Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

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SweetTort
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby SweetTort » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:47 pm

What about PD's/ADA's?

Lawyerrr
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby Lawyerrr » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:21 am

You can do 40 hours per week as a solo practitioner. I'm not saying 9 - 5 because, sometimes, a client will call you at night or on the weekend. But you can do 40 hours per week.

I know a guy who bills out at $225/hour and bills like 30 hours per week. And that hourly rate goes basically right into his pocket because he has very little overhead.

Obviously, this kind of gig isn't something you can do right out of school.

Moneytrees
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:32 am

Some smaller firms may have something like 9-5:30. I worked at one of those firms as a paralegal, and most of the attorneys worked something like 8:30 to 6, most days.

itascot1992
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby itascot1992 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:47 am

Lawyerrr wrote:You can do 40 hours per week as a solo practitioner. I'm not saying 9 - 5 because, sometimes, a client will call you at night or on the weekend. But you can do 40 hours per week.

I know a guy who bills out at $225/hour and bills like 30 hours per week. And that hourly rate goes basically right into his pocket because he has very little overhead.

Obviously, this kind of gig isn't something you can do right out of school.


where do i sign!

adil91
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby adil91 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:00 pm

SweetTort wrote:What about PD's/ADA's?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:01 pm

dudders wrote:State prosecutor. Got to work at 6 a.m., sent a jury out for verdict at 7 p.m. Currently hangry, listening to Diane Rehm, and shopping for bathing suits ... No idea how long I'll be here and I haven't even looked at my docket for tomorrow.

Not a 9 to 5 job. (Sometimes it is, but not usually. Usually it's like this.)

lawschoolftw
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby lawschoolftw » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:58 pm

rpupkin wrote:
pollywolly88 wrote:And if so, how much would a 9 to 5 lawyer job pay?

Thanks!

No joke: don't go into law if you want a 9 to 5 job. It's not that kind of profession. You'll find lawyers who work 9 to 5 hours (usually for low pay), but it's not common and you shouldn't count on it as an outcome.

In my experience, the people who like being lawyers (and those people do exist) don't mind that their lives are consumed by their jobs. That needs to be your mindset going into this career. If work-life balance is high on your list of priorities, find another profession. I'm serious.


I think this post nails it.

Big Dog
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby Big Dog » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:12 pm

if you want a 40 hour/week gig, look into hourly wage and/or union-type jobs.

It is hard to imagine any "Exempt" job (per FLSA classification) that is only 40 hrs/week.

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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:33 pm

lawschoolftw wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
pollywolly88 wrote:And if so, how much would a 9 to 5 lawyer job pay?

Thanks!

No joke: don't go into law if you want a 9 to 5 job. It's not that kind of profession. You'll find lawyers who work 9 to 5 hours (usually for low pay), but it's not common and you shouldn't count on it as an outcome.

In my experience, the people who like being lawyers (and those people do exist) don't mind that their lives are consumed by their jobs. That needs to be your mindset going into this career. If work-life balance is high on your list of priorities, find another profession. I'm serious.


I think this post nails it.


i think you would be surprised at the number of 9-5 jobs available. biglaw is a minority of lawyer jobs. id say around 75% of my lawyer friends work 45 hours a week or less.
also edit - the people i know who are happy in law are those that have work-life balance. the ones that expected the grind are the most miserable. but then again the ones that expected grind ended up in grind jobs and the ones who wanted work-life got work-life, so that's pretty intuitive.

lawschoolftw
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby lawschoolftw » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:00 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
lawschoolftw wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
pollywolly88 wrote:And if so, how much would a 9 to 5 lawyer job pay?

Thanks!

No joke: don't go into law if you want a 9 to 5 job. It's not that kind of profession. You'll find lawyers who work 9 to 5 hours (usually for low pay), but it's not common and you shouldn't count on it as an outcome.

In my experience, the people who like being lawyers (and those people do exist) don't mind that their lives are consumed by their jobs. That needs to be your mindset going into this career. If work-life balance is high on your list of priorities, find another profession. I'm serious.


