Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:49 am

(anon Florida litigator above responding) Up to 3% match on the 401K which may be the max, seems standard. Small quarterly bonuses on the billable hours.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:47 pm

BigFed Agency Attorney-Advisor in agency headquarters. This is an average day; obviously, if something massive is going down, then I stay late and all that.

7:00 AM - Wake-up, shower, get ready to leave.
8:00 AM - Leave for work, stop for coffee.
8:30-8:50 AM - Arrive at Work.
8:45 AM - 9:30 AM - Check emails, reply to anything needing immediate attention, formulate attack plan
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM - Work on ongoing projects. This could be things that are advisory in nature, answering questions for institutional clients (other parts of the agency) so that we can keep on the right side of the law and avoid litigation, etc. It could also be litigation-oriented, either representing the agency (with other attorneys from my office) in administrative litigation or assisting CivDiv/CrimDiv/USAO attorneys in representing the agency in federal court.
12:00-12:30 PM - Lunch
12:30-5:15 PM - Keep working on ongoing projects. Take more emails/calls from institutional clients. Draft documents/agreements/motions/policies for the agency. Talk to agency personnel witnesses for admin litigation or to assist CivDiv/CrimDiv/USAO attorneys.
5:15 PM - Leave work.
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Work-out at the gym
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM - eat dinner, hang out with roommate, watch TV, surf the web, etc.
11:00 PM - bed

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:14 am

~80 attorney ID firm on the West Coast. About a year in.

6AM-7AM - Wake up, knock back caffeine, shower, get dressed.

7:45AM-8:30AM - Arrive at work, check emails, get clerical stuff done

8:30AM-Noon - Make to-do list, complete memo, review discovery, get emails from supervisor re urgent tasks, start those, answer emails, poo, more work.

Noon-12:35PM - Lunch, water, coffee

12:35PM-1:45PM - Try getting back to do list, answer emails, stuck with non-billable clerical work from boss

1:45PM-3:30PM - Draft carrier update, research obscure procedural issue, bathroom again, water, get email from boss with more work.

3:30pm-7:30pm - Draft discovery, respond to and implement feedback from assignment, come to terms that more work remains, do enough work to get to 8 billed hours.

7:30-9:30pm - Head home, eat dinner, watch YouTube, sleep.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:13 am

Federal Attorney - Navy Office of General Counsel

1. 5:15 AM - Wake up - bother my wife for awhile who really likes to sleep in but puts up with me for some reason

2. 5:45 AM - Shower and Shave

3. 6 AM - Go in and watch my kids sleep for a few seconds -

4. A few seconds after 6 AM - Prepare Breakfast - Warm up car (not a Dodge Stratus)

5. 6:20 AM - In the car and heading to work

6. 6:50 AM - Stop at Speedway - Hope I have purchased 6 coffees so that I get this one for free - but turns out I haven't. Make some lame dad joke about coming in with winning powerball ticket, get courtesy laugh.

7. 7 AM - At the desk - check if anything urgent is going on. Most of the time it is not.

8. 7 AM - 11:30 Work on long lead time actions (I practice mainly acquisition and real estate law). Periodically will get calls or people popping in.

9. 11:30 - 12:00 - Eat my sandwich - surf the web

10. 12-4 pm - Continue the work I was doing in the morning - work on any items that have popped up - field phone calls as necessary.

11. 4 pm - head to the car (still not a Dodge Stratus)

12. 4:30 - 10 pm home, see how riled up I can get my youngest before retreating to let my spouse deal with the aftermath. Help with homework, eat dinner - do odd jobs in the basement etc.

13. 10 pm - off to bed

All in all, it is a pretty good gig. I have a ton of autonomy, work on some pretty interesting issues. I have enough to keep me busy but almost never overwhelmed. Pay is low six figures right now, will top out at ~150k, but low cost of living area (according to CNN Cost of Living Calculator current salary would be equal to $235k in Manhattan) no student loans.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:30 am

DOJ Civil 1st year

6:30 wake up & drink coffee
7:00 go to gym
8:30-9:30 arrive at office
arr. - 12:00 review email, maybe a conference call w/ agency on one of my cases
12:00-1:00 lunch
1:00-5:30ish read case developments, prepare motions, talk with coworkers about how we aren't getting paid enough for this shit

I travel fairly regularly for hearings; probably two trips a month

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby bk1 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:08 pm

Updated OP to include links to all the additions from 2015. Thanks to all the attorneys that shared!

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:27 pm

Transactional associate regional mid/biglaw (suburban office):

6:00-6:20: Wake-up.
6:20-8:00: Breakfast, run/some other activity or sport and then drive to office.
8:45-12:00: Get to the office, existing work, new work, conference calls etc.
12:00-1:00: Lunch, usually at desk.
1:00-4:30/6:30: Existing work, new work, conference calls etc., office begins to empty out.
4:30/6:30 --> Sleep: Finish work with AM deadlines, continue longer term assignments or go home and call it a workday.

Repeat.

