I had an interesting discussion with a former shitlaw associate turned contract attorney about her experience in the legal industry and I thought I would share and see how your experiences have been in your legal careers.
Basically, this girl was telling me that she practiced shitlaw for a year and the training consisted of trial by fire--literally. The first day of work, she was sent to court to pick a jury with little instruction. No one came with her. She felt that she needed more training or at least a little assistance. So, as a consequence, she has more experience than MOST attorneys--but suffers from lack of self-esteem for not having received any training. So, she sticks to contract work.
My experience in shit law was similar. I had a major trial approaching when I asked my boss if someone could sit second chair and help me with the case. He told me that my client wouldn't pay for anyone to sit second chair, so I could do it by myself. I did it by myself. The trial ended up going well, but what if?
When I worked in BigLaw, it was an entirely different experience. I went from being thrown into the deep end to being coddled. Most attorneys in BigLaw never go to trial or even meet the client because that is a privilege reserved for high level associates and Partners. Associates in BigLaw may make a ton of money, but they do not feel as if they can take a case from beginning to end without assistance, because they were never trusted to do anything by themselves.
There has to be something in between these two ways of doing business. A bit more training in shitlaw, and a bit more independence in BigLaw.
What was your experience?
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