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

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:23 am

From your observation, is having kids while working as a junior associate (3rd year, etc.) at biglaw very frawned upon? I'm gonna be 28 when I graduate and I don't want to wait too long before having my first child (I'm a girl). Trying to debate whether to have a child after the bar or after working a couple of years.

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

Postby manofjustice » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a busy firm doing transactional work in a major market. I work a ton but I actually enjoy the job and the people I work with. I want to be light on details of my specific situation but am happy to be heavy on perspective/advice/reflections.

Biggest observation so far is that the practice area / partners / senior associates you land with make such a huge difference relative to everything else. Trying to select a firm without pinning down those details could never be much more than guess worm but that's what most of us had (or will have) to do. People at "my firm" in other practice areas have lives completely different from mine. They work on different hours, have different stress levels, different responsibilities, different trajectories, etc. I'm happy where I landed but might be miserable in the shoes of the guy a few floors above me.


How do you suggest pinning down those details. From what I hear it's the luck-of-the-draw at a lot of firms?

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:To those 1st years with SOs - how do you manage expectations? Particularly, if your SO is not in the legal field or in a field that has long hours (presume he/she works 9-5), how did you/how would you suggest preparing the SO for your law firm schedule?


It's not really that hard. You explain to them what it's going to be like. They are either on board with it or not. If not, you have some difficult decisions to make. I was lucky enough to marry a girl who wanted to have kids early (for a lot of different reasons) and wanted me to be the primary wage earner no matter how long my hours would be. This made it pretty easy for me. I honestly have no idea how people can date or meaningfully develop a relationship if they are working in a busy practice area in biglaw.

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:From your observation, is having kids while working as a junior associate (3rd year, etc.) at biglaw very frawned upon? I'm gonna be 28 when I graduate and I don't want to wait too long before having my first child (I'm a girl). Trying to debate whether to have a child after the bar or after working a couple of years.


Not at all. Basically every woman of child-bearing age in my office has had at least one kid and many have had multiple. It's a glorious place to have kids because my firm prorates your hours, pays you a full salary during three months of maternity leave, AND gives you a bunch of disability pay for another three months thereafter (on top of paying for health care, etc.). The female partners at my office all have kids, but I think my firm is a bit more pro-mothers than some of the big NYC sweatshops (especially the ones well known for their corp practices).

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:39 am

manofjustice wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a busy firm doing transactional work in a major market. I work a ton but I actually enjoy the job and the people I work with. I want to be light on details of my specific situation but am happy to be heavy on perspective/advice/reflections.

Biggest observation so far is that the practice area / partners / senior associates you land with make such a huge difference relative to everything else. Trying to select a firm without pinning down those details could never be much more than guess worm but that's what most of us had (or will have) to do. People at "my firm" in other practice areas have lives completely different from mine. They work on different hours, have different stress levels, different responsibilities, different trajectories, etc. I'm happy where I landed but might be miserable in the shoes of the guy a few floors above me.


How do you suggest pinning down those details. From what I hear it's the luck-of-the-draw at a lot of firms?


Honestly, it depends on the firm too. At some firms there is a huge difference in culture between partners. Partner X might be easy-going, nice, and friendly to work for. Partner Y might be a huge asshole. At my office, the partner-in-charge makes a point of being extremely picky about hiring lateral partners and the firm in general is very careful about who they promote to partner. There is a genuine "no jerks" policy at my firm, and I've only heard of a few key rainmakers who are a bit more difficult to work for. 90+% of the partners I've met are all the same: they expect perfection, but they generally won't fire/yell at you for messing up, especially if you're a first year. Naturally, everything gets written up in your review and you're held accountable for everything you do, but there's no reason to make peoples' lives miserable and everyone generally understands that people have lives, families, etc.

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

Postby sfhaze » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:40 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From your observation, is having kids while working as a junior associate (3rd year, etc.) at biglaw very frawned upon? I'm gonna be 28 when I graduate and I don't want to wait too long before having my first child (I'm a girl). Trying to debate whether to have a child after the bar or after working a couple of years.


