Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Slacker jobs in law

It's a safe bet that most lawyers have type a personalities, ericcrapton11/28/18
Juvenile appointments. There are plenty of them because mos mattbaileylawdotcom12/03/18
That is me and I never figured it out. I think non-litigatio therewillbeblood11/28/18
I have a friend that processes FOIA requests. It’s not the midlaw11/28/18
Probably depends on the organization. Personally I'd like therewillbeblood11/28/18
what about starting out strong and transitioning to lifestyl dingbat11/28/18
^ This is common. jeffm11/28/18
Many try but dont succeed. Law is becoming an increasingly o mtbislife11/28/18
"Safe and consistent" is the key phrase. Having a collectio jeffm11/28/18
Adding to what JeffM notes, adding a practice that doesn’t greenhorn11/28/18
I'm still in training in my government job and bored out of fettywap11/28/18
All time slacker job in law is assistant district attorney i shitlawsf11/28/18
depends on whether it's drug-infested Backwater, WV, or rura dingbat11/28/18
This is the correct distinction. The kicker is that the Bac palmtree1911/29/18
City Atty for small city (less than 100,000 pop) jmoney11/28/18
Insurance defense. I make six figures and have lots of time yankeebirdie11/28/18
Actually, I think most law jobs are slacker jobs. Consi patenttrollnj11/28/18
First 6 months for a first year in biglaw...I was billing 2- irishlaw11/29/18
Lol. 9/2009-3/2010 and transactional? midlaw11/30/18
9/2016-3/2017 and transactional. I work in a niche 12 per irishlaw12/03/18
I'm surprised they didn't have you physically move paper fil patenttrollnj12/03/18
Most of what they had me to is date and compile virtual docu irishlaw12/03/18
It's the scam of law firms. They get lawyers to do para patenttrollnj12/03/18
True. The only defense I will offer is it’s the only way t irishlaw12/03/18
Perhaps, but this needs to be communicated to the client. O patenttrollnj12/03/18
No argument here. irishlaw12/03/18
I think I'm a unicorn here. 8 lawyer firm in small city (les jmoney12/03/18
2 of 3 court appearances were 1 trial and 1 6 hour pre trial jmoney12/03/18
Real lawyering is tedious. therewillbeblood12/04/18
If you say so. I like it. jmoney12/07/18
Doc review. isthisit12/04/18
You're presuming that doc review is a legal job... wallypancake12/04/18
LOL ... good one! However, if they didn't have lawyers d patenttrollnj12/05/18
That used to be the case but no more. Back in the day, law f wallypancake12/06/18
God! The more I consider this stuff, the more I want to hea patenttrollnj12/07/18
Find a public defender office that has a policy of doing "ho onehell12/05/18
+100. I've always been in a "vertical" ADA/PD agency and ha palmtree1912/05/18
I can't believe that is actually a thing. On one level that thirdtierlaw12/06/18

ericcrapton (Nov 28, 2018 - 2:44 pm)

It's a safe bet that most lawyers have type a personalities, but let's say you never dreamed of working at a large law firm or working a 9-5. Instead, you just wanted a job that would allow you to have a middle class life that did not involve manual labor and allowed plenty of time for recreation and looking at cat pictures on the internet.

What do you think the best jobs are in law for slackers?

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mattbaileylawdotcom (Dec 3, 2018 - 6:55 pm)

Juvenile appointments. There are plenty of them because most lawyers avoid them like the plague. They have a host of meetings, etc. that are easy and compensated. Outside of sex abuse cases, most things are not contested and your job is convince your clients to work with children's services to fix their lives. I think many lawyers hate that quasi-social work role, but if you can do it, the cases are simple.

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therewillbeblood (Nov 28, 2018 - 2:53 pm)

That is me and I never figured it out. I think non-litigation government attorney jobs get closest to that, maybe processing FOIA requests or something like that.

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midlaw (Nov 28, 2018 - 2:54 pm)

I have a friend that processes FOIA requests. It’s not the type of job you want if Not Working is the goal.

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therewillbeblood (Nov 28, 2018 - 4:33 pm)

Probably depends on the organization.

Personally I'd like to transition to the ultimate do-nothing job, law professor, but I need another few publications to be at least a little competitive.

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dingbat (Nov 28, 2018 - 3:33 pm)

what about starting out strong and transitioning to lifestyle later?

I'm at the point where I can charge customers enough that I don't need a lot to have a decent life. I doubt I work 20 hours per week, on average, and yet I make enough to have a nice middle-class life.

The hardest part is getting to the stage where you got enough customers coming in to live off, so that client acquisition isn't as big a time suck.

