Greedy Associates: Firm Life Archives
Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

Recently in Firm Life Category

Ask any litigator: What's the most annoying part of the case? Discovery. And more specifically, depositions.

"Objection. Objection. Asked and answered. Objection. I need to speak with [coach] my client."

You get the point. It sucks. And we're not the only ones who have noticed. A federal judge, fed up with the "state of discovery in modern federal civil litigation," issued a sua sponte sanctions order against a BigLaw partner after reviewing the depositions in the case. Even better? The creative sanction wasn't cash. (H/T to Above the Law.)

It's going to happen sooner or later, if it hasn't already: you've been asked to write a brief with other people. In a big law firm, this could mean multiple layers of associates, senior associates, partners, managing partners, senior partners -- well, suffice it to say, there are a lot of people involved in the process.

Don't panic even if you are working with multiple people, each with different schedules, writing styles, writing habits, and different temperaments -- we're here to help. Here is your goal: Come out of writing the group brief with the same number of collegial co-workers you had going in, clothes unbloodied, and your sanity intact.

Now, here is how to reach that goal:

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

Being the neurotic law student you are, you've probably already started thinking about OCI even though it is still July. Considering the state of the legal market in the past few years, that's a good thing. Also given the market, we OCI starts up, we would suggest applying to as many law firms as the OCI process will allow. Then, after you have all your offers (and hopefully you will have at least one, and even better, a few to choose from), you'll need to decide which firm is right for you. And, just how exactly are you supposed to do that?

While there are many factors that go into deciding which firm's offer you should accept such as niche practices, or industry-specific standing, one of the main factors that will determine how happy and how far you will get at the firm may be one of the most important factors: firm culture.

Was there ever a more idiotic idea than "The Decision"? Four years ago, LeBron James went on an ego-inflating tour de free agency, letting teams across the country woo him with cap space, exciting teammates, and chances for championships. In the end, he made a completely defensible basketball decision, to join up with two other superstars on the Miami Heat, which led to four finals trips and two trophies, in four years.

But "The Decision," a one-hour television special on ESPN where he announced that he'd leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, was one of the biggest PR disasters in history. Fans burned his jerseys in the street, the team's owner wrote an open letter criticizing LeBron, and it seemed the relationship between the man and his people was irreparably destroyed.

And then last week, he returned to Cleveland, with the city and team welcoming him with open arms. How? And how does this relate to your own career moves?

One of my friends is on a recreational volleyball team, a team that isn't very good. They have a couple of good athletes, a lot of mediocrity, and one guy that really, really annoys his teammates. Why? Every time they suggest an adjustment, such as moving closer to the net, he seems receptive but returns to his flawed play immediately. He's uncoachable.

Another friend has a similar situation: someone she hired, and now supervises, is one of those people that is repeatedly corrected, yet seems to be incapable of adjusting and fixing her constant minor errors. She's apparently a great co-worker, but just isn't detail oriented or coachable.

If you want to be a standout associate, one way to do so is to simply be coachable: seek feedback and actually act on it.

Last week we gave all of you doubting whether you had time to take summer vacation a little nudge to take legal-history inspired vacations. We even had suggestions for the nerds at heart, and the too-cool-for-school types.

No matter what kind of vacation you take, at some point -- most likely five minutes before your flight at the airport gift shop -- you will deal with the question: Do I need to bring back souvenirs for my co-workers?

The Women in Law Empowerment Forum ("WILEF") is an organization devoted to the education of women in law firms, and furthers its goals by providing networking opportunities for women. Now in its eighth year, WILEF provides Gold Standard Certification to law firms that "successfully demonstrate that women represent a meaningful percentage of their equity partners, of their highest leadership positions, of their governance and compensation committees, and of their most highly compensated partners."

Let's see who made the cut for 2014, and what they are doing right.

In 2011, John Daniel Mismas, an asbestos litigator, was seeking a clerk. He turned to a professor at the University of Akron School of Law, who gathered up three candidates for interviews. Mismas chose Ms. C. But it soon became clear that he was seeking more than a clerk, as he began to make inappropriate comments and sexual suggestions even before she even started.

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

At FindLaw, we know how important having a mentor is to one's professional development, so much so, that we often recommend it's one of the first things you do when you start a new job. But in all of our writings, we've never actually explained how to get a mentor.

It's very easy to say "get a mentor." But, how do you get the ball rolling? Who should you ask? What should you do? We're going to answer those questions for you -- read on to find out how to find a mentor.

You did your time in job search land, and maybe you even worked with a recruiter, and you've finally landed a gig as an associate at BigLaw. Before you start and get overwhelmed with all there is to do, there are certain tasks that you should do up front to set the tone of your employment, and establish a foundation for success.

We recently read some great tips for things to do at a new job, and we thought we'd tweak them for the law firm context. With first impressions made in a mere seven seconds, try to do these things in the first week at your new job.

All the tasks you should perform fall under two umbrellas, and we'll call them "lifestyle" and "professional."

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.