Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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jkpolk
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby jkpolk » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:45 am

blueapple wrote:
jkpolk wrote:Corporate law - I roll with it. If it's bad, I work all day and all night until it's OK again. If it's good, I don't do dick, I go to the frying pan and i fucking rage. You can do that forever if you're the right person (i.e the person who can last in corporate).


While I'm sure this is illuminating for people seeking out this thread, perhaps I could point you to the OP?

I thought it would be great if current lawyers could offer similarly in-depth explanations for the practice area that they are currently in. The idea would be that these explanations could be catalogued so that future law students who are looking at different practice groups can understand what those practice groups actually do and be able to figure out what they think is most interesting and/or suited to their talents.

as if any of this has any content

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:28 pm

Jesus you guys wake up early. Ill probably post a more detailed one later but:

NYC v20 lit second year

9-930 wake up hungover
10-1030 get to office
1015ish to 1 deal with emails and firedrills. Eat lunch.
1 to 8ish do whatever I actually need to do and hope I don't get pulled into another fire drill. Eat free dinner at office. Busy days make it like 10 or 11 or later.
After: go to bar by apt, drink too much and stay too late.
Then repeat.

Rockwell99
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Rockwell99 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:27 pm

Non-NYC BigLaw: would your firms frown upon an 8:30-6:30 (at least) schedule?

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5ky
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby 5ky » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:26 pm

Rockwell99 wrote:Non-NYC BigLaw: would your firms frown upon an 8:30-6:30 (at least) schedule?


are you saying you won't work outside of that time? if so then yes, obviously. biglaw isn't a normal job, that cannot be stressed enough. you don't have a time you leave or stop working, you stop working when the work is done

Rockwell99
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Rockwell99 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:45 pm

5ky wrote:
Rockwell99 wrote:Non-NYC BigLaw: would your firms frown upon an 8:30-6:30 (at least) schedule?


are you saying you won't work outside of that time? if so then yes, obviously. biglaw isn't a normal job, that cannot be stressed enough. you don't have a time you leave or stop working, you stop working when the work is done

No, just face time schedule.

ur_hero
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby ur_hero » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:28 pm

Rockwell99 wrote:Non-NYC BigLaw: would your firms frown upon an 8:30-6:30 (at least) schedule?


Nope. Most lawyers aren't in yet at 8:30, and the office is usually cleared out by 6:30.

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notDINGBAT
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby notDINGBAT » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:29 pm

8:00 am - get to work, review emails
8:15 am - (a) client meeting, or (b) review case files
10:00 am - (a) client meetings, or (b) review case files
12:00 am - lunch (preferably a networking lunch)
1:00 pm - (a) client meetings, or (b) plan business development
3:00 pm - (a) client meetings, or (b) plan business development
5:00 pm - go home

on average, once a week I work evenings or weekends on business development
There's also paperwork or clerical stuff, but there's enough gaps in the day to get that covered.

What's not reflected is CLE. This isn't a regular thing, so it's just a matter of carving out a few hours or days from the calendar

Altogether, I got a pretty sweet deal

Danger Zone
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:16 pm

What's your job? I assume associate in a small law firm but that schedule is crazy if so.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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notDINGBAT
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby notDINGBAT » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:42 pm

Danger Zone wrote:What's your job? I assume associate in a small law firm but that schedule is crazy if so.

Associate about to make partner in a small firm. Turns out I'm really good at generating business, so most of my job involves getting clients in the door and retaining them - while I I foist the grunt work onto others.

More often than not, I provide minimal oversight, though every so often I actually need to keep on top of things, or need to get into the weeds.
Last edited by notDINGBAT on Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Danger Zone
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:49 pm

lol
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:01 pm

Public Defender, misdemeanor caseload (high volume caseload, lower stakes outcomes)

No normal day, but a few typical variations.

