, I go to my boss with my initial drafts and questions about what I was supposed to be doing.  I hadn't done any of these things before, and he knew this, so I thought there would be some leniency when I did them wrong.  Nope.

Me: Trying to figure out what you wanted done without any direction whatsoever, asshole!!  Um, working on this.

Yeah, he's a bit of a yeller.  Well, he's more of a "loud talker," but the effect is the same.  He seems pretty upset by the fact that yelling doesn't really phase me, but that's a topic for another day.


  1. That sucks. I used to be a Big Law cog, but was laid off in 2008. After networking until I bled, sending out 1,348 resumes and getting depressed, I defected from the system. For the last year, I've becoming a straight Jay-Z style hustler - I sell real estate in Costa Rica, draft federal grant applications for renewable energy, help recruit from Asian companies, etc., etc. The point is that while it is difficult, I don't have to deal with asshole bosses, or worry about hanging my hat on the wrong company tree. So liberating...

  2. Meh, things could be worse.

  3. Time to put your depression meter back up. Perhaps what you always thought was true: any lawyer job you could land isn't worth having.

  4. Nope, depression meter is staying down for now. Not gonna lie, I'm not too excited about being a lawyer. But, it sure beats being a law clerk.

  5. Just a (hopefully) helpful tip while you're figuring things out. If you use Westlaw, go to Causes of Action under the directory. You'll find samples of complaints, answers, interrogatories and an explanation of the cause of action and possible defenses.

  6. Things will get better. Every new attorney feels lost first starting out. Add to that the realization that you paid a lot of money for an education that did little to prepare for the actual practice of law, and emotions can run high.

    If you didn't the first time around, ask your boss for samples next time and follow those as closely as possible. Every firm keeps a shared drive of previous pleadings, motions, etc, which should lead to a lot of information.

    You might not realize it, but getting real, hands on experience is the best thing a lawyer can do. My first job out of school was doing employment-related litigation for a small firm. I was sent to argue substantive motions in federal court within my first month, not knowing what the hell I was doing. But soon I got the hang of things and gained an incredible amount of confidence (litigation is not rocket science). Before I knew it, I would show up at the Dirksen building and the judge would know me by name -- which is something that I successfully marketed to firms when looking to lateral. Meanwhile, my friends who are in Biglaw have still not made an appearance in court, unless they get to carry a partner's brief case to the hearing.

  7. This mirrors my experience in insurance are always going to be expected to know what you are doing, even if you have never seen or done it before. If you screw up, you get yelled at. Just how the game works.

    Eventually, you get it figured out and everything is fine. Just hope your boss isn't like mine was and continues to think of you as incompetent based upon one or two screw ups on the first one or two things you ever worked on...even 3 years later.