how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
sbpark84
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 3:59 pm

how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby sbpark84 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:24 pm

does anyone know?

User avatar
just a girl
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 6:39 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby just a girl » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:25 pm

A heckuva lot. http://www.nalpdirectory.com/

A lot of firms post their billable hour requirements there.
I think the general rule of them is that 65-75% of the hours you work are billable, so add 1/3 to 1/4 more to those totals, then divide by 51 and you can get a rough estimate.

User avatar
Formerbruin
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:24 am

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby Formerbruin » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:06 pm

Also remember that if you're just meeting minimum billables, you're not going to be working there for long, and you definitely won't be on the partner track. Even if minimum billables might be 2000 at, say, Baker & McKenzie, most associates work upwards of 2200, 2300, or more.

2000 billables = 2650 actual hours (ish) = 53 hours/ week (50 weeks)
2300 billables = 3050 hours = 61 hours/week (50 weeks)

Also note that hours might be inconsistent--you might have 40 hours one week and 100 the next.

zeezoo
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:58 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby zeezoo » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:10 pm

60 hours really is not that bad unless you have a long commute. My advice--find an apartment as close to the office as possible, even if it will cause you an extra 500-1000 a month.

gmmathers
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:51 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby gmmathers » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:05 am

HA. Try 80+/week

philo-sophia
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:45 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby philo-sophia » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:10 am

gmmathers wrote:HA. Try 80+/week


He's right folks. I was a paralegal at cravath for a while and i'd say it ranged from 50 to 100. I had a friend who was an M&A paralegal and she billed 120 hours one week.

matt
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby matt » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:14 am

philo-sophia wrote:
gmmathers wrote:HA. Try 80+/week


He's right folks. I was a paralegal at cravath for a while and i'd say it ranged from 50 to 100. I had a friend who was an M&A paralegal and she billed 120 hours one week.


So over a 7 day week your friend worked on average over 17 hours a day? Thats insane...

Luxor
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:06 am

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby Luxor » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:18 am

I think the general rule of them is that 65-75% of the hours you work are billable, so add 1/3 to 1/4 more to those totals, then


Unfortunately, it's add another 1/2 to 1/3.

(66 + 1/2*66 = 100, 75 + 1/3*75 = 100.)

User avatar
just a girl
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 6:39 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby just a girl » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:29 am

and that is why I'm not a math major. :-)

Da Stain
Posts: 520
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:50 am

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby Da Stain » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:34 am

Trial last May- 2 straight 100 hour weeks (preceded by 4 at 60-70)

Trial coming up in 3 weeks= should be 2 straight weeks at 90-100. Trial is in DC, but they got us hotel rooms across the street from the office so we're always on call. It literally is a business trip and I have to pack 2 weeks of clothes despite being 4 miles from my house.

Nike6075
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:02 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby Nike6075 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:11 pm

Cravath =/= average NYC Biglaw firm.

philo-sophia
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:45 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby philo-sophia » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:17 pm

Nike6075 wrote:Cravath =/= average NYC Biglaw firm.


i think it's pretty typical of V10 firms at least. I think the biggest difference in hours is not between firms, but between departments. If you work in M&A at any big NYC firm, the hours will be insane, b/c you work alongside M&A bankers whose hours are insane, and who expect their lawyers to be available 24/7.

I worked in corporate banking (basically really big corporate loans) and never worked more than 80 hrs (often worked 50 or less), b/c there's less stress around the timeline. At cravath, new attorneys rotate through all of the departments for a few months each before ending up in one. A lot of the attorneys who chose M&A had investment banking aspirations.

Nike6075
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:02 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby Nike6075 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:21 pm

philo-sophia wrote:
Nike6075 wrote:Cravath =/= average NYC Biglaw firm.


i think it's pretty typical of V10 firms at least. I think the biggest difference in hours is not between firms, but between departments. If you work in M&A at any big NYC firm, the hours will be insane, b/c you work alongside M&A bankers whose hours are insane, and who expect their lawyers to be available 24/7.

I worked in corporate banking (basically really big corporate loans) and never worked more than 80 hrs (often worked 50 or less), b/c there's less stress around the timeline. At cravath, new attorneys rotate through all of the departments for a few months each before ending up in one. A lot of the attorneys who chose M&A had investment banking aspirations.


This is probably all true. But this doesn't coincide with saying 'He's right folks' when somebody says 80+ hours/week. Sure, that's possible, but that answers a different question (How many hours can NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?)

philo-sophia
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:45 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby philo-sophia » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:28 pm

^^ you CAN work less than 80, and often do. What i would say though, is if you're one of those people who is like "oh i could never work those kinds of hours, life is too short"...you probably don't want to do BigLaw in NYC b/c at some point you WILL work that much. I think this is pretty uncontroversial unless we're going with two different definitions of BigLaw. I consider BigLaw to be V50 (i.e. firms people have heard of)...not just any firm that pays well and employs a lot of lawyers.


