Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

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bk1
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Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby bk1 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:18 am

Could it be that the adversarial nature is what drives away a lot of the long time litigators? While other professions can be just as demanding and just as "on call" for your boss or demanding clients, it doesn't seem to me that many (any?) of them have a system where there is constantly someone trying to tear down what you're doing every single day. Not to mention that this sort of system attracts competitive types and breeds ruthless behavior.

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

Postby thesealocust » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:24 am

bk1 wrote:Could it be that the adversarial nature is what drives away a lot of the long time litigators? While other professions can be just as demanding and just as "on call" for your boss or demanding clients, it doesn't seem to me that many (any?) of them have a system where there is constantly someone trying to tear down what you're doing every single day. Not to mention that this sort of system attracts competitive types and breeds ruthless behavior.


It was a cliche interview line, but I've found it very true that corporate work is very team oriented (at least outside of things like hostile M&A). When things go wrong, generally everyone on both sides of the transaction is all-hands-on-deck to get things done.

Flip side is that junior litigators are more likely to be sifting through documents than doing combat. Definitely could into play as they develop, though.

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bk1
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Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby bk1 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:27 am

thesealocust wrote:It was a cliche interview line, but I've found it very true that corporate work is very team oriented (at least outside of things like hostile M&A). When things go wrong, generally everyone on both sides of the transaction is all-hands-on-deck to get things done.

Flip side is that junior litigators are more likely to be sifting through documents than doing combat. Definitely could into play as they develop, though.

Yeah it's not something that juniors are really exposed to and I suspect that juniors burn out for the same reason that people burn out of any intense job, law or otherwise. It just seemed like a lot of guys in that thread hated litigating even after leaving the crucible of biglaw and that is the only thing I can think of that truly sets law apart from other careers.

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

Postby Objection » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:41 am

bk1 wrote:Could it be that the adversarial nature is what drives away a lot of the long time litigators? While other professions can be just as demanding and just as "on call" for your boss or demanding clients, it doesn't seem to me that many (any?) of them have a system where there is constantly someone trying to tear down what you're doing every single day. Not to mention that this sort of system attracts competitive types and breeds ruthless behavior.


I love the adversarial process. It motivates me. That's not it in my case.

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

Postby buns » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:06 am

"Now, it's much worse. You'll be fighting tooth-and-nail for those few jobs. Hours requirements are higher, partnership track is a laugh. Highly likely you'll be on a "non-equity" track. Translation: you do all the work, partners reap all the money. And for all this excitement, your law school costs will likely be triple, if not quadruple, what the partner above you paid."

Not news to me or anyone here but when I read stuff like this and I'm forced to think about how cheap boomers' law degrees were and how easy they had it finding jobs I die a bit inside

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:56 am

moxypoxy wrote:I've been there and I have asked. Again, I'm not arguing that people generally love biglaw, but the general sentiment I've observed in biglawyers is that it's a tough career, but one worth the trade off.

Dude where do these people work because I would like to work there. Pretty much the only people I ever interact with work in biglaw and I know maybe one person who feels this way. That said, I think most of us would downplay the awfulness if asked about it by someone other than a close friend or fellow biglawyer... I'm not going to be awkardly depressing in an in-person conversation with a stranger or acquaintance or, really, anyone in public. That is what the internet is for.

danitt wrote:Foreign Service.

I feel like that might be one of the few experiences with the same lack-of-control-over-life frustration, so you're probably well prepared for biglaw in that sense. Do you do interesting work or is it a lot of drudgery? The former would be a big difference in how the hours go by, but if the latter and you are okay with the lifestyle, I see why biglaw would be better for you.

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

Postby keg411 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:52 am

bk1 wrote:Could it be that the adversarial nature is what drives away a lot of the long time litigators? While other professions can be just as demanding and just as "on call" for your boss or demanding clients, it doesn't seem to me that many (any?) of them have a system where there is constantly someone trying to tear down what you're doing every single day. Not to mention that this sort of system attracts competitive types and breeds ruthless behavior.


