First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
slawww
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:44 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby slawww » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:58 pm

thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw.



thesealocust wrote:There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc.




Looks like you answered your own question.

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:08 pm

thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw. You know there are people who work multiple nearly minimum wage jobs just to get by, right? And you know $160K pre-tax is smaller than the biggest fortunes, but puts you at like top 2% of wage earners in the country, right?

There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc. - but the opportunity to earn big law bucks is a major one, even with brutal stress and hours.


First, you answered your own question in the second paragraph.

Second, "people have it worse" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of big law. Money isn't everything, especially when that money is meant to pay you to keep your mouth shut as they slowly drain your soul.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:13 pm

thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw. You know there are people who work multiple nearly minimum wage jobs just to get by, right? And you know $160K pre-tax is smaller than the biggest fortunes, but puts you at like top 2% of wage earners in the country, right?

There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc. - but the opportunity to earn big law bucks is a major one, even with brutal stress and hours.

I've noticed that a lot of the most violently anti-biglaw, how-can-anyone-work-these-sweat-shop-hours people are the same people who discovered an interest in public interest law after finishing 1L below median. Not saying it's all sour grapes, but that plays a role.

I think it also comes down to liking what you do. I practice in a specialized field most people think is boring, but I find it pretty interesting. YOLOOOOOOOOOOO.

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:16 pm

SBL wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw. You know there are people who work multiple nearly minimum wage jobs just to get by, right? And you know $160K pre-tax is smaller than the biggest fortunes, but puts you at like top 2% of wage earners in the country, right?

There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc. - but the opportunity to earn big law bucks is a major one, even with brutal stress and hours.

I've noticed that a lot of the most violently anti-biglaw, how-can-anyone-work-these-sweat-shop-hours people are the same people who discovered an interest in public interest law after finishing 1L below median. Not saying it's all sour grapes, but that plays a role.

I think it also comes down to liking what you do. I practice in a specialized field most people think is boring, but I find it pretty interesting. YOLOOOOOOOOOOO.


I'm as violently anti big law as they come, and I don't fit any of what you said.

People are violently anti big law because, for the most part, big law is a terrible job, particularly if you want to maintain a life outside of work.

IMO, people who are most anti big law are those who work to live. People who don't mind it or like it are those who live to work.

sfhaze
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:04 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby sfhaze » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:17 pm

slawww wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw.

thesealocust wrote:There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc.

Looks like you answered your own question.

It was a rhetorical question. Either take the money/shut up/take it or leave for happier pastures, would be my impression of the choice in fact.

User avatar
slawww
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:44 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby slawww » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:18 pm

SBL wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw. You know there are people who work multiple nearly minimum wage jobs just to get by, right? And you know $160K pre-tax is smaller than the biggest fortunes, but puts you at like top 2% of wage earners in the country, right?

There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc. - but the opportunity to earn big law bucks is a major one, even with brutal stress and hours.

I've noticed that a lot of the most violently anti-biglaw, how-can-anyone-work-these-sweat-shop-hours people are the same people who discovered an interest in public interest law after finishing 1L below median. Not saying it's all sour grapes, but that plays a role.

I think it also comes down to liking what you do. I practice in a specialized field most people think is boring, but I find it pretty interesting. YOLOOOOOOOOOOO.


I'm a 0L, so I have no I can't comment on that, but after reading this thread and the other biglaw associate thread, I know for certain biglaw is not for me. That is, even if I could get biglaw.

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:19 pm

sfhaze wrote:
slawww wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw.

thesealocust wrote:There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc.

Looks like you answered your own question.

It was a rhetorical question. Either take the money/shut up/take it or leave for happier pastures, would be my impression of the choice in fact.


Except in a thread where people not yet in big law are asking questions of those who are/were, your advice doesn't make all that much sense.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8447
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby thesealocust » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:19 pm

To put it succinctly: I respect people who don't want to work biglaw hours, even for biglaw money - but I have ????? for people who claim it's objectively shitty.

Shakespeare got to get paid, son.

sfhaze
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:04 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby sfhaze » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:20 pm

Objection wrote:
sfhaze wrote:
slawww wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw.

thesealocust wrote:There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc.

Looks like you answered your own question.

It was a rhetorical question. Either take the money/shut up/take it or leave for happier pastures, would be my impression of the choice in fact.

Except in a thread where people not yet in big law are asking questions of those who are/were, your advice doesn't make all that much sense.

I wasn't giving advice, just interpreting what ya'll are saying. What you're saying. What am I missing then?

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:22 pm

thesealocust wrote:To put it succinctly: I respect people who don't want to work biglaw hours, even for biglaw money - but I have ????? for people who claim it's objectively shitty.

Shakespeare got to get paid, son.


It is hard for anything to be objectively shitty, but in the legal field, big law is as close as it gets.

If you go to big law to get paid, you're being remarkably short sighted, and you'll realize that 5 years out when you get "the talk" and find yourself a burnt out contract attorney reviewing docs for the people you once got wasted with at those summer associate picnics.