I think this post nails it.


i think you would be surprised at the number of 9-5 jobs available. biglaw is a minority of lawyer jobs. id say around 75% of my lawyer friends work 45 hours a week or less.
also edit - the people i know who are happy in law are those that have work-life balance. the ones that expected the grind are the most miserable. but then again the ones that expected grind ended up in grind jobs and the ones who wanted work-life got work-life, so that's pretty intuitive.


Fair enough--just out of curiosity, what are those friends doing?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:10 pm

I'd estimate: 30% of them are in govt positions (self-explanatory). 30% work for small firms ( on average pay isn't the greatest - though it varies a lot - but lots of time off; also includes a couple who are equityish though not named partners now at small law shops and do very well for themselves) . 30% work for corporations (some as in-house, others in JD advantage roles). The remainder work for decently sized firms in smallish cities aka midlaw.

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rpupkin
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:43 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:i think you would be surprised at the number of 9-5 jobs available. biglaw is a minority of lawyer jobs. id say around 75% of my lawyer friends work 45 hours a week or less.

Wow. Anecdotes are anecdotes, but of my dozens of lawyer friends, I can think of exactly two who regularly work 45 hours a week or less. One works part-time for a public-interest organization. The other has a sweet in-house gig where she gets decent pay and doesn't have much to do. (She had to suffer for 5+ years in big law first.)

Everyone else--in all sectors--works a lot. I've got friends in big law, mid law, small law, in-house, big fed, and local PD/DA offices. The big law folks work the most hours, but the lawyers in the other sectors aren't working regular 9 to 5 hours, that's for sure.

I work in a big city. JohannDeMann--do you work in a rural area? Perhaps that accounts for the differences in our experiences.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:54 pm

Maybe a third of the people I mentioned are in smallish cities. I think the in house and government should be self explanatory why they are below 45. I went to a worse school which might explain it, but the government workers really mail it in. I don't work there so I don't know the culture, but they are at 5 p.m. happy hour whenever they want and still take phony sick days when they aren't sick because they don't want to work. We also recently had a discussion about what percent you actually work while at work and every one of the govt workers said under 50. If they were on the billable hour, I'd set the over under for them at 800ish. As for the private sector people I know, people that work shitlaw I know also don't really put in more than 45 hours because it's shitlaw, and you don't care if fired. Most of my friends are also 3-5 years out, so they've networked and kind of ended up in jobs that have lifestyle balances.

Fawkes
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby Fawkes » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:33 pm

Some plausible jobs for 40 hour work weeks: in-house counsel, small law firm/solo practice, public interest/govt. work

From what I've seen, it is possible to have decent work-life balance as a lawyer depending on what career path you choose. To be honest though, most jobs require at least 40 hours, so I don't know about 9-5.

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rpupkin
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:01 pm

Fawkes wrote:Some plausible jobs for 40 hour work weeks: in-house counsel,

As I mentioned above, I've got a friend with an in-house counsel job who really does work only 40 hours a week (or even less). Overall, though, I think law students have a somewhat inaccurate perception of the lifestyle of an in-house lawyer. First, it varies a lot from industry to industry and company to company. My friends who do in-house litigation at CA tech companies are swamped. They basically still work big law hours. (They're paid well, though.)

My friends with in-house corporate gigs don't have it as bad, but it's not easy street. Yeah, they might leave the office at 5 or 6, but it seems like every other time I have dinner with an in-house corporate bro they have to step outside for half an hour to take a work call in the middle of dinner. As with big law, there are emergencies and fire drills and you're never really free.

Don't get me wrong: I think most in-house jobs offer a better lifestyle than big law jobs. But, in general, I don't think they're truly 9-to-5 jobs. You still work hard.

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cookiejar1
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby cookiejar1 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:38 pm

legal research and writing professor

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ggocat
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby ggocat » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:50 pm

I pretty much work 9 to 5 as a career clerk at a state court of appeals. Four years in, pay is about $80k. Attorneys at the the top make about $100k.

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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:05 pm

ggocat wrote:I pretty much work 9 to 5 as a career clerk at a state court of appeals. Four years in, pay is about $80k. Attorneys at the the top make about $100k.