M-F
8:30-12 - Arrive at court, meet with clients, negotiate outcomes for them, go over their rights with them, argue motions, plead clients, occasionally bench trial, rarely jury trial (if no court, same stuff as "after lunch")
Lunch midday
After lunch - meet clients in my office, do case prep and investigation (mostly by phone), do legal research, file motions, make phone calls to prosecutors to work out deals, go visit clients in jail
5-6:30 - go home
7-10 PM, every few weeks, if I anticipate a case is going to trial, I'll continue working into the night at home, then get up early to finalize things

Been on the job for less than 6 months and things are still quiet after the holidays. When things pick up and court is happening more often, I anticipate there will be some earlier mornings, later nights, and weekends, based on what I see my colleagues doing.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:56 pm

Senior Associate at regional biglaw firm, corporate work

7 AM: wake up
7:15 - 9: feed dog and take for walk, have breakfast, read for pleasure, shower, etc.
9:30: roll into work, make coffee, browse internet.
10-11: usually have some sort of call, do as much as possible to delegate all work to juniors
11:30-12 - lunch, read for pleasure
12-2: go into overdrive, grind out a few docs to make myself look good
2-4: head home for the day, exercise, dog for another walk, bike ride, etc.
4: respond to any emails
4:30-10: cook dinner, read, hockey game, friends, dates, etc. Maybe 1 hour of work once a week in this time frame
10: bed, ignore emails

On occasion, say 1 day a week or if I have a closing upcoming, I"ll not leave at 2 and stay at work until 5:30 or so. Once a quarter or so I'll stay till 9 for a huge imminent closing. This has taken me years of building up trust with my partners to achieve.

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5ky
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby 5ky » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:Senior Associate at regional biglaw firm, corporate work

7 AM: wake up
7:15 - 9: feed dog and take for walk, have breakfast, read for pleasure, shower, etc.
9:30: roll into work, make coffee, browse internet.
10-11: usually have some sort of call, do as much as possible to delegate all work to juniors
11:30-12 - lunch, read for pleasure
12-2: go into overdrive, grind out a few docs to make myself look good
2-4: head home for the day, exercise, dog for another walk, bike ride, etc.
4: respond to any emails
4:30-10: cook dinner, read, hockey game, friends, dates, etc. Maybe 1 hour of work once a week in this time frame
10: bed, ignore emails

On occasion, say 1 day a week or if I have a closing upcoming, I"ll not leave at 2 and stay at work until 5:30 or so. Once a quarter or so I'll stay till 9 for a huge imminent closing. This has taken me years of building up trust with my partners to achieve.


must be nice to bill (does math) about 700-750 hours a year?

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:39 am

This. I’m in IP lit and this perfect captures it, although the post-10pm work is the (not so rare) exception rather than the rule.


Anonymous User wrote:Aight, it's 12:30am and I need to write something to keep myself awake before getting back to reviewing interrogatory responses for a meet and confer tomorrow. First-year at a lit boutique.

The below is not a real day, but it's sort of a hobbled-together version of what a normal-ish day looks like.

8:00am: Wake up. Got around five hours of sleep because I was finishing up a summary of a document review project that me and a contract attorney have been working on for the past week. I have 15 emails waiting for me because a) I haven't bothered to turn off the 6 Law360 emails I signed up for when I started a few months ago, and b) the partners on my team wake up at 5am and send out emails with various beginning-of-the-day questions to be handled as soon as the rest of the team is online. I eat breakfast at my home desk--buying an extra laptop dock for home has turned out to be a lifesaver--while running down these answers, stuff like, "someone find me what opposing counsel said when the court asked X at our last status conference," or "please draft me an email response to this question from MDL co-counsel."

8:45-9:30: shower and commute

9:30-10:00: get into the office. Brief chat with secretary and office neighbors. Finish running down morning questions from partners, find out the other associate on the team was working on the same one I was. We both send out the same email within the same minute. Whoops.

10:00-10:30: Read blogs, Reddit. Find an album I feel like listening to for morning work.

10:30-12:00: Partner on Case 1 has finally turned around revisions to the motion I drafted last week. I enter all their edits and proof for grammar. Spend some time finding loose case support for a couple points of law they want to add. I only oppose one point they want to make--the case support just isn't there, and I think it'll give opposing counsel a soft target on reply. Sometimes I'm successful in resisting these kinds of edits but this time I'll probably give in on the next round of edits if they still want to add the point. Our filing is in four days, so we'll have a few more days of me and partner going back and forth on phrasing and arguments before sending to the client and wrapping up the filing. I continue to be surprised that partner gives a crap about what I have to say in terms of our strategy on this motion.

