People who like Biglaw

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ur_hero
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby ur_hero » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:51 pm

lagamemnon wrote:
ur_hero wrote:You don't have to believe all the horror stories you hear. It varies from firm to firm, as well as based on the city, practice group, partners/seniors you work with, and based on your own work personality/habits, as well as from time-to-time depending on what's going on.

Granted, I'm only a little over a year in, personally I love my job. While it gets crazy at times (M&A), I have pretty solid control over my hours most of the time and have plenty of opportunities to chill between cycles. I generally have my entire evenings and weekends free, unless (i) something actually urgent comes up, (ii) I commit to more than I can handle; or (iii) I screw something up or procrastinate.


Where do you work that you have your entire evenings and weekends free? As for "believing the horror stories," I'm a second year associate, so I'm pretty familiar with the conditions.


I'm West Coast. My point is not that you or some others don't have it shitty all/most of the time. Sucks for me sometimes soon, but my point is that it's not like that everywhere, and probably not even most places . . . most of the time. - "It varies from firm to firm, as well as based on the city, practice group, partners/seniors you work with, and based on your own work personality/habits, as well as from time-to-time depending on what's going on."

I think we hear disproportionately on the internet - and TLS in particular - about how it can suck (who'd have thought?).

Unfortunately, we can't all pick and choose firms knowing exactly how life will be before we join - but I think most can have a great life in big law. I probably won't do it forever, but I'm very happy now.

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bruinfan10
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:08 pm

i've had a reasonable biglaw experience thus far. have billed over 200 for way too many months in a row now---lol at planning events in advance, even on weekends. but if you can adapt to having a 24/7 on call job, have a S/O who is okay with being spontaneous, it's doable. you don't get every night and weekend free, but you get a livable amount assuming you're not billing a lot more than 200 a month. lifestyle sure as hell beats trying to pay back insane loans on a gov salary with the GOP cutting loan forgiveness.

that said, I picked a great non-NY firm (lit boutique). midlevels do largely have it worse, although less so at my firm given low leverage (we're basically given the responsibilities a midlevel would have at a ny megafirm right out of the gate). imho, if you go into corporate at a NYC megafirm, you brought this on yourself. should've worked harder in law school or thought through the demands associated with your region/practice area of choice.
Last edited by bruinfan10 on Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:13 pm

The upside of working the crazy BL hours is that by mid-November you’ve made your [2100] hours and you have six weeks of living a normal life.

MaxMcMann
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby MaxMcMann » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:16 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
MaxMcMann wrote:
lagamemnon wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:
lagamemnon wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:Its fine when you give up and stop trying to do anything on weekdays except go to work and come home.

Working on weekends blows, though you can usually count on nothing happening on Friday night, and at least one of Sat or Sunday night even if you have to work during the daytime.


Yeah, this is my point though bro. It's only when you resign yourself to being a sort of half-person, like one of the Neutrals lingering outside of Dante's hell, that biglaw goes easy for you.


Well that's how it is bro. It's not like other jobs, you're on call 24-7. I meant specially to stop trying to make plans with other people. Big law is harder if you're single or alone, but i feel like it's not too bad if you have someone at home waiting for you, where you can be home bodies together. I can generally leave around 630- 7ish if there is a lul when things are slowing down and get home and log in again around 8 or 830. Can chill with my family, eat dinner at home, and relax while working. I was stressed in the beginning though when I was trying to make plans to go out and actually do things where I wouldn't have a computer around.

Save plans to do things for fri/weekend.


So you're agreeing with me. You can't have real hobbies or real time with your significant other (an hour of dinner isn't a relationship) and be a biglaw attorney.


How much more would you possibly want to see someone for? Generally my problem with women is I get bored of them quickly, seeing someone for an hour a day sounds ideal. Hopefully she's also a doctor/lawyer and tired most of the time - that way the relationship can last for years where you never get to see each other enough and are always looking forward to it. If I worked 9-5 and had to see the same woman every day for 6+ hours and then whole day on weekends, I'd be sick of her.

You sound charming. But I suppose particularly well suited to biglaw.


My parents lived on two different continents for most of the time I was growing up. Dad had an international business and would be in our hometown for a week once every couple of months. They were always really happy to see each other. On the other hand, I look at my friends' parents who have been living in the same house for 20+ years and see mostly resentment and tiredness, and more than a few obvious affairs (note: not saying this didn't happen with my parents, merely that it wasn't obvious) and resulting bitterness.

