Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

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

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby 005618502 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:52 pm

Good god, isnt there even a single article that shines positive light on working in big law? I mean is there any reason people do it besides the pay check for as long as they last?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby thesealocust » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:54 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:Good god, isnt there even a single article that shines positive light on working in big law? I mean is there any reason people do it besides the pay check for as long as they last?


You don't see people singing the praises of medical residencies or boot camp either.

It's designed to hurt.

User avatar
Davidbentley
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:49 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Davidbentley » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:56 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:Good god, isnt there even a single article that shines positive light on working in big law? I mean is there any reason people do it besides the pay check for as long as they last?

You don't hear from the true believers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:29 pm

Definitely something people should read before they go T10 at sticker, or whatever. I have no desire for biglaw, so this wasn't a big shock to me, but I think a lot of people on here don't have a realistic view of what biglaw is, and how much they'll sacrifice. I know I didn't. I thought I'd want a biglaw job, but after reading around this forum, I know for sure it's not for me. Hopefully more people read these articles.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby NYstate » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:33 pm

Davidbentley wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:Good god, isnt there even a single article that shines positive light on working in big law? I mean is there any reason people do it besides the pay check for as long as they last?

You don't hear from the true believers.

You could always read the dealmaker of the week columns for reassurance if you need it.

I disagree with one thing about these articles. I have never had to work for a psychopath who screamed at me. I think the oldschool assholes are being phased out though they still exist. Don't get the impression that all partners are like those described. The partners I've worked with are pretty decent people. They just work insane hours and have demanding clients to keep happy.

Im guessing that some things are worse now. Technology means people never escape. You can do revisions yourself and the time to turn things around is shorter. Documents are transmitted instantly, instead of being fed exed, etc.

I truly think the most important indicators of doing well in biglaw is how well you can function without sleep and how you deal with stress. The work isn't that hard that you have to be a genius to do well. Lawyers are smart problem solvers that's about it. Also strong organizational skills help. If you are a person who can't keep your work and your time organized , or you know you need sleep to function well, just don't even make biglaw a goal. You will be setting yourself up to fail. If you have legendary energy and can put your hands on every piece of paper you've seen in the past six years, you might be set for success!

User avatar
Davidbentley
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:49 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Davidbentley » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:35 pm

Thanks for the insight.

User avatar
Gunnar Stahl
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:21 pm

guinness1547 wrote:I need a hug. And possibly a new career path.

Image

User avatar
danitt
Posts: 1984
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:40 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby danitt » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:24 pm

I feel like I work big law hours now for a lot less money and a lot more psychological gameplay. The chance to even leave my situation? I'll take it. I know to work long and hard, at least I'll be making six figures to do it.

User avatar
Gunnar Stahl
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:25 pm

danitt wrote:I feel like I work big law hours now for a lot less money and a lot more psychological gameplay. The chance to even leave my situation? I'll take it. I know to work long and hard, at least I'll be making six figures to do it.

what do you do now?

User avatar
danitt
Posts: 1984
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:40 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby danitt » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:26 pm

Ghost93 wrote:
danitt wrote:I feel like I work big law hours now for a lot less money and a lot more psychological gameplay. The chance to even leave my situation? I'll take it. I know to work long and hard, at least I'll be making six figures to do it.

what do you do now?

Foreign Service.

User avatar
Davidbentley
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:49 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Davidbentley » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:29 pm

danitt wrote:I feel like I work big law hours now for a lot less money and a lot more psychological gameplay. The chance to even leave my situation? I'll take it. I know to work long and hard, at least I'll be making six figures to do it.

+1. I worked Big Law hours for 1/3 of the pay.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby thesealocust » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:33 pm

Shit, I've put in big law hours so that I could do school + theatre at the same time and paid the university I was attending at the time for that privilege :lol:

User avatar
Davidbentley
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:49 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Davidbentley » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:35 pm

^^All about dat commitment to the craft.

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

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Objection » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:45 pm

thesealocust wrote:Shit, I've put in big law hours so that I could do school + theatre at the same time and paid the university I was attending at the time for that privilege :lol:


You mean you put in hours where, at least some of the time, you did something to enjoyed?

Also, people defending big law keep making it about the hours. Those in this thread who have been anti big law have not made it just about the hours.

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Samara » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:55 pm

It seems like these horror stories come from people who worked in lit or financial-type corp (securities, M&A, etc.) in NYC. I'm sure other practice areas aren't a piece of cake, but the biglaw attorneys I've met, in my admittedly very limited experience, who work in tax or estates seem genuinely happy and are working somewhat more reasonable (or at least, consistent) hours. Very few students I know are even remotely interested in those areas though.

