Legal Jobs with the best QOL

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myrockyourrock911
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Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby myrockyourrock911 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:32 am

I'm worried about quality of life after law school. I'm open to PI, a firm job, etc., but my main concern is landing work that does not require 80 hour/week + weekends - regardless of pay. I've heard that PI and midlaw would be best for what I'm looking for. This true? Can anyone point me in the direction of specific organizations/agencies/firms that would match this description? Thanks.

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Cavalier
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby Cavalier » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:52 am

Law Professor

myrockyourrock911
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby myrockyourrock911 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:04 pm

Cavalier wrote:Law Professor

Lol anything outside of academia?

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thedogship
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby thedogship » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:11 pm

Government lawyers (likely non-DOJ) work less than private attorneys, on average. They also have a lower payscale, but that's part of the trade-off.

270910
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby 270910 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:19 pm

QoL (roughly speaking based on #of hours required, flexibility of hours, and compensation)

1) Law professors (there's still stress, and it's insanely hard to achieve + requires a lot of self starting, but has unpresedented benefits and freedom with 6 figure pay)
2) Federal government lawyers, in-house lawyers (some variation, but usually solid pay and hours that more closely mimic a 9-5. But don't expect it to be 9-5, because little in the professional world is)
3) Non-mega-firm: there are tons of firms that pick up laterals from mega firms, smaller boutique operations, etc.
4) Mega firms - see most of the vault 100
5) Mega Mega Firms - see Cravath, Wachtell, and a few others - where hours worked are signifigantly higher than the rest of the 'most prestigious' firms.

I'm not sure where public interest jobs fit in...

JOThompson
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby JOThompson » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:22 pm

Transactional law, according to a litigation lawyer I know.

270910
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby 270910 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:24 pm

JOThompson wrote:Transactional law, according to a litigation lawyer I know.


Good point. Big firm litigation attorneys work more and with less flexibility on average, from what I gather.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby Aeroplane » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:27 pm

If you're purely concerned w/QOL and fairly indifferent to pay/prestige, there's always:
contract work
law school admissions or career services
legal recruiting
lexis/westlaw
adjunct professor
compliance rep

and lots of other jobs where you're not really practicing law and may/may not require a JD, but employers often hire JD's and you're still involved with the legal world.

Edit: being a hearing officer is a pretty sweet QOL gig too.
Last edited by Aeroplane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

myrockyourrock911
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby myrockyourrock911 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:28 pm

Aeroplane wrote:If you're purely concerned w/QOL and fairly indifferent to pay/prestige, there's always:
contract work
law school admissions or career services
legal recruiting
lexis/westlaw
adjunct professor
compliance rep

and lots of other jobs where you're not really practicing law and may/may not require a JD, but employers often hire JD's and you're still involved with the legal world.

Interesting. Thanks!

myrockyourrock911
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby myrockyourrock911 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:30 pm

disco_barred wrote:QoL (roughly speaking based on #of hours required, flexibility of hours, and compensation)

1) Law professors (there's still stress, and it's insanely hard to achieve + requires a lot of self starting, but has unpresedented benefits and freedom with 6 figure pay)
2) Federal government lawyers, in-house lawyers (some variation, but usually solid pay and hours that more closely mimic a 9-5. But don't expect it to be 9-5, because little in the professional world is)
3) Non-mega-firm: there are tons of firms that pick up laterals from mega firms, smaller boutique operations, etc.
4) Mega firms - see most of the vault 100
5) Mega Mega Firms - see Cravath, Wachtell, and a few others - where hours worked are signifigantly higher than the rest of the 'most prestigious' firms.

I'm not sure where public interest jobs fit in...

Got it.
By PI, I meant working for a something like the ACLU, the Brennan Center, etc.

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nealric
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby nealric » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:44 pm

I wouldn't put Contract work under high QOL.

Being locked in a basement clicking "responsive" or "non-responsive" all day is not my idea of a good quality of life.


Public interest is probably the most rewarding and potentially the least stressful.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby Aeroplane » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:50 pm

nealric wrote:I wouldn't put Contract work under high QOL.

Being locked in a basement clicking "responsive" or "non-responsive" all day is not my idea of a good quality of life.


Public interest is probably the most rewarding and potentially the least stressful.

I meant QOL in that you can have some control over hours, take off for a few months & come back, etc. It's not a job that makes career-type demands and stresses people out. It seems similar in nature to data entry, transcription, etc. Some people prefer that kind of stuff, even if you don't.

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thedogship
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby thedogship » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:53 pm

disco_barred wrote:
JOThompson wrote:Transactional law, according to a litigation lawyer I know.


Good point. Big firm litigation attorneys work more and with less flexibility on average, from what I gather.