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jeffm (Nov 28, 2018 - 3:35 pm)

^ This is common.

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mtbislife (Nov 28, 2018 - 3:50 pm)

Many try but dont succeed. Law is becoming an increasingly obsolete field. I know several once successful solos on the verge of wrapping up their practice. Theres nothing wrong with looking for a safe, consistent path.

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jeffm (Nov 28, 2018 - 4:21 pm)

"Safe and consistent" is the key phrase. Having a collection of clients, with new ones coming from time to time, is much safer than many alternatives. If one of my 30 clients fires me, I'm still covered. If my employer fires me, I'm toast until I can find a new job.

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greenhorn (Nov 28, 2018 - 5:28 pm)

Adding to what JeffM notes, adding a practice that doesn’t fluctuate in demand with the economy is helpful too.

By this, I mean that if you practice real estate in a transactional role, it’s not a bad idea to learn how to handle easy criminal and traffic cases and maybe do some court appointed work. That way you will never be left totally high and dry if a certain practice area goes down in demand.

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fettywap (Nov 28, 2018 - 6:53 pm)

I'm still in training in my government job and bored out of my mind. I have a hearing in the morning, and then basically nothing to do in the afternoon. I guess they will keep me at this pace for several more weeks.

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shitlawsf (Nov 28, 2018 - 7:06 pm)

All time slacker job in law is assistant district attorney in Backwater, USA.

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dingbat (Nov 28, 2018 - 9:44 pm)

depends on whether it's drug-infested Backwater, WV, or rural paradise Backwater, UT

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palmtree19 (Nov 29, 2018 - 5:32 pm)

This is the correct distinction. The kicker is that the Backwater, WVs of the world tend to have 2 part-time ADAs and pay terribly. The Backwater, UTs of the world, for a similar caseload, tend to have 5 full-time ADAs with decent comp.

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jmoney (Nov 28, 2018 - 7:47 pm)

City Atty for small city (less than 100,000 pop)

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yankeebirdie (Nov 28, 2018 - 9:05 pm)

Insurance defense. I make six figures and have lots of time for cat pics

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patenttrollnj (Nov 28, 2018 - 9:12 pm)

Actually, I think most law jobs are slacker jobs.

Consider the numbers. Most law school graduates practicing law do insurance defense, document review, etc--things that a monkey could do.

Very few law school graduates do the type of jobs law schools talk about. Only the most elite get federal clerkships and/or associateships at biglaw, and jobs in the public sector are hard to come by too. This is the minority of graduates.

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irishlaw (Nov 29, 2018 - 1:27 pm)

First 6 months for a first year in biglaw...I was billing 2-6 hours a week.

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midlaw (Nov 30, 2018 - 1:24 am)

Lol. 9/2009-3/2010 and transactional?

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irishlaw (Dec 3, 2018 - 8:54 pm)

9/2016-3/2017 and transactional.

I work in a niche 12 person team structured finance group with almost no due dilligence work compared to M&A which is why I started out slow.

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patenttrollnj (Dec 3, 2018 - 8:04 pm)

I'm surprised they didn't have you physically move paper files .... and have you bill it to the client as "file maintenance"

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irishlaw (Dec 3, 2018 - 8:59 pm)

Most of what they had me to is date and compile virtual documents. I took over for our paralegal lol.

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patenttrollnj (Dec 3, 2018 - 9:55 pm)

It's the scam of law firms.

They get lawyers to do paralegal and secretarial work so as to bill the client at an attorney's rate. It's the difference between $60-$80 per hour (for a paralegal) VS. $120-$300 per hour (for an associate).

I've grown to despise the profession. Too many years of seeing one scam after another--hence my nickname "patent troll"--although, to be honest, it was "copyright trolls" (not "patent trolls") that was the final straw for me with law.

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irishlaw (Dec 3, 2018 - 10:01 pm)

True. The only defense I will offer is it’s the only way to “train” biglaw associates (particularly transactional) by performing the lowest level work the first couple of years. (I learned a ton just compiling documents).

Clients won’t train 1st years.

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patenttrollnj (Dec 3, 2018 - 10:05 pm)

Perhaps, but this needs to be communicated to the client. OR, simply bill the client at the paralegal rate for work an associate does (and don't hire paralegals).

The problem with law is that there is no formal apprenticeship as there is in Europe. Young lawyers need to go through a formal training period before joining the bar, and some sort of system needs to be set-up to deal with this.

And YES, I do realize this is never going to happen.

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irishlaw (Dec 3, 2018 - 10:24 pm)

No argument here.

