Law job without killer hours?

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Flips88
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Flips88 » Mon May 09, 2011 10:38 am

YankeesFan wrote:
Flips88 wrote:Yeah $100k combined is more than enough outside of DC, NYC, Chicago, and LA


But who would want to live anywhere else?

290 million people?

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YankeesFan
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby YankeesFan » Mon May 09, 2011 10:39 am

Sorry, I don't recognize census data from no urban, primary markets. Leaves 60 million to zero in the vote on where to live.

Renzo
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Renzo » Mon May 09, 2011 10:39 am

Patriot1208 wrote:TBF, it's more then enough to live in those cities, most of the residents don't make that much. You are just living far below what most posters on here want to live at.


I wouldn't say "more than enough." It's true that most families living in NYC make less, but we're still not talking about extravagance. I'm talking about a small 2br apartment in a safe neighborhood, health insurance, no car, public schools, and luxuries like going out for sunday brunch at an affordable place every week and maybe a week-long vacation someplace affordable every two or three years.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon May 09, 2011 10:47 am

Renzo wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:TBF, it's more then enough to live in those cities, most of the residents don't make that much. You are just living far below what most posters on here want to live at.


I wouldn't say "more than enough." It's true that most families living in NYC make less, but we're still not talking about extravagance. I'm talking about a small 2br apartment in a safe neighborhood, health insurance, no car, public schools, and luxuries like going out for sunday brunch at an affordable place every week and maybe a week-long vacation someplace affordable every two or three years.

I didn't imply that it was extravagent, I implied that you can live a comfortable life off that. Certainly you'd want more, but somehow most NYC residents get by with 50k salaries.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon May 09, 2011 10:48 am

Renzo wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:TBF, it's more then enough to live in those cities, most of the residents don't make that much. You are just living far below what most posters on here want to live at.


I wouldn't say "more than enough." It's true that most families living in NYC make less, but we're still not talking about extravagance. I'm talking about a small 2br apartment in a safe neighborhood, health insurance, no car, public schools, and luxuries like going out for sunday brunch at an affordable place every week and maybe a week-long vacation someplace affordable every two or three years.


More than enough =/= extravagance.

Renzo
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Renzo » Mon May 09, 2011 10:59 am

Patriot1208 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:TBF, it's more then enough to live in those cities, most of the residents don't make that much. You are just living far below what most posters on here want to live at.


I wouldn't say "more than enough." It's true that most families living in NYC make less, but we're still not talking about extravagance. I'm talking about a small 2br apartment in a safe neighborhood, health insurance, no car, public schools, and luxuries like going out for sunday brunch at an affordable place every week and maybe a week-long vacation someplace affordable every two or three years.

I didn't imply that it was extravagent, I implied that you can live a comfortable life off that. Certainly you'd want more, but somehow most NYC residents get by with 50k salaries.


Again, comfortable isn't necessarily the word I'd use. Is a two hour commute each way, no health insurance, and a potentially dangerous school for your kids "comfortable"? Yes, people are living on less, but that median income counts a whole host of people living in the Marcy House projects, and illegal fire-trap tenements in Chinatown, and in open-air drug markets in East New York.

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Lwoods
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Lwoods » Mon May 09, 2011 11:07 am

Renzo wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:TBF, it's more then enough to live in those cities, most of the residents don't make that much. You are just living far below what most posters on here want to live at.


I wouldn't say "more than enough." It's true that most families living in NYC make less, but we're still not talking about extravagance. I'm talking about a small 2br apartment in a safe neighborhood, health insurance, no car, public schools, and luxuries like going out for sunday brunch at an affordable place every week and maybe a week-long vacation someplace affordable every two or three years.

I didn't imply that it was extravagent, I implied that you can live a comfortable life off that. Certainly you'd want more, but somehow most NYC residents get by with 50k salaries.


