Positives of working as a lawyer

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Veyron
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Veyron » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:41 am

Patriot1208 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:I know this is older and the response rates are sort of low for some firms, but this still seemed relevant
http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php

Also, 50 to 60 60-90 hour weeks are basically required in most high paying careers, it's a trade off people have to make across many different industries.


FTFY

Did you look at the survey? The highest average hours reported was 69


You aren't a paticularly bright poster, are you? We were speaking about careers in general. Also this is a statistically insignificant survey of MIDLEVELS.

sighsigh
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby sighsigh » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:40 am

The only place I can see you working hours on the upper end of that scale is finance fields such as banking (even higher than 90 hours for analysts and close to that for associates), and 80 hours for med school residents (although this depends on the spec you go into). Obviously these kinds of hours aren't sustainable, so you won't be in the fields you work them in for very long.

Those instances of insane hours are also kind of why I am incredulous at biglaw lawyers who complain about their 60-65 hour workweeks. But my guess is that it's not due to the sheer number of hours that warrant this complaint, but rather their unpredictability.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:59 am

Veyron wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:I know this is older and the response rates are sort of low for some firms, but this still seemed relevant
http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php

Also, 50 to 60 60-90 hour weeks are basically required in most high paying careers, it's a trade off people have to make across many different industries.


FTFY

Did you look at the survey? The highest average hours reported was 69


You aren't a paticularly bright poster, are you? We were speaking about careers in general. Also this is a statistically insignificant survey of MIDLEVELS.

Careers in general? Notwithstanding how smart I am, stating that people regularly work above seventy hours in any career is patently false. Almost no one, in any career does that. The only career that even comes close is banking and even then the hours worked don't stay that high throughout your career, only for a few years. 60 hours average is pretty standard for most top professional jobs throughout their career.

Now to address the second point, maybe i'm uninformed on the process, but is it realy fair to say a midlevel associate is going to work significantly less hours than a 1st year? While I understand the effeciency argument I was under the impression that hours were pretty steady throughout a big law career you just had more to do as you became more senior. And even if you add in an extra ten hours for first year associates that still puts all but a few firms at around 65 hours, not 80. Maybe I should just wait til median at Penn gets you a v10 and ask for your anecdotal experience to use as a factual and statistically representative sample

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Royal
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Royal » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:27 am

greg737 wrote:OK.. so I'm considering going to law school and becoming a lawyer, but between what I've heard from my friends (in both law school and as practicing attorneys) and online on message boards, I'm terrified I"m going to hate it, if only because everywhere I see, lawyers are always said to be miserable people who hate their jobs.


Usually, the miserable lawyers I know follow a pretty typical path -- Came directly from undergrad to law school with no work experience and aspirations of biglaw because of the salary and supposed "prestige."

If they end up in biglaw, they're miserable because of the long hours, tedious workload, and interwoven nature of work and "personal time" inherent to this type of career. The problem is that they never worked a full time job before law school; they've spent the last 20 years of their lives in schools. Someone can TELL you that you'll regularly work 70 hours a week and be tethered to your blackberry at all times, but it's hard to internalize that if you don't have any tangible work experience. When they suddenly find themselves in that position, they realize that (1) the practice of law is not what they thought it was (at a big firm), and (2) the demands are far greater than they envisioned.

If they end up in a small or midsized firm they may actually enjoy the work, but it's easy to be miserable if they've got six figures worth of debt and a $50k salary in an expensive metro area.

The happiest lawyers I know are solos or partners in small firms they started. There are also plenty of people that enjoy biglaw, but it takes a certain personality. I don't think you accurately recognize whether or not you HAVE that type of personality if you've never had a fulltime job before.

I think going to law school with the expectation that it entitles you to a cushy, enjoyable, and secure six figure job is a recipe for disaster. However, law school attracts that type -- the risk averse.

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Blindc1rca
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Blindc1rca » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:03 am

I am a 0L, but one of my parents is an attorney, as is much of my extended family. They are all financially stable and happy. This is especially saying a lot for my attorney parent because he/she is in his/her fifties and makes 40-60k/year working with the juvenile system. That said, he/she sometimes takes pet (interest cases) and a few of these have even resulted in big settlements that have nearly tripled his/her salary for that year (gender ambiguity for the sake of relative anonymity, sorry).

I think that it's pretty much accepted that BigLaw (transactional/corporate, IP) is not fun. It involves a lot of paper-pushing and a lot of hours in the office. Many people go to law school envisioning a lot of face-time with clients, and the emotional reward of winning something for someone else. BigLaw seems largely devoid of this emotional satisfaction.

