"Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

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tome
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby tome » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:30 pm

The reading comprehension fail of those telling us all "how it really is" makes me fear for their legal futures.

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IzziesGal
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby IzziesGal » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:15 pm

spondee wrote:Is there a source that collects the actual hours billed by jr associates at different firms?


I'd check the Am Law mid-associate survey - don't have a link handy, but some of the associates will tell you about how many hours they bill. Also try Career Center, which you can access through Above the Law. That site has helpful pie charts about whether weekends are really yours, whether Blackberrys accompany you to the Bahamas, etc.

Hoopster
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby Hoopster » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:23 pm

IzziesGal wrote:
spondee wrote:Is there a source that collects the actual hours billed by jr associates at different firms?


I'd check the Am Law mid-associate survey - don't have a link handy, but some of the associates will tell you about how many hours they bill. Also try Career Center, which you can access through Above the Law. That site has helpful pie charts about whether weekends are really yours, whether Blackberrys accompany you to the Bahamas, etc.



Don't mean to derail the thread but I have to ask: Are you as gorgeous as your avatar? 8)

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paratactical
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby paratactical » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:34 pm

Hoopster wrote:
IzziesGal wrote:
spondee wrote:Is there a source that collects the actual hours billed by jr associates at different firms?


I'd check the Am Law mid-associate survey - don't have a link handy, but some of the associates will tell you about how many hours they bill. Also try Career Center, which you can access through Above the Law. That site has helpful pie charts about whether weekends are really yours, whether Blackberrys accompany you to the Bahamas, etc.



Don't mean to derail the thread but I have to ask: Are you as gorgeous as your avatar? 8)


Let's just hope she looks like her avatar then and not that individual now.

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IzziesGal
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby IzziesGal » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:38 pm

Hoopster wrote:
IzziesGal wrote:
spondee wrote:Is there a source that collects the actual hours billed by jr associates at different firms?


I'd check the Am Law mid-associate survey - don't have a link handy, but some of the associates will tell you about how many hours they bill. Also try Career Center, which you can access through Above the Law. That site has helpful pie charts about whether weekends are really yours, whether Blackberrys accompany you to the Bahamas, etc.



Don't mean to derail the thread but I have to ask: Are you as gorgeous as your avatar? 8)


Haha - I wish. Lindsay Lohan pre-mental breakdown is the epitome of beauty, in my opinion.

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Cmoss
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby Cmoss » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was discussing my upcoming CB with another student, and someone who was overhearing the conversation, came up and told me bluntly that the particular firm was a sweatshop, people had to work long hours there, etc., and that I should avoid that firm at all costs.

At first I was disturbed by that, but after thinking about it, aren't nearly all Big Law firms "sweatshops" to a certain degree? Does the fact that someone characterized a Big Law firm as a sweatshop really mean anything? I find it hard to believe that there would be an easy 40 hour work week at any Big Law firm.

On a related matter, some firms hold them out to have good work-life balance, but at the end of the day, a law firm is a business trying to make a profit for its owners. How realistic are those representations of work-life balance, to those in the know?



what if the person over hearing your convo was competing for a spot at that firm and just wanted to rid you of that applicant pool?

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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:10 pm

OP here. The person was a 3L.

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Cmoss
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby Cmoss » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:29 pm

well the way I see it is three years of hard work in a sweatshop = lifetime of awesome possibilities.

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RVP11
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby RVP11 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:38 pm

Cmoss wrote:well the way I see it is three years of hard work in a sweatshop = lifetime of awesome possibilities.


That's a pretty shiny gloss you're putting on it. I'm not sure even exit opportunity from a V5 = "lifetime" of "awesome" possibilities. Mostly the exit options are just to firms lower down the totem pole.

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Cmoss
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby Cmoss » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:49 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Cmoss wrote:well the way I see it is three years of hard work in a sweatshop = lifetime of awesome possibilities.


