How do you all feel about Biglaw?

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motiontodismiss
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby motiontodismiss » Fri May 07, 2010 11:11 am

Pearalegal wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:American Biglaw expects 2000+ billables. At 2/3 efficiency that's 3000 hours/year. With 2 weeks' worth of government holidays, and 4 weeks of vacation, that's 66 hours a week, a little more than 13 hours a day working M-F.



So you work 7am to 6pm M-F and then a few saturdays. Home in time to make dinner for the kids and watch some bad sitcoms.

Though show me a young associate who takes 4 weeks of vacation, and I'll show you a young associate who doesn't care about getting ahead in the firm.

Which is not a bad thing, for godsake. Most jobs start you out on a week of vacation a year if that.


Still leaves 2 hours short every day and 4 billables short every week, assuming 2/3 efficiency.


With the Saturdays?


Ok, so a full saturday every other week. Honestly though, I'd rather work 16 hours a day M-R than 11 hours a day M-S.

270910
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 11:12 am

motiontodismiss wrote:Ok, so a full saturday every other week. Honestly though, I'd rather work 16 hours a day M-R than 11 hours a day M-S.


you won't have that much control. That's why all of this division and math is theater of the absurd. You'll work when there's work you have to do, and you'll try to keep on pace to exceed (by however much) your billable hours target. You won't get weekends off if there's work to do on weekends, you won't be able to work 16 hours monday if there's not 16 hours of work to do on monday.

Pearalegal
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby Pearalegal » Fri May 07, 2010 11:13 am

disco_barred wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:I have a classmate who paralegaled both in NYC and in DC, and she says there is a gigantic difference. She claims DC is an epic, epic quality of life win. I debated the merits of arguing with her, but I have only ever visited DC, so I doubted I could do so effectively. She seemed to think I should consider leaving New York at graduation.


A lot of this stems from DC biglaw being very involved with government work, which shuts down at 5 pm every effing day. And do not even TRY to think about extending that.


Depends on the government. The political process world never sleeps, and a lot of biglaw is involved in that. I doubt many big firm attorneys who were working HCR, as an example, were doing chest bumps and body shots come 5 pm on their way our the door.


Lol, I was just explaining a general reason I see for the difference in DC/NYC biglaw hours.

The point I was making is that at a certain point, many of your clients become unaccessable, causing you to work with less pressure after normal COB. Often, because a client might want to see a product, you have to rush to get all your work done before 5/5:30.

Its a different feel, though by no means a rule. Wasn't trying to suggest that. I work literally between the White House and the Capitol and downtown is like a ghost town by 6 pm.

Pearalegal
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby Pearalegal » Fri May 07, 2010 11:13 am

disco_barred wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:Ok, so a full saturday every other week. Honestly though, I'd rather work 16 hours a day M-R than 11 hours a day M-S.


you won't have that much control. That's why all of this division and math is theater of the absurd. You'll work when there's work you have to do, and you'll try to keep on pace to exceed (by however much) your billable hours target. You won't get weekends off if there's work to do on weekends, you won't be able to work 16 hours monday if there's not 16 hours of work to do on monday.


Exactly. I have a 1900 billable requirement, and I never had to plan out my schedule to make it. Litigation is the gift of billables that keeps giving.

270910
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 11:14 am

Pearalegal wrote:Its a different feel, though by no means a rule. Wasn't trying to suggest that. I work literally between the White House and the Capitol and downtown is like a ghost town by 6 pm.


You can say that again. I worked late once during a squishy UG summer gig and tried to find a place for dinner, places were boarding up their windows as the tumbleweed sailed by.

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paratactical
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby paratactical » Fri May 07, 2010 11:15 am

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Pearalegal
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby Pearalegal » Fri May 07, 2010 11:16 am

disco_barred wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:Its a different feel, though by no means a rule. Wasn't trying to suggest that. I work literally between the White House and the Capitol and downtown is like a ghost town by 6 pm.


You can say that again. I worked late once during a squishy UG summer gig and tried to find a place for dinner, places were boarding up their windows as the tumbleweed sailed by.


Haha, except for the bar right under my firm, where everyone seems to cluster. Probably for the gun fights between the GOP and Dems that occur around 8:30 every night. Sadly and predictably, its always a draw.

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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 11:21 am

Pearalegal wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:Its a different feel, though by no means a rule. Wasn't trying to suggest that. I work literally between the White House and the Capitol and downtown is like a ghost town by 6 pm.


You can say that again. I worked late once during a squishy UG summer gig and tried to find a place for dinner, places were boarding up their windows as the tumbleweed sailed by.


