BIG LAW

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soullesswonder
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby soullesswonder » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:53 pm

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.


+1

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Sogui
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby Sogui » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:57 pm

Just curious why anyone would say 20s are the best times in life?

If you have ambitions you are either going to grad school or climbing some type of career ladder, neither of those could ever be called "appealing" after 4 years of partying and enjoying ridiculous amounts of free time (aka undergrad).

reverendt
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby reverendt » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:45 pm

Sogui wrote:Just curious why anyone would say 20s are the best times in life?

If you have ambitions you are either going to grad school or climbing some type of career ladder, neither of those could ever be called "appealing" after 4 years of partying and enjoying ridiculous amounts of free time (aka undergrad).

In your 20's you can get into bars, and probably have some income.

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GordonGekko
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby GordonGekko » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:56 pm

I think some of the people who play up the soul-crushing aspects of biglaw have lived very, very comfortable lives and are thus quite shocked and disappointed when plunged into that sort of environment. The problem with painting all incoming law students as naive regarding biglaw's difficulties is that it discounts the wide array of experiences the incoming student body has to draw from.

Personally, I worked fifty+ hour weeks all through undergrad while being married and maintaining a somewhat active social life. The jobs I had absolutely sucked (car sales for three years, etc.). The classes I took at school weren't exactly enjoyable either, but I powered through. Since college, I've worked at a job that has required 50-70 hours a week from me for the last two and a half years while staying active with many different volunteer organizations within the community. My work is tedious and involves ridiculous amounts of frustration and rejection, but the pay is pretty good (not biglaw good though).

I am going to view law school as a total vacation compared to what I'm used to. If all that's required of me is sixty hours a week of studying a subject I am passionate about, bring it on. I know I'm not the only one with this type of background.

So, while OP and many like him deserve the reality beat down they generally receive around here, the omniscient of this board should paint with a slightly less wide brush.

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Sogui
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby Sogui » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:51 am

reverendt wrote:
Sogui wrote:Just curious why anyone would say 20s are the best times in life?

If you have ambitions you are either going to grad school or climbing some type of career ladder, neither of those could ever be called "appealing" after 4 years of partying and enjoying ridiculous amounts of free time (aka undergrad).

In your 20's you can get into bars, and probably have some income.


IMO House parties surrounded by friends > Bars filled with strangers

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raperez129
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby raperez129 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:55 am

Kiersten1985 wrote:I am scared shtless for anyone who goes into BigLaw without having worked in it. I know way too many lawyers who went in having heard about it but not living it and they pretty much hate their lives. On the other hand, those who had real expectations about the hours and workload and stress and crazy partners seem to genuinely enjoy their lives.

I'm at trial right now and have worked 85 hours from last Monday through last night, got here at 8:30 am (yes, it's Sunday) and will be here again until 1 or 2 am. So... it becomes your life. If you want law to be your "job" and have a regular life outside of it, then don't do BigLaw. If you don't mind or even enjoy having your life be your career, then jump on board and enjoy the cashflow.

My advice: take a year or two and work in BigLaw. It's really the only way to see if it's for you.

EDIT: Oh, and as a freshman, the only thing you should really worry about is getting the best GPA possible if you want to go to law school. And TAKE TIME OFF between college and law school. Work at a firm, see if it's for you. Lawyers who hate being lawyers never truly knew what being a lawyer entailed.


+1 Bravo...well said.
I'm not sure anyone ever made partner by working only 60 hours a week. That is more like a very light week.

heyguys
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby heyguys » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:03 am

I guess I just compare it to med school on some level: 3 years of biglaw as a sort of less demanding "residency" where you also get paid 3x as much. Is this a bad way to think of it?

reverendt
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby reverendt » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:32 am

Sogui wrote:
reverendt wrote:
Sogui wrote:Just curious why anyone would say 20s are the best times in life?

If you have ambitions you are either going to grad school or climbing some type of career ladder, neither of those could ever be called "appealing" after 4 years of partying and enjoying ridiculous amounts of free time (aka undergrad).

In your 20's you can get into bars, and probably have some income.