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jmoney (Dec 3, 2018 - 10:36 pm)

I think I'm a unicorn here. 8 lawyer firm in small city (less than 100,000). We are 1 of 4 good law firms locally. Probably prestige wise ranked 2 or 3 in 100 miles radius - since 19th century. We rep 19 local govt clients. We do PI, trusts and estates, R/E on the side, general civil lit. I've been here 3 months.

I've been to city/town/county council three times, was solo one of them. I've been to court three times. I've written briefs in big cases (national media). I've met clients maybe 5 times.

It is real and real fun.

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jmoney (Dec 3, 2018 - 10:42 pm)

2 of 3 court appearances were 1 trial and 1 6 hour pre trial motions hearing where the whole kitchen sink was argued.

In law school I was in court arguing 3 times just me talking.

The real lawyering is real if you want it and went to a decent law school.

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therewillbeblood (Dec 4, 2018 - 10:07 am)

Real lawyering is tedious.

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jmoney (Dec 7, 2018 - 6:13 pm)

If you say so. I like it.

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isthisit (Dec 4, 2018 - 9:02 am)

Doc review.

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wallypancake (Dec 4, 2018 - 2:35 pm)

You're presuming that doc review is a legal job...

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patenttrollnj (Dec 5, 2018 - 8:17 pm)

LOL ... good one!

However, if they didn't have lawyers doing it, it just wouldn't get done.

NOT because they can't find someone qualified enough to do ti. A couple of middle-schoolers wanting some part-time work could do the job, and probably get something to put on their college applications too.

The issue is that 99% of all doc review is unnecessary and merely gets done so as to create a billable event. If they suddenly have secretaries, interns or computers doing it, the scam is over .... and nobody will pay for it.

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wallypancake (Dec 6, 2018 - 9:05 am)

That used to be the case but no more. Back in the day, law firm associates would do some occasional doc review and the work would be billed at associate rates. Since the Great Recession, doc review is almost exclusively farmed out to staffing agencies who make a little money off the review. The law firms get nothing out of it. The agencies will bill the client, via the law firm, at $3-6 per hour while paying the reviewing attorney $24-31 per hour. So the client pays $27-$37 per hour for doc review work; the law firm is just a conduit for the work but has no direct financial gain from the review. It only gains because the review is part of the large litigation.

They have lawyers doing doc review to make sure the litigation, from all angles, is done "professionally". The law firms tell clients that lawyers will handle all large phases of the litigation, which includes doc review.

Lawyers are real estate agents, public adjusters, teachers, psephologists etc. No one considers that to be legal work. Doc review is less of a scam and more of an institution. It also helps doc review lifers talk themselves into believing that they hit the jackpot, but that is a different story...

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patenttrollnj (Dec 7, 2018 - 10:10 pm)

God! The more I consider this stuff, the more I want to head to the nearest bar and get drunk.

Psephologists? Real Estate Agents? You could have done this with a mere associates degree and some attention to detail.

Regardless, I am DELIGHTED to hear about doc review becoming less of a scam. Although, it means fewer jobs for attorneys, and even contract work will be getting harder to find.

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onehell (Dec 5, 2018 - 12:13 pm)

Find a public defender office that has a policy of doing "horizontal representation" instead of "vertical representation." That means there's a different lawyer assigned for each phase of the case. For example, there's a department that just does trials, a department that just does sentencing, or even a department of lawyers that does nothing but arraignments or perhaps even initial appearances if they appoint then and there.

I have a friend who downshifted to this after having a kid. She just makes bail/pretrial release arguments all day. Says it's total "shift work." Maybe not a lot of cat videos because you're in court all the time, but the appearances are so easy and whatever happens you just turn it over to the next department afterwards, so she has one of the lowest-stress legal jobs I know of.

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palmtree19 (Dec 5, 2018 - 4:39 pm)

+100. I've always been in a "vertical" ADA/PD agency and had no idea about the "horizontal" concept until last year when I met a counterpart in another jurisdiction who told me he does ***nothing but arraignments***. My mouth almost fell to the floor.

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thirdtierlaw (Dec 6, 2018 - 9:19 am)

I can't believe that is actually a thing. On one level that sounds great, on another, I'm sure it grows tedious really quickly. I think of my prosecutor friend who after 20 years of working on high-level felonies took a job in the office of child support because she just wanted to "max out her pension and not deal with the constant stress of serious litigation." (Our state has an attorney pay scale where the Assistant AG, with 10 years of experience, who is dealing with a multistate dispute gets paid the same amount per year as the attorney with 10 years of experience who is doing child support hearings.) She was at the office of child support for less than 3 months before she took a different job as a prosecutor. She said she was climbing the walls because it was so boring.

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