How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

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Lawyerhead
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby Lawyerhead » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:48 pm

cinephile wrote:
anon168 wrote:Choose a career path that you feel you will enjoy, don't worry about the hours because if you really have gumption and career aspirations, working hard or long is almost a non-factor. Fear of working hard is for those who ultimately realize that they are nothing better than a modern day Willy Loman.


This is the silliest thing I've ever heard on TLS. People have or want to have families, friends, and lives. No matter how much you like your job, the hours are still a big deal for a lot of people and it has nothing to do with a fear of working hard.


You must still be in school.

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kalvano
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby kalvano » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:54 pm

I worked for several years before school. Long hours blow and it's huge deal for me in figuring out what to do after school. I don't care how much you love your job, 70+ hour work weeks suck.

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cinephile
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby cinephile » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:18 pm

Lawyerhead wrote:
cinephile wrote:
anon168 wrote:Choose a career path that you feel you will enjoy, don't worry about the hours because if you really have gumption and career aspirations, working hard or long is almost a non-factor. Fear of working hard is for those who ultimately realize that they are nothing better than a modern day Willy Loman.


This is the silliest thing I've ever heard on TLS. People have or want to have families, friends, and lives. No matter how much you like your job, the hours are still a big deal for a lot of people and it has nothing to do with a fear of working hard.


You must still be in school.


I worked for four years before coming to law school. That's why I know that the hours matter to me, my friends and colleagues. Being able to have dinner with your boyfriend, see your family, and have time for friends are all really important. If you're completely asocial it doesn't matter to you, but if you have people in your life that you care about you generally want to spend time with them.

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dood
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby dood » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm currently clerking and considering whether to pursue government work or big law firm work. I hear all kinds of stories about not having a life in big law. How true is that? Are you working every night and weekend? Or does it go in spurts? Do you get any vacation?


well lets see, its 11:05PM sunday night and im at work.

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby soccerfreak » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:44 am

ajr wrote:
sadsituationJD wrote:
Most lawyers don't make that kind of money, sure, but most people have no hope of making that much elsewhere anyway.


LOL. Kids coming out of Ivy undergrads in finance (top Ivy like Harvard/Yale/Pricneton not rotfl "ivy" like Cornell) can get trading jobs in the "pit" and make 500 K to sky's the limit in their mid 20s. They also work a much shorter day and are cool, unlike some Biglaw drone paper pushing geek slaving away 90 hours a week for what works out to like $25 an hour, which you can make with a G.E.D. and a lawnmower/chainsaw/old pickup truck.

Of course, those "pit" jobs require some real math chops, which lawyers (who tend to be not-so-bright lib arts and BS undergrad majors) can't hack. My friend's husband (yale man) makes 800 K to 1.2 million most years trading oil futures, his boss has had 20 million-plus years and is like 45 yrs old.


You ain't seen this pic of Sandy, bro? Yes, it's Goldman Sachs.
Image

Dang, had to google this to see if it was real. Turns out it is! http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/11/go ... power.html

Lawyerhead
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby Lawyerhead » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:24 am

cinephile wrote:
Lawyerhead wrote:
cinephile wrote:
anon168 wrote:Choose a career path that you feel you will enjoy, don't worry about the hours because if you really have gumption and career aspirations, working hard or long is almost a non-factor. Fear of working hard is for those who ultimately realize that they are nothing better than a modern day Willy Loman.


This is the silliest thing I've ever heard on TLS. People have or want to have families, friends, and lives. No matter how much you like your job, the hours are still a big deal for a lot of people and it has nothing to do with a fear of working hard.


You must still be in school.


I worked for four years before coming to law school. That's why I know that the hours matter to me, my friends and colleagues. Being able to have dinner with your boyfriend, see your family, and have time for friends are all really important. If you're completely asocial it doesn't matter to you, but if you have people in your life that you care about you generally want to spend time with them.


No one is saying that seeing your loved ones is not important - don't be silly - but what cinephile is saying (or at least, my take on it) is that working long hours doesn't really suck as much if you enjoy what you're doing. You'll understand once you work until 5 am 2 weeks straight doing something you absolutely can't stand.

Really though, if you're concerned about working long hours, why on earth would you choose this profession?

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kalvano
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby kalvano » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:56 am

Lawyerhead wrote:No one is saying that seeing your loved ones is not important - don't be silly - but what cinephile is saying (or at least, my take on it) is that working long hours doesn't really suck as much if you enjoy what you're doing. You'll understand once you work until 5 am 2 weeks straight doing something you absolutely can't stand.

Really though, if you're concerned about working long hours, why on earth would you choose this profession?



That's not at all what I got from her comment. The exact opposite, actually. I got out of it "long hours suck because you don't get to see loved ones, and work isn't near as important as having a life."