Ugh.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:07 pm

It is not the pure hours. It's the lack of control over your life. You plan a vacation and you work half of it. You buy tickets to a concert with friends and you have to cancel. You are supposed to go dinner with your wife's parents and you have to cancel. You may say "oh working on vacation is not bad" - how about answering emails every single day on your honeymoon? How about pulling an allnighter working during your vacation because you would rather work through the night rather than cancel your day plans to give your kids the impression that they come before work? It's taxing as hell.

Anything and everything you do outside of work will be less of a priority than work. You will have no notice when work will kick up and usually pushing back does no good. I go through periods where I give up and stop making plans because its more depressing to continually cancel them.

There are not many jobs like this. I have friends in a lot of different fields. The only one that is worse is investment banker or certain other finance jobs (hedge fund partner, etc.). None of the other jobs really come close that I know of.

I worked before law school. I worked multiple jobs, while going to school...I put in 60-70 hour weeks regularly....but there was genuine down time. Now there is none. No matter how hard you try to schedule it.

User avatar
Blindmelon
Posts: 1708
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Blindmelon » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It is not the pure hours. It's the lack of control over your life. You plan a vacation and you work half of it. You buy tickets to a concert with friends and you have to cancel. You are supposed to go dinner with your wife's parents and you have to cancel. You may say "oh working on vacation is not bad" - how about answering emails every single day on your honeymoon? How about pulling an allnighter working during your vacation because you would rather work through the night rather than cancel your day plans to give your kids the impression that they come before work? It's taxing as hell.

Anything and everything you do outside of work will be less of a priority than work. You will have no notice when work will kick up and usually pushing back does no good. I go through periods where I give up and stop making plans because its more depressing to continually cancel them.

There are not many jobs like this. I have friends in a lot of different fields. The only one that is worse is investment banker or certain other finance jobs (hedge fund partner, etc.). None of the other jobs really come close that I know of.

I worked before law school. I worked multiple jobs, while going to school...I put in 60-70 hour weeks regularly....but there was genuine down time. Now there is none. No matter how hard you try to schedule it.


This. Its not the hours - they're not so bad. Its that you have no control. Sick? Guess I'm working all day in bed. Vacation? Great, just make sure you stay on call like you would be if you were here.

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

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Objection » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anything and everything you do outside of work will be less of a priority than work.


Bingo.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby NYstate » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It is not the pure hours. It's the lack of control over your life. You plan a vacation and you work half of it. You buy tickets to a concert with friends and you have to cancel. You are supposed to go dinner with your wife's parents and you have to cancel. You may say "oh working on vacation is not bad" - how about answering emails every single day on your honeymoon? How about pulling an allnighter working during your vacation because you would rather work through the night rather than cancel your day plans to give your kids the impression that they come before work? It's taxing as hell.

Anything and everything you do outside of work will be less of a priority than work. You will have no notice when work will kick up and usually pushing back does no good. I go through periods where I give up and stop making plans because its more depressing to continually cancel them.

There are not many jobs like this. I have friends in a lot of different fields. The only one that is worse is investment banker or certain other finance jobs (hedge fund partner, etc.). None of the other jobs really come close that I know of.

I worked before law school. I worked multiple jobs, while going to school...I put in 60-70 hour weeks regularly....but there was genuine down time. Now there is none. No matter how hard you try to schedule it.


I agree. Most people seem to think that it is just long hours for a lot of money. They don't see why the money isn't enough. ( as explained in one of the articles linked, some of the partners don't get either.) They think that only rich kids complain about biglaw, or whatever justification. And they don't understand how it wears people down after a couple of years, or even less.

When I tell people the wife of a partner planned a white water rafting trip out west somewhere with his family just so he could be so remote that no one could reach him, and then the client insisted he call in at 4 or 5 every afternoon anyway (satellite phone or something they had to figure out), they still don't get it. But, hey, at least he didn't have to cancel that vacation.

I mean every biglaw associate could fill this board with stories, but it isn't going to change some people's minds. People want money and status and maybe even to get out of the place where they grew up and they see law, biglaw specifically, as the only way they can attain it. They see no other options given their circumstances. They aren't giving up that dream, no matter what you tell them.

It bothers me, though, that people are borrowing huge amounts of money and talking about their odds of getting biglaw when they don't have a clue what biglaw means. They are calculating their repayment budget when they haven't even had a class. They have never even taken a law school exam much less gone through OCI. I get scared for them. In the NYU thread I did a quick calculation on the 3 year COA with interest and it was just under $300,000. I was shocked. Like I said, I get scared for them. I hope IBR will be there for the next 20 years if they need it. I do not see how getting a shot at the life of biglaw can be worth that investment. I just don't. But that is their dream of a different and better life so they aren't giving it up.