From my frame of reference, the following types of law seem to produce happy lawyers:
-Juvenile Defense
-Public Defense
-Non-Profit Area Public Interest
-Federal Prosecution (Antitrust, White Collar Crimes, National Security, Civil Rights, Natural Resources, Tribal Justice)
-Social Security Disability
-Workers' Compensation

The first three are typically quite low, relatively speaking, in their remunerative value. Simply put, you won't make much money. But if your school has a good LRAP or if you come out with little to no debt, you'll be able to live more than comfortably. The third is an especially difficult field in which to get one's foot in the door because you must demonstrate active interest in the sub-field in which you wish to practice. They don't want someone who just struck out on BigLaw, they want someone with demonstrable to the cause. The fourth is very competitive, extremely competitive. To get a shot at these DOJ jobs right out of the gate you pretty much have to get DOJhonors, which essentially requires Top 5-10% at a T14. The last two are the most nebulous. I know attorneys who were median students at low T1 schools who got out, got a gig at a small (read <15 attorneys) firm, and within a few years they were off salary making well into the six-figures from fees. The lucrativeness of working in SSD/WC is directly correlated to state laws regarding torts, so in some states tort caps may make it not worth the effort to work in this field.

Again, I have no illusions about this list being all-inclusive. I know that it's not. These are just the fields in which attorneys I know (who are happy and financially stable) work.

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Veyron
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Veyron » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:38 pm

[/quote]

FTFY[/quote]
Did you look at the survey? The highest average hours reported was 69[/quote]

You aren't a paticularly bright poster, are you? We were speaking about careers in general. Also this is a statistically insignificant survey of MIDLEVELS.[/quote]
Careers in general? Notwithstanding how smart I am, stating that people regularly work above seventy hours in any career is patently false. Almost no one, in any career does that. The only career that even comes close is banking and even then the hours worked don't stay that high throughout your career, only for a few years. 60 hours average is pretty standard for most top professional jobs throughout their career.


Now to address the second point, maybe i'm uninformed on the process, but is it realy fair to say a midlevel associate is going to work significantly less hours than a 1st year? While I understand the effeciency argument I was under the impression that hours were pretty steady throughout a big law career you just had more to do as you became more senior. And even if you add in an extra ten hours for first year associates that still puts all but a few firms at around 65 hours, not 80. Maybe I should just wait til median at Penn gets you a v10 and ask for your anecdotal experience to use as a factual and statistically representative sample[/quote]

The poster I was responding to specifically said high paying careers :roll: I'm sorry if you're friends with Paris Hilton or something. If you think that only V10 lawyers work insane hours you are in for a rude awakening. There are firms all throughout the V100 with practice groups where associates bill close to 3k.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:45 pm

Veyron wrote:
The poster I was responding to specifically said high paying careers :roll: I'm sorry if you're friends with Paris Hilton or something. If you think that only V10 lawyers work insane hours you are in for a rude awakening. There are firms all throughout the V100 with practice groups where associates bill close to 3k.

Yes and I was responding to that. There is no career where the average worker works over 70 hrs a week on average except, for maybe, banking. This isn't true in big law according to any data we have, it isn't true in consulting, and it isn't true in any other industry job. Sure, there may be some in those areas who do, but they are in the vast minority. Singular anecdotal evidence at a few firms isn't sufficient to argue it is normal or necessary.

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Veyron
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Veyron » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:20 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
The poster I was responding to specifically said high paying careers :roll: I'm sorry if you're friends with Paris Hilton or something. If you think that only V10 lawyers work insane hours you are in for a rude awakening. There are firms all throughout the V100 with practice groups where associates bill close to 3k.

Yes and I was responding to that. There is no career where the average worker works over 70 hrs a week on average except, for maybe, banking. This isn't true in big law according to any data we have, it isn't true in consulting, and it isn't true in any other industry job. Sure, there may be some in those areas who do, but they are in the vast minority. Singular anecdotal evidence at a few firms isn't sufficient to argue it is normal or necessary.


The people with lucrative careers with in many industries work over 70 hours a week, entertainment, real estate, any sort of corporate management. Expecially in buisness, there is no true "down" time. You are literally ALWAYS working, sometimes actively, sometimes not, trying to make deals for your company. Sitting poolside if your smartphone goes off you drop everything and deal with it. If you meet someone that you might want to do buisness with, a realxing day by the pool becomes a buisness event.

turbotong
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby turbotong » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:40 pm

Anyone know the hours worked based on field of law?
I'm thinking about going into patent law (EE). I heard those hours are a bit more steady.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:47 pm

Veyron wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
The poster I was responding to specifically said high paying careers :roll: I'm sorry if you're friends with Paris Hilton or something. If you think that only V10 lawyers work insane hours you are in for a rude awakening. There are firms all throughout the V100 with practice groups where associates bill close to 3k.

