nealric wrote:I'm a first year Tax associate. Tax is 90% transactional at my firm (we only do a touch of controversy work).
The hours are much, much better than what other people are talking about. Most of my weeks are between 50-60 hours, with a few 45 hour weeks and a few 65 hour weeks. That's good enough to be on track to bill in the low 2000s for the year (which is considered completely acceptable). One thing I've noticed is that the corporate first years have to spend a lot more time waiting around for work than I do. For the most part, If I am at work and not at lunch or taking a break I am billing. I rarely have to work weekends. When I do, it's just a few hours in the morning. Although I'm "on call" via blackberry, I've never had to disrupt my plans because of it. At worst, I have to spend five minutes to respond to an email.
People who want "lifestyle" and biglaw should be advised to pick a niche practice area. Do IP, ERISA, Tax, Trusts & Estates, Labor, or whatever else your firm might offer.
Do you think most people with the grades to land firm jobs can intellectually handle tax practice? (Genuinely curious.) I'm interested in tax, but haven't taken corporate tax yet. (I took tax 1 and it's honestly my favorite class in law school.) Most people I know who took corporate tax in law school ended up pursuing another field because they found it too confusing/difficult, even though they loved tax 1. It's also hard to know if a firm is hiring in most niche areas, as most of these practice areas are tiny, so I think people are hesitant to express interest in these areas at interviews/during the summer.