Haha, except for the bar right under my firm, where everyone seems to cluster. Probably for the gun fights between the GOP and Dems that occur around 8:30 every night. Sadly and predictably, its always a draw.


:lol: color me unsurprised

Kochel
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby Kochel » Fri May 07, 2010 11:21 am

[quote="paratactical
Get three or four months of 300+ billables and suddenly a week long vacay is possible.[/quote]

3-4 months of 300+ billables? Ouch. In my 4 years of Biglaw I hit 27-280 a few times, but never hit 300. And even 270 hours was the height of misery.

And nobody takes 4 weeks of vacation.

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paratactical
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby paratactical » Fri May 07, 2010 11:22 am

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lawschoolgiant
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby lawschoolgiant » Fri May 07, 2010 11:26 am

Who cares how other people feel, don't make decisions based on how others feel, that is what you are trying to do.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri May 07, 2010 11:27 am

paratactical wrote:I had one year in NYC biglaw where I only got one 300 hour month, but every other year I had 3-4.


Para, what about personality and stress level differences between biglaw offices in NYC and elsewhere? My friend said it wasn't just about billable hours. I am curious about this, because I've never really worked outside New York at all.

motiontodismiss
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby motiontodismiss » Fri May 07, 2010 11:27 am

lawschoolgiant wrote:Who cares how other people feel, don't make decisions based on how others feel, that is what you are trying to do.


+∞

scionb4
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby scionb4 » Fri May 07, 2010 11:29 am

Pearalegal wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:I have a feeling a lot of the naysayers are people who have never had a real job before and are just spoiled schoolchildren, probably coasted through an easy lib arts major too.


Back off. My double anthropology and creative writing degree allows me to watch people and then write a poem about them like a BEAST.

:lol:

Pearalegal
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby Pearalegal » Fri May 07, 2010 11:29 am

OperaSoprano wrote:
paratactical wrote:I had one year in NYC biglaw where I only got one 300 hour month, but every other year I had 3-4.


Para, what about personality and stress level differences between biglaw offices in NYC and elsewhere? My friend said it wasn't just about billable hours. I am curious about this, because I've never really worked outside New York at all.


Mind if I answer too? I work a lot with attorneys in our NY, CA and international offices.

DC seems to be second in stress level to NY, but that is a distant second. I'm sure Para could flesh out the mentality better, but working for a NY associate and partner is always a much bigger time commitment, and they micromanage a lot more.

On the other hand, I'm usually more stressed out than the CA associates and partners.

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paratactical
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby paratactical » Fri May 07, 2010 11:33 am

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270910
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 11:36 am

paratactical wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
paratactical wrote:I had one year in NYC biglaw where I only got one 300 hour month, but every other year I had 3-4.


Para, what about personality and stress level differences between biglaw offices in NYC and elsewhere? My friend said it wasn't just about billable hours. I am curious about this, because I've never really worked outside New York at all.


I think it is probably more about the size of the office than what city it is in. The NYC office I worked in had 900+ employees on more than 11 floors of prime Manhattan real estate. That big of an office creates an environment in which people need to really go above and beyond to distinguish themselves. It creates a more competitive enivornment. In NYC, I worked on one trial that was staffed with 7 paralegals, 5 partners and god knows how many associates.

The difference in the Boston firm is that it's a much smaller place. There aren't enough litigation partners in this office to have 5 partners on anything. The fac that everyone knows everyone in their department makes for more of a team feeling. It makes it easier to say "Hey, I know you need this work done, but I just finished a trial and I could really use a day off". It's more of a team throughout the whole firm as opposed to being on teams trial by trial.


This thread has gone from LOL 0LS PONDERING BIG LAW to one of the most informative discussions of firm culture based on geography / practice on TLS. Thanks everyone!

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paratactical
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby paratactical » Fri May 07, 2010 11:40 am

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Pearalegal
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby Pearalegal » Fri May 07, 2010 11:40 am

paratactical wrote:I think it is probably more about the size of the office than what city it is in. The NYC office I worked in had 900+ employees on more than 11 floors of prime Manhattan real estate. That big of an office creates an environment in which people need to really go above and beyond to distinguish themselves. It creates a more competitive enivornment. In NYC, I worked on one trial that was staffed with 7 paralegals, 5 partners and god knows how many associates.


This is a good point. With the bigger cases come the bigger profits and pressure, making everyone more on edge and the workload much bigger and more intense. We had a case that was staffed 24/7 for 3 months. I avoided it like the plague and managed to stay off of it, but most other paralegals weren't so lucky.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri May 07, 2010 11:42 am

Pearalegal wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
paratactical wrote:I had one year in NYC biglaw where I only got one 300 hour month, but every other year I had 3-4.


