Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

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smalltown
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby smalltown » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:38 pm

I'm not sure there is a job out there that would fit you - in any field of substance, not just law. If it's something that is truly engaging, wouldn't you want to work hard on it? But any jobs like that require ambition, and willingness to put in the work. That doesn't mean you can't do both - work hard and have a family life. Lots of our parents did it. They just busted their ass to do it. You very well could be one of the fortunate ones out there. But, as I think you can tell from this thread, you need to understand the reality.

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romothesavior
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:42 pm

smalltown wrote:I'm not sure there is a job out there that would fit you - in any field of substance, not just law. If it's something that is truly engaging, wouldn't you want to work hard on it? But any jobs like that require ambition, and willingness to put in the work. That doesn't mean you can't do both - work hard and have a family life. Lots of our parents did it. They just busted their ass to do it. You very well could be one of the fortunate ones out there. But, as I think you can tell from this thread, you need to understand the reality.


I am currently interning at a Fortune 500 company (I believe Fortune 50, actually) where most people make about 45-50k starting out with regular pay increases and possibilities for promotion, work 38 hours a week, have great benefits and QOL, and almost everyone says they love their job. Not all of the jobs are riveting, but there is certainly a job for everyone This company employs something like 60,000 people.

There are jobs that match OPs requirements, just not many legal ones that do. If OP is wary of putting in the hours, then he should avoid law. But keep in mind that the majority of lawyers in this country are married with kids and are capable of striking a good balance.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby crazycanuck » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:02 am

pjo wrote:
crazycanuck wrote:I work at a big 4 accounting firm, we had our audit end of busy season wrap up on friday, the average billables for a senior (3-4 years experience) was 1250 for the entire year last year, (One of the months was 50 hours less than usual due to special events, and the average around the country was 1311), seniors make about 60-70k and bill at about 80% efficiency, and the work is not nearly as boring as people think it is.

You also have to remember that like half of those billables are in the first 4 months of the year. During the summer it's 9-3.


Just wondering, why are you going to law school? It seems like you have a pretty sweet gig as is.


I'm not anymore, I just hang around here for fun/when I'm bored.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby crazycanuck » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:03 am

PKSebben wrote:Man. How come people tell me about Big 4 accounting firms say it's a sweatshop. What am I missing other than the compressed time frame?


They only remember the busy season or they were in tax when the busy season is 6 months?

I've also noticed people tend to largely exaggerate how many hours they work, kind of a "look at me, I'm so important I have to work many many hours because my dick is soooooooo large" kind of thing.
Last edited by crazycanuck on Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby crazycanuck » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:05 am

TUP wrote:
PKSebben wrote:Man. How come people tell me about Big 4 accounting firms say it's a sweatshop. What am I missing other than the compressed time frame?


It's definitely somewhere in between a sweatshop and crazycanuck's description. Those billables are very low relative to what I remember seeing for audit seniors, both in my office and nationally.

However, a busy season of regular 60-70 hour weeks followed by a summer of 9-3s is possible if you're in the right office (not NYC and other large cities) and staffed on the right jobs. Pick up a few clients with year-ends spread throughout the year and you can forget about that, though. Also, 20+ weeks of travel, often to undesirable locations, is not uncommon.

Finally, I strongly disagree with the "not nearly as boring as people think it is" comment, and most auditors I know would back me up. The worst part is it remains boring and unchallenging up to and including the partner level, and the exit opportunities in industry aren't much better. That last fact is particularly discouraging to those that stuck with audit until senior or manager level expecting a more enjoyable career in industry only to be disappointed.

Edit: I just realized crazycanuck is probably talking about a Canada office, which I have no experience with. My view is US-specific.


Yes, in Canada we tend to work less, the average billable for Toronto and Calgary was 1350, the rest was 1100-1350.

Interestingly the partner presenting told us that the smaller markets bill more.

On the industry side, the outlook for an accountant trying to move into industry is a hell of a lot better than a lawyer trying to move into industry.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:09 am

yabbadabbado wrote:
If you're thinking of taking a conditional scholarship deal, be very careful. A substantial portion of people who take those end up losing them, and have to pay full ticket for 2L and 3L.


Again, for the sake of discussion, our crystal ball says the top 1/3 condition is met all 3 years for full $.

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Grizz
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:12 am

Scallywaggums wrote:
yabbadabbado wrote:
If you're thinking of taking a conditional scholarship deal, be very careful. A substantial portion of people who take those end up losing them, and have to pay full ticket for 2L and 3L.