I'm cool with my way - and any woman who can put up with me would be as well. Besides, the fact that you can literally 24/7 say "oops, got to work tonight" and it's realistic regardless of time of day or day of the week makes it easier to have your own thing on the side.

JusticeJackson
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby JusticeJackson » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:18 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Yugihoe
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Yugihoe » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:27 pm

For a second I thought I was in the FA thread...

lagamemnon
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby lagamemnon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:08 pm

Responses so far: people who say you can do it if you don't sleep, people who misread the title and original post and don't work in biglaw (non-nyc boutiques), people who misread the original post and say it's fine if you don't have hobbies or, like, hate women because your rich dad wasn't around (???).

Thanks for generally confirming my conviction that the people who enjoy this are either extremely boring or insane.

lagamemnon
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby lagamemnon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:11 pm

MaxMcMann wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
MaxMcMann wrote:
lagamemnon wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:
lagamemnon wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:Its fine when you give up and stop trying to do anything on weekdays except go to work and come home.

Working on weekends blows, though you can usually count on nothing happening on Friday night, and at least one of Sat or Sunday night even if you have to work during the daytime.


Yeah, this is my point though bro. It's only when you resign yourself to being a sort of half-person, like one of the Neutrals lingering outside of Dante's hell, that biglaw goes easy for you.


Well that's how it is bro. It's not like other jobs, you're on call 24-7. I meant specially to stop trying to make plans with other people. Big law is harder if you're single or alone, but i feel like it's not too bad if you have someone at home waiting for you, where you can be home bodies together. I can generally leave around 630- 7ish if there is a lul when things are slowing down and get home and log in again around 8 or 830. Can chill with my family, eat dinner at home, and relax while working. I was stressed in the beginning though when I was trying to make plans to go out and actually do things where I wouldn't have a computer around.

Save plans to do things for fri/weekend.


So you're agreeing with me. You can't have real hobbies or real time with your significant other (an hour of dinner isn't a relationship) and be a biglaw attorney.


How much more would you possibly want to see someone for? Generally my problem with women is I get bored of them quickly, seeing someone for an hour a day sounds ideal. Hopefully she's also a doctor/lawyer and tired most of the time - that way the relationship can last for years where you never get to see each other enough and are always looking forward to it. If I worked 9-5 and had to see the same woman every day for 6+ hours and then whole day on weekends, I'd be sick of her.

You sound charming. But I suppose particularly well suited to biglaw.


My parents lived on two different continents for most of the time I was growing up. Dad had an international business and would be in our hometown for a week once every couple of months. They were always really happy to see each other. On the other hand, I look at my friends' parents who have been living in the same house for 20+ years and see mostly resentment and tiredness, and more than a few obvious affairs (note: not saying this didn't happen with my parents, merely that it wasn't obvious) and resulting bitterness.

I'm cool with my way - and any woman who can put up with me would be as well. Besides, the fact that you can literally 24/7 say "oops, got to work tonight" and it's realistic regardless of time of day or day of the week makes it easier to have your own thing on the side.


Strong contender for the "needs therapy, won't ever get it" team. Good luck finding a suitably tired wife for amortizing your misogyny.

Anonymous User
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:17 pm

lagamemnon wrote:Responses so far: people who say you can do it if you don't sleep, people who misread the title and original post and don't work in biglaw (non-nyc boutiques), people who misread the original post and say it's fine if you don't have hobbies or, like, hate women because your rich dad wasn't around (???).

Thanks for generally confirming my conviction that the people who enjoy this are either extremely boring or insane....or like $$$.

Anonymous User
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:22 pm

I'm a 4th year (rising 5th year) on the West Coast and I like it fine. I do a mix of litigation and white-collar work. I typically work around 10-7 during the week with some catching up after dinner (and occasionally a late night churning out a brief or dealing with some unexpected emergency). Sometimes I have significant amounts of weekend work, but it is rare that I don't have time to do *anything* fun, and I can reliably catch up on sleep and not get a bunch of urgent emails.

Three other notes:

(1) I have billed around 2100-2200 hours the last two years including pro bono. The year before that, I billed around 2500 hours and my life was significantly more stressful.

(2) My spouse also works in biglaw and has a rougher time of it, but I think he/she works with more demanding/toxic people (which convinces me that it really is firm/group dependent).

