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People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:04 pm
by lagamemnon
Serious question:

Do those of you who enjoy working in biglaw have hobbies? Significant others? I don't understand how having an hour or two of free time, max, per day is sustainable over even a few years for a person with significant outside interests or a significant other, let alone both.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:08 pm
by rpupkin
Unless you need to sleep 10+ hours a night, it seems like you should have more than an hour or two of free time on average. And there are weekends.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:15 pm
by Capitol_Idea
I like Biglaw but I've only been doing it for a year. When it's really busy then most other things get harder but I manage parenting and all sorts of hobbies/exercise so it isn't hard if you've got the right team/practice group

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:25 pm
by ur_hero
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.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:33 pm
by Hutz_and_Goodman
I like big law, but I would prefer fewer hours. I see my wife and daughter for 1-1.5 hrs every morning, and typically see my wife for about 1-1.5 hrs every night (varies from 2-3 hours to occasionally she’s asleep when I get home). Weekends even if I have work to do I work remotely I’m with them and friends. I enjoy the job because I like legal work and the money is nice.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:08 pm
by Anonymous User
rpupkin wrote:Unless you need to sleep 10+ hours a night, it seems like you should have more than an hour or two of free time on average. And there are weekends.


If OP is talking about NYC biglaw M&A, this is definitely not true. I generally have at most only 2~3 hours of free time (I don't even have this depending on deal phase) and I work almost every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. As a junior, you have no control over your time.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:13 pm
by lagamemnon
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.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:14 pm
by lagamemnon
rpupkin wrote:Unless you need to sleep 10+ hours a night, it seems like you should have more than an hour or two of free time on average. And there are weekends.


You're right, the fact that I work twelve rather than fourteen hours on average makes all the difference.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:30 pm
by deepseapartners
lagamemnon wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Unless you need to sleep 10+ hours a night, it seems like you should have more than an hour or two of free time on average. And there are weekends.


You're right, the fact that I work twelve rather than fourteen hours on average makes all the difference.

Doesn't it, though? If I can go home at 9 PM instead of 11 PM, that's the difference between drinks with a friend or dinner with my SO.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:37 pm
by lagamemnon
deepseapartners wrote:
lagamemnon wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Unless you need to sleep 10+ hours a night, it seems like you should have more than an hour or two of free time on average. And there are weekends.


You're right, the fact that I work twelve rather than fourteen hours on average makes all the difference.

Doesn't it, though? If I can go home at 9 PM instead of 11 PM, that's the difference between drinks with a friend or dinner with my SO.


If you think working until 9 pm on average is a life, God bless you.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:40 pm
by Yugihoe
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.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:44 pm
by lagamemnon
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.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:49 pm
by homestyle28
Stop sleeping so much. I'm married, 2 kids, gonna bill right around 2100 hours. My general day starts at 4:45am when I get up to work out, then breakfast with the family, get kids to school etc. In the office by 9 out around 6 most days, Mon-Thurs. Rarely work on the weekends. Hang with the wife to watch a show, have a drink at the end of the day. Sleep 6 hours, do it again.

I'm a litigator and there are stretches where this falls apart, but also days when I work from home, don't do shit etc. Balance gets easier after year 2, when you have a stream of partners and work so that saying No or moving deadlines is less difficult.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:54 pm
by PeanutsNJam
homestyle28 wrote:Stop sleeping so much. I'm married, 2 kids, gonna bill right around 2100 hours. My general day starts at 4:45am when I get up to work out, then breakfast with the family, get kids to school etc. In the office by 9 out around 6 most days, Mon-Thurs. Rarely work on the weekends. Hang with the wife to watch a show, have a drink at the end of the day. Sleep 6 hours, do it again.

I'm a litigator and there are stretches where this falls apart, but also days when I work from home, don't do shit etc. Balance gets easier after year 2, when you have a stream of partners and work so that saying No or moving deadlines is less difficult.


Do you feel like that's enough sleep? That's like the ideal sleep schedule but I'm a lazy bastard who doesn't like going to bed early and doesn't like getting up early. The few times I've had to deal with jet lag, slept at 10 and woke up at 5, I felt like my day was 2x longer. When you get up before 6am it feels like your days are so much longer.

I'd want that sleep schedule regardless of what job I'm doing.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:57 pm
by Anonymous User
Even if your client isn’t giving you deadlines, there will be weekends where the partner or senior decides to push ahead on work by using Saturday as a day to have a drafting marathon. Have fun being put on call to turn changes, do other tasks.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:00 pm
by lagamemnon
homestyle28 wrote:Stop sleeping so much. I'm married, 2 kids, gonna bill right around 2100 hours. My general day starts at 4:45am when I get up to work out, then breakfast with the family, get kids to school etc. In the office by 9 out around 6 most days, Mon-Thurs. Rarely work on the weekends. Hang with the wife to watch a show, have a drink at the end of the day. Sleep 6 hours, do it again.