Maybe it's different in biglaw, but my dad is a litigator and he's still friendly with plenty of people on the other side of his cases. I think most litigators are aware that it's not personal. I mean, I'd think PD/DA work, where sometimes things are actually a matter of life-and-death would have far higher burnout than BigLaw if that were true.

Also, in the "stories from my sister" camp: there is plenty of bickering over deal points in corporate and there are a ton of lawyers that are assholes about them, even though technically everyone on both sides wants to the deal to be done. It's definitely not as friendly as rumored to be.

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

Postby MinEMorris » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:50 pm

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

8)


It's pretty rare that a post makes me truly laugh out loud, but this did it. Perfect. Would've been less funny had it been words or anything but that smiley.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:38 pm

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

8)


It's pretty rare that a post makes me truly laugh out loud, but this did it. Perfect. Would've been less funny had it been words or anything but that smiley.


Agreed. This was HILARIOUS.

But, I do want to say that noticeably absent in all of the "let's hate on law school/law firm threads" is discussion of relevant, comparable jobs. Seriously, name the jobs that employ as many people at the same salaries as biglaw. There aren't a ton. Now, look at their hours and QoL. Consider the probability of you actually getting those other, magical jobs that pay well and somehow have very reasonable hours and little stress. People argue against biglaw so unconvincingly bc they don't offer any context of what is actually available in the labor market. Seriously, what are the alternatives, really? Are they all that much better? Yes, biglaw is hard to get, but so is Google. And we aren't all going to work there. If you go to law school, take out a lot of debt and therefore have to work biglaw, and then figure out "well crap, I would have preferred my 9-5 at $50k after all" well, oops, that is a mistake. But, that's also not a comparable job. When you are feeling crappy about your life choices, biglaw participants and hopefuls, just keep in mind that all the haters rarely have data to support the idea that biglaw is necessarily so much worse than COMPARABLE jobs.

Also, why do people seem to believe that law school darn well better pay for itself in 3-5 years or else it wasn't worth it? Are you all 60 years old, nearing retirement and I am the ONLY person here who is not ancient? Going to law school is (should be) a career path. It needs to justify it's cost over the much longer term than 3 years. The relevant comparison is what you earn/do bc you went to law school OVER YOUR CAREER v. what you would have earned/did w/out law school (and accounting for the lack of debt you might have taken out to finance law school). I will be the first to admit that for some, that is still a losing proposition. But, for people who have half-way decent careers as lawyers, you probably DO have higher earning potential than your COMPARABLE college graduate. If you were an English major in college, don't look at the engineering major and say, oh but that person makes more than I do and we are both 10 years out but I went to law school! NO FAIR!! Sweetie, that's not a comparable person. That path was probably not available to you.

I just urge people to think about the relevant comparisons when considering their options. I always find those kinds of ideas shockingly absent from discussion of law firms jobs.

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

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:56 pm

Not sure why people have to look at comparable jobs when trying to decide what life they want for themselves and how big law jobs are usually wholly incompatible with that. It doesn't change anything that "all jobs paying this much to start are bad."

Another problem problem with that line of thinking is it is not "$160k or bust." You won't find many lifestyle firms paying $160, but you'll find a bunch paying $100-140.

Finally, I'm not sure where you're getting the "law school must pay itself off in 3-5 years" thing from.
Last edited by Objection on Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: Fascinating thread on life in biglaw on a financial forum

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:57 pm

I feel like "a bunch" needs to be heavily qualified.

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

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:00 pm

bk1 wrote:I feel like "a bunch" needs to be heavily qualified.


I guarantee you there are more firms paying $100-$140 with humane hours requirements than there are V100 firms.

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

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:01 pm

Objection wrote:
bk1 wrote:I feel like "a bunch" needs to be heavily qualified.


I guarantee you there are more firms paying $100-$140 with humane hours requirements than there are V100 firms.

Even in places that people want to live?

/halfjoking

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

Postby keg411 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:14 pm

bk1 wrote:
Objection wrote:
bk1 wrote:I feel like "a bunch" needs to be heavily qualified.