12:00-12:30: More reddit and blogs while eating lunch.

12:30-1:00: Prepare for 1pm weekly team meeting on Case 2. Case 1 has been eating my time for the last week and I have not made progress on all my tasks. Still, I update the agenda and circulate it to the team.

1:00-2:00: Weekly team meeting. It goes well. We talk about the tasks that got completed and I'm able to give timelines for those that aren't done yet. Settlement seems to be inching closer, and we make fun of opposing counsel for the last ten minutes. They are goobers. Dealing with them is the lone solace I have when I feel like the work I'm doing is total shit, which is 90% of the time -- it's at least better than that.

2:00-6:30: Wrapping up various tasks for both Case 1, Case 2, and my pro bono project. Stuff like:
  • Drafting emails for partners to send to opposing counsel
  • Draft rog responses and call/email junior client contact to confirm things for responses
  • Some additional research for an upcoming motion in Case 1
  • Various calls with contract attorney for next doc review project
  • Fumble around with Casemap/Relativity as I still have no real idea how to use either

6:30: Commute home. I pretty much always stay at the office until 6:30-7:00 to dodge the worst of the commute; thankfully, it's not one of those firms where everyone is expected to be in the office until 10pm or later every night. Partners on both Case 1 and Case 2 have kids, so evening is usually a quiet period as they're doing stuff with family. Hang out and clean up around the apartment, and go for a quick run.

8:00-9:00: Partner on case 1 has taken another look at the motion draft and wants a clean version to send to Bigger Partner. I enter their changes and proofread. They backed off on the one point I argued against, so I take it out--yay. They added some adverbial language I'm not a fan of, but given the nature of the request I'm not going to fight it for now. I'll probably try to edit this out when we trim for word count later on.

9:00-10:12: Watch netflix with a watchful eye for the red light of the blackberry

10:13-1:00: Couple emails from senior associate on Case 2. Ok, I'll prioritize finishing up our strategy document by tomorrow morning. We were originally going to get this out three days from now, so I haven't started. Work until I hit the point where I'm just not doing useful work anymore. Set an alarm for 6:30 to get some extra work in on it in the morning. Sleep.

Rinse and repeat. I enjoy the job overall so far. ~700 billable through the end of March. Could do less of that, but c'est la vie.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:54 pm

Oh hey, that was me. I ended up billing 2600 hours last year. That wasn't too fun; things never really quieted down. My routine is pretty different now, so maybe will update things some night.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:09 pm

Second year at lit boutique in major market, primarily working in commercial/L&E lit.

It's hard to pin down a "typical day" in litigation, given the reactive nature of the job. However, this is a more or less typical day:

8:00: get to office, check calendar/docket/emails, set up task list that will inevitably be disrupted multiple times throughout the day
8:30-9:00: knock out the busy work tasks, like drafting up a CMC statement, depo notice, etc. (the things that seem unimportant but will bite you if you let them slide)
9:00-12:00: motion drafting or drafting/responding to discovery
12:30-1:00: meet with partner on case x to discuss obscure issue and case strategy
1:00-3:00: more motion/discovery work
3:00-4:00: legal research
4:15-6:00: more motion/discover work
6:00-7:00: case strategy, client calls, loose ends, whatever

A lot of my day is contingent on other people. For instance, if opposing counsel gives ex parte notice, there goes my whole day. I typically bill 8-11 hours/day.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:10 pm

Boutique Commercial Trial Firm

There’s not a lot of boutique firm posts so figured I’d give some insight. For background, I work in a major market at a high-stakes trial boutique with above market comp. (I make the distinction between trial and litigation because trial is geniunely our specialty and a good portion of our work involves stepping in on the eve of trial in major complex commercial cases that don’t settle and actually trying the case. This obviously has an impact on your quality of life to some extent.)

