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Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:12 pm
by Anonymous User
I am choosing between the V5 (sans Wachtell), STB and Cleary. The feedback I've gotten when asking which would provide the best lifestyle/hours is that it's not a matter of which firm you choose, but which practice area you enter into.

In that regard, can someone with knowledge of the various corporate practice groups please break down the lifestyle/hours impact of each? For example, I know M&A and Capital Markets probably have the most number of hours and most unpredictable schedule (read: crappiest lifestyle) in corporate, but what about the other areas? Regulation, Bankruptcy, Banking and Finance, Private Equity (fund formation and M&A), Project Finance etc.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:28 pm
by Anonymous User
If you work for a top firm, you shouldn't be concerned about lifestyle because you aren't going to have a life.

All of those practice areas come with heavy hours. Trying to decide which one has the best lifestyle is a fruitless exercise. You shouldn't choose a practice group based on potentially working 5 less hours per year than another practice group. Try to find something you find interesting.

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:38 am
by TTH
Anonymous User wrote:If you work for a top firm, you shouldn't be concerned about lifestyle because you aren't going to have a life.

All of those practice areas come with heavy hours. Trying to decide which one has the best lifestyle is a fruitless exercise. You shouldn't choose a practice group based on potentially working 5 less hours per year than another practice group. Try to find something you find interesting.


Probably CR. I'd add that there no one on this forum will be able to intelligently answer this question for you because of the number of variables at play. Different groups at different firms have varying levels of work, different expectations, etc. I can't imagine you'll capture enough people ITT with enough experience to give a decent comparison.

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:39 am
by englawyer
ask associates from each firm how many hours they bill. its a reasonable question to ask after you have offer in hand.

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:56 am
by imchuckbass58
Anonymous User wrote:If you work for a top firm, you shouldn't be concerned about lifestyle because you aren't going to have a life.

All of those practice areas come with heavy hours. Trying to decide which one has the best lifestyle is a fruitless exercise. You shouldn't choose a practice group based on potentially working 5 less hours per year than another practice group. Try to find something you find interesting.


It's really not a fruitless exercise because there are significant differences in lifestyle.

OP, all practice areas work a lot of hours. The big difference is in the regularity of those hours. Deal-driven work, particularly M&A and capital markets, has very irregular hours - you will have many 2am nights, but you will also have many days when you can take off at 4 or 5 because your deal is quiet for some reason. Same idea with bankruptcy because of the very short deadlines.

Fund formation and regulatory work tend to have much more regular hours. The fund formation lawyers at my firm worked pretty steadily until 8 every day, even before closings (maybe they would stay till 10 some nights). They didn't work less aggregate hours, but it was much more even.

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:14 pm
by ruski
i also heard fund formation is pretty chill, but also more boring. you're not really working on "deals." i would also imagine exit options are worse. hedge funds and PE shops want people who were working on their M&A and securities deals - this is the complex stuff and this is what they want an expert in and its this person they want as their general counsel, not the guy who was drafting their fund formation documents.

i also heard derivative work can be pretty steady and not as hectic. as is corporate IP.

so as mentioned, the practices that are less deal-oriented are less hectic, which makes sense since there are no huge deadlines where a crapload of docs need to be ready all of a sudden. but working on "deals" is higher level in the sense it will give you more broad exit options (note not necessary better depending on your prefernces).

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:42 pm
by viking138
What about private equity? Anyone know about how regular the hours are for that practice area?

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:47 pm
by imchuckbass58
viking138 wrote:What about private equity? Anyone know about how regular the hours are for that practice area?


Private equity M&A or private equity fund formation?

Either way, see literally two posts above.

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:51 pm
by markymark
Trusts & Estates and Employee Benefits are lifestyle groups that fall under the transaction practice area - although not strictly corporate.

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:08 pm
by Anonymous User
In general, do lit practice groups have less brutal or at least more predictable hours?

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:37 pm
by imchuckbass58
Anonymous User wrote:In general, do lit practice groups have less brutal or at least more predictable hours?


Depends what you mean. Lit is usually more predictable since your heavy periods are largely dictated by filing deadlines. But this doesn't mean the hours are any more regular. Hours before a filing deadline or during an expedited schedule can be as bad if not worse than corporate.

Re: Hours and lifestyle by corporate practice area

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:52 am
by ruski
PE is not really a practice area. it is a type of client. it would be like asking what about working with fortune 500 clients? it depends what you're doing for the PE shops. if it's m&a the hours will be pretty similary to regular public m&a. ditto for security offerings by PE shops, etc.

while i heard litigation can be more steady (although in the aggregate hours are the same), their exit options are more limited