Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:18 pm

I'd like to know more about the marriage aspect of Biglaw, and whether it's possible and how it can be done.

I'm an engaged SA at a v50 on the west coast. Fiancee is in a service industry, where she'll probably work Saturdays forever, but be off Sunday and Monday. Sunday we usually spend relaxing/together, Monday she uses for errands. She also works later at night (8-9pm) a couple nights/week.

I was thinking her schedule might make my late nights/working on Saturdays more sustainable, but would love insight. This thread is scary.

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nealric
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby nealric » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'd like to know more about the marriage aspect of Biglaw, and whether it's possible and how it can be done.



I'm a former Biglaw associate and married to one currently. Yes, it's its possible, and its even possible to have a very high quality of life. However, keep in mind that biglaw can vary quite a bit in terms of the demands it places on you. There's going to be a massive difference between V5 M&A in NYC and doing ERISA compliance work at a lower Amlaw 100 firm in a secondary market. In the former, you are going to have to be very comfortable with not seeing your spouse much; the latter is probably a pretty steady and normal 50 hour a week job. Most biglaw gigs are somewhere between those two extremes.

Besides the practice itself, the nature of the partners involved will have a big impact. Being under an ogre can make your life unpredictable misery, while a good partner who values your time can give you breathing room.

Besides the above, the dynamic between the couples can make a difference. Is one a stay at home parent, or do you have two professionals both working long hours? Depending on the personalities involved, one may be better than the other.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:46 pm

I feel unmarried associates have it worse since new girl/boyfriends won't put up with this shit. I don't think I know a single person at my firm who got a serious longterm relationship after biglaw.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:48 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I feel unmarried associates have it worse since new girl/boyfriends won't put up with this shit. I don't think I know a single person at my firm who got a serious longterm relationship after biglaw.


Can vouch for this. A lot of the singles at my firm who stay single at 30+ are crazy though......so maybe it's not just the hours

Sgtpeppernyc
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Sgtpeppernyc » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:49 pm

Single biglaw associate, coming off a year of 220-250 hours per month, and weekends and late nights in the office.

Have been both in a relationship and casually dating over the last year. Dating can be a challenge - I've had months where dating was next to impossible, since during the week is so unpredictable, you're exhausted on Friday, and you may want to see your other friends on the weekends. Especially since online dating is a numbers game, it's a challenge for sure.

Relationship also had some serious strains, as I had to cancel fairly frequently (and often at the last minute) and was often exhausted or preoccupied with work when we hung out.

Of course, it's not all bad. Most practices have peaks and valleys, and there are plenty of situations where you aren't working too terrible of hours. People are also generally understanding, and so long as you're not obnoxious about it, will forgive / reschedule. Plus, being able to take someone out and not having to worry about the money is a pretty nice luxury.

tl;dr there are plenty of challenges, but it's not impossible.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:51 pm

Sgtpeppernyc wrote:Single biglaw associate, coming off a year of 220-250 hours per month, and weekends and late nights in the office.

Have been both in a relationship and casually dating over the last year. Dating can be a challenge - I've had months where dating was next to impossible, since during the week is so unpredictable, you're exhausted on Friday, and you may want to see your other friends on the weekends. Especially since online dating is a numbers game, it's a challenge for sure.

Relationship also had some serious strains, as I had to cancel fairly frequently (and often at the last minute) and was often exhausted or preoccupied with work when we hung out.

Of course, it's not all bad. Most practices have peaks and valleys, and there are plenty of situations where you aren't working too terrible of hours. People are also generally understanding, and so long as you're not obnoxious about it, will forgive / reschedule. Plus, being able to take someone out and not having to worry about the money is a pretty nice luxury.

tl;dr there are plenty of challenges, but it's not impossible.


(Biglaw associate casually talking about his relation and casual dating without addressing why he had to start casually dating after being in a relationship)

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby clshopeful » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:06 pm

Renzo wrote:First, at some of the worst horror-story firms, 2000 hours is just not going to cut it.