User avatar
iwasgoingtobeasenator
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:45 pm

Working 100 hours in one week sounds horrible. I am capable because I am obsessive compulsive with a work disorder, but I can't imagine why anyone would WANT to do that. From what I hear, it sounds like firms that pay you that 160+fat bonus are really just giving you 2 80K/year jobs back to back. I'd rather take 1 80K job and be able to make it to the gym when I get home

User avatar
the5man
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:16 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby the5man » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:49 pm

iwasgoingtobeasenator wrote:Working 100 hours in one week sounds horrible. I am capable because I am obsessive compulsive with a work disorder, but I can't imagine why anyone would WANT to do that. From what I hear, it sounds like firms that pay you that 160+fat bonus are really just giving you 2 80K/year jobs back to back. I'd rather take 1 80K job and be able to make it to the gym when I get home

Right. I don't understand why this business model persists. Why not just hire close to twice the number of attorneys working half the time and pay them half the money? The same amount of work gets done... and everyone is much happier (because of improved qol)... and the students at T2 schools don't have to be so anxious about finding work when they graduate. It's a win for everyone.
Last edited by the5man on Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
the rza
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:33 am

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby the rza » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:51 pm

why do people do this exactly?

time to spend with family, be outdoors, read good books >>>>>>> $$$$$, no?

User avatar
iwasgoingtobeasenator
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:52 pm

the5man wrote:
iwasgoingtobeasenator wrote:Working 100 hours in one week sounds horrible. I am capable because I am obsessive compulsive with a work disorder, but I can't imagine why anyone would WANT to do that. From what I hear, it sounds like firms that pay you that 160+fat bonus are really just giving you 2 80K/year jobs back to back. I'd rather take 1 80K job and be able to make it to the gym when I get home

Right. I don't understand why this business model persists. Why not just hire close to twice the number of attorneys working half the time and pay them half the money? The same amount of work gets done... and everyone is much happier (because of improved qol)... and the students at T2 schools don't have to be so anxious about finding work when they graduate. It's a win for everyone.


Well there are only so many spots for the oh so coveted "partner" positions so they don't want a sea of associates, (and office space is really expensive) and they just figure that it's easier to rely on 1 person being everywhere at all times than to rely on 2 people not being sick, having a grandma pass, dealing with a car accident, etc. I hate the business model there, so I'd love a change but... I think it will remain sadly.

User avatar
iwasgoingtobeasenator
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:55 pm

the rza wrote:why do people do this exactly?

time to spend with family, be outdoors, read good books >>>>>>> $$$$$, no?


If T14 graduates all just decided they didn't want to work with such poor quality of life... then they'd have to change the model. The only problem is... like moths to a flame, we see all those 0's after $160,000...000,000,000 and we slobber.

User avatar
the5man
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:16 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby the5man » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:59 pm

iwasgoingtobeasenator wrote:
the5man wrote:
iwasgoingtobeasenator wrote:Working 100 hours in one week sounds horrible. I am capable because I am obsessive compulsive with a work disorder, but I can't imagine why anyone would WANT to do that. From what I hear, it sounds like firms that pay you that 160+fat bonus are really just giving you 2 80K/year jobs back to back. I'd rather take 1 80K job and be able to make it to the gym when I get home

Right. I don't understand why this business model persists. Why not just hire close to twice the number of attorneys working half the time and pay them half the money? The same amount of work gets done... and everyone is much happier (because of improved qol)... and the students at T2 schools don't have to be so anxious about finding work when they graduate. It's a win for everyone.


Well there are only so many spots for the oh so coveted "partner" positions so they don't want a sea of associates, (and office space is really expensive) and they just figure that it's easier to rely on 1 person being everywhere at all times than to rely on 2 people not being sick, having a grandma pass, dealing with a car accident, etc. I hate the business model there, so I'd love a change but... I think it will remain sadly.


I don't see how more competition for partnership would be a real problem. I do see the office space issue, but I'm sure some comfortable balance can be struck between its cost and how salaries are set. About the 1 vs 2 issue, it probably works both ways. I imagine a happier associate with a better qol and better work-home life balance would be a better associate who does better work.

I agree that, despite all of this, the current business model is likely to continue for the forseeable future... unfortunately.

mzing12
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:48 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby mzing12 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:01 pm

Isn't there an epidemic of people dropping out of NYC big law? It sounds like an absolutely horrible life for anyone to live ... law is definitely a career you should not just jump into.

User avatar
iwasgoingtobeasenator
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:04 pm

mzing12 wrote:Isn't there an epidemic of people dropping out of NYC big law? It sounds like an absolutely horrible life for anyone to live ... law is definitely a career you should not just jump into.


My lack of desire to live the NYC lawyer life is exactly why NYU and Columbia never struck my attention. (Or my more qualified significant other). I think a lot of firms (and clearly some schools) want you to go out and live your 20's so you don't feel bad about handing a big firm your 30's. I don't plan on doing any of that business. I work at a firm now where I see associates enjoy their life, get home at a reasonable hour, and make partner in 6 years which is a big deal. Now, they start at like 110K, and not 160K, but I'm willing to give that money up if i can enjoy my life a bit more.

User avatar
the rza
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:33 am

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby the rza » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:08 pm

Now, they start at like 110K, and not 160K, but I'm willing to give that money up if i can enjoy my life a bit more.


amen. fuck, $110,000 is way more than my dad makes after a 35 year career.

The Agitator
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:51 am

Re: how many hours do NYC BIGLAW attorneys work a week?

Postby The Agitator » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:10 pm

Why not just hire close to twice the number of attorneys working half the time and pay them half the money?


All of the reasons previously mentioned, as well as another big factor - training costs.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ad34964n, Bing [Bot], cooldog and 10 guests