Not at all. Basically every woman of child-bearing age in my office has had at least one kid and many have had multiple. It's a glorious place to have kids because my firm prorates your hours, pays you a full salary during three months of maternity leave, AND gives you a bunch of disability pay for another three months thereafter (on top of paying for health care, etc.). The female partners at my office all have kids, but I think my firm is a bit more pro-mothers than some of the big NYC sweatshops (especially the ones well known on the corp side).

Wow, that's great. How unusual is this for law firms in general? I'm not sure how to ask this, but why does your firm do this when the more typical model seems to be a sweatshop, it seems?

Are firms/legal employers up front about these policies from what you've seen? Do such policies apply to both men and women practically speaking?

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:47 am

sfhaze wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From your observation, is having kids while working as a junior associate (3rd year, etc.) at biglaw very frawned upon? I'm gonna be 28 when I graduate and I don't want to wait too long before having my first child (I'm a girl). Trying to debate whether to have a child after the bar or after working a couple of years.


Not at all. Basically every woman of child-bearing age in my office has had at least one kid and many have had multiple. It's a glorious place to have kids because my firm prorates your hours, pays you a full salary during three months of maternity leave, AND gives you a bunch of disability pay for another three months thereafter (on top of paying for health care, etc.). The female partners at my office all have kids, but I think my firm is a bit more pro-mothers than some of the big NYC sweatshops (especially the ones well known on the corp side).

Wow, that's great. How unusual is this for law firms in general? I'm not sure how to ask this, but why does your firm do this when the more typical model seems to be a sweatshop, it seems?

Are firms/legal employers up front about these policies from what you've seen? Do such policies apply to both men and women practically speaking?


I don't think it's typical for most firms in the V20, unfortunately. I think my firm has been criticized in the past for not promoting enough female associates to partner (which is still a problem) so they try to overcompensate by treating the women who do make partner very very well. They also treat the female associates very well, but I think it is somewhat harder for mothers to make partner given how bottom-line and ruthless other partners can be when it comes to sharing their money and demanding sufficient hours/business generation before people are considered for partner.

I think you can learn a lot about a firm's policy toward mothers by simple observation. If you're interviewing with a female partner, do you see pictures of her kids in her office? You can also tell a lot by the general vibe at a firm. Do the people seem genuinely happy? Don't underestimate your instincts when interviewing.

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

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:02 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To those 1st years with SOs - how do you manage expectations? Particularly, if your SO is not in the legal field or in a field that has long hours (presume he/she works 9-5), how did you/how would you suggest preparing the SO for your law firm schedule?


It's not really that hard. You explain to them what it's going to be like. They are either on board with it or not. If not, you have some difficult decisions to make. I was lucky enough to marry a girl who wanted to have kids early (for a lot of different reasons) and wanted me to be the primary wage earner no matter how long my hours would be. This made it pretty easy for me. I honestly have no idea how people can date or meaningfully develop a relationship if they are working in a busy practice area in biglaw.


Lol

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

Postby v20lawyer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:18 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To those 1st years with SOs - how do you manage expectations? Particularly, if your SO is not in the legal field or in a field that has long hours (presume he/she works 9-5), how did you/how would you suggest preparing the SO for your law firm schedule?


It's not really that hard. You explain to them what it's going to be like. They are either on board with it or not. If not, you have some difficult decisions to make. I was lucky enough to marry a girl who wanted to have kids early (for a lot of different reasons) and wanted me to be the primary wage earner no matter how long my hours would be. This made it pretty easy for me. I honestly have no idea how people can date or meaningfully develop a relationship if they are working in a busy practice area in biglaw.


This response baffles me. No degree of expectation setting makes it easy on your spouse to go a couple months with very little, if any, meaningful interaction with you. It's even worse with your kids, because unlike your wife who can wake up for a minute to say hi at 4 AM when you come home, your kid can't (at least shouldn't). That's what happens when you're billing 65-80 hours a week (my past two months - please note that billing 80 hours a week is not the same thing, unfortunately, as working 80 hours a week). This means your wife + kids are stressed out and miss you. It's one thing to deal with your own stress from work, but putting your wife's and kid's stress (and occasional tears) on top of that makes it substantially harder. When biglaw is bad, there's barely any time for wife and kids, and practically no time for pets, family and friends.