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dingbat
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby dingbat » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:53 am

kalvano wrote:
Lawyerhead wrote:No one is saying that seeing your loved ones is not important - don't be silly - but what cinephile is saying (or at least, my take on it) is that working long hours doesn't really suck as much if you enjoy what you're doing. You'll understand once you work until 5 am 2 weeks straight doing something you absolutely can't stand.

Really though, if you're concerned about working long hours, why on earth would you choose this profession?



That's not at all what I got from her comment. The exact opposite, actually. I got out of it "long hours suck because you don't get to see loved ones, and work isn't near as important as having a life."

I agree, but if you like what you do the long hours are far more bearable than if you hate your job.
On a different note, why would anyone pay someone at the start of their careers over 6 figures and not demand that you're available at their beck and call?

If you want to make the big bucks, you got to make the sacrifices and you got to get used to it early on. Just ask Tony Haywood

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby ruski » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:15 am

dingbat wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Lawyerhead wrote:No one is saying that seeing your loved ones is not important - don't be silly - but what cinephile is saying (or at least, my take on it) is that working long hours doesn't really suck as much if you enjoy what you're doing. You'll understand once you work until 5 am 2 weeks straight doing something you absolutely can't stand.

Really though, if you're concerned about working long hours, why on earth would you choose this profession?



That's not at all what I got from her comment. The exact opposite, actually. I got out of it "long hours suck because you don't get to see loved ones, and work isn't near as important as having a life."

I agree, but if you like what you do the long hours are far more bearable than if you hate your job.
On a different note, why would anyone pay someone at the start of their careers over 6 figures and not demand that you're available at their beck and call?

If you want to make the big bucks, you got to make the sacrifices and you got to get used to it early on. Just ask Tony Haywood


this is the attitude that's competely ruining biglaw. most who make it to top firms don't have a problem with working hard - theyve been doing it their whole life. but just because you get six figures doesn't mean they own your life or can treat you like crap. ive seen many partners who like calling and giving out assignment friday afternoon, and i know that assignment has been sitting on their desk for 3 days. so to say they have you at their beck and call, while true and is valid, has a horrible connotation. do you have to make yourself available, sure. but do they own your life, no. no one minds working hard when you really have to, it's just half the time it could have easily been avoided. its this type of senseless sacrifice that people in this thread are talking about and don't want to put up with.

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dingbat
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby dingbat » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:10 am

ruski wrote:
dingbat wrote:I agree, but if you like what you do the long hours are far more bearable than if you hate your job.
On a different note, why would anyone pay someone at the start of their careers over 6 figures and not demand that you're available at their beck and call?

If you want to make the big bucks, you got to make the sacrifices and you got to get used to it early on. Just ask Tony Haywood


this is the attitude that's competely ruining biglaw. most who make it to top firms don't have a problem with working hard - theyve been doing it their whole life. but just because you get six figures doesn't mean they own your life or can treat you like crap. ive seen many partners who like calling and giving out assignment friday afternoon, and i know that assignment has been sitting on their desk for 3 days. so to say they have you at their beck and call, while true and is valid, has a horrible connotation. do you have to make yourself available, sure. but do they own your life, no. no one minds working hard when you really have to, it's just half the time it could have easily been avoided. its this type of senseless sacrifice that people in this thread are talking about and don't want to put up with.

Whether biglaw, IB, big4, or any similar profession, sometimes you need to deal with crappy bosses who aregiving you assignments at the last minute. Whether or not they could have given you the assignment earlier, or whether there's even a point to the assignment is irrelevant. Whether it could have been avoided is irrelevant. That is what your boss wants, and that is what your boss should get. If you aren't willing to work as and when they want you to, there are plenty of other people who would be more than happy to do so - many of which are no less capable than you. Hell. If your boss gives you an assignment on Monday and expects it by the following Monday, said boss won't care if you do it immmediately, or if you only do it Sunday night, as long as they've got it on time and it is of the quality they want. If your boss gives you an assignment on Friday afternoon and needs it by Monday, it doesn't matter whether you complete it that very hour, slave away all weekend, or only start the assignment on your ride in, just so long as it's done
Do they own your life? No. You are free to quit at any time. Hell, you are even free to turn down the assingment on time (although, that may just be an indirect resignation). If you're getting a big salary with the expectation that you will satisfactorily complete any and every assignment on time, then that's what you're getting paid for. You want to only work at your leisure? Then get a job somewhere where that's acceptable (and good luck making the big bucks).

Besides, if you're bitching about it as an associate, imagine being a partner. You've taken 2 weeks off, and with your entire family travel to XYZ country, that trip you've always dreamed of. The day you arrive, a major client of yours gets arrested (for whatever reason). Do you continue on your vacation, or do you fly back to the office that very day so you can give your client the time and attention s/he demands?

