How long are long hours??

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azntwice
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:46 pm

How long are long hours??

Postby azntwice » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:10 pm

I'm a bit confused as to what people mean when they say attorneys work long hours in biglaw. I have a lot of friends in banking, so when they say long hours I think 100-hour weeks. Is it typically the same in biglaw (on average; I know corporate attorneys tend to have greater variability by day in hours) or do biglaw hours mean 70-80 hours/wk?

jrock12
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:47 pm

Re: How long are long hours??

Postby jrock12 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:28 pm

azntwice wrote:I'm a bit confused as to what people mean when they say attorneys work long hours in biglaw. I have a lot of friends in banking, so when they say long hours I think 100-hour weeks. Is it typically the same in biglaw (on average; I know corporate attorneys tend to have greater variability by day in hours) or do biglaw hours mean 70-80 hours/wk?


its not that the hours are that long, its that they are spread horribly over the day. 9/10:00 a.m. - 9/10:00 p.m. is only 12 hours. if the legal industry followed the model of other corporate industries, you could get in to the office quite a bit earlier and leave much earlier. i do understand that part of this is due to the fact that you are always serving someone else in the legal industry, so your schedule is dictated by them, but in any event, the model is still a broken model

Anonymous User
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Re: How long are long hours??

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:55 pm

the legal industry is not like a corporation though. it's a service industry. we are all highly educated, well-paid dry cleaners.

OP, I don't think 100 hour weeks are common, but it happens on occasion. Same with 40 hour weeks. You need to bill about 42 hours a week, factoring in some vacation time. That means you need to work an average of maybe 50-60 hours per week. That's on average, though, not steady.

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Dustin.
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:13 pm

Re: How long are long hours??

Postby Dustin. » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:02 pm

Check this out for a good overview of the long hours:

--LinkRemoved--

Anonymous User
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Re: How long are long hours??

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:04 pm

Former IBD analyst here.

In terms of time spent at the office, Biglaw hours are nothing like banking hours. Face time expectations are much higher in banking--analysts in my office worked almost every single weekend, 8-10 hours both sat/sun. Not working on the weekends was a sign that you weren't getting put on important deals, so most people preferred to be working weekends (at least until you landed that sweet PE job, after which banking analysts kind of check out). Even if you had a free weekend, you could theoretically get called in at any time so you couldn't make serious plans. Biglaw is much more chill about working from home once it gets to a certain hour unless you actually NEED to be at the office. People at law firms tend to be older than in finance, where barely anyone at the junior level had a family.

However, I do think that you spend more of your time at work actually WORKING in law. There is a lot of downtime in banking at the analyst level, especially since you're not billing time. We used to take tons of coffee/lunch even shopping breaks if things were slow during the day, with little consequence. In law it feels worse to do things like that because you're just cheating your billables.




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