With that said, the reality is the whole year isn't spent billing like that. Billing just 60 hours a week, after accounting for holidays (10 days at my firm) and 2 weeks of vacation, puts you at 2880 hours for the year. While this happens here, you generally only see it from senior associates gunning for partner and junior partners, and even then 2800+ is the exception (for that group 2400-2500 is my rough guess of the norm, but the worst I've heard was 3100). At least for my group, you go through the rough stretches where you're billing in the mid- to high-200's (or more) in a month, and then you go through a slow period where you're billing closer to 100 for the month (or less). So when you're going through a rough period you just look forward to when the current project ends and things slow back down and you can enjoy family and friends again.

As a caveat, I will say that things have been a little extra rough lately because my wife is pregnant, making these last couple months extra hard on her and her emotions. On the other hand, it's helped by her not working. Still, when biglaw is tough it's a bitch, and having to deal with the stress of a wife and kids on top of your own only makes it worse.

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

Postby v20lawyer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:22 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From your observation, is having kids while working as a junior associate (3rd year, etc.) at biglaw very frawned upon? I'm gonna be 28 when I graduate and I don't want to wait too long before having my first child (I'm a girl). Trying to debate whether to have a child after the bar or after working a couple of years.


Not at all. Basically every woman of child-bearing age in my office has had at least one kid and many have had multiple. It's a glorious place to have kids because my firm prorates your hours, pays you a full salary during three months of maternity leave, AND gives you a bunch of disability pay for another three months thereafter (on top of paying for health care, etc.). The female partners at my office all have kids, but I think my firm is a bit more pro-mothers than some of the big NYC sweatshops (especially the ones well known for their corp practices).


I don't know where the hell this guys works, but at least at my firm that's a big worry of all the female associates (and I'm guessing even partners, given what I hear about a female partner responding to emails a couple hours after giving birth).

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

Postby v20lawyer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:26 am

thelibear wrote:I'm thinking of adopting a dog this summer. I'm a 2L with a V25 SA position. Obviously I'm hoping to get an offer. If I do get an offer, I'm worried about whether or not I'll truly have time to care for my dog if I'm a first year associate. Do you know of any first year associates who had pets? Do you have any pets? Do you think it's possible to be a good dog owner while working big law?


I have a dog. Do not get a dog for yourself. If you are married, your wife wants a dog and your wife wants to take care of it, fine, get a dog. If you're single then your dog will be either be taken care of by randoms you pay to take care of your dog, or your dog won't be taken care of. Either way, I feel bad for the dog.

Remember, when you're at work at 3 AM (if you think you went home around dinner to take the dog out, you're a lunatic), your dog won't care, he'll just shit/piss on your floor (again, feel bad for the dog, you would deserve it).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:31 am

I did four or five years at biglaw (non-NYC headquarters of a V20 firm) before our family relocated. My hours were 1900, 2050, 2450, 2250, on pace for 2300.

When I did the 2450 year, we were childless. We almost got divorced it was so bad. My spouse just couldn't handle me being absent during most waking hours during most weeks and then usually most of at least one weekend day (and often both), or the overnight travel (usually several days out of the month). S/he hated that I usually worked several hours a day during our vacations. I can't imagine doing it now that we have kids.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:40 am

I don't know where the hell this guys works, but at least at my firm that's a big worry of all the female associates (and I'm guessing even partners, given what I hear about a female partner responding to emails a couple hours after giving birth).


I had a discussion with a higher-up about this several years ago. He explained that it wasn't so much that the firm was worried that you'd slack off if you had kids -- lots of female partners managed to do just fine "despite" having them. You just pay someone to watch them, and that's that.

Instead, he said, the big concern was that the typical career track went like this: Have one kid, three months maternity leave (mostly paid), three more months essentially part time, one or two years as a productive associate, have a second kid, don't come back to the firm. There's the money the firm is out by the maternity leave, there's the hassle of staffing the person while she's pregnant knowing that she'll be unavailable or mostly so for six months after the birth, and then there's the likelihood that the person will be gone in three years, which makes training and mentoring seem pointless.