Again, for the sake of discussion, our crystal ball says the top 1/3 condition is met all 3 years for full $.


This is dumb, because there's a 2/3 chance you won't be top third. A better scenario would be to assume you were a median student. Don't go anywhere you wouldn't be happy at the median.

JOThompson
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby JOThompson » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:14 am

Have you considered JAG? Most only put in 40 to 50 hours per week and you'll be pulling in ~60-70K as an O-3 (including BAH and other benefits). They also enjoy a good amount of autonomy. The only major downside is that you belong to the government for 3.5+ years.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:24 am

pjo wrote:OP I'm just wondering why your only two options are T11-20 or Albany? I mean if you can get into a T11-20 you should be able to pull a significant amount of money from some T1 schools and full rides at T2 schools. I would consider that option over Albany.


The steep jump: I've seemed to gather, perhaps inaccurately, that once you're out of, say, T30, the rankings aren't very important, especially if you're fine with finding work locally. However, the schools are all obsessed with numbers, so you're better off sliding a good chunk lower for a greater chunk of $.

Full ride at TTT vs. Tier 2: I may not realize how possible it is to get a full ride from a T2 school (let's say 3.55/170)

'Albany' specifically: If I WERE to go to a TTT (extremely regional), it'd have to be in upstate NY.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:29 am

romothesavior wrote:The smaller city state's attorney offices in my area don't seem to rely as much on traditional interviewing as other types of law. I'd call it a "quasi-apprenticeship" model. The SA in my city said he hires 1Ls, and if they do well then he re-hires them as 2Ls, and they've basically got a job if they don't mess up that second summer. I got the impression that the other city I have lived in did a similar type of thing, and both of these two offices were full of third tier grads.

FWIW, both cities are about 100,000+. Not sure if this is how they do things in other smaller city SA offices, but I do get the impression that outside of big markets, the hiring process is not nearly as prestige-oriented.


This is potentially really good news. Although there's the hours thing.
DA/PD: how many hours a week, on average? Say for a non-metropolis city.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:32 am

romothesavior wrote:
yabbadabbado wrote:When I say DA/PD jobs are not easy to land, I'm not necessarily talking about prestige. Those jobs are difficult to get for the reasons I mentioned. And yes, I've seen offices that were packed with t2/3/4 grads, but that still doesn't mean those jobs are easy to get. It just means that some offices will not be so hung up on what school you went to and what grades you got there. They are looking at other things to evaluate you, and there is steady level of competition for these jobs among similarly qualified applicants.


I agree they are not easy to get, but they are not always looking for top grades. The SA I talked to said grades are important but they are not the number one consideration. They are looking for a whole host of things that a biglaw firm wouldn't care that much about. For example, public speaking skills are much more important than they would be in other areas of law (like biglaw). It also seems like they want people who are dedicated and passionate about prosecuting criminals/defending the accused. It is a thankless, low-pay job (I would even call it a lifestyle), and they want people with the personalities and drive to handle it.

And while they aren't easy to get, if you can land a 1L gig at an SA or PD and do a good job and come back again, you have already put in the majority of the legwork for permanent employment at that office. But I will agree with you that budgetary concerns are always important, especially considering how terrible state and local governments are doing ITE.


Any idea about the upward mobility from PD/DA question?

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:40 am

northwood wrote:are you sure about being fine with living in eastern upstate ny? I moved there to teach, and while it is very beautiful in the spring and summer, it is very grey and depressing in the winter ( -20 lots of snow, weeks where you cant see the sun). After 6 months i lieft... iff winter or weather related mental illnesses can be a problem, i would seriously consider going on vacation there for a week in mid january... also, its very rural and getting things like a home depot or a mal is a 2 3 hour drive in some places...


Haha. Fair question.

Yes I'm sure. I've lived in upstate NY my whole life. I wish I'd been born in Cali or N. Carolina, 'cause I'd love the weather, but I wasn't. Most of my family and friends live here, which is the biggest reason.

As for the mental illness, you just gotta get out in the sun. Yes that means bad-ass winter coats, mittens with nylon gloves underneath, and hats. Or vitamin D pills, which are a good idea for many people anyway.

My Ideal settle-down is the Hudson Valley.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:50 am

smalltown wrote:I'm not sure there is a job out there that would fit you - in any field of substance, not just law. If it's something that is truly engaging, wouldn't you want to work hard on it? But any jobs like that require ambition, and willingness to put in the work. That doesn't mean you can't do both - work hard and have a family life. Lots of our parents did it. They just busted their ass to do it. You very well could be one of the fortunate ones out there. But, as I think you can tell from this thread, you need to understand the reality.