Yes and I was responding to that. There is no career where the average worker works over 70 hrs a week on average except, for maybe, banking. This isn't true in big law according to any data we have, it isn't true in consulting, and it isn't true in any other industry job. Sure, there may be some in those areas who do, but they are in the vast minority. Singular anecdotal evidence at a few firms isn't sufficient to argue it is normal or necessary.


The people with lucrative careers with in many industries work over 70 hours a week, entertainment, real estate, any sort of corporate management. Expecially in buisness, there is no true "down" time. You are literally ALWAYS working, sometimes actively, sometimes not, trying to make deals for your company. Sitting poolside if your smartphone goes off you drop everything and deal with it. If you meet someone that you might want to do buisness with, a realxing day by the pool becomes a buisness event.

Meh, guess if you want to call drinking with a client work, I may concede. But no one so ends that amount of time doing traditional work in corporate management.

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rayiner
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby rayiner » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:06 pm

Veyron wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:I know this is older and the response rates are sort of low for some firms, but this still seemed relevant
http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php

Also, 50 to 60 60-90 hour weeks are basically required in most high paying careers, it's a trade off people have to make across many different industries.


FTFY


You think law hours are bad, try founding a startup company. My ex-boss worked 80-90 hours a week, week in and week out, for 3-4 years before his company was in a shape where he could let up for a bit.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:25 pm

rayiner wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:I know this is older and the response rates are sort of low for some firms, but this still seemed relevant
http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php

Also, 50 to 60 60-90 hour weeks are basically required in most high paying careers, it's a trade off people have to make across many different industries.


FTFY


You think law hours are bad, try founding a startup company. My ex-boss worked 80-90 hours a week, week in and week out, for 3-4 years before his company was in a shape where he could let up for a bit.

Luckily there isn't an entreprenurial bone in my body, give me a good salary and i'll be your bitch.

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AreJay711
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:27 pm

rayiner wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:I know this is older and the response rates are sort of low for some firms, but this still seemed relevant
http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php

Also, 50 to 60 60-90 hour weeks are basically required in most high paying careers, it's a trade off people have to make across many different industries.


FTFY


You think law hours are bad, try founding a startup company. My ex-boss worked 80-90 hours a week, week in and week out, for 3-4 years before his company was in a shape where he could let up for a bit.


Yeah, my dad did this and it was about the same. Still, 22 years later, even though he won't hire more managers like a sane person, the dude could come in 2 hrs a day 5 days a week if he wanted to so I guess it is just paying it forward.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:31 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:I know this is older and the response rates are sort of low for some firms, but this still seemed relevant
http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php

Also, 50 to 60 60-90 hour weeks are basically required in most high paying careers, it's a trade off people have to make across many different industries.


FTFY


You think law hours are bad, try founding a startup company. My ex-boss worked 80-90 hours a week, week in and week out, for 3-4 years before his company was in a shape where he could let up for a bit.


Yeah, my dad did this and it was about the same. Still, 22 years later, even though he won't hire more managers like a sane person, the dude could come in 2 hrs a day 5 days a week if he wanted to so I guess it is just paying it forward.
my dad owns a small business and i'd wager he puts in about 60 hours a week.

Eta that i'm not using this as evidence of anything

09042014
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby 09042014 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:51 pm

Wait I can't bill for time spent on reddit.com? I'm out.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:20 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Wait I can't bill for time spent on reddit.com? I'm out.


FWIW, I billed the time I would spend on the shitter last summer :lol:. I figured I was strategically thinking of arguments just like I would have been if I were staring at the wall next to my desk, so I might as well bill for it.

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Veyron
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Veyron » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:22 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Wait I can't bill for time spent on reddit.com? I'm out.


FWIW, I billed the time I would spend on the shitter last summer :lol:. I figured I was strategically thinking of arguments just like I would have been if I were staring at the wall next to my desk, so I might as well bill for it.


I can see how billing on the shitter could be legitimate. I read casebooks on the shitter.

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rayiner
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby rayiner » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:35 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Wait I can't bill for time spent on reddit.com? I'm out.


