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How to Ask for More Work at BigLaw: 3 Tips

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

Ok, we get it. You were one of those kids in class that always had their hand raised and asked for extra credit. Now that you're at BigLaw, you want to do the equivalent and be the best associate you can be.

Maybe you've gotten the swing of things, and billing 80 hours/week comes naturally to you -- now you want more work. Or, more realistically, maybe you don't want more work, but you want more control over the types of assignments you receive.

Here are three tips that you could follow to have more control over dictating your practice area, and the course of your career.

1. First Things First

Before you jump in and ask for more work, be sure that you can handle your current, pending assignments. If you don't and you let your previous assignments slide, that will do nothing to help your career.

2. Talk to the Assigning Partner

Early on in your career, there is usually an assigning partner that doles out assignments to junior associates. The reasoning is, assignments are centralized, and junior associates are given the chance to work on a range of issues, exposing them to different areas of the law.

After working on different kinds of assignments, if you find that one area of the law really speaks to you, consider approaching the assigning partner and asking for more assignments of that type if there are any available. But, remember to be open to all assignments as you don't want to be perceived as too difficult to work with.

3. Talk to the Partner You Want to Work With

Most partners have very specific practice areas, or types of clients. If you find yourself gravitating to a partner because of their practice area, or just because you think they would be a great person to work for, let her know that you would be interested in getting more assignments from her if she has anything come up.

No one will fault you for looking for more work (and hence, billing more hours) at BigLaw. But rather than just seeing it as part of the partner track, look at it as an opportunity to build your career around a practice area that you're interested in.

Are you crazy enough to ask for more work? How did you do it? Let us know on Facebook at FindLaw for Legal Professionals.

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