I guarantee you there are more firms paying $100-$140 with humane hours requirements than there are V100 firms.

Even in places that people want to live?

/halfjoking


And I'll add the caveat "that are actually available to graduating 3L's not at YHS or at the top of the class at a T14".

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

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:30 pm

If you can land a v100, you can land one of them.

Particularly if you use your regional ties.

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

Postby wiseowl » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:01 pm

That thread could have been interesting, but it was ruined by the bitchy, overbearing moderators.

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

Postby 5ky » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:08 pm

wiseowl wrote:That thread could have been interesting, but it was ruined by the bitchy, overbearing moderators.


Uh, what?

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

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:12 pm

Huh? I've been doing the most bitching, and I am definitely not a mod.

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

Postby wiseowl » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:13 pm

I'm talking about the original financial forum thread kids. Calm down.

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

Postby BerkeleyBear » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:13 pm

Objection wrote:Huh? I've been doing the most bitching, and I am definitely not a mod.


Talking bout the bogleheads thread not this one on TLS. LadyGeek the mod I'm assuming.

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

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:20 pm

Oh I read "that" as "this."

It's why I didn't cut it in big law, naturally.

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

Postby Davidbentley » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:22 pm

wiseowl wrote:I'm talking about the original financial forum thread kids. Calm down.

Image

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

Postby wiseowl » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:27 pm

Davidbentley wrote:
wiseowl wrote:I'm talking about the original financial forum thread kids. Calm down.

Image


Seriously...we have 4-5 "life in biglaw" threads now on this subforum, and it's hard to get far in them without everyone screaming at each other. Not sure which is the symptom and which is the cause, but it would be nice to just be able to have chill story-sharing opportunities occasionally without "U R A DUMB U MUST B A 0L"

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:36 pm

I don't know how correct or incorrect the information is or how well I will deal with the stress or how big law will wear me down. I do know this though: Nobody in my family has had any level of career success, at least not financially, except for two uncles, who I estimate earn roughly $200k. One runs a supermarket and one works in real estate management. None of them have it easier than a big law lawyer. Both are on call 24/7, both have intense jobs with demanding clients and insane hours during particular seasons, and neither of them have exit options that are anything other than moar pie. The bottom line is that if you are happy bringing home 80k between you and your SO, then you can find a job working 9-5 and keep it from recession to recession. But if you want to be able to pay your kids' college tuition or pay for their braces, summer camps, and weddings without jeopardizing your retirement, you have to do a little more and whatever that is, it's unlikely to be soul-nourishing.

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

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't know how correct or incorrect the information is or how well I will deal with the stress or how big law will wear me down. I do know this though: Nobody in my family has had any level of career success, at least not financially, except for two uncles, who I estimate earn roughly $200k. One runs a supermarket and one works in real estate management. None of them have it easier than a big law lawyer. Both are on call 24/7, both have intense jobs with demanding clients and insane hours during particular seasons, and neither of them have exit options that are anything other than moar pie. The bottom line is that if you are happy bringing home 80k between you and your SO, then you can find a job working 9-5 and keep it from recession to recession. But if you want to be able to pay your kids' college tuition or pay for their braces, summer camps, and weddings without jeopardizing your retirement, you have to do a little more and whatever that is, it's unlikely to be soul-nourishing.


Aw, that's cute, you think big law is that job.

Talk to me after 4 years of big law when you don't have a wife to come home to, or kids (at least ones that don't mistake your wife's booty call for their dad and you for her booty call), and the only things that will listen to your sobs are TLS, your pillow, and maybe the prostitute you brought up for the evening just to have someone to talk to.

Talk to me after 5 when you're being suggested out the door and you find yourself a burnt out doc reviewing contract attorney getting paid hourly.

Talk to me after 6 when you find out that only one of your class of 50 summers is still at the firm and likely to make partner, while the most successful of the rest are desperately trying to concoct an interesting e-harmony profile to attract someone, anyone, into their web since they wasted the past 6 years in an all consuming, tedious, thankless job.




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