SteelReserve wrote:Do people truly believe that 60 hours a week for 160k is some kind of soul-leeching labor camp life?
While I have never aspired for biglaw, I do understand the draw and I understand why people would want to do it and I would never second guess them for wanting to work in biglaw.
But as some of the actual posters here that work(ed) in biglaw can attest, it's not just an issue of hours worked. 60 may be average but there are many times when the workload is much higher.
The real problem with it is the control over one's life that the firm (rightfully so at 160k) exercises. I think most people wouldn't really mind 60 hour weeks if you could do it 8 to 8 but it doesn't work that way. You can't just clock out at 8 if you want to get noticed--it's very important to stay late.
But the real rub is the uncertainty of when a partner will drop something on your lap, forcing you to cancel plans with friends, family, and dates. Many assignments require lots of work during the weekends. So even if your work is more spread out, it really does suck to work every single day of the week...it can be soul-crushing to not have a day off.
Now think what that does to a young single/guy gal. You want to go out on weekends and unwind, but you can't. You can't stay out late on friday night when you have to hit the office early Saturday. So you really are signing away your twenties (which some people would argue is the best time of life outside childhood) over to the firm.
That's just something to think about. Bottom line is law is not the field to go into if you want a 40 hour work week.