That's a pretty shiny gloss you're putting on it. I'm not sure even exit opportunity from a V5 = "lifetime" of "awesome" possibilities. Mostly the exit options are just to firms lower down the totem pole.



valid point. i suppose im a bit overly optimistic

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IzziesGal
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby IzziesGal » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:01 pm

And for some of us, 3 yrs is a lot to give up. My hubby and I are planning on starting our family soon, and the first 3 years of a child's life includes a lot of important milestones. I am not about to miss any of that. This whole topic is largely dependent on where people are in their lives. For me, lower ranked firm + better hours + better culture that will allow me to have more time with my family = infinitely more important than higher ranked firm + prestige.

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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:34 pm

[quote="IzziesGal"]And for some of us, 3 yrs is a lot to give up. My hubby and I are planning on starting our family soon, and the first 3 years of a child's life includes a lot of important milestones. I am not about to miss any of that. This whole topic is largely dependent on where people are in their lives. For me, lower ranked firm + better hours + better culture that will allow me to have more time with my family = infinitely more important than higher ranked firm + prestige.[/quote]

This is so key. No even where, but what people want out of their lives. While I would like to get married, I don't want to have children. I enjoy working, and don't mind working myself to the bone to work up the ladder. Thus, I prefer the higher ranked firm + prestige, but can get why not everyone wants that. But what is annoying is when people want high rank + prestige AND good hours. Not going to happen.....

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IzziesGal
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby IzziesGal » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
IzziesGal wrote:And for some of us, 3 yrs is a lot to give up. My hubby and I are planning on starting our family soon, and the first 3 years of a child's life includes a lot of important milestones. I am not about to miss any of that. This whole topic is largely dependent on where people are in their lives. For me, lower ranked firm + better hours + better culture that will allow me to have more time with my family = infinitely more important than higher ranked firm + prestige.[/quote]

This is so key. No even where, but what people want out of their lives. While I would like to get married, I don't want to have children. I enjoy working, and don't mind working myself to the bone to work up the ladder. Thus, I prefer the higher ranked firm + prestige, but can get why not everyone wants that. But what is annoying is when people want high rank + prestige AND good hours. Not going to happen.....


Totally agree. You have to sacrifice one for the other, and it really all depends on where you are in your life and what your priorities are.

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Noval
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby Noval » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:28 pm

IzziesGal wrote:And for some of us, 3 yrs is a lot to give up. My hubby and I are planning on starting our family soon, and the first 3 years of a child's life includes a lot of important milestones. I am not about to miss any of that. This whole topic is largely dependent on where people are in their lives. For me, lower ranked firm + better hours + better culture that will allow me to have more time with my family = infinitely more important than higher ranked firm + prestige.



Or you can do a few years in BigLaw and then use the contacts you've made + the big name on your record to find better paid/lower cost jobs out there.

Or, if you REALLY want work/life balance, join JAG...Air Force Jags = Excellent deal.

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IzziesGal
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby IzziesGal » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:05 pm

Noval wrote:
IzziesGal wrote:And for some of us, 3 yrs is a lot to give up. My hubby and I are planning on starting our family soon, and the first 3 years of a child's life includes a lot of important milestones. I am not about to miss any of that. This whole topic is largely dependent on where people are in their lives. For me, lower ranked firm + better hours + better culture that will allow me to have more time with my family = infinitely more important than higher ranked firm + prestige.



Or you can do a few years in BigLaw and then use the contacts you've made + the big name on your record to find better paid/lower cost jobs out there.

Or, if you REALLY want work/life balance, join JAG...Air Force Jags = Excellent deal.


Edit: erased b/c I just can't argue this anymore.

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RVP11
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Re: "Big Law Firm X is a Sweatshop"/Is Work-Life balance a myth?

Postby RVP11 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:51 pm

I can't understand this "just do a few years in BigLaw then do what you really want" mentality unless people are just that desperate to pay their loans off. If you need the $160,000, that's totally understandable. If you're debt-free and don't like the idea of BigLaw in the long term, you're not going to like it in the short term, either.




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