Typical day non-trial day:
7:00 a.m. — wake up, make coffee, and quick work out.
8:00-8:30 — arrive at the office.
8:30-12:00pm — more coffee, proof read any documents I finished a draft of from the day before, scrub new potential cases, motions drafting, research some obscure legal issues someone came up with to “win the case”, drop by the partners offices to see what’s new, and follow up on any work product I’ve dropped off.
12:00–1:00pm —Go our for lunch with whoever’s in the office.
1:00pm -6:30pm — this is when I usually make/schedule my telephone conferences with experts, opposing counsel, the client, etc. and either or prepare for whatever court appearances/trials/or motions I’ve got coming down the pipeline or have another drafting/research block for whatever motions or issues I’m drafting/researching.
6:30pm-6:45pm — Either home or drinks with co-workers.

As you can probably tell from my rambling above, the work really varies from week to week depending upon trials. We probably try between 4-8 major commercial cases per year, some of those will only be with a few weeks or months notice. When those cases come in, its all hands on deck.

objctnyrhnr
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Boutique Commercial Trial Firm

There’s not a lot of boutique firm posts so figured I’d give some insight. For background, I work in a major market at a high-stakes trial boutique with above market comp. (I make the distinction between trial and litigation because trial is geniunely our specialty and a good portion of our work involves stepping in on the eve of trial in major complex commercial cases that don’t settle and actually trying the case. This obviously has an impact on your quality of life to some extent.)

Typical day non-trial day:
7:00 a.m. — wake up, make coffee, and quick work out.
8:00-8:30 — arrive at the office.
8:30-12:00pm — more coffee, proof read any documents I finished a draft of from the day before, scrub new potential cases, motions drafting, research some obscure legal issues someone came up with to “win the case”, drop by the partners offices to see what’s new, and follow up on any work product I’ve dropped off.
12:00–1:00pm —Go our for lunch with whoever’s in the office.
1:00pm -6:30pm — this is when I usually make/schedule my telephone conferences with experts, opposing counsel, the client, etc. and either or prepare for whatever court appearances/trials/or motions I’ve got coming down the pipeline or have another drafting/research block for whatever motions or issues I’m drafting/researching.
6:30pm-6:45pm — Either home or drinks with co-workers.

As you can probably tell from my rambling above, the work really varies from week to week depending upon trials. We probably try between 4-8 major commercial cases per year, some of those will only be with a few weeks or months notice. When those cases come in, its all hands on deck.


Can you talk a little more about the position/firm, itself? So you’re saying that your firm takes cases that had the bulk of litigation done by biglaw and then actually does the trials? How many firms actually do this? How does one get this type of job?

If you don’t want to post those types of details, I would love a pm.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:04 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Boutique Commercial Trial Firm

There’s not a lot of boutique firm posts so figured I’d give some insight. For background, I work in a major market at a high-stakes trial boutique with above market comp. (I make the distinction between trial and litigation because trial is geniunely our specialty and a good portion of our work involves stepping in on the eve of trial in major complex commercial cases that don’t settle and actually trying the case. This obviously has an impact on your quality of life to some extent.)

Typical day non-trial day:
7:00 a.m. — wake up, make coffee, and quick work out.
8:00-8:30 — arrive at the office.
8:30-12:00pm — more coffee, proof read any documents I finished a draft of from the day before, scrub new potential cases, motions drafting, research some obscure legal issues someone came up with to “win the case”, drop by the partners offices to see what’s new, and follow up on any work product I’ve dropped off.
12:00–1:00pm —Go our for lunch with whoever’s in the office.
1:00pm -6:30pm — this is when I usually make/schedule my telephone conferences with experts, opposing counsel, the client, etc. and either or prepare for whatever court appearances/trials/or motions I’ve got coming down the pipeline or have another drafting/research block for whatever motions or issues I’m drafting/researching.
6:30pm-6:45pm — Either home or drinks with co-workers.

As you can probably tell from my rambling above, the work really varies from week to week depending upon trials. We probably try between 4-8 major commercial cases per year, some of those will only be with a few weeks or months notice. When those cases come in, its all hands on deck.


Can you talk a little more about the position/firm, itself? So you’re saying that your firm takes cases that had the bulk of litigation done by biglaw and then actually does the trials? How many firms actually do this? How does one get this type of job?