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

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:44 am

v20lawyer wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To those 1st years with SOs - how do you manage expectations? Particularly, if your SO is not in the legal field or in a field that has long hours (presume he/she works 9-5), how did you/how would you suggest preparing the SO for your law firm schedule?


It's not really that hard. You explain to them what it's going to be like. They are either on board with it or not. If not, you have some difficult decisions to make. I was lucky enough to marry a girl who wanted to have kids early (for a lot of different reasons) and wanted me to be the primary wage earner no matter how long my hours would be. This made it pretty easy for me. I honestly have no idea how people can date or meaningfully develop a relationship if they are working in a busy practice area in biglaw.


This response baffles me. No degree of expectation setting makes it easy on your spouse to go a couple months with very little, if any, meaningful interaction with you. It's even worse with your kids, because unlike your wife who can wake up for a minute to say hi at 4 AM when you come home, your kid can't (at least shouldn't). That's what happens when you're billing 65-80 hours a week (my past two months - please note that billing 80 hours a week is not the same thing, unfortunately, as working 80 hours a week). This means your wife + kids are stressed out and miss you. It's one thing to deal with your own stress from work, but putting your wife's and kid's stress (and occasional tears) on top of that makes it substantially harder. When biglaw is bad, there's barely any time for wife and kids, and practically no time for pets, family and friends.

With that said, the reality is the whole year isn't spent billing like that. Billing just 60 hours a week, after accounting for holidays (10 days at my firm) and 2 weeks of vacation, puts you at 2880 hours for the year. While this happens here, you generally only see it from senior associates gunning for partner and junior partners, and even then 2800+ is the exception (for that group 2400-2500 is my rough guess of the norm, but the worst I've heard was 3100). At least for my group, you go through the rough stretches where you're billing in the mid- to high-200's (or more) in a month, and then you go through a slow period where you're billing closer to 100 for the month (or less). So when you're going through a rough period you just look forward to when the current project ends and things slow back down and you can enjoy family and friends again.

As a caveat, I will say that things have been a little extra rough lately because my wife is pregnant, making these last couple months extra hard on her and her emotions. On the other hand, it's helped by her not working. Still, when biglaw is tough it's a bitch, and having to deal with the stress of a wife and kids on top of your own only makes it worse.


Yeah, this.

That being said, to bill 60 hours a week most likely you'll be working 80 hours, and even that's pretty efficient.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:54 am

That being said, to bill 60 hours a week most likely you'll be working 80 hours, and even that's pretty efficient.


This isn't right. That's a 75% yield, which is pretty crappy. It's normally in the 85% range, at least in my experience. And when you get really, really busy, it usually goes up to 95%. Which makes sense if you think about it -- if you're going to be at work until 2:00 AM, it's not going to be because you're twiddling your thumbs or doing something similarly non-billable.

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

Postby NYstate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:56 am

1. My firm is extremely supportive of pregnancy. Despite the culture, they are very family orientated. They love families and kids, it is just hard to be home. The one day no one works at my firm is Mother's Day. All other holidays someone is there.

2. You still have to get work done well.

3. Partners here have had scheduled C-sections so they can control their hours and work. I know people who have had clients call while they are in labor and also in the ER. Not joking. You need to understand how this works.

4. I would have kids based on when it works for you. You just have to figure out how to manage it and understand that you simply aren't going to be home. Or when you are home, you are working after the kid goes to bed. It isn't simple but it is managable if the family is on board with it. Some partners spouses don't care; others seem to bitch all the time about cancelled plans and vacations.

5. My SO left me because of my hours when I was a first year. Take from that what you will.

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

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
That being said, to bill 60 hours a week most likely you'll be working 80 hours, and even that's pretty efficient.


This isn't right. That's a 75% yield, which is pretty crappy. It's normally in the 85% range, at least in my experience. And when you get really, really busy, it usually goes up to 95%. Which makes sense if you think about it -- if you're going to be at work until 2:00 AM, it's not going to be because you're twiddling your thumbs or doing something similarly non-billable.


You're only hitting 85%-95% yield if you're creative or dishonest with your billing practices.

It's virtually impossible to be doing actual billable work for 11.5 hours of a 12 hour day.