FWIW, I billed the time I would spend on the shitter last summer :lol:. I figured I was strategically thinking of arguments just like I would have been if I were staring at the wall next to my desk, so I might as well bill for it.


I wonder if I can bill for the time I think about thinks in the shower. At my old job that was literally the most productive part of my day.

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Veyron
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Veyron » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:25 pm

I've acutally legitmately wondered if the people who live in CN bill the time they spend on the train into the City each morning. I would hope that they won't be expected to show up to the office that early as long as they had a long commute where they could work.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:27 pm

rayiner wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Wait I can't bill for time spent on reddit.com? I'm out.


FWIW, I billed the time I would spend on the shitter last summer :lol:. I figured I was strategically thinking of arguments just like I would have been if I were staring at the wall next to my desk, so I might as well bill for it.


I wonder if I can bill for the time I think about thinks in the shower. At my old job that was literally the most productive part of my day.

As a paralegal I worked on a case that was very intense and spent a lot of time thinking about it outside of work. I was told to bill for my out-of-office brainstorming. haha

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sundance95
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby sundance95 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:53 am

Holly Golightly wrote:
rayiner wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Wait I can't bill for time spent on reddit.com? I'm out.


FWIW, I billed the time I would spend on the shitter last summer :lol:. I figured I was strategically thinking of arguments just like I would have been if I were staring at the wall next to my desk, so I might as well bill for it.


I wonder if I can bill for the time I think about thinks in the shower. At my old job that was literally the most productive part of my day.

As a paralegal I worked on a case that was very intense and spent a lot of time thinking about it outside of work. I was told to bill for my out-of-office brainstorming. haha

Everyone understands that this is entirely legitimate, right? I get the sense that some people have this idea of "I'm getting away with something by billing hours for thinking about/working on a case even when I'm not at the office." You're not-you're doing it right.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:42 am

sundance95 wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:
rayiner wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:FWIW, I billed the time I would spend on the shitter last summer :lol:. I figured I was strategically thinking of arguments just like I would have been if I were staring at the wall next to my desk, so I might as well bill for it.


I wonder if I can bill for the time I think about thinks in the shower. At my old job that was literally the most productive part of my day.

As a paralegal I worked on a case that was very intense and spent a lot of time thinking about it outside of work. I was told to bill for my out-of-office brainstorming. haha

Everyone understands that this is entirely legitimate, right? I get the sense that some people have this idea of "I'm getting away with something by billing hours for thinking about/working on a case even when I'm not at the office." You're not-you're doing it right.


It's legitimate, but it's still funny nonetheless. You couldn't be getting paid to take a dump in a lot of other jobs.

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AreJay711
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:12 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
It's legitimate, but it's still funny nonetheless. You couldn't be getting paid to take a dump in a lot of other jobs.


Not true. Time for body functions, even when not thinking about work, is covered in many jobs. I'll be damned if a mechanic doesn't bill you while he is taking a piss break or the mover or most other per hour service.

firemed
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby firemed » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:17 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
It's legitimate, but it's still funny nonetheless. You couldn't be getting paid to take a dump in a lot of other jobs.


Not true. Time for body functions, even when not thinking about work, is covered in many jobs. I'll be damned if a mechanic doesn't bill you while he is taking a piss break or the mover or most other per hour service.



Um.... you guys should come to work with me sometime. When I work, I WORK! 12 hours hard physical labor under life threatening conditions, or 45 minutes of a heart pounding adrenalin and PTSD filled code- followed by an hour of paperwork. On the other hand, I am also paid to be ready to throw my ass on the line, any time of the day or night. Which means that some days I get paid to sleep, or paid to play Black Ops, or paid to watch a movie. Also paid to shower, brush my teeth, take a dump, or shave. I also got paid to write papers when I was finishing my BA.

I'll miss parts of this, I must admit.

Renzo
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Re: Positives of working as a lawyer

Postby Renzo » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:23 pm

firemed wrote:
Um.... you guys should come to work with me sometime. When I work, I WORK! 12 hours hard physical labor under life threatening conditions, or 45 minutes of a heart pounding adrenalin and PTSD filled code- followed by an hour of paperwork. On the other hand, I am also paid to be ready to throw my ass on the line, any time of the day or night. Which means that some days I get paid to sleep, or paid to play Black Ops, or paid to watch a movie. Also paid to shower, brush my teeth, take a dump, or shave. I also got paid to write papers when I was finishing my BA.

I'll miss parts of this, I must admit.


Washing your truck before you have a spaghetti dinner and slumber party with a bunch of other doods and is neither hard labor not life threatening.




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