THis is how it's done 0Ls.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:53 am

rpupkin wrote:
Fawkes wrote:Some plausible jobs for 40 hour work weeks: in-house counsel,

As I mentioned above, I've got a friend with an in-house counsel job who really does work only 40 hours a week (or even less). Overall, though, I think law students have a somewhat inaccurate perception of the lifestyle of an in-house lawyer. First, it varies a lot from industry to industry and company to company. My friends who do in-house litigation at CA tech companies are swamped. They basically still work big law hours. (They're paid well, though.)

My friends with in-house corporate gigs don't have it as bad, but it's not easy street. Yeah, they might leave the office at 5 or 6, but it seems like every other time I have dinner with an in-house corporate bro they have to step outside for half an hour to take a work call in the middle of dinner. As with big law, there are emergencies and fire drills and you're never really free.

Don't get me wrong: I think most in-house jobs offer a better lifestyle than big law jobs. But, in general, I don't think they're truly 9-to-5 jobs. You still work hard.



This. And certain in house gigs work you harder than biglaw (like Amazon does, although it pays more). As for public interest, I think on average it's around 9 to 7 or so, depending on the non-profit. The pay is crap though (around 60k maybe for a super high COL place).

Law is for people who LIKE working or at least don't dislike it. This is why it's unsustainable for most, because you work your life away.

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encore1101
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby encore1101 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:37 am

SweetTort wrote:What about PD's/ADA's?



I work as an ADA in NYC. My hours are 9-5, but I work in Appeals Bureau. If you're in Intake Bureau, your hours will be staggered, (i.e. 8 AM - 4 PM, or 12 PM - 8 PM, or 4 PM - 12 AM), but staying a few hours past your shift is not unheard of. Criminal Court/Misdemeanor land, your hours will be more like 9 AM - whenever your work gets done.

Once you get past that, it depends on what bureau you enter and what you're doing at the time. For example, in a felony trials bureau, your hours may be 9-5 unless you have a trial or hearing coming up.

Starting salary for my office was 60k-ish, which is not terrible, but living in NYC, is not great either.

I believe PDs in our area make less.

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encore1101
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby encore1101 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:39 am

Just wanted to add --

my wife works as an attorney-advisor for the social security administration. she writes decisions for people appealing their denial of social security benefits. she makes about 90k a year, works 4 days a week, three days are at home, from 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM.

Pretty sweet gig, imo.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:04 am

Another avenue is legal consulting (Discovery comes to mind off the top of my head, not sure about other areas).

You get essentially 10-6 (sometimes hours are approaching 70-80/week but that's the exception), and the pay is decent (~80K for a junior lateral level hire). You're managing some non-legal-research aspect of law - in the Discovery context, it's start to finish management of the Discovery process (duh) - collecting, processing, and analyzing data, and preparing for review and final production.

NOTE that a JD isn't required for this type of work. Getting a JD to do this kind of work is dumb, BUT I've seen people come out of law at various points in their career to come to consulting and do quite well. Juniors and contract attorneys come out of practice because the legal world is killing them, and senior associates/of counsel come out to get corner offices and choice management positions (and their salaries are usually well into sex figures... not BigLaw but not shabby).

Void
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby Void » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:02 am

I am a lawyer and work a state govt job 35 hours per week, plus an hour lunch every day. Although I sometimes have to hang around after 5:00, it's rare. I know dozens of lawyers with the same schedule. It isn't unusual at all for lawyers to work 40/week- in fact I think it's a very common thing.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:44 pm

Void wrote:I am a lawyer and work a state govt job 35 hours per week, plus an hour lunch every day. Although I sometimes have to hang around after 5:00, it's rare. I know dozens of lawyers with the same schedule. It isn't unusual at all for lawyers to work 40/week- in fact I think it's a very common thing.


And what is the pay?

The thing with law jobs that really do work 40 hours or less - you get paid a lot less than other office jobs that are 9 to 5 even with experience.

In New York, people working in fashion doing bullshit get paid more than lawyers. Fashion buyers make starting 70k+.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Are there any 9 to 5 jobs as a lawyer?

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:51 pm

ADA in Colorado. Everyone in my office works 8-5. Some weeks more, but some weeks less.

Did people actually work 9-5 before my time? Every since I have been in the working world it has been 8-5 or 9-6.




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