See, e.g. this story (LinkRemoved), about how anyone billing less than 200 hrs a month is not busy, and needs to take on more.

But, for most firms, it's not the total amount of hours that's the killer; it's the unpredictability. You might sit around all day with no work, only to be pulled into an all-nighter right before you go home. Or you may be on your way to a hot first date, and someone will drop a bunch of shit on your desk that needs to be turned around by morning. Oh, and that vacation you've been looking forward to and planning for six months? Yeah, sorry. Something came up, and we need you here--but don't worry, we're not heartless, the firm will reimburse you for the nonrefundable tickets. If you really value your time away from work, that shit can get old.


Don't you kind of have to be a push over to let this happen? ''Hey we need you here next week - deal going down that we need your help on'' .. can't you just say ''Ah, sorry I can't! I'm going to Hawaii with my fiance! Wish you guys the best of luck"

Feel like this would get you out of it? I also feel like the vibe on TLS for associates in this situation is to be quiet, accept the work, and don't let anyone know you had plans

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Desert Fox
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:16 pm

2000 hours is A LOT. You have to average 8.3 BILLED each day work day. A day where you have no work? Well that's 8.3 hours you gotta cram somewhere else.

I bet the average fulltime workers does like 1200 billable hours a year.

And if you need 2000 for a bonus or to not get fired, that's extra stress. You don't have just worry about finding the time to do the work. You gotta make sure you have the work.

You work 175 hours a month but your case settles in mid November? NO BONUS. Should have billed more earlier sUCKER.

Work 200 hours a month until November, when shit gets crazy and you bill 250 for nov and antoher 250 in december? You just billed 2500 hours SUCKER.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:25 pm

clshopeful wrote:
Renzo wrote:First, at some of the worst horror-story firms, 2000 hours is just not going to cut it.

See, e.g. this story (LinkRemoved), about how anyone billing less than 200 hrs a month is not busy, and needs to take on more.

But, for most firms, it's not the total amount of hours that's the killer; it's the unpredictability. You might sit around all day with no work, only to be pulled into an all-nighter right before you go home. Or you may be on your way to a hot first date, and someone will drop a bunch of shit on your desk that needs to be turned around by morning. Oh, and that vacation you've been looking forward to and planning for six months? Yeah, sorry. Something came up, and we need you here--but don't worry, we're not heartless, the firm will reimburse you for the nonrefundable tickets. If you really value your time away from work, that shit can get old.


Don't you kind of have to be a push over to let this happen? ''Hey we need you here next week - deal going down that we need your help on'' .. can't you just say ''Ah, sorry I can't! I'm going to Hawaii with my fiance! Wish you guys the best of luck"

Feel like this would get you out of it? I also feel like the vibe on TLS for associates in this situation is to be quiet, accept the work, and don't let anyone know you had plans


You'll love scoping the email chains of associates telling partners while on their honeymoon that the hotel's wifi isn't working well and that they have to go to the business center to send a single email, while simultaneously calling out the fact that they had already secured a different associate to cover for them for the week, only to have the partner tell them that their coverage failed to suffice and they better deal with it.

Anyways, you're right you can get out of stuff time to time (not so hypothetical kid in the above was most definitely a push over, that is an offense that many would rage quit over)--but it takes a special level of asshole to throw your colleagues under the bus on a regular basis. If you lack any semblance of shame, you can probably coast (with multiple lateral moves) in good market conditions for a few years or more. If you're a normal human being, the unpredictability and the boredom is the killer (not necessarily the hours, and certainly not the difficulty of the work or even the stress). If you're truly excited about draft deal docs, and a handful of psychopaths are, you'll live for the unpredictability, because it is a call to arms.

