How to Deal with High Performance Expectations
[00:00:00] I'm having an unusual situation as a civil attorney after majority of career as a prosecutor. Many firms assume I have tenure as civil litigator when I only have three years on the civil side. This leads to performance expectations that are hurting me and lead to shorter jobs. Any advice on addressing this at inyterviews to set reasonable expectations?
That's a very common thing. If you have experience in one branch of the law and you're going into a new one. In terms of the expectations, I think that you just need to really buckle down and work much harder. I hate to say that but you need to learn how things are done and probably work a little bit harder than other people are at your level.
If you have only three years of civil experience, I'm sure you can do trials just fine but it's probably like a lot of other writing and other stuff that's what is going to create problems for you. In terms of the it's very heavy motion practice and so forth, if you're civil litigator and the motions are different than as a prosecutor. I would recommend, if it was me, just working as hard as you can and when you get into a firm, I think you can learn very quickly.
In most cases, when you get into a law firm, you want to get [00:01:00] mentors and explain that sort of thing. And I understand that the expectations may be a lot different. It depends on the prosecutor's office you're with and they have different expectations as well.
I would get in the door and and when you do get in the door to places. Do the best you can, but really explain the level of experience. If it's leading to shorter jobs, then you know that's a perfect example. You have to ask yourself, what is it that's causing you, not be able to stick around as long and or if you keep your job as long. I don't know what that is, the mistakes, but sometimes people will be very clear with you. They'll tell you directly or they won't tell you directly. They may say you're working hours are too long or not long enough. You need to bill more hours or you need to be more careful meaning you need to research the law and make sure your conclusions are better or you can't make so many careless errors or I don't know.
This is what my presentation was about today. If they're coming across and saying something to you, law firms will always tell you what's wrong. They won't always say so directly. They'll never say you're not building enough hours. They may say, we'd like you to [00:02:00] work harder, or they'll say we'd like you to figure out how to get more work or they'll say, we'd like you to be careful or they'll say you need to impress clients and get more work. They'll say whatever the issue is. And sometimes they would be very careful but the big issue, I think, many times between being a civil attorney and being a prosecutor or the requirements for the hours and the requirements for bringing in business and I'm thinking what those expectations are, many times when you get to be 10 years out, it is harder to hold onto positions because you're you're on a higher billing rate and expected to have more business and start to get business or do work that's at the same level as partners.
Talk to the firm and understand what you could have done differently. What they would recommend you do in the future. And if you do that, then you should be in great shape.