You just started at your firm-Happy with your choice so far?

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Anonymous User
Posts: 273337
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: You just started at your firm-Happy with your choice so far?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:55 pm

I chose NLJ250 in my hometown over a V5 in NYC and have been very satisfied with my choice.

Hours are pretty good. Lots of people keep a steady 9-6. Facetime requirements are minimal. I've had slow periods when I've left as early as 4, or come in as late as 10, and never had anyone give me grief about it. I've also had days when I've stayed until midnight to finish something urgent, but generally I had either (a) some warning ahead of time, or (b) the option to decline the project (not that I would).

Pay is good. After tax I make about the same as I would at a top NYC firm. The firm gives above-market (yes, above-NYC-market, at least for juniors) bonuses for people who hit 2000 hours, and though the firm's official policy is that you must hit 1900 to be bonus-eligible, I know people with under 1800 who still got something.

The work is okay. I think corporate is boring for juniors everywhere. Lots of name/date/amount changes and copy/paste. Sometimes I feel like a well-compensated data entry person. Attention to detail is like 95% of the job. But the work is plentiful, my seniors are very good people to work for, and occasionally when I get a crack at a first draft of a major document, or get some creativity in how I want to word certain provisions, the work is actually interesting.

v20lawyer
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: You just started at your firm-Happy with your choice so far?

Postby v20lawyer » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:28 pm

dood wrote:my life consists LITERALLY of:

1. wake-up
2. work for 12 hours
3. come home too tired to do ANYTHING
4. eat shitty fast food (due to #3)
5. watch sportscenter (due to #3)

same thing with my roommate and another good friend in big law - all three of us constantly reminisce about when we went to happy hours, had time for girls, or even just simple shit like working out, cooking a real meal, etc.

honestly, id even sacrifice all that shit for the $$ if i could just get to keep working out and cooking a real meal. maybe it gets better, but i dont even have time/energy for that simple shit and thus that is why i am miserable.


Most of the above depends completely on how the particular person handles biglaw. After a 12 hr work day I usually manage to make a simple healthy meal and wake up the next morning for a good hour workout. On longer days, 15 hrs or so, I sleep a little extra and only work out about a half hour. The only days where I don't have the energy to wake up the next morning for at least a short work out are the ones where I'm here late (2-3 or later) for a couple days in a row, then it becomes a struggle.

I'll admit though that it cuts down on going out during the week. If I get out of here by 7:30 there's still plenty of time to do something, and that happens often enough. Once it hits 9-10 I generally don't do anything when I get home other then maybe watch 30 mins of tv while I eat before going to bed. You obviously look forward to the weekends more than you did in law school, but that's life. You can definitely still do the "simple shit" though.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: You just started at your firm-Happy with your choice so far?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:25 pm

dood wrote:my life consists LITERALLY of:

1. wake-up
2. work for 12 hours
3. come home too tired to do ANYTHING
4. eat shitty fast food (due to #3)
5. watch sportscenter (due to #3)

same thing with my roommate and another good friend in big law - all three of us constantly reminisce about when we went to happy hours, had time for girls, or even just simple shit like working out, cooking a real meal, etc.

honestly, id even sacrifice all that shit for the $$ if i could just get to keep working out and cooking a real meal. maybe it gets better, but i dont even have time/energy for that simple shit and thus that is why i am miserable.


Well, you clearly have time, it's just that you don't have energy. If you're working for 12 hours (and throw in another hour for breakfast and commuting maybe). You still have three hours to kill while still getting eight hours of sleep. Or four hours if you can get by fine on seven hours of sleep. That's plenty of time to go to the gym, cook, meet a friend for a drink for an hour, whatever.

Two things:
-You will get (somewhat) used to this, and have more energy to do other things. This is what v20lawyer was referring to. If you've already worked 12 hours days (or much more) previously in your life, it doesn't totally sap your energy. You'll acclimatize.
-Personally, I find it much easier to work out either in the morning before work, or in the middle of the day (i.e., duck out for an hour during lunch). You're never going to do it if you count on coming home after work and then working out. It also gives you energy during the day which makes the actual day go by a lot quicker.

ruski
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: You just started at your firm-Happy with your choice so far?