*Also, hilarious notion of having a week's notice. A week is a lifetime.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:35 pm

Desert Fox wrote:2000 hours is A LOT. You have to average 8.3 BILLED each day work day. A day where you have no work? Well that's 8.3 hours you gotta cram somewhere else.

I bet the average fulltime workers does like 1200 billable hours a year.

And if you need 2000 for a bonus or to not get fired, that's extra stress. You don't have just worry about finding the time to do the work. You gotta make sure you have the work.

You work 175 hours a month but your case settles in mid November? NO BONUS. Should have billed more earlier sUCKER.

Work 200 hours a month until November, when shit gets crazy and you bill 250 for nov and antoher 250 in december? You just billed 2500 hours SUCKER.


This factor is on par with the day-to-day unpredictability. Not on the standard biglaw curve anymore, but similar (lesser requirements) and have a choice of billing NYC standard or accepting NO BONUS and potentially no lockstep raise... adds a nice level of totally unnecessary stress as to whether to (a) bill 200 hour months, (b) give up, and potentially fall just short anyways due to busyness, or (c) try, and potentially fall just short anyways due to summer lulls and unpredictable markets/elections.

My feeling of late is give up, but it's looking as though (b) will occur.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby bern victim » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:31 pm

clshopeful wrote:
Renzo wrote:First, at some of the worst horror-story firms, 2000 hours is just not going to cut it.

See, e.g. this story (LinkRemoved), about how anyone billing less than 200 hrs a month is not busy, and needs to take on more.

But, for most firms, it's not the total amount of hours that's the killer; it's the unpredictability. You might sit around all day with no work, only to be pulled into an all-nighter right before you go home. Or you may be on your way to a hot first date, and someone will drop a bunch of shit on your desk that needs to be turned around by morning. Oh, and that vacation you've been looking forward to and planning for six months? Yeah, sorry. Something came up, and we need you here--but don't worry, we're not heartless, the firm will reimburse you for the nonrefundable tickets. If you really value your time away from work, that shit can get old.


Don't you kind of have to be a push over to let this happen? ''Hey we need you here next week - deal going down that we need your help on'' .. can't you just say ''Ah, sorry I can't! I'm going to Hawaii with my fiance! Wish you guys the best of luck"

Feel like this would get you out of it? I also feel like the vibe on TLS for associates in this situation is to be quiet, accept the work, and don't let anyone know you had plans

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

yay
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby yay » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:42 am

Desert Fox wrote:I feel unmarried associates have it worse since new girl/boyfriends won't put up with this shit. I don't think I know a single person at my firm who got a serious longterm relationship after biglaw.


after biglaw or while in biglaw? if the latter, it probably has more to do with shitty personality

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby elendinel » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:26 am

clshopeful wrote:
Don't you kind of have to be a push over to let this happen? ''Hey we need you here next week - deal going down that we need your help on'' .. can't you just say ''Ah, sorry I can't! I'm going to Hawaii with my fiance! Wish you guys the best of luck"

Feel like this would get you out of it? I also feel like the vibe on TLS for associates in this situation is to be quiet, accept the work, and don't let anyone know you had plans


Lol, more like "Hey I need you on this thing due in two days, no, no one else can take it. Oh you're flying to Hawaii? You can review on the plane, then."

The other issue with trying not to be a "push over," aside from how it screws over your colleagues, is that the people giving out work are going to remember who's willing to go the distance for them, and who's not, when they have more work to give out. If you piss off a partner by saying "Nope I'm going on vacation, cya!" when they have no other options/if they decide you weren't "busy enough" that month to be refusing work, good luck ever getting work from him/her when you hit a lull and (s)he's the only one with new projects coming in at that time. You do it enough times, and word will spread, and you'll have trouble getting work from anyone.

Some people do act like pushovers and let their job take over their life in extremely unhealthy ways (to the point where they'll cancel a wedding to get some work done), but there is a good reason why, barring work interfering with the big parts of your life, you should be quiet and accept work.




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