Let's not equate "working hard" with "working many hours". America says we must, but I do not, and many developed nations see Americans as overworked.

I've always been engaged in multiple things simultaneously, and I guarantee you I would NOT be able to work hard on ANYTHING for 12 hours a day. I'd burn out and get ADD.

Lots of our parents weren't also a recording artists, cooks and gardeners.

Yes, my hopes have been dashed a bit, and I am extremely grateful for the sobering outlook on my future workweek that this thread is providing, but your first sentence is simply unproductive and negative.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby icydash » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:02 am

Your -legal- career options are really limited given your constraints -- Have you thought about business? It wouldn't be tough to start a business that pulls 50k a year where you work 9-5.

And you seem to be attacking law backwards. You shouldn't be trying to find the 1 or 2 kinds of law that fits your lifestyle and then forcing it on yourself 40-50 hours a week, you should be finding the area of law you're passionate about and then tailoring your lifestyle so you can be engaged in it. Practicing law is not a hobby or a job; it's a career, and very much a public service. It's serious, and you're going to have people's real problems and lives in your hands. As a competent attorney, you're going to need to put your personal needs aside and do what it takes to solve your clients problems --- this often means working those weekends, hitting that deadline, and working a 70 hour week.

It's important to have balance in everything, and I'm not trying to say practicing law you will have no social life... But your social life will have to take a backseat to your client's/firms needs often, and you (and your family/friends) have to be willing to compensate for those times when you can, and deal with them when you can't. For most areas of law, making a decent wage while making it home for dinner every night with your wife (and having weekends off) is extremely unrealistic.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:04 am

romothesavior wrote:
There are jobs that match OPs requirements, just not many legal ones that do. If OP is wary of putting in the hours, then he should avoid law. But keep in mind that the majority of lawyers in this country are married with kids and are capable of striking a good balance.


A fulfilling use of my energy at the workplace is my top priority, and this means lawyering. I'll just have to give in a little.

Perhaps a new direction for this would simply be: what JD positions are known for having the least hours?

Gov comes to mind, although an earlier post pointed out that PDs work long hours. What is typical?
Are there gov positions where a 50-hour workweek is reasonable?

We've established that small/boutique/mid law firms with this schedule exist, although they're rare.

We've established I could clerk for a few years after graduation.

I've heard starting my own firm... again, anyone with experience, data, or at least anecdotal evidence?

JOThompson
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby JOThompson » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:24 am

Scallywaggums wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
There are jobs that match OPs requirements, just not many legal ones that do. If OP is wary of putting in the hours, then he should avoid law. But keep in mind that the majority of lawyers in this country are married with kids and are capable of striking a good balance.

Are there gov positions where a 50-hour workweek is reasonable?

Probably administrative or regulatory law with a government agency. And also, again, JAG.

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Grizz
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:25 am

Scallywaggums wrote:I've heard starting my own firm... again, anyone with experience, data, or at least anecdotal evidence?


Insanely hard to do straight out, because it requires start-up capital and an established network of lawyers to feed you your first clients. Also, law school doesn't really teach you how to practice law, which is a problem.

credo
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby credo » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:32 am

Scallywaggums wrote:My 3 needs:

1) I'm alright with being someone's bitch initially, but I want to be thinking critically and creatively within a year.
2) 9-5 would be nice, 8-6 with lunch break would be acceptable. No weekend work.
3) I live modestly, but I'd like to be able to save for my kids & retire happily... ~$60,000 to start?

***I am getting NO financial help***

I could
---Hit T11-20 with no scholarship
---Or any degree of lower rank and higher scholarship.

2 Questions
1) Is my employment vision realistically attainable???
2) Could I get away with a full ride - or close to it - from a good T3, say Albany? [I'm confident I could make top third of class] http://www.jdjournal.com/2009/06/15/alb ... -08-grads/
Or is it simply too risky? [My risk aversion is more toward an unsatisfactory job than unsatisfactory debt, such that I would rather have extremely good odds of landing a job that fit my needs with debt than graduate debt-free stuck in shitlaw]

Thanks in advance for any input.


You dont need a law degree to accomplish this. A couple years of experience as a paralegal would get you there.

As a lawyer you will NOT be working 8-5 and making 60k+ initially. It wont happen. Not even in government jobs. Most entry level government positions will require long hours, entry level firm jobs will require very long hours. Thats the reality.