I'm a litigator and there are stretches where this falls apart, but also days when I work from home, don't do shit etc. Balance gets easier after year 2, when you have a stream of partners and work so that saying No or moving deadlines is less difficult.


"Don't sleep." Solid advice.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:02 pm
by Yugihoe
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.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:09 pm
by homestyle28
PeanutsNJam wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:Stop sleeping so much. I'm married, 2 kids, gonna bill right around 2100 hours. My general day starts at 4:45am when I get up to work out, then breakfast with the family, get kids to school etc. In the office by 9 out around 6 most days, Mon-Thurs. Rarely work on the weekends. Hang with the wife to watch a show, have a drink at the end of the day. Sleep 6 hours, do it again.

I'm a litigator and there are stretches where this falls apart, but also days when I work from home, don't do shit etc. Balance gets easier after year 2, when you have a stream of partners and work so that saying No or moving deadlines is less difficult.


Do you feel like that's enough sleep? That's like the ideal sleep schedule but I'm a lazy bastard who doesn't like going to bed early and doesn't like getting up early. The few times I've had to deal with jet lag, slept at 10 and woke up at 5, I felt like my day was 2x longer. When you get up before 6am it feels like your days are so much longer.

I'd want that sleep schedule regardless of what job I'm doing.


It's not ideal, and some days feel worse than others. Before becoming a lawyer I would've said I need 8-9 hours/night. The reality is you can adjust with only minimal impact on performance, well-being. It's a compromise to get other things that are more important to me in.

edit: Not sure I could pull this off in NYC where it's expected that people stay in the office until 8 every night. My office empties out at 5:30 or so. Staying to 6 looks like "staying late" and the partners I work for are pretty unlikely to generate new work after 5pm.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:11 pm
by homestyle28
lagamemnon wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:Stop sleeping so much. I'm married, 2 kids, gonna bill right around 2100 hours. My general day starts at 4:45am when I get up to work out, then breakfast with the family, get kids to school etc. In the office by 9 out around 6 most days, Mon-Thurs. Rarely work on the weekends. Hang with the wife to watch a show, have a drink at the end of the day. Sleep 6 hours, do it again.

I'm a litigator and there are stretches where this falls apart, but also days when I work from home, don't do shit etc. Balance gets easier after year 2, when you have a stream of partners and work so that saying No or moving deadlines is less difficult.


"Don't sleep." Solid advice.


I said sleep less, not don't sleep. Or, go find another job that will reward your poli sci undergrad degree with a six-figure salary and is contained to a 40-hour work-week. Report back when you find it, and let me know if they're taking applications.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:28 pm
by magnum_law
homestyle28 wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:Stop sleeping so much. I'm married, 2 kids, gonna bill right around 2100 hours. My general day starts at 4:45am when I get up to work out, then breakfast with the family, get kids to school etc. In the office by 9 out around 6 most days, Mon-Thurs. Rarely work on the weekends. Hang with the wife to watch a show, have a drink at the end of the day. Sleep 6 hours, do it again.

I'm a litigator and there are stretches where this falls apart, but also days when I work from home, don't do shit etc. Balance gets easier after year 2, when you have a stream of partners and work so that saying No or moving deadlines is less difficult.


Do you feel like that's enough sleep? That's like the ideal sleep schedule but I'm a lazy bastard who doesn't like going to bed early and doesn't like getting up early. The few times I've had to deal with jet lag, slept at 10 and woke up at 5, I felt like my day was 2x longer. When you get up before 6am it feels like your days are so much longer.

I'd want that sleep schedule regardless of what job I'm doing.


It's not ideal, and some days feel worse than others. Before becoming a lawyer I would've said I need 8-9 hours/night. The reality is you can adjust with only minimal impact on performance, well-being. It's a compromise to get other things that are more important to me in.

edit: Not sure I could pull this off in NYC where it's expected that people stay in the office until 8 every night. My office empties out at 5:30 or so. Staying to 6 looks like "staying late" and the partners I work for are pretty unlikely to generate new work after 5pm.


Do you mind sharing what market/region you work in? Will be doing biglaw in Atlanta and praying my life will look like this

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:49 pm
by lagamemnon
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.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:10 am
by SmokeytheBear
I'm going to check back in once this thread reaches page four.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:17 am
by Mr. Peanutbutter
God damn it I’m going to die alone

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:18 am
by BigZuck
Mods any chance we can edit out the answers from stubs and give them a week long ban for good measure? TYIA. I'd ask for the same treatment for "rising second years" but acknowledge that's probably too much to ask.

I'm officially calling BS on Homeboy's "I work 9-6 most of the time and totes bill 2100 a year I swearsies!" Seriously mods, please.

Re: People who like Biglaw

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:57 am
by smokeylarue
I find the actual day to day hours very manageable. I also barely work weekends so that's nice too. The problems are the stress of the job that never quite goes away. Just always having to be available and worrying about low hours and worrying about having too much work, etc. The mental aspect is the the worst part. But honestly, i don't know a single person who enjoys BigLaw, so don't worry about it if you don't like it, just means you're normal.