If you don’t want to post those types of details, I would love a pm.


I’m not sure what you mean by position/firm. If you’re asking my position, I’m an associate. As for how many firms do this, there’s probably about 3 in every major market city, generally with fewer than 20 lawyers. Usually the origin story is the same, I.e. the best trial attorneys at the big law firm break off and form their own boutique. To be clear, we litigate plenty of our cases from start to finish. We just also step in as trial counsel for really serious commercial matters that don’t end up settling.

As for how to get a job at one, that’s a little tougher. Hiring at these types of places is irregular at best. I can’t speak for every firm that does this, but what got me the job was probably my love for the work and history of success. (E.g. I had already tried and won a couple of cases as an associate). Once you start winning cases, especially as a young lawyer, word kind of gets around and recruiters will contact you to fill openings at these types of boutiques.

Nynaeve
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Nynaeve » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:32 am

attorney with a state gov agency in a big city in the northeast (think PHL, NYC, BOS) that operates the transportation infrastructure (airports, trains, bridges, etc.). my work is primarily transactional, with regulatory and general legal counseling work regularly rearing their heads. graduated from a T10 around 2013/2014.

-9:15-9:35 AM: get to office. compile to-do list and make coffee.
-9:35-10:30: try to knock out "easy"/"shorter" assignment: usually drafting or revising a simpler agreement related to the operations of the state transportation infrastructure (typically, an airport operating agreement or a permit for the ports or train system) or a brief client question. Typically, not the most interesting, but not stressful.
-10:30-11:30: inevitably get dragged into pointless meeting that could've been dealt with by a few brief emails. Typically, a client department (diverse bunch--energy, procurement, trains, aviation, etc.) wants to chat about counterparty edits to an agreement or a dispute relating to our operations or property (these are often regulatory, commonly municipal and/or environmental regulations are at play. Advising and guiding clients through these disputes is the most interesting part of my job, but, depending on the client and his/her degree of incompetence, can also be the most annoying).
-11:30-12:30 PM: revise or research law/regulations related to one of my more long-term agreements (these are more substantial and interesting, and envision our tenants/counterparties redeveloping our property or providing a novel service to the public--e.g., a lease for an airline redeveloping the airport terminal it operates for us or an operating agreement with a transportation provider for a new train route).
-12:30-1:15: lunch. lots of delis and cafes in my area. though, thanks to my state gov paycheck and student loan balance, I try to save money by bringing lunch.
-1:15-1:30: respond to and filter emails that have trickled in. usually HR, office admin, or pointless meetings I need to go to.
-1:30-3:30: attend one of my working group meetings or calls for a long-term agreement or longer-term dispute (think regulatory dispute with another state, city, or federal agency, or dispute with tenant/counterparty on their compliance with regulations or an agreement). These can be interesting because they often involve policy or technical issues which can be fun to learn about.
-3:30-3:50: dick around on the internet. refresh Mint and hope I inherited money.
-3:50-5:20: continue working on long-term agreement or dispute. My work on a long-term dispute usually involves legal research or drafting letters (thankfully, no memos).
-5:20-5:30: respond to and filter emails that trickled in. Tidy up office.
-5:30: usually, leave. Sometimes (rarely more than once a week), work until 6 on an "easy"/"shorter" assignment. I've logged on from home once in the year I've been with the agency, and I didn't really need to. So my nights are mine.

Like my job for the most part. Good days and "meh" days, like any job. But I make low six figures with a pension for a roughly 8-hour day with, 99% of the time, no night or evening work, and my work can be pretty interesting. I really appreciate my quality of life; I used to be a litigator with a V10 firm and hated my life (not just my shitty work-life balance and culture, but serving financial institutions and the backwards, conflict-oriented nature of litigation). I don't know if this is my forever job (I'd like a job that would be closer to 100% counseling-type work, as opposed to ~25-35%), but it's a great outcome for at least the next few years.

SamuelDanforth
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby SamuelDanforth » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Oh hey, that was me. I ended up billing 2600 hours last year. That wasn't too fun; things never really quieted down. My routine is pretty different now, so maybe will update things some night.


Was the post under yours an update? If not, I'd love to have one.




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