Someone mentioned being a career law clerk. What you want is a position as a legal research attorney for a court. Its pretty much the only position (aside from independent practice) that will pay good money with moderate hours.

Seriously though you should be considering paralegal work.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:35 am

rad law wrote:
Scallywaggums wrote:
Again, for the sake of discussion, our crystal ball says the top 1/3 condition is met all 3 years for full $.


This is dumb, because there's a 2/3 chance you won't be top third. A better scenario would be to assume you were a median student. Don't go anywhere you wouldn't be happy at the median.


No, suggesting that everyone has an equal chance at top 1/3 due solely to their motivation is, as you say, "dumb". You don't show up and press a lever for as long as you can per day; you write and take tests, so it is foolish to 'calculate' odds in the same way you would rolling dice.

I can see that this will not go away, as this is the third-ish time I've addressed it.

When I liked a class and put in effort, I got an A without stressing. Including 300-level Philosophy courses. If I went to a TTT, I believe that I would have an advantage in addition to motivation. Most of those who attend a TTT aren't hoping to get their LG locked down so they can score a 174-76.

There, call me what you will, but I was forced into it to avoid future warnings.

At T14 I wouldn't bank on breaking median, but can we please assume top 1/3 at a TTT to keep conditional scholarships? This is dragging the thread in a non-productive direction, because my confidence of this will not change. I appreciate the warnings, but please, no more.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:36 am

JOThompson wrote:Have you considered JAG? Most only put in 40 to 50 hours per week and you'll be pulling in ~60-70K as an O-3 (including BAH and other benefits). They also enjoy a good amount of autonomy. The only major downside is that you belong to the government for 3.5+ years.


Good idea, but I'd rather not work in military.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:39 am

icydash wrote:
And you seem to be attacking law backwards. You shouldn't be trying to find the 1 or 2 kinds of law that fits your lifestyle and then forcing it on yourself 40-50 hours a week, you should be finding the area of law you're passionate about and then tailoring your lifestyle so you can be engaged in it. Practicing law is not a hobby or a job; it's a career, and very much a public service. It's serious, and you're going to have people's real problems and lives in your hands. As a competent attorney, you're going to need to put your personal needs aside and do what it takes to solve your clients problems --- this often means working those weekends, hitting that deadline, and working a 70 hour week.


That is becoming more clear. Definitely the consensus for the type of work I'd like to do. How long would I have to work until a 50 hour week were very possible?

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:41 am

JOThompson wrote:Probably administrative or regulatory law with a government agency.


How crackable are these positions?

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:42 am

rad law wrote:
Scallywaggums wrote:I've heard starting my own firm... again, anyone with experience, data, or at least anecdotal evidence?


Insanely hard to do straight out, because it requires start-up capital and an established network of lawyers to feed you your first clients. Also, law school doesn't really teach you how to practice law, which is a problem.


Yeah, I wouldn't do it straight out. I just have NO clue how much $ I'd need and thus how long I'd have to save at salary X.
Anybody?

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:46 am

credo wrote:You dont need a law degree to accomplish this. A couple years of experience as a paralegal would get you there

Someone mentioned being a career law clerk. What you want is a position as a legal research attorney for a court. Its pretty much the only position (aside from independent practice) that will pay good money with moderate hours.

Seriously though you should be considering paralegal work.


I'd rather not be someone's bitch indefinitely. I want to be a lawyer. The consensus seems to be that the hours part pretty much HAS to give (at least initially) unless I get really lucky with a rare firm.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:47 am

Once you are in law school, what you did before does not matter. At my 1L school, several students were on conditional schollys that required them to stay just above top 1/3. Most of these kids had done well in UG and had high LSATs for the school. Result: over HALF lost their conditional schollys (along with their snide attitude) and had to pay full ticket for 2L and 3L. To add insult to injury, the #1 student in our class had a sub-150 LSAT and ended up transferring to a Top 10 school.

When people say you cannot predict your ranking or 1L grades, they mean it. Law school exams are not like the LSAT or UG in any way. It is IMPOSSIBLE to predict how well you'll do until you've taken your first set of LS exams and have your first set of grades in hand.

Scallywaggums wrote:At T14 I wouldn't bank on breaking median, but can we please assume top 1/3 at a TTT to keep conditional scholarships? This is dragging the thread in a non-productive direction, because my confidence of this will not change. I appreciate the warnings, but please, no more.




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