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LegalGround >> no bonus, no raise...


2/8/09 1:39 PM
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Xtina
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 ^ pretty much the same story here.  Nov-Jan were unusually slow, even for that time of year, but in the last week or so things have started to turn around.  after such a slow season, i'm just happy to have the work, even if a ton of it does seem to have to happen during the weekends. 

my firm was generous with bonuses for the end of 2008, but that matters far less to me than remaining employed - especially since running into a former co-worker who was recently laid off (and tells me that almost 15% of the IP lit dept at my old firm was let go - i don't think that happened to IP lit in the last recession).  scary.
2/9/09 1:58 AM
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pm1964
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How about going out and generating some of your own work?
2/9/09 1:56 PM
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goku
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"How about going out and generating some of your own work?"

yeah i know..the inevitable issue...i feel like i would have a hard time generating biz as a 3/4 year with a 385 billing rate....i wouldnt hire me...but its definitely something i need to start thinking of...
2/9/09 11:13 PM
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Xtina
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 *generates furiously*
2/10/09 1:53 PM
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pm1964
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Ultimately, everybody is responsible for generating their own billable hours, whether by bugging partners for more work, or by generating their own work. Being in the office and being available to work is not the same thing at all as hounding partners for them to give you work to do. Go ahead and start tyring to generate your own work, even if nobody will hire you yet. It's great practice for when you HAVE to do it.
2/10/09 11:42 PM
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Xtina
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 got any tips on how to generate work, pm?
2/11/09 1:20 PM
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goku
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generating work successfully = being a whore, going out, meeting people, schmoozing, scratching their back so they will scratch yours

and at my firm and other larger firms you dont necessarily HAVE to generate work, there are plenty of service partners (even equity ones that make $1M + per year) at my firm that have $0 book
2/11/09 1:36 PM
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pm1964
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Edited: 02/11/09 2:21 PM
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Xtina - what works for me is doing a lot of speaking engagements for various organizations, and writing a lots of articles for publication. For example, I do management side labor and employment, so I publish articles in a number of newsletters put out by various Chambers of Commerce, and HR associations (I am published in about 8 or 9 newsletters every month). I also do about 20 or so speaking engagements each year, which has the added advantage of giving me MCLE credits for some of them. For a couple of years I was part of a regular segment of a local newscast where I presented topics of a legal nature. The key is for people to know my name, so when they need my type of service, I am the one they think of.

goku - with that attitude about generating work, you will never do it. Other than that though, I have a very very hard time believing that there are partners in any firm making a mil a year or more without their own book. If they are just servicing someobdy else book, it makes no sense whatsoever to pay them that much. At a mil a year, they need to bill 2000 hours at $500 an hour, just to cover their pay, and that still would not cover all the other costs that they incur for the firm, such as any perks and benefits, their secretary, malpractice insurance, and so on and so on and so on. In other words, even if they bill 2000 hours, and somehow miraculously all of that billing is collected, they are still losing money for the firm. The other partners would not stand for that, and would instead have a skilled associate do the exact same work for $250,000 a year, so the firm would make a profit.
2/12/09 10:29 AM
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PittWrestler
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Covert to mormonism. We've got a mormon associate here who has a shit load of mormon clients.
2/12/09 3:59 PM
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goku
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"goku - with that attitude about generating work, you will never do it. Other than that though, I have a very very hard time believing that there are partners in any firm making a mil a year or more without their own book. If they are just servicing someobdy else book, it makes no sense whatsoever to pay them that much. At a mil a year, they need to bill 2000 hours at $500 an hour, just to cover their pay, and that still would not cover all the other costs that they incur for the firm, such as any perks and benefits, their secretary, malpractice insurance, and so on and so on and so on. In other words, even if they bill 2000 hours, and somehow miraculously all of that billing is collected, they are still losing money for the firm. The other partners would not stand for that, and would instead have a skilled associate do the exact same work for $250,000 a year, so the firm would make a profit. "

