Big Law Hours

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Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:42 am

As a junior associate, you're mostly bound by the more senior attorneys' schedules, which usually means you'll have to stick around until a certain time regardless of when you arrive. No one keeps track of when you arrive and when you leave, but they will know if you're not available when they expect you to be. If this concerns you, find a firm that isn't big on face time.

I've found that the more senior attorneys get, they have somewhat more predictability in their schedules (this is for litigation, not corporate). It's usually the juniors who get stuck with urgent research questions, last-minute revising, collecting exhibits for a motion, etc. Midlevels and senior associates can usually avoid such tasks by ensuring the work gets done in advance. At my firm, for instance, some mid-levels will finalize motions a few days before filing, while others will wait until the last second. But obviously this depends on the attorneys' other work; sometimes the attorneys are just too busy to prepare motions for filing before the last second.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby BeenDidThat » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:24 am

target wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Litigators have slightly more regular hours, generally closer to normal business hours, as a lot of what they do revolves around a court being open (or more properly, the court's clerk being available). But if a big hearing or trial is about to pop, shit hits the fan and you have no control over when you come in. As to the exact question you posed, we can't really answer it. It's group-by-group.

I believe junior partners work their asses off. No idea on big shot partners.


Is this from your experience or guess? Since you file most paperwork using online system now, it's more about when they are due than when the court is open/closed.


limited experience. Where I am, not everything is e-filed. Also, calling a clerk to ensure you've got everything in order with local rules is damn near a necessity.

Again, that's limited experience, and as with anything lit, it depends where you are.

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guano
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby guano » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:34 am

BeenDidThat wrote:Litigators have slightly more regular hours, generally closer to normal business hours, as a lot of what they do revolves around a court being open (or more properly, the court's clerk being available).

That's not what people at Quinn tell me

BeenDidThat
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby BeenDidThat » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:36 am

guano wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Litigators have slightly more regular hours, generally closer to normal business hours, as a lot of what they do revolves around a court being open (or more properly, the court's clerk being available).

That's not what people at Quinn tell me


Yeah, and people at Susman work crazy hours too!

But using a few outliers when the OP asked about biglaw in general is bad form, sir.

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guano
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby guano » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:43 am

BeenDidThat wrote:
guano wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Litigators have slightly more regular hours, generally closer to normal business hours, as a lot of what they do revolves around a court being open (or more properly, the court's clerk being available).

That's not what people at Quinn tell me


Yeah, and people at Susman work crazy hours too!

But using a few outliers when the OP asked about biglaw in general is bad form, sir.

Thing is, OP never asked about lit v transactional work. OP asked about whether its possible to start early and leave early (answer: depends on your group/partner, but typically no) and whether hours went down upon making partner (at most bigger firms, no, hours worked actually goes up upon making partner)

I have yet to meet anyone working a professional job (lawyer, banker, accountant, doctor,etc) who works anything close to "normal business hours"

BeenDidThat
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby BeenDidThat » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:37 pm

guano wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:
guano wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Litigators have slightly more regular hours, generally closer to normal business hours, as a lot of what they do revolves around a court being open (or more properly, the court's clerk being available).

That's not what people at Quinn tell me


Yeah, and people at Susman work crazy hours too!

But using a few outliers when the OP asked about biglaw in general is bad form, sir.

Thing is, OP never asked about lit v transactional work. OP asked about whether its possible to start early and leave early (answer: depends on your group/partner, but typically no) and whether hours went down upon making partner (at most bigger firms, no, hours worked actually goes up upon making partner)

I have yet to meet anyone working a professional job (lawyer, banker, accountant, doctor,etc) who works anything close to "normal business hours"


Way to selectively quote. Go back and read what I wrote, then apologize. Actually, you don't need to apologize, cuz I won't be back in this thread. But you really ought to work on your reading comprehension prior to getting high-and-mighty about what you don't know.

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dood
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby dood » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:16 pm

Murphy1022 wrote:
mephistopheles wrote:cots in the office, bro.



Wow, thanks for providing a completely worthless answer.


actually, cots in the office is a pretty legit answer. i personally use a yoga mat; less conspicuous.

anon168
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby anon168 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:38 am

I love posts like this.

It's like a virgin asking what it's like the "first time" and a bunch of virgins chiming in on what they heard about how great sex is.

Awesome.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:53 am

BeenDidThat wrote:
guano wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Litigators have slightly more regular hours, generally closer to normal business hours, as [b]a lot of what they do revolves around a court being open (or more properly, the court's clerk being available).[/b]

That's not what people at Quinn tell me


Yeah, and people at Susman work crazy hours too!

But using a few outliers when the OP asked about biglaw in general is bad form, sir.


