Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:17 pm

Senior associate here - non-NY biglaw, very high hours. I take at least one 2-2.5 week vacation per year. The one year I didn't (and whenever I go several months with high hours and without vacation), partners in my group start encouraging me to make sure I've got a vacation on the horizon. Vacations are 95 percent respected, and it is rare for me to bill more than 5 hours during a 2-2.5 week vacation. What you are describing in your practice group is not normal.

lagamemnon

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby lagamemnon » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:49 pm

Biglaw isn't bad if you (i) don't have hobbies or passions and (ii) either (a) aren't in a relationship or (b) have a transactional view of relationships.

Neither (i) nor (ii) apply to me, so I hate it.

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TFALAWL

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby TFALAWL » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:05 am

jd20132013 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Consider visiting a homeless shelter, a children's hospital cancer ward or municipal court where a mother was caught stealing baby food or diapers for her infant child while showing a black eye & a broken arm given to her by her significant other, her protector & provider. Then check your bank balance, Finally, reassess your current complaint.


spare us

we can recognize that we have relatively great lives without that meaning we accept any and everything imposed on us by the employer

By your logic no one in America should ever complain about anything since at least we aren't being bombed around the clock


He/She is not making a logical argument, though, but an appeal to your emotions to have perspective. Yes, it's something we've all heard before, but it's worth considering: for your own sake tbh -- pro bono is the only way I stay sane because it does make biglaw feel "easier."

That said, this is a space intended for big lawyers, so there is no shame in expressing frustration -- that way we can give some meaningful advice to helping each other out -- and saying "I have no sympathy for people making 200k a year" doesn't help the OP in anyway.

So back on topic, OP: big law will largely be what you make of it. The earlier you figure out where you want to be in 10 years, the easier it will get because you will have a better sense of direction. As far as the day-to-day grind, just look for little ways to find more efficiencies, how to learn to say no to work, etc.

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:29 am

I'm a junior partner in NYC big law at a very NON-lifestyle firm. OP's experience with vacation is ridiculous and not OK. I billed a stupid number of hours pretty much every year as an associate, but I always took lots of vacation days and no one ever gave me a hard time about it. A couple times I had to do significant work while I was out. It sucked. Every other time it was just checking emails and maybe a phone call or two. My classmates covered for me and I covered for them in return. I cannot imagine getting through this job without being able to get away and recharge every once in a while.

To the bigger picture question about something to look forward to... it really depends on your tolerance for the bad aspects of big law. Even as a junior partner, the hours are still longer than I would like and less predictable than I would like. I often have to log in at night or on the weekends and I'm still at the whim of clients who think they are the most important people in the world. All of that gets more manageable as you move up the ladder, but it never goes away. If that stuff is a dealbreaker then you should leave big law when you can afford to. The other parts of the job do get way better. The work gets more interesting, the tedium goes away, the stress goes way down (particularly after making partner) and obviously the comp is nice. I think there are a lot of underrated advantages to the teamwork and camaraderie involved in the job, particularly at firms that staff more leanly. It can be a really good job if you find the right spot and if you're able to manage the downsides. Big "ifs" unfortunately.

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby gaddockteeg » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a junior partner in NYC big law at a very NON-lifestyle firm. OP's experience with vacation is ridiculous and not OK. I billed a stupid number of hours pretty much every year as an associate, but I always took lots of vacation days and no one ever gave me a hard time about it. A couple times I had to do significant work while I was out. It sucked. Every other time it was just checking emails and maybe a phone call or two. My classmates covered for me and I covered for them in return. I cannot imagine getting through this job without being able to get away and recharge every once in a while.

To the bigger picture question about something to look forward to... it really depends on your tolerance for the bad aspects of big law. Even as a junior partner, the hours are still longer than I would like and less predictable than I would like. I often have to log in at night or on the weekends and I'm still at the whim of clients who think they are the most important people in the world. All of that gets more manageable as you move up the ladder, but it never goes away. If that stuff is a dealbreaker then you should leave big law when you can afford to. The other parts of the job do get way better. The work gets more interesting, the tedium goes away, the stress goes way down (particularly after making partner) and obviously the comp is nice. I think there are a lot of underrated advantages to the teamwork and camaraderie involved in the job, particularly at firms that staff more leanly. It can be a really good job if you find the right spot and if you're able to manage the downsides. Big "ifs" unfortunately.


