I've seen a few requests in this thread for info on what it's like to work for an upper-level plaintiff's firm. I'd like to hear more about this too. Anyone with experiences to share?
I know culture is going to vary by firm, but I'm specifically wondering if there are shared expectations as to hours on the plaintiffs' side -- e.g. something that compares with the apparently across-the-board BigLaw expectation of 60-70 hour work weeks.
Because, great as my passion is for hunting and killing corporate prey, no amount of money could persuade me to work that much. Life's too short.
I've worked as an associate at a Vault 5 biglaw firm, and am now a jr. partner at a plaintiffs' securities firm.
I can tell you for a fact that the hours are significantly less at our firm for associates than at biglaw. There's really two aspects to that statement.
First, most plaintiffs' firms do not have billable hour requirements like biglaw do. You have to keep track of your hours for the (hopefully) eventual fee's motion, but that's merely an record-keeping tool, and not something that defines your life or bonus (as it is in biglaw). In other words, you do not live your life in 1/10th hour increments.
Second, the expectations of how many hours you actually work (not bill), is actually pretty flexible. The bottom line with us is that you win
your cases -- not bill X amount of hours in any given month. Because who cares if you bill 300 hours a month if you lose all your cases, or motions? Those are dead hours that the firm just has to eat. We'd rather you work 30 hours a month, but win all your cases. FWIW, there's no billable hour requirement at our firm. We have more than enough work to go around that making sure everyone is busy and pulling their weight is never a problem.
On a night like this (Friday), just about all the associates are out of the office by 4 or 4:30, unless you have a discovery deadline or something due.
I can't go into more detail without outing myself, so hopefully that helps.