As a big firm litigator, nothing revolves around a court being open. And the hours aren't closer to normal business hours - unless you consider 6 days/week 10-12 hours a day normal. That being said, its doable, but people underestimate the wear it has on you over time.

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2014
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby 2014 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:09 am

If you are in a group that has inconsistent hours, my question is what do you do on days where it is going to be predictably slow. Is there still a face time requirement to show up and sit around doing nothing, or is that time yours to recharge for the next day/week/whatever when it will ramp up again?

dolia
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby dolia » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:08 am

If you are in a group that has inconsistent hours, my question is what do you do on days where it is going to be predictably slow. Is there still a face time requirement to show up and sit around doing nothing, or is that time yours to recharge for the next day/week/whatever when it will ramp up again?


Like everything else, it will depend on your partner/practice group. I was split between two practice groups my first year at a firm, and one group's managing partner was big on face time. Even if you had absolutely nothing to do, you had to be at your desk, and ready to have lunch with him if he wanted (he was also big on mandatory lunches he'd announce at the last minute). The other group didn't really care about face time, was okay with you even doing your work from home when you were busy, but since I was split between both groups I had to be there all the time. I spent so many days running out of things to look at online.

There's really no way to predict what your hours will be like as a first year because everything will be dependent on your partner, or partners if you're working for multiple.

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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:11 am

2014 wrote:If you are in a group that has inconsistent hours, my question is what do you do on days where it is going to be predictably slow. Is there still a face time requirement to show up and sit around doing nothing, or is that time yours to recharge for the next day/week/whatever when it will ramp up again?

I read my Kindle. Seriously.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:If you are in a group that has inconsistent hours, my question is what do you do on days where it is going to be predictably slow. Is there still a face time requirement to show up and sit around doing nothing, or is that time yours to recharge for the next day/week/whatever when it will ramp up again?

I read my Kindle. Seriously.


i started learning a new language. my officemate would play poker online.

i suggest finding a hobby you can do online. theres only so much time you can waste on tls, fb, news.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby bizzybone1313 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:If you are in a group that has inconsistent hours, my question is what do you do on days where it is going to be predictably slow. Is there still a face time requirement to show up and sit around doing nothing, or is that time yours to recharge for the next day/week/whatever when it will ramp up again?

I read my Kindle. Seriously.


i started learning a new language. my officemate would play poker online.

i suggest finding a hobby you can do online. theres only so much time you can waste on tls, fb, news.


EBay. Boxing matches.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:If you are in a group that has inconsistent hours, my question is what do you do on days where it is going to be predictably slow. Is there still a face time requirement to show up and sit around doing nothing, or is that time yours to recharge for the next day/week/whatever when it will ramp up again?

I read my Kindle. Seriously.


i started learning a new language. my officemate would play poker online.

i suggest finding a hobby you can do online. theres only so much time you can waste on tls, fb, news.


Doesn't online poker sound like a good way to get fired? I guess I feel somewhat...I dunno..."wrong" if I were to be sitting at my desk and just messing around on the internet for more than 5-10 minutes at a time. If someone walks in do you hit minimize real quick and act all innocent? Or do you say "one second, I'm chasing a flush" and finish out the hand like a boss?

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Blindmelon
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:If you are in a group that has inconsistent hours, my question is what do you do on days where it is going to be predictably slow. Is there still a face time requirement to show up and sit around doing nothing, or is that time yours to recharge for the next day/week/whatever when it will ramp up again?

I read my Kindle. Seriously.


i started learning a new language. my officemate would play poker online.

i suggest finding a hobby you can do online. theres only so much time you can waste on tls, fb, news.


Doesn't online poker sound like a good way to get fired? I guess I feel somewhat...I dunno..."wrong" if I were to be sitting at my desk and just messing around on the internet for more than 5-10 minutes at a time. If someone walks in do you hit minimize real quick and act all innocent? Or do you say "one second, I'm chasing a flush" and finish out the hand like a boss?


No one cares. When you're in the office all day/week no one quibbles over looking at FB. I have headphones in most of the time and will often have a newspaper open on my desk when waiting for things.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:45 am

Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:If you are in a group that has inconsistent hours, my question is what do you do on days where it is going to be predictably slow. Is there still a face time requirement to show up and sit around doing nothing, or is that time yours to recharge for the next day/week/whatever when it will ramp up again?

I read my Kindle. Seriously.


i started learning a new language. my officemate would play poker online.

i suggest finding a hobby you can do online. theres only so much time you can waste on tls, fb, news.


Doesn't online poker sound like a good way to get fired? I guess I feel somewhat...I dunno..."wrong" if I were to be sitting at my desk and just messing around on the internet for more than 5-10 minutes at a time. If someone walks in do you hit minimize real quick and act all innocent? Or do you say "one second, I'm chasing a flush" and finish out the hand like a boss?