I tell you what, if I were the client, and you didn't make immediate arrangements to come back, I'd look for another attorney. Nothing personal, but as a paying client, my needs come first. If not, I'll pay someone else.

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby ruski » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:19 am

dingbat wrote:The day you arrive, a major client of yours gets arrested (for whatever reason). Do you continue on your vacation, or do you fly back to the office that very day so you can give your client the time and attention s/he demands?


wth? what kind of biglaw firm do you work for? it's clear none. im sure your attitude will change soon.

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dingbat
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby dingbat » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:41 am

ruski wrote:
dingbat wrote:The day you arrive, a major client of yours gets arrested (for whatever reason). Do you continue on your vacation, or do you fly back to the office that very day so you can give your client the time and attention s/he demands?


wth? what kind of biglaw firm do you work for? it's clear none. im sure your attitude will change soon.

I do not work in biglaw (yet). However, I have worked 10 years in a professional setting, where I have had plenty of 100 hour weeks (including over christmas/new year once), and have quite often had to work late at short notice for no useful reason

However, the above story that you quoted comes from an actual partner that I know who had arrived with his family at XYZ destination after a 17 hour flight, and had to return home the very next day because a client needed him.

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:53 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
Most lawyers don't make that kind of money, sure, but most people have no hope of making that much elsewhere anyway.

LOL. Kids coming out of Ivy undergrads in finance (top Ivy like Harvard/Yale/Pricneton not rotfl "ivy" like Cornell) can get trading jobs in the "pit" and make 500 K to sky's the limit in their mid 20s. They also work a much shorter day and are cool, unlike some Biglaw drone paper pushing geek slaving away 90 hours a week for what works out to like $25 an hour, which you can make with a G.E.D. and a lawnmower/chainsaw/old pickup truck.

It's nice that you completely ignored my point, which was that MOST PEOPLE have no hope of that kind of career path.

Do you really think anyone who wants to go to an Ivy--and not just any Ivy but a "top Ivy" as you put it--can do so? Admissions for even UG programs like finance are hideously competitive and seats are scarce. And that's assuming that everyone who gets into a "top Ivy" finance program will land this kind of money immediately upon graduation, which is also ridiculous.

What kind of work do you do for a living? If making bank at part-time hours is so easy, surely you must be doing it by now.

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:25 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
But with that comes a nice paycheck.


Also, after you leave Biglaw you will never make anything close to 160 K again.



I worked for a public corporation this summer; the general counsel there recently cashed out $10 million worth of stock options.

Is this going to happen for everyone? Of course not, but if you know what you want and are savvy, there are fantastic options out of biglaw.

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby FlanAl » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:22 pm

thats the GC. story for the GC vs. the rest of the in-house is dramatically different right? Thats kinda like saying "of course you'll make money in management at our company, the CEO just retired at 10mil"

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:33 am

FlanAl wrote:thats the GC. story for the GC vs. the rest of the in-house is dramatically different right? Thats kinda like saying "of course you'll make money in management at our company, the CEO just retired at 10mil"


I mean, no non-GC is cashing in $10M in stock options (which presumably accumulated over a long time as well). But everyone in a legal department at a Fortune 500 company is making six figures. Everyone who has more than ten years' experience in-house is making over $200k, all included. A fair number of people are making in the high six figures range. At some companies, some lawyers other than the GC might make seven figures.

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby dingbat » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
FlanAl wrote:thats the GC. story for the GC vs. the rest of the in-house is dramatically different right? Thats kinda like saying "of course you'll make money in management at our company, the CEO just retired at 10mil"


I mean, no non-GC is cashing in $10M in stock options (which presumably accumulated over a long time as well). But everyone in a legal department at a Fortune 500 company is making six figures. Everyone who has more than ten years' experience in-house is making over $200k, all included. A fair number of people are making in the high six figures range. At some companies, some lawyers other than the GC might make seven figures.

But, but what about TLS groupthink? What about bi-modal salary? Outside of biglaw, nothing pays more than $50k

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:41 am

dingbat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
FlanAl wrote:thats the GC. story for the GC vs. the rest of the in-house is dramatically different right? Thats kinda like saying "of course you'll make money in management at our company, the CEO just retired at 10mil"


I mean, no non-GC is cashing in $10M in stock options (which presumably accumulated over a long time as well). But everyone in a legal department at a Fortune 500 company is making six figures. Everyone who has more than ten years' experience in-house is making over $200k, all included. A fair number of people are making in the high six figures range. At some companies, some lawyers other than the GC might make seven figures.

