Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

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EijiMiyake
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby EijiMiyake » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:20 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
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.

180^180
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While this might be true, it also doesn't mean that biglaw doesn't objectively suck as well. I work extremely hard right now (and dislike my job a good majority of the time), but from descriptions, I would want to killself if I worked in biglaw.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby MC Southstar » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Any BIG job requires BIG sacrifice, and at least you get BIG compensation for it in law. I seriously think most of the whiners are just people who never worked a real job before being thrown in the fire.

Anyway, I also know a lot of people who like to talk about how hard their life/career is just to make themselves feel important and better than you. Lawyers seem like that type to me.

nycparalegal
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby nycparalegal » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:33 pm

shadowfrost000 wrote:Any BIG job requires BIG sacrifice, and at least you get BIG compensation for it in law. I seriously think most of the whiners are just people who never worked a real job before being thrown in the fire.

Anyway, I also know a lot of people who like to talk about how hard their life/career is just to make themselves feel important and better than you. Lawyers seem like that type to me.


I don't agree with this above statement at all. People dislike working in BIGLAW for many different reasons. Most of the attorneys i've worked with who either quit or left Biglaw had multiple reasons: family, low job satisfaction (because of the size of the the new hires, alot of the new associates are just thrown into the fire with very little training, dealing with the egos and the often brutal treatment from superiors), and finally passed over for partnership (after putting in thousands of hours, being treated like crap, then passed over, its hard for people not to feel used.)

You say the money is great, but if you do the math - it's really not that fantastic. You look at the 150,000 starting salary and you think amazing, but then divide that with all the time you put in and you will see that its really not amazing at all.

edit: Also add up all of the debt you incured in the process.
Last edited by nycparalegal on Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:36 pm

I don't see why you're limiting this to biglaw. The people in Mid and small law who often work much the same hours for much less money are probably pretty misserable too.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby MC Southstar » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:38 pm

nycparalegal wrote:
shadowfrost000 wrote:Any BIG job requires BIG sacrifice, and at least you get BIG compensation for it in law. I seriously think most of the whiners are just people who never worked a real job before being thrown in the fire.

Anyway, I also know a lot of people who like to talk about how hard their life/career is just to make themselves feel important and better than you. Lawyers seem like that type to me.


I don't agree with this above statement at all. People dislike working in BIGLAW for many different reasons. Most of the attorneys i've worked with who either quit or left Biglaw had multiple reasons: family, low job satisfaction (because of the size of the the new hires, alot of the new associates are just thrown into the fire with very little training, dealing with the egos and the often brutal treatment from superiors), and finally passed over for partnership (after putting in thousands of hours, being treated like crap, then passed over, its hard for people not to feel used.)

You say the money is great, but if you do the math - it's really not that fantastic. You look at the 150,000 starting salary and you think amazing, but then divide that with all the time you put in and you will see that its really not amazing at all.

edit: Also add up all of the debt you incured in the process.


In comparison to which profession which pays better for less effort?

I'm not saying the job doesn't suck, by all accounts, it does. I'm just saying it's a trade off you make. Some jobs require BIG sacrifice and don't even pay well.

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EijiMiyake
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby EijiMiyake » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:39 pm

reasonable_man wrote:I don't see why you're limiting this to biglaw. The people in Mid and small law who often work much the same hours for much less money are probably pretty misserable too.



It's not the hours or the hourly wage that would bother me - it would be a lack of progression, extraordinarily small partnership chances (and the resulting lack of mentorship), and an awareness that I was busting my butt in order to make rich people richer instead of my own career advancement or the public interest, etc.

I'm not sure how small/mid-law changes those factors.

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TonyDigital
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby TonyDigital » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:43 pm

EijiMiyake wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:I don't see why you're limiting this to biglaw. The people in Mid and small law who often work much the same hours for much less money are probably pretty misserable too.



It's not the hours or the hourly wage that would bother me - it would be a lack of progression, extraordinarily small partnership chances (and the resulting lack of mentorship), and an awareness that I was busting my butt in order to make rich people richer instead of my own career advancement or the public interest, etc.

I'm not sure how small/mid-law changes those factors.


Isn't this almost every job?

ps494
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby ps494 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:43 pm

shadowfrost000 wrote:Any BIG job requires BIG sacrifice, and at least you get BIG compensation for it in law. I seriously think most of the whiners are just people who never worked a real job before being thrown in the fire.

Anyway, I also know a lot of people who like to talk about how hard their life/career is just to make themselves feel important and better than you. Lawyers seem like that type to me.


Exactly. Many law students expect biglaw life to require as much sacrifice as their summer part-time job at the Gap.
Last edited by ps494 on Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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EijiMiyake
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby EijiMiyake » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:46 pm

TonyDigital wrote:
EijiMiyake wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:I don't see why you're limiting this to biglaw. The people in Mid and small law who often work much the same hours for much less money are probably pretty misserable too.



It's not the hours or the hourly wage that would bother me - it would be a lack of progression, extraordinarily small partnership chances (and the resulting lack of mentorship), and an awareness that I was busting my butt in order to make rich people richer instead of my own career advancement or the public interest, etc.

I'm not sure how small/mid-law changes those factors.


Isn't this almost every job?


There's always an element of that in any job, but no, there's usually something in it for you besides the salary.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:48 pm

TonyDigital wrote:
EijiMiyake wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:I don't see why you're limiting this to biglaw. The people in Mid and small law who often work much the same hours for much less money are probably pretty misserable too.



It's not the hours or the hourly wage that would bother me - it would be a lack of progression, extraordinarily small partnership chances (and the resulting lack of mentorship), and an awareness that I was busting my butt in order to make rich people richer instead of my own career advancement or the public interest, etc.