(You = general, not you specifically)

User avatar
ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2092
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:45 pm

Succeeding in biglaw depends on how much you love money. Do you really love money? If so, you'll gun your ass off, maybe make partner and enjoy quite a bit of your time in biglaw. If you're a chill bro who would be happy with cable tv, an occasional vacation and a sweet bike, then odds are that you'll hate biglaw. The work is mind-numbing, it's nearly impossible to make partner and the longer you stay the more surrounded you are by people trying to jack your hours/clients/partner relationships so they can make partner over you. You have to really love money A LOT to be willing to focus, kiss ass, and dedicate your life to the horde for nearly a decade just to have a 10-15% chance of making partner. At my firm there were over 100 people technically "up for partner" and less than 10% of them made it last year. Good luck.
Last edited by ExBiglawAssociate on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:46 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Succeeding in biglaw depends on how much you love money. Do you really love money? If so, you'll gun your ass off, maybe make partner and enjoy quite a bit of your time in biglaw. If you're a chill bro who would be happy with cable tv, an occasional vacation and a sweet bike, then odds are that you'll hate biglaw. The work is mind-numbing, it's nearly impossible to make partner and the longer you stay the more surrounded you are by people trying to jack your hours/clients/partner relationships so they can make partner over you.


If you love money, you're not going to go to big law.

User avatar
ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2092
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:47 pm

Objection wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Succeeding in biglaw depends on how much you love money. Do you really love money? If so, you'll gun your ass off, maybe make partner and enjoy quite a bit of your time in biglaw. If you're a chill bro who would be happy with cable tv, an occasional vacation and a sweet bike, then odds are that you'll hate biglaw. The work is mind-numbing, it's nearly impossible to make partner and the longer you stay the more surrounded you are by people trying to jack your hours/clients/partner relationships so they can make partner over you.


If you love money, you're not going to go to big law.


IMO, it's a lot harder to make money as a superstar P's attorney or criminal defense masterman. And when I say money, I mean millions. Plural.

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:49 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Objection wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Succeeding in biglaw depends on how much you love money. Do you really love money? If so, you'll gun your ass off, maybe make partner and enjoy quite a bit of your time in biglaw. If you're a chill bro who would be happy with cable tv, an occasional vacation and a sweet bike, then odds are that you'll hate biglaw. The work is mind-numbing, it's nearly impossible to make partner and the longer you stay the more surrounded you are by people trying to jack your hours/clients/partner relationships so they can make partner over you.


If you love money, you're not going to go to big law.


IMO, it's a lot harder to make money as a superstar P's attorney or criminal defense masterman. And when I say money, I mean millions. Plural.


Maybe, but if you love money, you're going to go after the jobs where you can make tens or hundreds of millions. Not just a few.

User avatar
slawww
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:44 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby slawww » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:50 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Succeeding in biglaw depends on how much you love money. Do you really love money? If so, you'll gun your ass off, maybe make partner and enjoy quite a bit of your time in biglaw. If you're a chill bro who would be happy with cable tv, an occasional vacation and a sweet bike, then odds are that you'll hate biglaw. The work is mind-numbing, it's nearly impossible to make partner and the longer you stay the more surrounded you are by people trying to jack your hours/clients/partner relationships so they can make partner over you. You have to really love money A LOT to be willing to focus, kiss ass, and dedicate your life to the hoard for nearly a decade just to have a 10-15% chance of making partner. At my firm there were over 100 people technically "up for partner" and less than 10% of them made it last year. Good luck.


I love money, but the reason I love money is because of what it buys. From what I've read here and on your thread, I feel like I'd never get to enjoy the money I'd, hypothetically, make. I love fishing, hunting, outdoors stuff. I feel like all that money would be useless if I could never enjoy any of it because I'm slaving away 80+ hours a week

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:54 pm

slawww wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Succeeding in biglaw depends on how much you love money. Do you really love money? If so, you'll gun your ass off, maybe make partner and enjoy quite a bit of your time in biglaw. If you're a chill bro who would be happy with cable tv, an occasional vacation and a sweet bike, then odds are that you'll hate biglaw. The work is mind-numbing, it's nearly impossible to make partner and the longer you stay the more surrounded you are by people trying to jack your hours/clients/partner relationships so they can make partner over you. You have to really love money A LOT to be willing to focus, kiss ass, and dedicate your life to the hoard for nearly a decade just to have a 10-15% chance of making partner. At my firm there were over 100 people technically "up for partner" and less than 10% of them made it last year. Good luck.


I love money, but the reason I love money is because of what it buys. From what I've read here and on your thread, I feel like I'd never get to enjoy the money I'd, hypothetically, make. I love fishing, hunting, outdoors stuff. I feel like all that money would be useless if I could never enjoy any of it because I'm slaving away 80+ hours a week


TBF, once you got to the point where you're making money in big law, you could comfortably retire a few years later.

