Attorney (Female, Age 26) in st louis, MO

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 26 who works as a Attorney in st louis, MO. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleAttorney
Salary$110,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week50
Company Size(not answered)
Locationst louis, MO
Years Experience2 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for a private high end civil practice law firm with about 50 attorneys. The firm is full service and does both transactional and litigation work.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
As a younger associate, my job responsibilities are primarily to provide support and services to more senior attorneys. I do legal research, document review, drafting of most kinds of pleadings, drafting of legal memoranda, trial support, and court appearances for more minor cases and hearings. Young attorneys also do pro bono (free) legal work to get greater familiarities with client contact and trial experiences.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
2 weeks vacation, 1 week sick days, 3 additional personal days, 2-1 matching 401k, 3 months maternity leave w/ full pay, full insurance at zero cost including vision and dental, 150k in life insurance coverage free, disability insurance

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
well / fairly compensated

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Group work is the majority of legal work. Each case is generally handled by a team of 2-8 attorneys who work together to both divide up and collaborate on the case work. As a young attorney, it can sometimes be frustrating to be on the bottom of every team (and get some of the less desirable work) but it is also an excellent learning experience to work side by side with much more senior attorneys.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Group work is the majority of legal work. Each case is generally handled by a team of 2-8 attorneys who work together to both divide up and collaborate on the case work. As a young attorney, it can sometimes be frustrating to be on the bottom of every team (and get some of the less desirable work) but it is also an excellent learning experience to work side by side with much more senior attorneys.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 7
Hours: 3
Co-Workers: 4
Supervisors: 2
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 6
The Actual Work: 5

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8amLeave for work around 7:30 — commute is often long in morning traffic. Get in around 8.
8am to 9amCheck emails and phonecalls received over night. Return anything urgent. Plan and prioritize for the day. Coffee! Begin legal research for a complicated memoranda in opposition to a motion to dismiss (basically we are arguing that the court we filed the motion in does have jurisdiction to hear the case and our opponents are arguing that the court has no jurisdiction and must dismiss the case)
9am to 10amStill generally researching. Rough outline begun. It looks like it will be a three sub issue memorandum.
10am to 11amFinish the research for section one and draft section one.
11am to 12pmFinish section one of memo. Looks good!
12pm to 1pmLunch with some of the other attorneys.
1pm to 2pmFollow up on the emails received over the morning. Meet briefly with another attorney for a new assignment for next week. Call a pro bono client to remind them we have a hearing Friday. Begin researching section 2 of the memo. Yuck I’m confused. Skip to section 3 instead.
2pm to 3pmFinish researching section 3 and draft section 3.
3pm to 4pmOutline section 2 because I’m not sure what we need to include and it’s not worth doing the whole thing wrong just to do it again.
4pm to 5pmConference with a senior partner over the contents of section 2. Finish up the extra research suggested to add to section 2.
5pm to 6pmDraft section 2 and the introduction and conclusion.
6pm to 7pmBegin reviewing and editing. Make notes of where more research seems to be needed. Gah it’s 6:30. Save for the day and head home .. will pick up at this point tomorrow.
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
On campus interviewing at my law school landed me a summer clerkship which resulted in the job

What was the application process?
Electronic resume, personal statements, grades and writing sample submitted electronicaly through school service

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
First interview was a brief on campus (about 15 minute interview) with 2 attorneys. Callback interview was a 1/2 day office interview with rotating attorneys (about 4 hours) including lunch.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Pretty standard interview questions — education, strengths, weakness, career goals etc plus a ton of just personal conversation with each interviewer.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes and no. There is no “training;” you simply start working and learn as you go. Sometimes you feel OMG over your head scared when you get assigned something new. Depending on who you’re working with, sometimes they’re great and patient about showing you the ropes and sometimes you just fumble through the dark and hope.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Undergraduate degree (in any field) but to get into a good law school, you’ll need a good GPA and a good performance on the LSAT test. Completion of a J.D., preferably with good GPA if you want to be asked back for any interviews.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Somewhat. Law school provides you with the underlying legal concepts but is primarily academic. It provides very little preparation for client or attorney interaction and very little courtroom type experience.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
Definitely yes. Firms are usually pretty easy on summer interns but if you keep your eyes open you’ll see a lot of what’s going to happen. You also get a very good idea of the types of work you’ll be doing (just expect twice as much!)

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Go the best law school you get accepted to, regardless of scholarship money. The loans are easily paid back with a good salary. Better firms often do not recruit at all at lesser schools, and if they do, significantly better grades are usually required even for a 10 minute introductory interview.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Writing skills are surprisingly likely the most important, as most work done for the court is in the form of written pleadings, not oral arguments. Most work done for senior attorneys will also be in the form of written memoranda. Social skills for client interaction, new client solicitation and development and interpersonal attorney contacts. Organizational skills for sure since you’ll have maximum amounts of hours you can likely to charge for certain tasks and if you can’t get it done in that period, you’re doing the remainder of it for free (and for an unhappy boss). Oral/Debate skills for trials and hearings.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
You cannot be an attorney or take the bar exam without a J.D.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
View everything as a learning experience and do your absolute best even at the less pleasant assignments. The time and effort will show and will land you bigger and better projects. Expect to put in very long hours (50 hour regular weeks, more hours + saturdays if anything big is due) and make sure they’re something you can deal with. If you can’t, a large high end firm is not going to be the right fit–look for government legal work (public defender, prosecuting attorney) or smaller firm work.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes. Associate now, hopefully Partner next and then Equity Partner.

What are your current career goals?
Equity Partner ultimately, possibly at current firm.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
It’s not as bad as everyone says! However, if you aren’t willing to put in the time in undergrad and lawschool to get the grades to land the big jobs, if you’re doing the same work for 1/2 the salary or less, it probably is as bad as everyone says …

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1summer internfirst summer of law school (3 months)15/hrSummer internship first summer with small firm. Primary responsibilities were research and pleading drafting.
Prior Job 2research analyst1 yr70000high end boutique investment firm for clients with 25M+ portfolios. Did primarily investment research, analysis, correlation and predictions.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:4

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.9Washington UniversityBSBA and BA in Finance, International Business, History
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
90Washington UniversityJ.D.

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