(3) From talking to friends and law school classmates, I think it is very hard to have a normal life if you work in NYC, particularly in M&A or at the big sweatshop firms. My contacts in SF/TX/LA/Chicago (and to a lesser extent Boston and DC) report that it is significantly more humane.

Anonymous User
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:39 pm

Rising 4th year corporate on the west coast. If I was to sum up my feelings on BL, it would be that I did not know it was possible to simultaneously be this incredibly busy (working on my third consecutive ~300-hour month) and this bored out of my mind.

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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:42 pm

Yugihoe wrote:
lagamemnon wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:Its fine when you give up and stop trying to do anything on weekdays except go to work and come home.

Working on weekends blows, though you can usually count on nothing happening on Friday night, and at least one of Sat or Sunday night even if you have to work during the daytime.


Yeah, this is my point though bro. It's only when you resign yourself to being a sort of half-person, like one of the Neutrals lingering outside of Dante's hell, that biglaw goes easy for you.


Well that's how it is bro. It's not like other jobs, you're on call 24-7. I meant specially to stop trying to make plans with other people. Big law is harder if you're single or alone, but i feel like it's not too bad if you have someone at home waiting for you, where you can be home bodies together. I can generally leave around 630- 7ish if there is a lul when things are slowing down and get home and log in again around 8 or 830. Can chill with my family, eat dinner at home, and relax while working. I was stressed in the beginning though when I was trying to make plans to go out and actually do things where I wouldn't have a computer around.

Save plans to do things for fri/weekend.


You cannot do this regularly if you are a junior associate doing M&A in NYC biglaw. If you are a junior staffed on an active deal with lots of work, you can work at home past 7 only occasionally (when things slowed down a bit). Depending on how urgent things are, you really cannot even go out for a dinner and come back. And yes, there is no such thing as a restful weekend. I rejoice when I have no work on a Saturday or Sunday.

As others have said, there are slow times and only by taking advantage of such times, we can maintain some life.

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Catharsis&Crumpets
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Catharsis&Crumpets » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The upside of working the crazy BL hours is that by mid-November you’ve made your [2100] hours and you have six weeks of living a normal life.


How is that a good thing, salary aside? So, basically, it's a treat to work 40-50~ hours a week instead of having one or, if you're lucky, two weeks straight of paid vacation like other working professionals? You've got to be shitting me...

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LaLiLuLeLo
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:57 pm

So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?

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Catharsis&Crumpets
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Catharsis&Crumpets » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:02 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?


Sure as fuck beats shitlawl with the same amount of sacrifice for less money, so I get why most don't complain. The bigger questions is whether anyone outside of government practice and niche boutiques actually enjoys the practice of law. Not the academic exercise of practicing law, mind you, but the day in and day out. But that's beyond the scope of this thread.

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nealric
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby nealric » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:02 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?


I didn't think the lifestyle was THAT shitty- it was just hectic. It was a great way to gain experience for a few years, but I wouldn't want to do it for my whole career. It wasn't so much about the money as trying to get a career off the ground.

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nealric
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby nealric » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:03 pm

Catharsis&Crumpets wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?


Sure as fuck beats shitlawl with the same amount of sacrifice for less money, so I get why most don't complain. The bigger questions is whether anyone outside of government practice and niche boutiques actually enjoys the practice of law. Not the academic exercise of practicing law, mind you, but the day in and day out. But that's beyond the scope of this thread.


The broader question is who enjoys working in the first place? Most jobs involve some unpleasantness.

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Mr. Peanutbutter
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:05 pm

nealric wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?


I didn't think the lifestyle was THAT shitty- it was just hectic. It was a great way to gain experience for a few years, but I wouldn't want to do it for my whole career. It wasn't so much about the money as trying to get a career off the ground.

This is how I feel about it

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Catharsis&Crumpets
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Catharsis&Crumpets » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:12 pm

nealric wrote:
Catharsis&Crumpets wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?


Sure as fuck beats shitlawl with the same amount of sacrifice for less money, so I get why most don't complain. The bigger questions is whether anyone outside of government practice and niche boutiques actually enjoys the practice of law. Not the academic exercise of practicing law, mind you, but the day in and day out. But that's beyond the scope of this thread.


The broader question is who enjoys working in the first place? Most jobs involve some unpleasantness.


True, but I don't know too many accountants getting midnight phone calls from clients regarding their clients' latest, "urgent" brain fart.