Postby ruski » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:04 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
dood wrote:my life consists LITERALLY of:

1. wake-up
2. work for 12 hours
3. come home too tired to do ANYTHING
4. eat shitty fast food (due to #3)
5. watch sportscenter (due to #3)

same thing with my roommate and another good friend in big law - all three of us constantly reminisce about when we went to happy hours, had time for girls, or even just simple shit like working out, cooking a real meal, etc.

honestly, id even sacrifice all that shit for the $$ if i could just get to keep working out and cooking a real meal. maybe it gets better, but i dont even have time/energy for that simple shit and thus that is why i am miserable.


Well, you clearly have time, it's just that you don't have energy. If you're working for 12 hours (and throw in another hour for breakfast and commuting maybe). You still have three hours to kill while still getting eight hours of sleep. Or four hours if you can get by fine on seven hours of sleep. That's plenty of time to go to the gym, cook, meet a friend for a drink for an hour, whatever.

Two things:
-You will get (somewhat) used to this, and have more energy to do other things. This is what v20lawyer was referring to. If you've already worked 12 hours days (or much more) previously in your life, it doesn't totally sap your energy. You'll acclimatize.
-Personally, I find it much easier to work out either in the morning before work, or in the middle of the day (i.e., duck out for an hour during lunch). You're never going to do it if you count on coming home after work and then working out. It also gives you energy during the day which makes the actual day go by a lot quicker.


i think an important thing is if you're actually working 12 hours a day, or in the office for 12 hours a day. out of a 12 hour day ill maybe bill half that, and i do all my personal stuff in the remaining time.

User avatar
ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2090
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: You just started at your firm-Happy with your choice so far?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:36 pm

v20lawyer wrote:
dood wrote:my life consists LITERALLY of:

1. wake-up
2. work for 12 hours
3. come home too tired to do ANYTHING
4. eat shitty fast food (due to #3)
5. watch sportscenter (due to #3)

same thing with my roommate and another good friend in big law - all three of us constantly reminisce about when we went to happy hours, had time for girls, or even just simple shit like working out, cooking a real meal, etc.

honestly, id even sacrifice all that shit for the $$ if i could just get to keep working out and cooking a real meal. maybe it gets better, but i dont even have time/energy for that simple shit and thus that is why i am miserable.


Most of the above depends completely on how the particular person handles biglaw. After a 12 hr work day I usually manage to make a simple healthy meal and wake up the next morning for a good hour workout. On longer days, 15 hrs or so, I sleep a little extra and only work out about a half hour. The only days where I don't have the energy to wake up the next morning for at least a short work out are the ones where I'm here late (2-3 or later) for a couple days in a row, then it becomes a struggle.

I'll admit though that it cuts down on going out during the week. If I get out of here by 7:30 there's still plenty of time to do something, and that happens often enough. Once it hits 9-10 I generally don't do anything when I get home other then maybe watch 30 mins of tv while I eat before going to bed. You obviously look forward to the weekends more than you did in law school, but that's life. You can definitely still do the "simple shit" though.


(Robot)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273337
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: You just started at your firm-Happy with your choice so far?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:49 pm

Associate at a top NYC firm in a corporate group here: There are just so many variables. Take a look at two days from my life recently:

Last Thursday: Roll into work at 9:30ish, but had no real reason to besides not wanting to look lazy. Bill 0 hours to clients, have no reason to expect work on my current project, leave work just after 5:30.

Yesterday: Get into work at 8:30 and leave after midnight. Bill very close to every minute at the office (lunch and dinner at the desk) while multitasking between more than half a dozen projects.

My only real complaint is that if I wanted to make a plan for either day long in advance it would have been hard to be certain. Things come and go, and you can only predict broadly when you'll be slammed. I've known for a long time I would be busy on Monday, but two surprises pushed it from busy to "why was I only born with two hands and two eyes" busy.

The work itself is great, but a lot of that just comes from the satisfaction of working on projects I find interesting and not minding general office work (find/replace, editing/proofing, moving files along, etc.). I really enjoy the people I work with, which is a mix of luck (never know where you'll get an offer, what group you'll get, or who you will be assigned to) and reflection (figuring out what my priorities were in an office environment / practice area).

I'm sure I'll have truly bad days in the future at some point, but thus far I've only had long ones.

I will say my experience is quite unique. My impression is that most other people in big firms are often less satisfied with their work, hours, or colleagues.

If you want a concrete data point, my firm is one that often gets high marks in associate satisfaction surveys...





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