Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

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DanInALionsDen
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Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby DanInALionsDen » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:36 am

I have a cousin who works in a big NY law firm and HATES it. I hear the same story from a lot of people I know who've gone to law school and worked in Biglaw: insane hours, treated terribly, etc. Is this the case for everyone (or almost everyone)? Does it get better with time?

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Zojirushi
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Zojirushi » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:41 am

Anecdotal but I have friends who love big law. I think much of it depends of the personality of both the firm and the employee.

nycparalegal
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby nycparalegal » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:44 am

I think it depends. Biglaw has an attrition rate of about 60%. There's very little mentoring because there is no incentive to teach someone when the chances of them not making partner is very high. The billable hours are a killer, and the type of work you do weighs down on a person's soul.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:52 am

If you think you'd like the work but hate the hours and are not gung ho about living in NYC, consider "biglaw" in a smaller market.

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agentzer0
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby agentzer0 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:58 am

Aeroplane wrote:If you think you'd like the work but hate the hours and are not gung ho about living in NYC, consider "biglaw" in a smaller market.


what exactly is "the work"? document review?

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Zojirushi
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Zojirushi » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Aeroplane wrote:If you think you'd like the work but hate the hours and are not gung ho about living in NYC, consider "biglaw" in a smaller market.


what exactly is "the work"? document review?

Why are you anonymous? One of my friends works in patent litigation, but due to slow business, he has been doing a lot of pro bono work, mostly immigration. Either way, he finds it very satisfying and finds plenty of time for leisure.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Aeroplane wrote:If you think you'd like the work but hate the hours and are not gung ho about living in NYC, consider "biglaw" in a smaller market.


what exactly is "the work"? document review?
I'm not really an expert on what a day in the life of biglaw is like. I'd guess it'd depend on your practice group.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:08 pm

christ, people, overusing the anon function?

Anonymous User
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:09 pm

Probably :P
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BradyToMoss
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby BradyToMoss » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:26 pm

Helmholtz wrote:christ, people, overusing the anon function?

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bceagles182
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby bceagles182 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:36 pm

I work as a paralegal at a BigLaw firm now. Every single lower level associate I know hates their job with a passion. At the same time, most of them don't hate it enough to give up the money.

starstruck393
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby starstruck393 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:42 pm

To answer your basic question, not everyone in biglaw hates it. I know attorneys there that love it. So that invalidates "everyone." But biglaw is too complex to generalize about. Happiness there depends on the city, firm, practice area, partners you work with, associates you work with, your own personality, with the list going on. Each office is unique, and you'd have to see it first hand to determine how you'd fit in

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DavidYurman85
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby DavidYurman85 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:16 pm

Zojirushi wrote:Anecdotal but I have friends who love big law. I think much of it depends of the personality of both the firm and the employee.


+1 and I also think it depends on firm location and ranking. I have several friends practicing at biglaw firms in D.C. and NYC and there seems to be a love-hate sort of feeling with biglaw. I think for most of them-the money and prestige helps to reconcile their bad days.

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CE2JD
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby CE2JD » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:17 pm

Everyone I know in biglaw wants to killself.

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eye
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby eye » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:53 pm

I know a 5-year biglaw associate (married w/ a kid) and she absolutely loves her work. I think it also depends on the person.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:06 pm

If biglaw doesn't work out, I can always go manage a hedge fund or something.

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ruleser
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby ruleser » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:15 pm

jayzon wrote:
Zojirushi wrote:Anecdotal but I have friends who love big law. I think much of it depends of the personality of both the firm and the employee.


I only have one friend who works for big law, but she loves it. She also really enjoys having a whole lot of money.

This - it depends what you want. Do you think working less but having divorces as your job would be preferable to working your ass off but being involved in the largest cases out there? Different answers for different people.

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A'nold
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby A'nold » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:27 pm

ruleser wrote:
jayzon wrote:
Zojirushi wrote:Anecdotal but I have friends who love big law. I think much of it depends of the personality of both the firm and the employee.


I only have one friend who works for big law, but she loves it. She also really enjoys having a whole lot of money.

This - it depends what you want. Do you think working less but having divorces as your job would be preferable to working your ass off but being involved in the largest cases out there? Different answers for different people.


Both of those sound craptastic. I'd rather be in the trenches suing insurance companies for med. malpractice. To each his/her own. :)

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underdawg
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby underdawg » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:13 am

according to my interviewers, they all LOVE it :) :) :)

harvey2L
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby harvey2L » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:47 pm

some love it, some hate it. doesn't matter for most, as it's not really available, despite the representations of career service offices. . .

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Kiersten1985 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:49 pm

I really think it depends on what your expectations are going in. If you know you're going to be a slave to the firm for the next 7-8 years, but make BANK, then you'll be just fine. If you think it's going to be glitz and glam (or real responsibility) right off the bat, you're going to be disappointed and hate it.

I know a lot of BigLaw attorneys who love (or at least like) their jobs.

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GeePee
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby GeePee » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:05 pm

underdawg wrote:according to my interviewers, they all LOVE it :) :) :)

lol

ps494
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby ps494 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:10 pm

A lot of the dissatisfaction with biglaw has to do with the fact that most entering associates have never had a job before. As a result, it's kind of a shock to them, because they've never been in the real world before. They go into biglaw expecting it to consist of intellectually stimulating work, tons of cash, and cocktail parties. When these naive people actually realize what work is, they feel cheated.

ps494
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby ps494 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:14 pm

LOL. There are 777 views of this thread already.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:17 pm

ps494 wrote:A lot of the dissatisfaction with biglaw has to do with the fact that most entering associates have never had a job before. As a result, it's kind of a shock to them, because they've never been in the real world before. They go into biglaw expecting it to consist of intellectually stimulating work, tons of cash, and cocktail parties. When these naive people actually realize what work is, they feel cheated.

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