Again, comfortable isn't necessarily the word I'd use. Is a two hour commute each way, no health insurance, and a potentially dangerous school for your kids "comfortable"? Yes, people are living on less, but that median income counts a whole host of people living in the Marcy House projects, and illegal fire-trap tenements in Chinatown, and in open-air drug markets in East New York.


Most people I know who make under $40k in NY get assistance from their parents... including my actor friend, my tv producer friend and my brother. However, secretarial jobs (in BigLaw and BigBanks, at least) start around $50k (with no FT experience), so if you wanted to do that, you'd be to $80k within a decade (sooner in a good economy) if you get good reviews.

If you're single, though, without student loans, it is actually possible to live comfortably in Manhattan on $50k/year. My first year out of college, I lived in Spanish Harlem (between Madison & 5th) with a roommate, had a 20 minute commute, a 401(k), good insurance (PPO), a social life, and enough money left over to splurge on a couple luxury items. It's when you try to throw kids in the mix that it gets tricky at that salary.

sidhesadie
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby sidhesadie » Mon May 09, 2011 11:09 am

NCtoDC wrote:
newbienew wrote:homestyle--To respond to your question, law is significantly more appealing than a tradesperson job, because I do enjoy intellectual engagement. As I said, law school excites me, and I'm really looking forward to being challenged in a new way. A career in law (I hope) can be an intellectually fulfilling one for me, and plumbing would not. Besides, I'm not handy at all. :)

Is there really no intersection between "intellectually challenging job" and "job that allows you to spend most of your waking hours outside of it"? Maybe so, and I suppose that's why I'm asking. But I would like to think that I could work 40 hours a week, enjoying my time at the office while there, and spend most of my time with people I love, like family or friends. I just don't see why that's such an unrealistic or juvenile goal.


Start a solo practice....problem fixed.


This.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon May 09, 2011 11:11 am

sidhesadie wrote:
NCtoDC wrote:
newbienew wrote:homestyle--To respond to your question, law is significantly more appealing than a tradesperson job, because I do enjoy intellectual engagement. As I said, law school excites me, and I'm really looking forward to being challenged in a new way. A career in law (I hope) can be an intellectually fulfilling one for me, and plumbing would not. Besides, I'm not handy at all. :)

Is there really no intersection between "intellectually challenging job" and "job that allows you to spend most of your waking hours outside of it"? Maybe so, and I suppose that's why I'm asking. But I would like to think that I could work 40 hours a week, enjoying my time at the office while there, and spend most of my time with people I love, like family or friends. I just don't see why that's such an unrealistic or juvenile goal.


Start a solo practice....problem fixed.


This.

Ya right, any start up business requires tons of hours. You aren't just working as a lawyer anymore, you are working as a lawyer and a business owner. And the job requirements of a business owner add a lot of extra time. You are now dealing with the banking, accounting, IT, landlords, advertising, etc. And you aren't going to have the money to hire people to do all that for you, not for awhile.

newbienew
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby newbienew » Mon May 09, 2011 11:44 am

Thanks for all the replies so far.

To focus the discussion a bit:

1) I'm not totally sure where I'll live post-law school. That is most likely going to be determined by the location restrictions of my girlfriend, who will be trying to stay in academia after she completes her Ph.D.

2) I shouldn't have been so specific about numbers of hours. 45-50 hours a week is obviously not terrible. All I'm really trying to say is that I prioritize life over work in the work/life balance, and I'd like the amount of time I spend on each to reflect that. I'm NOT asking to just punch in and punch out without giving any thought to whatever job I hold in the future. I just want one that will give me (relatively) a lot of free time, and allow me to be there as often as possible when someone in my family would appreciate my presence. I never want to be the dad who is missing his kids' baseball games because of work.

I recognize that unless I'm willing to put in big hours, I shouldn't expect big money. That's fine. All I'm wondering is if there's a niche within the legal profession for people who enjoy intellectual work but don't prefer it over everything else in their lives. Based on the anecdotes thus far, it sounds like PI or in-house might be the way to go? Yes, no, maybe so?