Sometimes you will, but on average...

http://www.infirmation.com/articles/one ... cle_id=762

That article puts the general rule at 80% yield. Using that, you have 75 hour weeks to bill 60 hours, not 80.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:13 pm

You're only hitting 85%-95% yield if you're creative or dishonest with your billing practices.

It's virtually impossible to be doing actual billable work for 11.5 hours of a 12 hour day.


When I say really, really busy, I mean like a 16 hour day. Which, again, makes sense -- if you're there from 9:00 am to 1:00 am, it's probably going to be because you are insanely busy. In that environment, it's not impossible to bill 15.2 hours in a 16 hour period.

With respect to a typical day (say 9:00 am to 7:30 pm), the difference between 80% and 85% yield is like half an hour billed.

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

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
You're only hitting 85%-95% yield if you're creative or dishonest with your billing practices.

It's virtually impossible to be doing actual billable work for 11.5 hours of a 12 hour day.


When I say really, really busy, I mean like a 16 hour day. Which, again, makes sense -- if you're there from 9:00 am to 1:00 am, it's probably going to be because you are insanely busy. In that environment, it's not impossible to bill 15.2 hours in a 16 hour period.

With respect to a typical day (say 9:00 am to 7:30 pm), the difference between 80% and 85% yield is like half an hour billed.


I'm not talking about those times. I was referring to the part in the post where it said you're only billing 60 hours a week. What that neglected to mention is that to bill those 60 hours, you're likely going to be working 75+.

Regardless, it's a side point.

Having a family in big law is doable as long as you 1) set boundaries 2) have one foot out the door at all times.

With rare exceptions, you can't go to big law hoping to make partner (or really, make it beyond 4 or 5 years) and also have a happy, stable family.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:12 pm

NYstate wrote:5. My SO left me because of my hours when I was a first year. Take from that what you will.


How did/do you deal with being single in BigLaw? Should I just expect not to date or get married until I'm 45? (female, on the older side, don't want kids)

On another note: there seem to be a large amount of transactional/corporate first years here. Any word from the litigators on what that's been like/if there are any differences?

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

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NYstate wrote:5. My SO left me because of my hours when I was a first year. Take from that what you will.


How did/do you deal with being single in BigLaw? Should I just expect not to date or get married until I'm 45? (female, on the older side, don't want kids)

On another note: there seem to be a large amount of transactional/corporate first years here. Any word from the litigators on what that's been like/if there are any differences?


I was a litigator.

Menial tasks, long hours, don't control your own time anymore. Hours were probably better on a day to day basis than Corporate, but Corporate has more lulls and you seem to be more on call to actually come into the office when you're corporate. But at least in corporate you seem to have a shot at a meaningful role in some high profile stuff early on.

I understand going to a big law firm for corporate more than I do for lit.

If you're single, you're not going to meet someone new and get married as long as you're in big law. Well, never say never. So, let me revise: you have a better chance at developing an unkickable cocaine habit and having a series of guilt-ridden one night stands with co-workers than you do of meeting someone and ending up in a happy, stable relationship.

Get some cats, they're self-sufficient.

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

Postby sfhaze » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:46 pm

Seems nobody's really mentioned working from home via VPN, etc., as a solution to accommodate home life, especially on nights/weekends. Why is this?

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:52 pm

v20lawyer wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To those 1st years with SOs - how do you manage expectations? Particularly, if your SO is not in the legal field or in a field that has long hours (presume he/she works 9-5), how did you/how would you suggest preparing the SO for your law firm schedule?


It's not really that hard. You explain to them what it's going to be like. They are either on board with it or not. If not, you have some difficult decisions to make. I was lucky enough to marry a girl who wanted to have kids early (for a lot of different reasons) and wanted me to be the primary wage earner no matter how long my hours would be. This made it pretty easy for me. I honestly have no idea how people can date or meaningfully develop a relationship if they are working in a busy practice area in biglaw.