But, but what about TLS groupthink? What about bi-modal salary? Outside of biglaw, nothing pays more than $50k

Your sarcasm is misplaced here, because that's not what "TLS groupthink" actually says. Bi-modal salary is about starting pay, not for the pay of every lawyer in the country. Unless there are a ton of six figure jobs like this which law students have been getting right after graduation, this doesn't rebut common TLS thinking at all.

And of those in-house making six (or seven) figures, how many of them do you think started at the left mode and how many at the right? One of the reasons biglaw is so coveted is the possibility of exiting to those in-house jobs at F500 (and other) companies.

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm currently clerking and considering whether to pursue government work or big law firm work. I hear all kinds of stories about not having a life in big law. How true is that? Are you working every night and weekend? Or does it go in spurts? Do you get any vacation?


People in biglaw do NOT, I repeat, do NOT have a life. They DO live in the office, they sleep there, they shower there, they spent their weekends there. They get there at 8 am and if they're LUCKY leave sometime around midnight. They eat their lunch in their desk. Then they eat their dinners in their desk.

And the time they spend at work? It's pure hell with an angry partner on top. For more info, please read the blog sweet hot justice.
Couple of things, here.
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby anon168 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:00 pm

Reading through this thread, I just have to wonder.

How in the world do people know, or even think they know, enough to offer an opinion on hours in biglaw vis-a-vis government work?

Not only have the majority (or none?) of the posters worked, full-time or otherwise, at both biglaw and the government to make a meaningful comparison, few have even worked consistently at either place to even offer anecdotal opinions of either biglaw or the government hours.

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby nygrrrl » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:37 pm

anon168 wrote:Reading through this thread, I just have to wonder.

How in the world do people know, or even think they know, enough to offer an opinion on hours in biglaw vis-a-vis government work?

Not only have the majority (or none?) of the posters worked, full-time or otherwise, at both biglaw and the government to make a meaningful comparison, few have even worked consistently at either place to even offer anecdotal opinions of either biglaw or the government hours.

Yes. I started going through each anonymous post, checking to see who'd worked, who hadn't. About 1/2 are still in LS. I'm not going through this whole thread outing everyone but I think people reading this should take much of the "anon" stuff with a grain of salt.

ETA: Please note that I said take MUCH of the "anon" stuff with a grain of salt. There are several posters in here who are giving some great, first-hand advice. (And these are the kinds of posts the Anon Feature was designed for: thanks you guys!)

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dingbat
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby dingbat » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:42 pm

anon168 wrote:Reading through this thread, I just have to wonder.

How in the world do people know, or even think they know, enough to offer an opinion on hours in biglaw vis-a-vis government work?

Not only have the majority (or none?) of the posters worked, full-time or otherwise, at both biglaw and the government to make a meaningful comparison, few have even worked consistently at either place to even offer anecdotal opinions of either biglaw or the government hours.

I will admit it's anecdotal, but I have friends who work in biglaw and I've worked with close to a dozen top firms, as well as for former partners. Same for IB and Big4 and I have about a decade experience in a prpfessional setting, so I have a rough idea of what the lifestyle is like.
However, I know nothing about goverrnment work; therefore, I have not talked about that side of the argument.
(also - not responding anonymously)

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby nygrrrl » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:46 pm

dingbat wrote:
anon168 wrote:Reading through this thread, I just have to wonder.

How in the world do people know, or even think they know, enough to offer an opinion on hours in biglaw vis-a-vis government work?

Not only have the majority (or none?) of the posters worked, full-time or otherwise, at both biglaw and the government to make a meaningful comparison, few have even worked consistently at either place to even offer anecdotal opinions of either biglaw or the government hours.

I will admit it's anecdotal, but I have friends who work in biglaw and I've worked with close to a dozen top firms, as well as for former partners. Same for IB and Big4 and I have about a decade experience in a prpfessional setting, so I have a rough idea of what the lifestyle is like.
However, I know nothing about goverrnment work; therefore, I have not talked about that side of the argument.
(also - not responding anonymously)

See bolded. :D
You're also not an 0L - which in this forum counts. I have zero problems with people who identify themselves saying, "My uncle works in Big Law and HE says..." but the anon stuff from people who haven't even started school makes me twitch a bit.

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dingbat
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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby dingbat » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:55 pm

This whole website's anon, for the most part. I think 99% of anon postings shouldn't be.

On this subject, I also happen to know what my demands were as the client, and yes, I ruined many an evening, weekend, and yes, even holidays, for the associates responsible

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Re: How bad are big law hours compared to government, really?

Postby nygrrrl » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:57 pm

dingbat wrote:This whole website's anon, for the most part. I think 99% of anon postings shouldn't be.

On this subject, I also happen to know what my demands were as the client, and yes, I ruined many an evening, weekend, and yes, even holidays, for the associates responsible

:lol: (And I agree with you on the Anon thing.)




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