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Lwoods
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Lwoods » Mon May 09, 2011 12:08 pm

newbienew wrote:
I recognize that unless I'm willing to put in big hours, I shouldn't expect big money. That's fine. All I'm wondering is if there's a niche within the legal profession who enjoy intellectual work but don't prefer it over everything else in their lives. Based on the anecdotes thus far, it sounds like PI or in-house might be the way to go? Yes, no, maybe so?


Meant to mention this in my prior post, but in-house positions are difficult to land straight out of law school. However, you can lateral after a couple years in regional midlaw to an in-house position at a large company in the same region. If you're in NYC/Chicago/SF/LA, you'll probably have to do BigLaw to lateral. If you already have WE, though, it might be easier to get an in-house position right away.

I don't know as much about non-Government PI, but I imagine the hours can vary greatly. I have a few friends at non-profits (only one in a legal position), and it sounds like the personalities of their bosses and coworkers are kind of intense. It's definitely far different culture (in a bad way) than I've experienced in the private sector.

Setting up your own practice to do wills and estates might be decent, but it'll take a lot of time, effort and money up front.

Actually, while there are legal jobs with more reasonable schedules, I think most of them at least require "paying your dues" up front.

Renzo
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Renzo » Mon May 09, 2011 12:44 pm

One option to consider would be non-practitioner jobs: legal librarian, Lexis research attorney, big firm litigation coordinator, law school career services office, etc. Many of these will require you get your ticket punched as a practitioner first, but might be intermediate term options to consider.

zomginternets
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby zomginternets » Mon May 09, 2011 12:48 pm

If you whore out for a little bit at a big firm for the first few years after law school, perhaps you could go into academia afterwards? I don't know what the hours are like in academia, but I imagine they are far more flexible than at any firm. One of my professors who worked at a biglaw firm switched to academia because he wanted to have more free time, have kids, etc. So.. I'm sure someone with more knowledge than me will chime in on this, but I'm just surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet.

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ArchRoark
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby ArchRoark » Mon May 09, 2011 12:56 pm

How about non-legal jobs? If one is relatively certain they don't have a desire to practice law and will graduate with little to no-debt, is attending law school still a bad idea?

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon May 09, 2011 12:57 pm

ArchRoark wrote:How about non-legal jobs? If one is relatively certain they don't have a desire to practice law and will graduate with little to no-debt, is attending law school still a bad idea?

What do you expect to get out of it? Sounds like opportunity cost> than any expected ROI could be for non-legal jobs.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Stringer Bell » Mon May 09, 2011 1:01 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:any professional job will regularly require 50-60 hours a week throughout a career.


This is definitely an overstatement.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon May 09, 2011 1:07 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:Most professional jobs will regularly require 50-60 hours a week throughout a career.


This is definitely an overstatement.

Amended

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El_Gallo
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby El_Gallo » Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm

zomginternets wrote:If you whore out for a little bit at a big firm for the first few years after law school, perhaps you could go into academia afterwards? I don't know what the hours are like in academia, but I imagine they are far more flexible than at any firm. One of my professors who worked at a biglaw firm switched to academia because he wanted to have more free time, have kids, etc. So.. I'm sure someone with more knowledge than me will chime in on this, but I'm just surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet.


Law professors' salary to work time ratio is one of the best in the proffesion. However, academia is extremely difficult to break into. OP- don't go to Cornell thinking that this will be an option for you, because it probably will not.

Being a community college prof might be an option though. I hear they love JDs.

AP-375
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby AP-375 » Mon May 09, 2011 1:24 pm

Become an undergrad professor. With a JD, you could probably get a job as a adjunct faculty teaching persuasive writing or something. I worked with a professor (albeit a PhD, Department Chair) who constantly reminded me that he had the best quality of life imaginable: in the office maybe 30 hours a week, rolling in around 10 or 11 after a run, tenure, $100,000 salary, and took long overseas vacations every summer.
I don't know why I'm not doing that, but you should.

newbienew
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby newbienew » Mon May 09, 2011 1:27 pm

I have thought about teaching, though I've been dissuaded from academia through my view of my girlfriend's rigorous research life. However, teaching at a community college actually sounds really nice. I enjoy teaching a lot, and have some relevant experience. What does it take to get a job like that?