IMO House parties surrounded by friends > Bars filled with strangers


Strangers of the opposite sex can = a very good thing.

I've done the teens, 20's and most of my 30's.
Teens were lotsa fun, but no money.
Now I enjoy life but have responsibilities, a hectic life and can't pick up loose women (wife might complain...)
My 20's = some spending money, time and energy to use it, and general good natured debauchery.
Hence I stand by my statement.

Action Jackson
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:46 am

Re: BIG LAW

Postby Action Jackson » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:40 am

GordonGekko wrote:I think some of the people who play up the soul-crushing aspects of biglaw have lived very, very comfortable lives and are thus quite shocked and disappointed when plunged into that sort of environment. The problem with painting all incoming law students as naive regarding biglaw's difficulties is that it discounts the wide array of experiences the incoming student body has to draw from.

Personally, I worked fifty+ hour weeks all through undergrad while being married and maintaining a somewhat active social life. The jobs I had absolutely sucked (car sales for three years, etc.). The classes I took at school weren't exactly enjoyable either, but I powered through. Since college, I've worked at a job that has required 50-70 hours a week from me for the last two and a half years while staying active with many different volunteer organizations within the community. My work is tedious and involves ridiculous amounts of frustration and rejection, but the pay is pretty good (not biglaw good though).

I am going to view law school as a total vacation compared to what I'm used to. If all that's required of me is sixty hours a week of studying a subject I am passionate about, bring it on. I know I'm not the only one with this type of background.

So, while OP and many like him deserve the reality beat down they generally receive around here, the omniscient of this board should paint with a slightly less wide brush.

You're making several mistakes:

1. Law school for most isn't free, so it's not like you're going to come out the other side the same way you went in. If your pay is "pretty good" now, you might actually end up making less money after loan repayments (and after losing 3 years of career advancement).

2. You might be passionate about the law before you get to law school, but VERY few people are truly passionate about it after they get here. The people I know that have remained passionate about what they're doing are passionate about getting out of law school and helping people, not the material you're working on. Law school is BORING and TEDIOUS. Biglaw is WORSE, in that respect.

3. Biglaw is a gamble. I know MANY 3Ls that came to law school wanting a $160k job and are now desperately trying to get whatever they can. These aren't people at the bottom of the class or socially inept. The job market for lawyers at the top has constricted like a mofo, and there's a real concern about what the long term effects of this constriction are going to be. Even at a top 10 law school, this is a very serious concern.

I also second the comments earlier that you have to see Biglaw to believe it. If you've never worked in a big firm or know anyone that has, you need to do that ASAP! Its very common for people to cry at work in Biglaw, and not just the ladies. It's really weird. Know what you're getting into.
Last edited by Action Jackson on Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Action Jackson
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby Action Jackson » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:43 am

heyguys wrote:I guess I just compare it to med school on some level: 3 years of biglaw as a sort of less demanding "residency" where you also get paid 3x as much. Is this a bad way to think of it?

No, because all medical school graduates become residents. It's an extension of their education. Biglaw is only obtained by a tiny fraction of law school graduates (top 1/2 or so of top 14 grads, top 5-10% of lower ranked schools). And if you miss the Biglaw boat, you're out of luck.

HBK
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:29 pm

Re: BIG LAW

Postby HBK » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:48 am

Sogui wrote:Just curious why anyone would say 20s are the best times in life?

If you have ambitions you are either going to grad school or climbing some type of career ladder, neither of those could ever be called "appealing" after 4 years of partying and enjoying ridiculous amounts of free time (aka undergrad).



Twenties are great. You have the money to do things you couldn't afford to do in college. You can date, travel, etc. It's a wonderful time. Hey, what are you doing this weekend? Wanna go to Vegas? Sure!

Then people tend to get married, have kids, and ruin everything for themselves.

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raperez129
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Re: BIG LAW

Postby raperez129 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:16 am

I also second the comments earlier that you have to see Biglaw to believe it. If you've never worked in a big firm or know anyone that has, you need to do that ASAP! Its very common for people to cry at work in Biglaw, and not just the ladies. It's really weird. Know what you're getting into.


+1 million




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