I'm not sure how small/mid-law changes those factors.


Isn't this almost every job?



I was about to say... I'm not really sure how I advance the public interest on any given day at my midsized lawfirm, but I guess I get to handle stuff in court from time to time so its a wash.

nycparalegal
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby nycparalegal » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:49 pm

shadowfrost000 wrote:
In comparison to which profession which pays better for less effort?

I'm not saying the job doesn't suck, by all accounts, it does. I'm just saying it's a trade off you make. Some jobs require BIG sacrifice and don't even pay well.


Don't get me wrong now. I know that there are plenty of shitty jobs out there that require alot out of you and pays terribly. But being an associate at Biglaw doesn't pay very well when you consider the hours put in and the amount of debt incured.

Second, an electrian actually makes more per hour than an associate at a Biglaw firm and doesn't have the debt incured.

But, none of that really matters. My whole point is that there are plenty of reasons people are not satisfied with biglaw that doesn't have anything to do with not having a real job before their time at biglaw.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:52 pm

EijiMiyake wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:I don't see why you're limiting this to biglaw. The people in Mid and small law who often work much the same hours for much less money are probably pretty misserable too.



It's not the hours or the hourly wage that would bother me - it would be a lack of progression, extraordinarily small partnership chances (and the resulting lack of mentorship), and an awareness that I was busting my butt in order to make rich people richer instead of my own career advancement or the public interest, etc.

I'm not sure how small/mid-law changes those factors.

Isn't lockstep the very definition of progression? They either fire you or you 'progress'

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TonyDigital
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby TonyDigital » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:52 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
I was about to say... I'm not really sure how I advance the public interest on any given day at my midsized lawfirm, but I guess I get to handle stuff in court from time to time so its a wash.


Reasonable...since you're a practicing attorney in a mid-size lawfirm (probably something I'd like to do since I'm leaning towards some secondary markets), would you consider yourself happy with your job? And do you specialize in a specific "field" of law or do you work on whatever legal matters might cross your desk?

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EijiMiyake
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby EijiMiyake » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:52 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
TonyDigital wrote:
EijiMiyake wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:I don't see why you're limiting this to biglaw. The people in Mid and small law who often work much the same hours for much less money are probably pretty misserable too.



It's not the hours or the hourly wage that would bother me - it would be a lack of progression, extraordinarily small partnership chances (and the resulting lack of mentorship), and an awareness that I was busting my butt in order to make rich people richer instead of my own career advancement or the public interest, etc.

I'm not sure how small/mid-law changes those factors.


Isn't this almost every job?



I was about to say... I'm not really sure how I advance the public interest on any given day at my midsized lawfirm, but I guess I get to handle stuff in court from time to time so its a wash.


Right. As someone who already works 60+ hour weeks, it seems like the difference between a soul-crushing job and a good job is feeling like you're learning things and are headed somewhere, instead of just out the door between years 6 and 8.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby MC Southstar » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:58 pm

EijiMiyake wrote:Right. As someone who already works 60+ hour weeks, it seems like the difference between a soul-crushing job and a good job is feeling like you're learning things and are headed somewhere, instead of just out the door between years 6 and 8.


I agree with this, but on the other hand, you can also plan to be out the door in year x - y and bear with the soul-crushing if it at least serves a purpose. Happiness is a choice anyway.

Ironically, I just got a fortune cookie that says:

"Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource in your time."

ps494
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby ps494 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:59 pm

shadowfrost000 wrote:
EijiMiyake wrote:Right. As someone who already works 60+ hour weeks, it seems like the difference between a soul-crushing job and a good job is feeling like you're learning things and are headed somewhere, instead of just out the door between years 6 and 8.


I agree with this, but on the other hand, you can also plan to be out the door in year x - y and bear with the soul-crushing if it at least serves a purpose. Happiness is a choice anyway.

Ironically, I just got a fortune cookie that says:

"Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource in your time."



+1 Cliche but true.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:04 pm

EijiMiyake wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
I was about to say... I'm not really sure how I advance the public interest on any given day at my midsized lawfirm, but I guess I get to handle stuff in court from time to time so its a wash.


Right. As someone who already works 60+ hour weeks, it seems like the difference between a soul-crushing job and a good job is feeling like you're learning things and are headed somewhere, instead of just out the door between years 6 and 8.
Uh... heading out the door between year 6 and 8 puts you at 35 with a solid resume and 500k or so saved... that certainly qualifies as heading somewhere in my book.

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EijiMiyake
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby EijiMiyake » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:07 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
EijiMiyake wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
I was about to say... I'm not really sure how I advance the public interest on any given day at my midsized lawfirm, but I guess I get to handle stuff in court from time to time so its a wash.


Right. As someone who already works 60+ hour weeks, it seems like the difference between a soul-crushing job and a good job is feeling like you're learning things and are headed somewhere, instead of just out the door between years 6 and 8.
Uh... heading out the door between year 6 and 8 puts you at 35 with a solid resume and 500k or so saved... that certainly qualifies as heading somewhere in my book.



Different strokes for different folks, I guess. If I didn't (mostly) enjoy the things I was doing on a day-to-day basis, then it wouldn't be worth it for me.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Is everyone in Biglaw unhappy?

Postby MC Southstar » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:10 pm

EijiMiyake wrote:Different strokes for different folks, I guess. If I didn't (mostly) enjoy the things I was doing on a day-to-day basis, then it wouldn't be worth it for me.


I agree with you, however, I don't think it's that easy to find something that you both enjoy and is professionally rewarding. For some people, this might even be impossible. To some extent, it comes down to your own state of mind.

I think you can always hope that maybe you're one of those people that actually likes biglaw, or just avoid it altogether. Going into the thing thinking it's going to suck is not really going to help.




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