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badwithpseudonyms
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby badwithpseudonyms » Mon May 09, 2011 1:27 pm

I heard those lazy children in France only work like 35 hours a week, tops! Fucking frogs.

The mentality of the people on this board kills me sometimes. It's not like the kid walked into an OCI interview and was like "What is your face time policy and how much vacation do I get?" Different people have different priorities. Shocking, I know.

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Flips88
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby Flips88 » Mon May 09, 2011 1:28 pm

newbienew wrote:I have thought about teaching, though I've been dissuaded from academia through my view of my girlfriend's rigorous research life. However, teaching at a community college actually sounds really nice. I enjoy teaching a lot, and have some relevant experience. What does it take to get a job like that?

You want to teach at a community college with a JD from Cornell?

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ArchRoark
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby ArchRoark » Mon May 09, 2011 1:29 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
ArchRoark wrote:How about non-legal jobs? If one is relatively certain they don't have a desire to practice law and will graduate with little to no-debt, is attending law school still a bad idea?

What do you expect to get out of it? Sounds like opportunity cost> than any expected ROI could be for non-legal jobs.

A free/almost-free graduate degree that hopefully provides the necessary academic credentials to secure an entry level position in a career with decent work/life/pay balance.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby crazycanuck » Mon May 09, 2011 1:31 pm

newbienew wrote:Thanks for all the replies so far.

To focus the discussion a bit:

1) I'm not totally sure where I'll live post-law school. That is most likely going to be determined by the location restrictions of my girlfriend, who will be trying to stay in academia after she completes her Ph.D.

2) I shouldn't have been so specific about numbers of hours. 45-50 hours a week is obviously not terrible. All I'm really trying to say is that I prioritize life over work in the work/life balance, and I'd like the amount of time I spend on each to reflect that. I'm NOT asking to just punch in and punch out without giving any thought to whatever job I hold in the future. I just want one that will give me (relatively) a lot of free time, and allow me to be there as often as possible when someone in my family would appreciate my presence. I never want to be the dad who is missing his kids' baseball games because of work.

I recognize that unless I'm willing to put in big hours, I shouldn't expect big money. That's fine. All I'm wondering is if there's a niche within the legal profession for people who enjoy intellectual work but don't prefer it over everything else in their lives. Based on the anecdotes thus far, it sounds like PI or in-house might be the way to go? Yes, no, maybe so?


Work/life balance pisses me off. Work is a part of life, not separate, so choose a job/career/whatever that you are comfortable with having as a significant portion of your life.

Also I agree with Patriot about going solo. Once you start a business it's no longer a job, it becomes your life and you must eat, breathe and live that business. It will be a significant portion of life.

If you want to work in house, why go to law school? The stuff you do there will not be significant enough to warrant the 3 years. Just start at the company you want to work at now and start living your 40 hour work weeks. In 3 years you will be making 50k, with the hours that you hopefully want, won't have wasted time and money at law school, and will probably be doing work that is just as "intellectually stimulating" (lol) as if you had.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Law job without killer hours?

Postby crazycanuck » Mon May 09, 2011 1:33 pm

ArchRoark wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
ArchRoark wrote:How about non-legal jobs? If one is relatively certain they don't have a desire to practice law and will graduate with little to no-debt, is attending law school still a bad idea?

What do you expect to get out of it? Sounds like opportunity cost> than any expected ROI could be for non-legal jobs.

A free/almost-free graduate degree that hopefully provides the necessary academic credentials to secure an entry level position in a career with decent work/life/pay balance.


Those kinds of jobs won't require a JD if it's not in the legal field.




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