Lesson here? Unless you are getting ready to possibly be the next First Lady, in today's legal market, don't complain about doing tasks appropriate for your level. Yes, it is great to be ambitious, a go-getter, and eventually a rainmaker. But, if you want to stay afloat, the best thing to do in these down times when we are seeing layoffs is to keep your head down and DO YOUR WORK. Don't cause waves. Don't be a complainer, whiner, etc. BE A TEAM PLAYER. Try to keep your work plate full by going through the assignment channels to get work. Seek out potential mentors you might like to get to know and ask them if they need help. Volunteer for emergency and other projects. Sometimes I would get the "big win." This is where you volunteer, you look like such a great team player, yet the project goes away or for some reason they don't need you. No effort, but great goodwill.
Aside from client work, you can work on articles, firm client alerts, etc. This will help get your name out inside and outside the firm. Your goal is to remain occupied and build your positive reputation as a hardworking, solid firm citizen. Michelle Obama is an accomplished woman, but do not follow her example if you want to survive in a law firm in this legal market. Do not complain that you are doing second year associate tasks as a second year associate. Head down, positive attitude, team player. Complainers get canned. Goodwill can save.
Thank you for all your comments to the last post. HP will be reviewing them and incorporating your ideas.