Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

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Anonymous User
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Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:23 pm

I don't care about working on the "big" cases, don't care about prestige, and not driven by the partner-carrot at a prominent biglaw firm, quite frankly. I don't mind working long hours sometimes, but the mid or high end of biglaw hours is not something I want from year to year.

I'm really just looking for something that has a more reasonable long-term lifestyle. I have no expectation of Mon-Fri, 9-5 (in fact, I know myself and I would end up putting in extra hours on my own volition).

Not really sure what is out there, what it looks like, or how to get it, but I'm interested.

arklaw13
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby arklaw13 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:38 pm

Amazing use of anon.

user has been warned not to derail threads by commenting on anon use in the thread

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:45 pm

arklaw13 wrote:Amazing use of anon.


OP:

I'm at a firm, thus hoping not to be outed in a "I want a job change" post.

Thanks for your concern, though.

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EijiMiyake
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby EijiMiyake » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:16 pm

From what I understand, the lifestyle exits are mostly state + fed gov.

user has been outed for anon abuse

bdubs
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby bdubs » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:05 am

Some smaller litigation firms and plaintiffs side firms can be more lifestyle oriented in the sense that you often have a lot more control over your own schedule and workload. Some big companies also have in house litigation positions where you are essentially a manager of a portfolio of cases and outside counsel that do the primary work on them (meaning you get to offload most of the bad hours to someone else). Government is the other one that was mentioned above.

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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't care about working on the "big" cases, don't care about prestige, and not driven by the partner-carrot at a prominent biglaw firm, quite frankly. I don't mind working long hours sometimes, but the mid or high end of biglaw hours is not something I want from year to year.

I'm really just looking for something that has a more reasonable long-term lifestyle. I have no expectation of Mon-Fri, 9-5 (in fact, I know myself and I would end up putting in extra hours on my own volition).

Not really sure what is out there, what it looks like, or how to get it, but I'm interested.


I am a litigation associate. I don't think it's possible. True, you can plan around important court dates. But when the deadline approaches, you have to deliver. No one cares whether you have to go to your son's first football game or you have to go home earlier for your anniversary dinner. You can take vacations when things are slow. But you really can't expect to control your workload. The court dates control you, not vice versa.

For example, I have been working till midnight every day this week- this god-damned week before Christmas. I will be working around the clock next two weeks too. All is because of the ungodly court schedule (one is on 12/23 and the other 1/6). And yes, I am typing this post in my office.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a litigation associate. I don't think it's possible. True, you can plan around important court dates. But when the deadline approaches, you have to deliver. No one cares whether you have to go to your son's first football game or you have to go home earlier for your anniversary dinner. You can take vacations when things are slow. But you really can't expect to control your workload. The court dates control you, not vice versa.

For example, I have been working till midnight every day this week- this god-damned week before Christmas. I will be working around the clock next two weeks too. All is because of the ungodly court schedule (one is on 12/23 and the other 1/6). And yes, I am typing this post in my office.


OP:

Thanks for the response. I'm also a lit associate and I understand that deadlines will always control. I know that's not escapable and some of it I actually enjoy. However, I have trouble believing that there are no private sector litigation jobs where I'm billing less than 2400+ hours.

bdubs
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby bdubs » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the response. I'm also a lit associate and I understand that deadlines will always control. I know that's not escapable and some of it I actually enjoy. However, I have trouble believing that there are no private sector litigation jobs where I'm billing less than 2400+ hours.


Are you in NYC? 2400+ seems high for someone who wants "lifestyle" and doesn't care about making partner. Maybe move to a market that is less crazy if you are in NYC.

mbison
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby mbison » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:56 pm

Best bet would be to not do litigation, honestly.

09042014
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a litigation associate. I don't think it's possible. True, you can plan around important court dates. But when the deadline approaches, you have to deliver. No one cares whether you have to go to your son's first football game or you have to go home earlier for your anniversary dinner. You can take vacations when things are slow. But you really can't expect to control your workload. The court dates control you, not vice versa.

For example, I have been working till midnight every day this week- this god-damned week before Christmas. I will be working around the clock next two weeks too. All is because of the ungodly court schedule (one is on 12/23 and the other 1/6). And yes, I am typing this post in my office.


OP:

Thanks for the response. I'm also a lit associate and I understand that deadlines will always control. I know that's not escapable and some of it I actually enjoy. However, I have trouble believing that there are no private sector litigation jobs where I'm billing less than 2400+ hours.


I doubt most big law litigation associates bill more than 2100.

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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:42 pm

mbison wrote:Best bet would be to not do litigation, honestly.


OP:

I've heard, anecdotally, that transactional is worse for time commitments - is that not your sense of this?

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:47 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a litigation associate. I don't think it's possible. True, you can plan around important court dates. But when the deadline approaches, you have to deliver. No one cares whether you have to go to your son's first football game or you have to go home earlier for your anniversary dinner. You can take vacations when things are slow. But you really can't expect to control your workload. The court dates control you, not vice versa.

For example, I have been working till midnight every day this week- this god-damned week before Christmas. I will be working around the clock next two weeks too. All is because of the ungodly court schedule (one is on 12/23 and the other 1/6). And yes, I am typing this post in my office.


OP:

Thanks for the response. I'm also a lit associate and I understand that deadlines will always control. I know that's not escapable and some of it I actually enjoy. However, I have trouble believing that there are no private sector litigation jobs where I'm billing less than 2400+ hours.


I doubt most big law litigation associates bill more than 2100.


OP again:

I am an associate and I have billed more than 2,400+ hours. I know I'm in a particularly high-requirements situation.

One question is, if its a reality, which places and firms have normative billing hours substantially lower than where I am now. I also don't know what that means - are there biglaw offices that average at/below 2,000 hours? I still don't have a great sense of the spectrum.

Liam
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby Liam » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:20 pm

I spent my 1L summer working in-house for a F100 corporation. A lot of their in-house counsel was brought from litigation ranks to serve as a sort of internal manager of outside counsel for certain types of matters (i.e., a subject matter expert overseeing government contracts litigation, another overseeing labor and employment litigation, etc.). The work was still interesting, if a little less detail-oriented, but outsourcing details to outside counsel meant the in-house attorneys were usually able to go home at 5 or 6. Depending on what you like about litigation, and what you're willing to part with, might be worth looking into.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:37 am

I'm just a first year associate, so what do I know, but what you're asking for doesn't seem unreasonable at all to me (2000 hours). My impression is that you'd be able to have that lifestyle at a lot of midlaw/boutique firms.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby holdencaulfield » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:13 am

In my market (TX) there are plenty of options to lateral; the headhunters always seem to be pretty active, and I've fielded a few calls and had a lunch or two where other firms directly asked if I'd jump ship. Our litigation associates seem to get the calls even more often (I'm transactional); and I'm not even biglaw.

I'm sure you could find a midlaw or boutique firm that only expects 1700 billable hours annually. Of course (and this is the kicker), you will have to take a pay cut to do so.

masterbrowski
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Re: Biglaw litigation - lifestyle exits?

Postby masterbrowski » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:55 pm

There are plenty of markets where the billable count for lit associates is about 1900-2100.

Billing all that time efficiently so that you aren't at work for more than an extra hour or two a day... that's a different story.




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