No one cares. When you're in the office all day/week no one quibbles over looking at FB. I have headphones in most of the time and will often have a newspaper open on my desk when waiting for things.


TITCR. I usually use the time to work on practice specific non-billables (client memos, articles etc.), but you're there so much no one cares.

As to predictable hours, the result is, as most people mentioned, you're expected to fit your schedule around whoever is giving you work. Most people in our office at least are on a more or less 9:30-10:30 schedule. I more or less adhere to that schedule also.

If youre up before then best using that time to get things done in your personal life. I use the time in AM to go running or gym, read for fun, watch tv etc. (Curse of being a morning person in biglaw).

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:36 am

First year Biglaw Associate here, neither transactions nor litigation. I generally work 8am-6pm, eating lunch at my desk. Most people seem to work 9:30am-later than 6pm. When I have stayed late (9pm was my latest, I've also come in at 5am before) most people are out of the office by 7:30. I think a lot do work from home in the evenings once they leave the office.

Manageable, but I do spend a lot of time working compared to my non-biglaw friends. I also put in 10+ hours on each of about two weekends a month.

KidStuddi
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby KidStuddi » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First year Biglaw Associate here, neither transactions nor litigation. I generally work 8am-6pm, eating lunch at my desk. Most people seem to work 9:30am-later than 6pm. When I have stayed late (9pm was my latest, I've also come in at 5am before) most people are out of the office by 7:30. I think a lot do work from home in the evenings once they leave the office.

Manageable, but I do spend a lot of time working compared to my non-biglaw friends. I also put in 10+ hours on each of about two weekends a month.


Which city do you work in?

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unlicensedpotato
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby unlicensedpotato » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First year Biglaw Associate here, neither transactions nor litigation. I generally work 8am-6pm, eating lunch at my desk. Most people seem to work 9:30am-later than 6pm. When I have stayed late (9pm was my latest, I've also come in at 5am before) most people are out of the office by 7:30. I think a lot do work from home in the evenings once they leave the office.

Manageable, but I do spend a lot of time working compared to my non-biglaw friends. I also put in 10+ hours on each of about two weekends a month.


Which practice group? Tax?

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First year Biglaw Associate here, neither transactions nor litigation. I generally work 8am-6pm, eating lunch at my desk. Most people seem to work 9:30am-later than 6pm. When I have stayed late (9pm was my latest, I've also come in at 5am before) most people are out of the office by 7:30. I think a lot do work from home in the evenings once they leave the office.

Manageable, but I do spend a lot of time working compared to my non-biglaw friends. I also put in 10+ hours on each of about two weekends a month.

Very atypical for big law, in primary markets at least.

12 hour days are standard in my experience. Much more when busy. Maybe 10 hour days when not busy.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Hours

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:52 am

This was me: "First year Biglaw Associate here, neither transactions nor litigation. I generally work 8am-6pm, eating lunch at my desk. Most people seem to work 9:30am-later than 6pm. When I have stayed late (9pm was my latest, I've also come in at 5am before) most people are out of the office by 7:30. I think a lot do work from home in the evenings once they leave the office.

Manageable, but I do spend a lot of time working compared to my non-biglaw friends. I also put in 10+ hours on each of about two weekends a month."

I am at a V100 firm in a major market that is not NY. I am not in tax. It's a niche area that would out me. I BILL 50-60 hours a week (I also have non-billable work that needs to get done) (8-6 with no break is a 10 hour day. As a first year, a lot of my work I can just turn on my timer and bill almost all the time I am at work. I do non-billable work earlier or later in the day and on weekends. If you're not good at sitting down and working for 10 hours straight, you'll need to add on time for breaks.) That's pretty standard for big law. As a first year, I'm usually closer to 50. There will be some weeks that are more and some that are less. Any first-year that says they BILL more than 60+ hours a week every week is exaggerating. There are some people that will, though. I work with a guy (5th year?) that was responsible for a large, short-deadline doc production and he worked Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and every weekend. Dude probably was billing 80-100 hours a week for a few months. But that's not sustainable for a full year. 2400+ billable years are badass. Most people don't do that, which is why it's badass. They also probably won't bill that much every year. (80-100 hour weeks are more common in litigation and transactional work.)

The firm also makes it easy to work a lot. Food, showers, gym, cots, coffee. My job's awesome.

Edit: The partner's plans can definitely keep me past my typical departure time, so I am still tied to their schedule. I'm a morning person, so if I get handed something at 7pm that the partner needs in the morning, I'll opt to come in super early rather than stay late.




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