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nealric
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby nealric » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:14 pm

Catharsis&Crumpets wrote:
nealric wrote:
Catharsis&Crumpets wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?


Sure as fuck beats shitlawl with the same amount of sacrifice for less money, so I get why most don't complain. The bigger questions is whether anyone outside of government practice and niche boutiques actually enjoys the practice of law. Not the academic exercise of practicing law, mind you, but the day in and day out. But that's beyond the scope of this thread.


The broader question is who enjoys working in the first place? Most jobs involve some unpleasantness.


True, but I don't know too many accountants getting midnight phone calls from clients regarding their clients' latest, "urgent" brain fart.


You don't know any Big4 Partners then.

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Catharsis&Crumpets
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Catharsis&Crumpets » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:16 pm

nealric wrote:
Catharsis&Crumpets wrote:
nealric wrote:
Catharsis&Crumpets wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?


Sure as fuck beats shitlawl with the same amount of sacrifice for less money, so I get why most don't complain. The bigger questions is whether anyone outside of government practice and niche boutiques actually enjoys the practice of law. Not the academic exercise of practicing law, mind you, but the day in and day out. But that's beyond the scope of this thread.


The broader question is who enjoys working in the first place? Most jobs involve some unpleasantness.


True, but I don't know too many accountants getting midnight phone calls from clients regarding their clients' latest, "urgent" brain fart.


You don't know any Big4 Partners then.


Touche.

tyroneslothrop1
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:24 pm

I worked at a 50 lawyer shit law/mid law firm. I don't think it was comparable at all to big law. Although I did not bill that many fewer hours (around 2,000), I worked 8 to 6 almost every day. The work was consistent and there were no "emergencies," except in very rare circumstances. I essentially never received an assignment at 5 p.m. that "had" to be done immediately. It was always: "take a look at this when you get into tomorrow."

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homestyle28
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:25 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?



LIKE isn't the right word. There's lots of things I don't like about biglaw, but they're more about the structure of large law firms. Objectively, I get paid a lot of money to do a job that is, at times, interesting. I work with people I generally like and have lots of flexibility and autonomy in my day to day life.

Would I rather be an entrepreneur, astronaut, etc.? Sure maybe, but as jobs go, this one isn't so bad and I like it better than other jobs I've had.

Edit: I do think it's objectively true that being a biglaw transactional associate is almost always worse than being a biglaw litigation associate. Litigation is predictable, has fewer emergencies, and the mind-numbing stuff drops off after year 1 or so

Anonymous User
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:27 pm

Catharsis&Crumpets wrote:
nealric wrote:
Catharsis&Crumpets wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:So, does anyone actually LIKE biglaw?

Or have you accepted the shitty lifestyle because you’re willing to accept the sacrifices for the money?


Sure as fuck beats shitlawl with the same amount of sacrifice for less money, so I get why most don't complain. The bigger questions is whether anyone outside of government practice and niche boutiques actually enjoys the practice of law. Not the academic exercise of practicing law, mind you, but the day in and day out. But that's beyond the scope of this thread.


The broader question is who enjoys working in the first place? Most jobs involve some unpleasantness.


True, but I don't know too many accountants getting midnight phone calls from clients regarding their clients' latest, "urgent" brain fart.


On the topic of enjoying a job, who in the world truly enjoys accounting? Accounting has to be the most tedious field. What I hear from people who did accounting before law school is that big 4 accountants work long hours for a lot less pay. The job is absolutely boring, the hours/pay mix is worse.. I don't know what's better about accounting.

traveler17
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Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby traveler17 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:31 pm

I like it. However, as has been said in many posts this is probably partners/section specific. I'm in finance and I find the hours very manageable. I generally work directly with partners and no mid-levels. Working with institutional bankers (outside of notes offerings) is especially nice. I generally do not get client emails on holidays, weekends, after six etc. I actually prefer getting an early start and am either working from home or in the office by 8:00 AM. I don't take lunch breaks because I don't eat lunch. So, unless there is a CLE or some BD event, I'm billing. I leave every night between 6-7 (I might do some more work at home but just depends). While at work, if I want, I could bill the entire time--of course that doesn't happen, but the point is I never find myself waiting on projects etc or sitting idle until 6PM when shit goes down. I always have some billable work I can do. So, it seems a lot more like a shift job. I come in do my time and go home.

Of course there are exceptions to this routine, but I find the work pretty predictable and steady.




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