I'm not going to deny that I have seen people thrive in biglaw. There may only be a handful of people each year, maybe only one or two out of the whole bunch of incoming first years firmwide. But there are people who just blossom and excel. Most people just don't.

User avatar
danitt
Posts: 1984
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:40 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby danitt » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:56 pm

Objection wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anything and everything you do outside of work will be less of a priority than work.


Bingo.

Without going into too much detail, this already sounds like the type of environment I already work in. I know it sounds like I'm burying my head in the sand but I'm not. When I hear people talk about big law demands I keep waiting to hear how it's different from my life now. It isn't. And maybe it's unhealthy but I've been living that way at my current gig for 6 years now and unfortunately (or fortunately if I end up in big law I guess), it's become "normal" for me. I work long hours. I've almost gotten into car accidents because the company driver was tired and falling asleep at the wheel taking employees home at 2 in the morning. I've had two vacations in the past 6 years and they don't approve them until you tell them where you're going and how you can be reached. I've become used to this life.

Then again, when my friends ask me about working in my organisation I tell them don't do it because it will take over your life, so clearly I've already been brainwashed.

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

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby Objection » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:59 pm

danitt wrote:
Objection wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anything and everything you do outside of work will be less of a priority than work.


Bingo.

Without going into too much detail, this already sounds like the type of environment I already work in. I know it sounds like I'm burying my head in the sand but I'm not. When I hear people talk about big law demands I keep waiting to hear how it's different from my life now. It isn't. And maybe it's unhealthy but I've been living that way at my current gig for 6 years now and unfortunately (or fortunately if I end up in big law I guess), it's become "normal" for me. I work long hours. I've almost gotten into car accidents because the company driver was tired and falling asleep at the wheel taking employees home at 2 in the morning. I've had two vacations in the past 6 years and they don't approve them until you tell them where you're going and how you can be reached. I've become used to this life.

Then again, when my friends ask me about working in my organisation I tell them don't do it because it will take over your life, so clearly I've already been brainwashed.


Well, more power to you then. Maybe you just live to work. Or maybe there are other differences in your job. Appreciation for the work you do? Real opportunities for advancement? Actual, meaningful work? Maybe not.

But this advice is for people who want to live an existence that allows them to have a stable and happy family, a couple friends, and maybe, if they're feeling a little greedy, hobbies.

If you're willing to cede absolute control of your life and happiness to your job for $160,000, big law is for you.

RodneyRuxin
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:08 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby RodneyRuxin » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:02 am

It's overwhelming to think that the mind-numbing, soul-crushing ride that is 1L year is only going to get worse in the real world.

When lawyers told me to get away why I still could, I thought they were joking...

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

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby sfhaze » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:You are supposed to go dinner with your wife's parents and you have to cancel.

8)

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby NYstate » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:10 am

danitt wrote:
Objection wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anything and everything you do outside of work will be less of a priority than work.


Bingo.

Without going into too much detail, this already sounds like the type of environment I already work in. I know it sounds like I'm burying my head in the sand but I'm not. When I hear people talk about big law demands I keep waiting to hear how it's different from my life now. It isn't. And maybe it's unhealthy but I've been living that way at my current gig for 6 years now and unfortunately (or fortunately if I end up in big law I guess), it's become "normal" for me. I work long hours. I've almost gotten into car accidents because the company driver was tired and falling asleep at the wheel taking employees home at 2 in the morning. I've had two vacations in the past 6 years and they don't approve them until you tell them where you're going and how you can be reached. I've become used to this life.

Then again, when my friends ask me about working in my organisation I tell them don't do it because it will take over your life, so clearly I've already been brainwashed.


So you want to keep the same or moderately worse lifestyle, just get paid more?

User avatar
danitt
Posts: 1984
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:40 pm

Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby danitt » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:16 am

NYstate wrote:
danitt wrote:
Objection wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anything and everything you do outside of work will be less of a priority than work.


Bingo.

Without going into too much detail, this already sounds like the type of environment I already work in. I know it sounds like I'm burying my head in the sand but I'm not. When I hear people talk about big law demands I keep waiting to hear how it's different from my life now. It isn't. And maybe it's unhealthy but I've been living that way at my current gig for 6 years now and unfortunately (or fortunately if I end up in big law I guess), it's become "normal" for me. I work long hours. I've almost gotten into car accidents because the company driver was tired and falling asleep at the wheel taking employees home at 2 in the morning. I've had two vacations in the past 6 years and they don't approve them until you tell them where you're going and how you can be reached. I've become used to this life.

Then again, when my friends ask me about working in my organisation I tell them don't do it because it will take over your life, so clearly I've already been brainwashed.


So you want to keep the same or moderately worse lifestyle, just get paid more?

Don't mind if I do. I'm not saying it's for everyone. I'm saying it's for me. Judge that as you will.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.