But if you're the type willing to retire a few years into making partner, you're not the type who is going to make partner.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:56 pm

The other thing to keep in mind is that "work to live don't live to work" is kind of a silly thing to tell people with $1,800/mo loan payments.

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:58 pm

SBL wrote:The other thing to keep in mind is that "work to live don't live to work" is kind of a silly thing to tell people with $1,800/mo loan payments.


No, it's not, and I say this as someone whose loan payments are significantly higher than $1800/mo.

For me, the crushing weight of a big law job and all the sacrifices you have to make outweigh the crushing weight of sallie Mae, especially with programs like IBR.

User avatar
slawww
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:44 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby slawww » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:02 am

Objection wrote:
TBF, once you got to the point where you're making money in big law, you could comfortably retire a few years later.

But if you're the type willing to retire a few years into making partner, you're not the type who is going to make partner.


As in, work biglaw for a couple of years and then go elsewhere less stressful?

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:03 am

slawww wrote:
Objection wrote:
TBF, once you got to the point where you're making money in big law, you could comfortably retire a few years later.

But if you're the type willing to retire a few years into making partner, you're not the type who is going to make partner.


As in, work biglaw for a couple of years and then go elsewhere less stressful?


"Making money in big law" is what happens at the partner level if we are talking getting off the treadmill, not at the associate level.

User avatar
slawww
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:44 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby slawww » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:07 am

Objection wrote:
slawww wrote:
Objection wrote:
TBF, once you got to the point where you're making money in big law, you could comfortably retire a few years later.

But if you're the type willing to retire a few years into making partner, you're not the type who is going to make partner.


As in, work biglaw for a couple of years and then go elsewhere less stressful?


"Making money in big law" is what happens at the partner level if we are talking getting off the treadmill, not at the associate level.


Gotcha.

User avatar
TTRansfer
Posts: 3796
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:08 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby TTRansfer » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:19 am

thesealocust wrote:I never understood people bitching about the $ vs. time in biglaw. You know there are people who work multiple nearly minimum wage jobs just to get by, right? And you know $160K pre-tax is smaller than the biggest fortunes, but puts you at like top 2% of wage earners in the country, right?

There are alternatives and I personally believe happiness is more important than anything else in this life, so follow your heart etc. - but the opportunity to earn big law bucks is a major one, even with brutal stress and hours.


I seriously feel like this hits the nail squarely on the head.

I have a huge pain tolerance (put in a lot of extra hours just over the summer as a 1L SA for the fuck of it) and am actually quite disappointed I didn't get "biglaw." Where else is one going to get paid as a top 2%er with no job skills at all? And the lateral market is just insanely great in comparison to other jobs. Give me the 160K with my lack of any marketable skills for a few years so I can pay off my loans and I will work myself to the bone for a while.

I landed a nice NLJ250 gig for this summer (and they tend to hire everyone they bring in), but I'd trade it for a biglaw gig. It pays well and the firm doesn't usher people out the door, but I'd give up the lower hours for the higher pay in a heartbeat. It's all a choice. This is why most law students out there want to get DAT BIGLAW GIG before moving on to other options.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:26 am

I mean dude, NLJ250 basically is biglaw, so I think you're all set

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 005618502 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:29 am

SBL wrote:I mean dude, NLJ250 basically is biglaw, so I think you're all set


I am guessing he means market salary based on the way it was said

Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:51 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Succeeding in biglaw depends on how much you love money. Do you really love money? If so, you'll gun your ass off, maybe make partner and enjoy quite a bit of your time in biglaw. If you're a chill bro who would be happy with cable tv, an occasional vacation and a sweet bike, then odds are that you'll hate biglaw. The work is mind-numbing, it's nearly impossible to make partner and the longer you stay the more surrounded you are by people trying to jack your hours/clients/partner relationships so they can make partner over you. You have to really love money A LOT to be willing to focus, kiss ass, and dedicate your life to the horde for nearly a decade just to have a 10-15% chance of making partner. At my firm there were over 100 people technically "up for partner" and less than 10% of them made it last year. Good luck.

I could not disagree more. Perhaps it is where we are in our careers.

I'm a midlevel corporate associate and I find the work extremely interesting. It is the hours, unpredictable schedule and stress that are terrible. I'm a pretty laid back guy and I still enjoy a lot of my job because I find the work so interesting. I do not live lavishly or really enjoy the money that much except for the security it brings - it's nice to pay down debt. Then again, I had a number of other jobs before law school, so maybe it is all about perspective. At my level, there is zero competition for partner. The ranks of midlevel associates are thin even at this stage, so prospects for partnership are fairly realistic at my firm if you put the time in. With all of this said, the idea of sticking it out until partnership makes me sick to my stomach. You have no life except when you happen to get lucky and clients aren't emailing you... and then you are probably worried that you need to go out and market more because work is too slow.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.