Not necessarily. Transactional work can be more unpredictable. There may be weeks where you are not working a ton, but then if a client calls and needs a deal done, you could be working 24 hours a day for two weeks. I haven't heard too many transactional attorneys say they work a lot less, just that their schedules can be different. Otherwise 1) they probably wouldn't be paid the same, and 2) more people would choose transactional.

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nealric
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby nealric » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:02 pm

I meant QOL in that you can have some control over hours, take off for a few months & come back, etc. It's not a job that makes career-type demands and stresses people out. It seems similar in nature to data entry, transcription, etc. Some people prefer that kind of stuff, even if you don't.


You tend to be at the whim of temp agencies. ITE, you can't just decide to work whenever you want- you have to wait by the phone hoping the agency will call you up. So you don't actually have control over the hours.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby Aeroplane » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:08 pm

nealric wrote:
I meant QOL in that you can have some control over hours, take off for a few months & come back, etc. It's not a job that makes career-type demands and stresses people out. It seems similar in nature to data entry, transcription, etc. Some people prefer that kind of stuff, even if you don't.


You tend to be at the whim of temp agencies. ITE, you can't just decide to work whenever you want- you have to wait by the phone hoping the agency will call you up. So you don't actually have control over the hours.

You do to the extent you're willing to take the risk. And when work is available, at least from what I've heard in my area, you don't have to work a full time schedule if you don't want to. I've heard of people choosing it as a more family-friendly option as compared to a full time salaried position. I just mentioned it as one thing to think about, out of many. Of course, everyone should examine their own preferences, market, and other relevant circumstances. A sole earner for a spouse and three kids, would definitely want something more stable.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby UCLAtransfer » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:19 pm

thedogship wrote:
Not necessarily. Transactional work can be more unpredictable. There may be weeks where you are not working a ton, but then if a client calls and needs a deal done, you could be working 24 hours a day for two weeks. I haven't heard too many transactional attorneys say they work a lot less, just that their schedules can be different. Otherwise 1) they probably wouldn't be paid the same, and 2) more people would choose transactional.


This.

The term "fire drill" applies mainly in transactional practice. When a client calls a partner and says "we are thinking of acquiring X company, and we need to close by Monday morning. 50 boxes of files are on the way to your offices to start on due diligence." Its probably not going to be the partner who stays from Friday afternoon to Monday morning and sleeps in his office.

myrockyourrock911
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby myrockyourrock911 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:29 pm

nealric wrote:I wouldn't put Contract work under high QOL.

Being locked in a basement clicking "responsive" or "non-responsive" all day is not my idea of a good quality of life.


Public interest is probably the most rewarding and potentially the least stressful.

What type(s) of PI?
Edit - Nvm: referenced the list above.

lakerfanimal
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby lakerfanimal » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:46 pm

This is from my experience at a legal department for a company who treats its employers extremely well, so I don't know if this is a typical example. Having said that, from the place I worked at and hearing about legal departments at other companies as well, I think working as in-house counsel or part of a company's legal team might be better QOL wise than jobs at some big law firms. The hours/week are still around 60, but the environment is a lot more calm/friendly/team-oriented, you don't take as much work home, and they seem to care about you as a person. I've never worked in a big law firm so maybe some of them treat their employees well too, but not from what I've heard.

myrockyourrock911
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby myrockyourrock911 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:42 pm

lakerfanimal wrote:This is from my experience at a legal department for a company who treats its employers extremely well, so I don't know if this is a typical example. Having said that, from the place I worked at and hearing about legal departments at other companies as well, I think working as in-house counsel or part of a company's legal team might be better QOL wise than jobs at some big law firms. The hours/week are still around 60, but the environment is a lot more calm/friendly/team-oriented, you don't take as much work home, and they seem to care about you as a person. I've never worked in a big law firm so maybe some of them treat their employees well too, but not from what I've heard.

Interesting. This is turning into a pretty informative discussion. Anyone else have any input?

Posner
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby Posner » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:20 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ulv_dropout
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby ulv_dropout » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:28 pm

I work for a California local government. Was just talking to a friend who is starting a car pool with some of the attorneys here. They will be arriving at 7:30 AM and leaving at 5:00 PM everyday. (Can't really carpool if you work overtime) This is a 9/80 schedule with every other friday off. That schedule is with a half hour lunch, but I see people taking much longer than a full hour everyday.

Edit: Pay scale
$60k to start up to about $150k non management. Not sure what managers and supervisors make, I am guessing somewhere between 150k and 200k. Most counties and cities here post their pay scales on their HR websites.

Posner
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby Posner » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:32 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:59 pm

ITT

--ImageRemoved--

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nealric
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby nealric » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:09 am

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king :wink:

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A'nold
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Re: Legal Jobs with the best QOL

Postby A'nold » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:47 am

nealric wrote:In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king :wink:


Lol!




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