what attitude? i already conceded that i should start generating...i was just responding to your post that you HAVE to generate...its not true, particularly at larger firms...and the reason the other partners stand for it is because if these particular specialized partners leave, there is noone else at the firm to do the work ...its not the type of work you can simply insert a fungible associate...
2/12/09 6:31 PM
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pm1964
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I was referring to the attitude that generating work requires whoring yourself out. But regardless, I didn't say that you have to generate. I know that there are people who go their whole career without generating any of hteir own work, but I don't care how specialized somebody's skills are, no firm is going to pay them a mil a year or more if they are not even covering their own nut.
2/13/09 12:00 AM
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Xtina
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thanks for the ideas, pm.  since i transitioned from lit to transactional relatively recently, i often feel like i don't have the experience necessary to speak well about much of anything, so i've stuck with writing articles here and there.  my personal connections with people who actually need legal help tend to be the type that can't afford big firm rates, so i'm often out of luck that way, which is frustrating.  building business is probably my biggest long-term worry.  not sure how to fix that.  doesn't help that a good deal of my exposure to the real world happens on the og, i suppose...

*browses 4chan in despair*

 *feels better*
2/14/09 11:25 AM
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goku
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Edited: 02/14/09 11:31 AM
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"but I don't care how specialized somebody's skills are, no firm is going to pay them a mil a year or more if they are not even covering their own nut."

so are you calling me a liar? i know for a fact that there are at least 2 equity partners in my corp dept that make $1M+ a year and have zero book.

and their billing rates are more like 700-1000 rather than $500 and they bill around 2500 hrs rather than 2000...

for example, one of the guys has been practicing for like 20 years, he got his undergrad, jd and phd from yale...and he specializes in highly complex debt financing for major motion pictures in hollywood...he pretty much innovated a structure for financing the production of major motion pictures that was never done before...

the other one has been practicing for like 30-40 years and has pretty much drafted all the forms that our department uses...he basically knows the california and delaware corporate codes by memory...


i dont think they are fungible with $250,000 associates
2/14/09 11:34 AM
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goku
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turducken - Wow, I cannot imagine billing 2500 hours, especially after having worked for 30 fucking years! You would have to pay me a LOT more than $1 million to get me to do that.


i know there are people are other larger firms that bill 3000 hrs...i dont know how it is humanly possible but people do it
2/14/09 4:09 PM
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Grappledog
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goku - 
turducken - Wow, I cannot imagine billing 2500 hours, especially after having worked for 30 fucking years! You would have to pay me a LOT more than $1 million to get me to do that.


i know there are people are other larger firms that bill 3000 hrs...i dont know how it is humanly possible but people do it
They bill that many hours by: (1) working a great number of hours; and (2) lying. 

I have worked (not billed, because I don't have to bill hours in my job) over 3,200 hours in a year, several years, and it was not fun, at all.  A couple of my co-workers have actually exceeded that total.

And yes, one cannot have any semblance of a life outside the office when working that much.  All you do is get up, go to work, work all day, go home, sleep.  Repeat.  People think they can appreciate how unpleasant it is working that much, but thinking about it and actually doing it are different.
 
2/14/09 4:52 PM
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pm1964
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Edited: 02/14/09 4:56 PM
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goku, I am not calling you a liar. In your scenario, those two guys are more than covering their own nut, especialy if they are billing at $1000 per hour and billing 2500 hours. In that case, it makes sense. In the scenario I put forth, I specifically mentioned that it would not happen if the attorneys in question were not covering their own nut.

"but I don't care how specialized somebody's skills are, no firm is going to pay them a mil a year or more if they are not even covering their own nut."


And while you came up with those two examples, I am sure you realize that that type of situation is exceedingly rare.
2/14/09 10:25 PM
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Shaz
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For some people, their job is their life.

Example - there's a guy at my office who has been there longer than ANYONE (I think 42 years as of this year). He's a little old guy who ALWAYS wears a three piece suit (and he's never in court). He isn't married, no kids, and he's always at the office, he works late, and I've even seen him in on the weekends.

Once a year he goes to Las Vegas for two weeks and stays at one of the whorehouses and just bangs hookers for two weeks straight, then it's back to work for the other 50 weeks of the year.

-Shaz!
2/18/09 12:19 PM
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pm1964
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I need an outside life, that's for sure.
2/18/09 6:20 PM
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pm1964
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Yeah, I rarely, if ever, wear a suit.
2/19/09 12:57 AM
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Shaz
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You would DIE if you wore a suit every day? Wow, that's pretty ridiculous.

I have no problem wearing a suit every day, it makes it easier to figure out what I'm wearing in the morning.

-Shaz!

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