There are quite a few things I enjoy about being a lawyer (1st year biglaw specialty group):
1) My job is very intellectually demanding
2) My co-workers are uniformly intelligent
3) Even though I work long hours, I also have a good deal of autonomy. I'm not forced to take lunch at a certain hour or punch in and out every day
4) I enjoy solving problems- and there are plenty of those to solve
5) I'm learning new things every day- useful things - not BS some prof decided should be on the syllabus
6) I feel very respected, even by my superiors. I am often sincerely thanked for the work I do.
7) My office has a nice view
I like your answer better than mine.
In terms of the hours pissing contest, if you are efficient and really busy, you bill most of your day, you eat dinner and lunch in 10 minutes combined, and you don't screw around with coffee breaks. I never take a lunch break for more than 10 minutes unless I'm meeting someone for lunch, which happens maybe once a week at most. With all that said, I haven't met many people who bill 2500+ hours, and almost none outside of NYC. To bill 2500, you are probably working roughly 70 hour weeks if you are genuinely busy, maybe slightly less. If you are not or your firm is inefficient, you may work more hours. How many more hours is anyone's guess. It's not hard to bill 50 hours in a week if you're working 70 hours though, if you have work. If I have work to do I often bill my entire day minus an hour or two (taking out time for bathroom, grabbing 10 minute meals and about 30 min for time entry, etc. and maybe reading the news).