This response baffles me. No degree of expectation setting makes it easy on your spouse to go a couple months with very little, if any, meaningful interaction with you. It's even worse with your kids, because unlike your wife who can wake up for a minute to say hi at 4 AM when you come home, your kid can't (at least shouldn't). That's what happens when you're billing 65-80 hours a week (my past two months - please note that billing 80 hours a week is not the same thing, unfortunately, as working 80 hours a week). This means your wife + kids are stressed out and miss you. It's one thing to deal with your own stress from work, but putting your wife's and kid's stress (and occasional tears) on top of that makes it substantially harder. When biglaw is bad, there's barely any time for wife and kids, and practically no time for pets, family and friends.

With that said, the reality is the whole year isn't spent billing like that. Billing just 60 hours a week, after accounting for holidays (10 days at my firm) and 2 weeks of vacation, puts you at 2880 hours for the year. While this happens here, you generally only see it from senior associates gunning for partner and junior partners, and even then 2800+ is the exception (for that group 2400-2500 is my rough guess of the norm, but the worst I've heard was 3100). At least for my group, you go through the rough stretches where you're billing in the mid- to high-200's (or more) in a month, and then you go through a slow period where you're billing closer to 100 for the month (or less). So when you're going through a rough period you just look forward to when the current project ends and things slow back down and you can enjoy family and friends again.

As a caveat, I will say that things have been a little extra rough lately because my wife is pregnant, making these last couple months extra hard on her and her emotions. On the other hand, it's helped by her not working. Still, when biglaw is tough it's a bitch, and having to deal with the stress of a wife and kids on top of your own only makes it worse.


You're not even addressing the same question that I was responding to (and which was asked above). The question was how do you manage expectations, not how do you manage being married to a biglawyer. It's very easy to convey what your spouse should expect because it's well-documented what kind of life biglawyers lead. As for "preparing" your spouse for your hellish hours, I'm not sure what else you can do besides simply telling him/her what your schedule is going to be like and asking whether he/she is on board.

Being married to a biglawyer blows. It absolutely blows, which is why I cannot understand for the life of me why anyone would want to do it, even if they have the same schedule. It's really nice having someone basically take care of me and our kids full-time.

spondee
Posts: 462
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:53 pm

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

Postby spondee » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NYstate wrote:5. My SO left me because of my hours when I was a first year. Take from that what you will.


How did/do you deal with being single in BigLaw? Should I just expect not to date or get married until I'm 45? (female, on the older side, don't want kids)

On another note: there seem to be a large amount of transactional/corporate first years here. Any word from the litigators on what that's been like/if there are any differences?


I'm a first-year litigator. Most of what's been said applies to litigation too. Hours are more regular, which is the big difference, but they're still long. What kind of work you do and how you're treated varies a lot by firm and practice group and partner. When I work on weekends I almost always work from home, so that's nice. And I spend a lot less time on the phone than corporate people do.

I thought I'd hate big law but haven't. My group is small, so I've gotten to do a lot of stuff I didn't expect to do until 2 or 3 or 4 years in. Sometimes it's boring, but what job isn't. Mostly the work is interesting.

Dating in big law kinda sucks though. It's hard to explain to someone you've only met recently that you're only available weekends and even then not always.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273099
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:49 pm

Objection wrote:Get some cats, they're self-sufficient.


I hate cats/animals :lol:. But thanks for the info. Basically what I figured on all fronts. My firm just has a bigger lit practice than transactional practice, so that's where I'll end up. I'm cool with it as what I've seen of transactional is kind of eye-bleed-worthy (to me).

spondee wrote:I'm a first-year litigator. Most of what's been said applies to litigation too. Hours are more regular, which is the big difference, but they're still long. What kind of work you do and how you're treated varies a lot by firm and practice group and partner. When I work on weekends I almost always work from home, so that's nice. And I spend a lot less time on the phone than corporate people do.

I thought I'd hate big law but haven't. My group is small, so I've gotten to do a lot of stuff I didn't expect to do until 2 or 3 or 4 years in. Sometimes it's boring, but what job isn't. Mostly the work is interesting.


Yeah, I always assumed it would vary by what you get assigned to.

You say your group is small: is the lit group at your firm small or are you in a niche group? Did you just start working for those partners or was that where you were assigned?

And I do get the picture that trying to date in BigLaw sucks. Oh well.




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