"Stress goes way down . . . after making partner."

does this refer to equity partner or does it include nonequity partners? Just wondering. I was always under the impression that junior (nonequity) partners and/or counsel roles were the most stressful because they were/are often the first to get axed during a recession/down year. I could totally be wrong about this.

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:56 pm

gaddockteeg wrote:"Stress goes way down . . . after making partner."

does this refer to equity partner or does it include nonequity partners? Just wondering. I was always under the impression that junior (nonequity) partners and/or counsel roles were the most stressful because they were/are often the first to get axed during a recession/down year. I could totally be wrong about this.


My firm doesn't have non-equity partners so I can't really say. I found the stress more manageable even as a senior associate since you have a better sense of what is going on and more autonomy. The career longevity stress is only part of it. YMMV.

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:39 pm

I work at a small law firm, and I hate the billable system here that vacations are effectively illusory. As soon as you take a break, you're even further away from meeting quota (which no one here meets).

I'm thinking about negotiating a lower billing quota for lower pay.

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Johann

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby Johann » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:21 pm

lagamemnon wrote:Biglaw isn't bad if you (i) don't have hobbies or passions and (ii) either (a) aren't in a relationship or (b) have a transactional view of relationships.

Neither (i) nor (ii) apply to me, so I hate it.

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby gaddockteeg » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:"Stress goes way down . . . after making partner."

does this refer to equity partner or does it include nonequity partners? Just wondering. I was always under the impression that junior (nonequity) partners and/or counsel roles were the most stressful because they were/are often the first to get axed during a recession/down year. I could totally be wrong about this.


My firm doesn't have non-equity partners so I can't really say. I found the stress more manageable even as a senior associate since you have a better sense of what is going on and more autonomy. The career longevity stress is only part of it. YMMV.


Interesting, thanks. What about the stress of bringing in business? How do you feel about it/deal with it/how bad is it?

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby TheoO » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:40 pm

I have a pretty great view from my window. It lets me see the mornings pass to night on a very regular basis. Afterward, I can just continue working from home in my underwear, I look forward to that.

Also, if you're the kind of person who loses their appetite when stressed, you can lose a surprising amount of weight.

charliekelly33

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby charliekelly33 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:19 pm

Pick a spouse/SO that you abhor. Then, the time you spend in the office will seem relatively enjoyable.

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:42 pm

First year corporate NYC biglaw (terrible reputation on TLS). Worked through every single holiday since I started in the fall. A partner was unhappy I took the day off before Christmas weekend so I can fly back to see my parents (even though I had no active deals from him at the time, and said I would be available remotely if something urgent comes up), also had to fly back on Christmas day to sit in the firm and do nothing just so I can show facetime (but it's fucking pointless because no one else is here but me and him?). Absolutely terrible group.

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby umichman » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:First year corporate NYC biglaw (terrible reputation on TLS). Worked through every single holiday since I started in the fall. A partner was unhappy I took the day off before Christmas weekend so I can fly back to see my parents (even though I had no active deals from him at the time, and said I would be available remotely if something urgent comes up), also had to fly back on Christmas day to sit in the firm and do nothing just so I can show facetime (but it's fucking pointless because no one else is here but me and him?). Absolutely terrible group.


Sounds like literally worst partner in the world. Lateral tmrw.

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nealric

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Re: Is There Something to Look Forward to in BigLaw?

Postby nealric » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:First year corporate NYC biglaw (terrible reputation on TLS). Worked through every single holiday since I started in the fall. A partner was unhappy I took the day off before Christmas weekend so I can fly back to see my parents (even though I had no active deals from him at the time, and said I would be available remotely if something urgent comes up), also had to fly back on Christmas day to sit in the firm and do nothing just so I can show facetime (but it's fucking pointless because no one else is here but me and him?). Absolutely terrible group.


That's not normal. Sometimes people who lateral are just going out of the frying pan into the fire. In your case, it sounds like most anywhere would be better.



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