Para, what about personality and stress level differences between biglaw offices in NYC and elsewhere? My friend said it wasn't just about billable hours. I am curious about this, because I've never really worked outside New York at all.


Mind if I answer too? I work a lot with attorneys in our NY, CA and international offices.

DC seems to be second in stress level to NY, but that is a distant second. I'm sure Para could flesh out the mentality better, but working for a NY associate and partner is always a much bigger time commitment, and they micromanage a lot more.

On the other hand, I'm usually more stressed out than the CA associates and partners.


Thank you! Yes, I'd actually heard that the CA associates (particularly those based in Palo Alto) seem positively laid back compared to those in NYC. This is academic for me, since I'm not at a T14, and I'll take what I can get and like it. (For some reason I just thought of the Matchmaker song from Fiddler on the Roof. :lol: ) I'm hoping to keep stress manageable, though, and balance is important to me, if I have a choice.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri May 07, 2010 11:44 am

paratactical wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
paratactical wrote:I had one year in NYC biglaw where I only got one 300 hour month, but every other year I had 3-4.


Para, what about personality and stress level differences between biglaw offices in NYC and elsewhere? My friend said it wasn't just about billable hours. I am curious about this, because I've never really worked outside New York at all.


I think it is probably more about the size of the office than what city it is in. The NYC office I worked in had 900+ employees on more than 11 floors of prime Manhattan real estate. That big of an office creates an environment in which people need to really go above and beyond to distinguish themselves. It creates a more competitive enivornment. In NYC, I worked on one trial that was staffed with 7 paralegals, 5 partners and god knows how many associates.

The difference in the Boston firm is that it's a much smaller place. There aren't enough litigation partners in this office to have 5 partners on anything. The fac that everyone knows everyone in their department makes for more of a team feeling. It makes it easier to say "Hey, I know you need this work done, but I just finished a trial and I could really use a day off". It's more of a team throughout the whole firm as opposed to being on teams trial by trial.


Thank you, Para. That is definitely something I will keep in mind if I have options. If I am at a firm, I definitely want to know all of the people I will regularly work with. NYC can be broken down, I think. More research to do!

270910
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 11:46 am

OperaSoprano wrote:Thank you, Para. That is definitely something I will keep in mind if I have options. If I am at a firm, I definitely want to know all of the people I will regularly work with. NYC can be broken down, I think. More research to do!


Quoted for 'lolololol OperaSoprano talking about working at a firm as a realistic possibility' and contrast to prior TLS musings ;D

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paratactical
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby paratactical » Fri May 07, 2010 11:46 am

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri May 07, 2010 12:13 pm

disco_barred wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:Thank you, Para. That is definitely something I will keep in mind if I have options. If I am at a firm, I definitely want to know all of the people I will regularly work with. NYC can be broken down, I think. More research to do!


Quoted for 'lolololol OperaSoprano talking about working at a firm as a realistic possibility' and contrast to prior TLS musings ;D


Quoted for 'lolololol you are very lucky I'm not done analyzing Moore v. Regents of the University of California for this practice exam', aren't you? ;D

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DoubleChecks
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Re: How do you all feel about Biglaw?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri May 07, 2010 2:09 pm

Dtackpat75 wrote:I don't know where this whole I just want to make 100K at some point in time and have a nice family life, be a t-ball coach, retire early mentality comes from. It frankly is not a reality. Lawyer, banker, doctor, accountant, consultant, all of these jobs pay well (generally) and require alot of time. If you want to have a nice house, nice things, do "interesting work", be able to put kids through college, and spend the last 20 years of your life in retirement, then your are going to have to work...and work hard. Ofcourse, you could always take out a lot of deby, finance everything and just die before the bill collectors take everything. I mean your kids will pay it all off for you. Plus, what does it matter to you, you will be dead.

Sorry the movies aren't real boys and girls.


? I disagree if your goal is $100,000 at some point in time lol. Accountants, engineers, pharmacists, dentists, office managers (not all, but certainly some), etc. There are "a lot" of jobs/professions that can eventually pay $100,000 and leave plenty of time for a nice family life, be a t-ball coach, and retire before 66 lol. I think it is very much reality -- the only sticking point is they are really only accessible to those well educated.

I'm not saying they arent stressful at all or that they dont require a lot of time, but most of those i listed are 9-5 (8-5?) jobs w/ no work on weekends that can eventually top 3 figures and arent in the same ballpark of stress and time consumption as biglaw.

Working 'hard' is a relative term, so cant comment on that lol. But if education is the key to opportunities, a lot of these jobs exist.




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