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Biglaw: How to Survive the First Two Years of Practice in a Mega-Firm, or, The Art of Doc Review
 
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Biglaw: How to Survive the First Two Years of Practice in a Mega-Firm, or, The Art of Doc Review [Format Kindle]

Sarah Powell

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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  6 commentaires
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Incredibly useful! 12 juin 2013
Par Caroline - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I am SO glad I read this terrific book. It truly is a sophisticated, realistic, and fair account of what associates experience and WHY. This book is an informed and incredibly practical guide to survival as an associate in Biglaw. It contains so much concrete, applicable, and savvy information that it can't help but become your bible as you try to navigate the choppy waters at Biglaw.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Spot-On and Then Some 13 mai 2013
Par Law Firm Refugee - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Sarah Powell's Big Law: Surviving the First Two Years of Practice in a Mega-Firm, or, the Art of Doc Review is a spot-on and thoroughly useful account of what it is like to work as a junior lawyer at a large law firm. The fast-reading book will teach you something, whether you are a Big Law associate desiring to ascend to partnership, to escape firm life posthaste, or something in between; a second year law student with interviews for summer firm jobs; or a college senior contemplating law school. Simply put, if you fall into any of those categories (or similar ones), then you ought to read this book.

First, the spot-on part. I am a Big Law refugee. And from experience, I can tell you that the author's unsparing depiction of firm life is a dead ringer, in places almost too accurate. Reading Powell's anecdotes, I recognized a great deal from my own stint as a firm toiler. That relentless, hierarchy-obsessed colleague? Yep. Receiving no feedback-positive or negative-on a memo that was described as surpassingly urgent, and that took weeks to research and to write? Ditto. Or how about a long slog reviewing documents in a conference room, surrounded by waist-widening take-out, after the cancellation of vacation plans? Yeah, that happened, and happens all the time in the rarified little world that Powell captures perfectly. Her portrayal has an "arrow-buried-in-the-bulls-eye-and-rapidly-sputtering-to-stillness" quality to it. She's lived this stuff, and, as the book makes clear, talked to other BigLaw veterans who have lived it, too.

Powell paints a mostly bleak picture of associate life. There are some nasty-seeming lawyers in BigLaw's pages, and as many vignettes about unappreciated effort, pervasive drudgery, and (above all), about some firms' shrugging apathy towards the personal lives and professional development of their entry-level lawyers. Still, the book is neither a gossipy tell all nor an angry screed. Instead Powell quite explicitly accepts the nature of large-scale law practice, warts and all, while noting its (for associates) desirable features-staggering compensation, opportunities to work on pro bono cases, sterling credentials for future employment, and so on. She also theorizes that some of BigLaw's most unattractive traits might flow from its ability to furnish, day in and day out, elite legal services to the most demanding of corporate clients, under the most challenging and complicated of circumstances. So while she certainly does not embrace BigLaw (and criticizes it quite vigorously), Powell is certainly fair to it. And that lends credibility to her efforts to offer, first, an unadorned, no-frills picture of how Big Law really is, from the standpoint of an early-career lawyer; and two, a point-by-point instructional on how to mitigate some of BigLaw's more soul- and career-crushing features.

The latter is especially useful, considering just how uninformative and platitudinous legal career sources can be these days. (Have a look at the Vault Guide if you need convincing on this point.) Powell takes the associate's motivation for entering BigLaw as a given-though she emphasizes that, in order to excel at BigLaw, one must know why one is choosing it, and what one wants from it. You supply that needed rationale, and Powell supplies some wise counsel that you can actually use, as you push through the first two years of associate-dom. I won't try to recapitulate her recommendations, other than to note that they touch on all the defining features of the junior BigLaw attorney's life, from the broad-brush (avoiding and managing mistakes; understanding one's place in the BigLaw structure; setting boundaries) to the fine-grained (communicating with demanding, sometimes imperious superiors by email; conducting document reviews and organizing information in a consistently detailed, professional manner). The key: every one of these approaches, if applied, can make BigLaw more manageable, and one's BigLaw-related goals more attainable.

Again, I can say all this with the benefit of hindsight, and having in mind my own years in BigLaw. I wish I had read Sarah Powell's book when I first signed up. For that reason, I recommend it unreservedly to anyone eyeing future work, or currently working, in BigLaw.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating Insider's Peek into MegaFirm Life 3 novembre 2013
Par Alex Prosper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
A highly impressive examination of what it's like to start working for one of this country's biggest power centers. Whether you need this to help make a career decision for yourself, to understand what your friend/spouse/sister is going through (highly recommend!), to help you recover, to understand how the attorneys that work for you are doing that corporate work, or to gain accurate research into this field for any other reason, this is a comprehensive, unflinching but very even guide. Since BigLaw is mega-corporate life on disciplined overdrive there is also a lot of advice within that is useful for anyone wanting to create success--or at least (as she says) not flame out--from the demands of the American workplace.

Sarah Powell is the mentor you wish you had for every new job. She lays out her advice in an organized, cogent fashion, weaving in real life examples, cautions and benefits. Her insider's vantage point allows her to fully articulate things like how to work within the firm's rigid hierarchy knowing your place but also looking for ways to shine or benefit from working directly for a partner. Her advice is useful because it is both survival-oriented, warning readers where the hidden trap doors/opportunities are, while also decoding some of the mysteries of the economic and political pressures that shape BigLaw firms in the first place, which might ultimately help someone find a way to navigate the system and still remain an intact human. She even manages to do something somewhat magical: in encouraging first years to define their own success measures and to reframe how they see the value of the repetitive and low-level work they receive, she manages to shine a light on why doc review can be excellent prep for understanding a case, the law or an industry. That alone is worth a read.

Overall, this guide is super useful look behind the curtain at what it's like to thrive in a tough, mystifying environment. If you think the topic is useful to you, don't hesitate to get this book.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Biglaw realities 11 mai 2014
Par Andrew - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Great book about the structure of big law firms and the realities of life for associates. Highly recommend to anyone interested in working in biglaw.
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Leave it 25 décembre 2014
Par ace - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Very disappointed with this book, especially after reading such glowing reviews. Yes, she is refreshingly honest. Yes, she is much more in tune with the life of an associate than those authors who have been partners for years.

Unfortunately, she is mind-numbingly repetitive. (Ironic, since she discusses—ad nauseam—how important it is to be concise.) It's absurd how many times she writes "as I already discussed," and then repeats the exact same points she made in the preceding paragraph. I get it—doc review will also be mind-numbingly tedious—but I see no reason to subject myself to that before I have to.

Additionally, the book is almost entirely written for those planning to do litigation, with almost nothing for the transactional/corporate lawyer. Sure, some of the main takeaways (that being a lawyer sucks) apply to both. But there is almost no practical advice for the transactional lawyer.

Conclusion: If you expected legal life to be full of joy and light, then maybe you should read this book. But if you already knew that legal work was going to be hell and were looking for concise, to-the-point advice on how to get by, then this book should be skipped.
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