Prior job, transactional associate NYC biglaw:

7:45ish: Wake-up, light workout, breakfast etc., take the subway to office.
9:45-12:00: Get to the office, existing work, new work, conference calls, if any, etc.
12:00-12:45: Lunch, desk, cafeteria or nearby cheap/quick location.
1:00-5:30/8: Existing work, new work, conference calls if any, dinner usually at desk.
8-1AM: Often still at the office, often still getting new work, etc.
1AM-3AM: Finish "necessary" work.
Head home as soon as feasible (reimbursed cab, when a cab would be faster than the subway) -- very poor technology and a culture that valued/demanded face time.

Repeat. Often carrying through to 1-day on the weekend, more rarely both days.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby clshopeful » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:49 pm

WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:Transactional associate regional mid/biglaw (suburban office):

6:00-6:20: Wake-up.
6:20-8:00: Breakfast, run/some other activity or sport and then drive to office.
8:45-12:00: Get to the office, existing work, new work, conference calls etc.
12:00-1:00: Lunch, usually at desk.
1:00-4:30/6:30: Existing work, new work, conference calls etc., office begins to empty out.
4:30/6:30 --> Sleep: Finish work with AM deadlines, continue longer term assignments or go home and call it a workday.

Repeat.

Prior job, transactional associate NYC biglaw:

7:45ish: Wake-up, light workout, breakfast etc., take the subway to office.
9:45-12:00: Get to the office, existing work, new work, conference calls, if any, etc.
12:00-12:45: Lunch, desk, cafeteria or nearby cheap/quick location.
1:00-5:30/8: Existing work, new work, conference calls if any, dinner usually at desk.
8-1AM: Often still at the office, often still getting new work, etc.
1AM-3AM: Finish "necessary" work.
Head home as soon as feasible (reimbursed cab, when a cab would be faster than the subway) -- very poor technology and a culture that valued/demanded face time.

Repeat. Often carrying through to 1-day on the weekend, more rarely both days.



NYC gig sounds absolutely miserable. I hate the old 1990s way of doing business: Suit, Tie, Stay at office for long time.

In the new day and age, it's all about comfort: no suits. And, even better, new companies like yelp/google/zillow/uber etc are all about having employees work from home when they want to. Makes sense: we can literally do everything via internet -- me sitting in an office is no different than me sitting on the other side of the US in an entirely different time zone; still can answer calls, check email, receive work assignments etc (lke I could at home) but these god-damn traditional-ass law firms are so engrained in the traditional way of doing work.

Hate how slow the legal profession adopts. My friends at Zillow wear jeans to work, and work half the time from home.

Let me spend 1-2 hours of my day in traffic while getting to work, where I wear a suit and sit in a chair and type on my computer. I could EASILY do this at home and be more productive/efficient w/ my time and be way happier. But the law firm says: No, you need to do it here, in this plain, oppressive workplace.

WhiteCollarBlueShirt

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:27 pm

clshopeful wrote:
WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:Transactional associate regional mid/biglaw (suburban office):

6:00-6:20: Wake-up.
6:20-8:00: Breakfast, run/some other activity or sport and then drive to office.
8:45-12:00: Get to the office, existing work, new work, conference calls etc.
12:00-1:00: Lunch, usually at desk.
1:00-4:30/6:30: Existing work, new work, conference calls etc., office begins to empty out.
4:30/6:30 --> Sleep: Finish work with AM deadlines, continue longer term assignments or go home and call it a workday.

Repeat.

Prior job, transactional associate NYC biglaw:

7:45ish: Wake-up, light workout, breakfast etc., take the subway to office.
9:45-12:00: Get to the office, existing work, new work, conference calls, if any, etc.
12:00-12:45: Lunch, desk, cafeteria or nearby cheap/quick location.
1:00-5:30/8: Existing work, new work, conference calls if any, dinner usually at desk.
8-1AM: Often still at the office, often still getting new work, etc.
1AM-3AM: Finish "necessary" work.
Head home as soon as feasible (reimbursed cab, when a cab would be faster than the subway) -- very poor technology and a culture that valued/demanded face time.

Repeat. Often carrying through to 1-day on the weekend, more rarely both days.



NYC gig sounds absolutely miserable. I hate the old 1990s way of doing business: Suit, Tie, Stay at office for long time.

In the new day and age, it's all about comfort: no suits. And, even better, new companies like yelp/google/zillow/uber etc are all about having employees work from home when they want to. Makes sense: we can literally do everything via internet -- me sitting in an office is no different than me sitting on the other side of the US in an entirely different time zone; still can answer calls, check email, receive work assignments etc (lke I could at home) but these god-damn traditional-ass law firms are so engrained in the traditional way of doing work.

Hate how slow the legal profession adopts. My friends at Zillow wear jeans to work, and work half the time from home.

Let me spend 1-2 hours of my day in traffic while getting to work, where I wear a suit and sit in a chair and type on my computer. I could EASILY do this at home and be more productive/efficient w/ my time and be way happier. But the law firm says: No, you need to do it here, in this plain, oppressive workplace.


Worse than startup life, I had friends in finance trying to get me to go that route for a better lifestyle. And my job was better than most, above market bonuses for high billers, no suit, substantive work, excellent training and never came close to considering an all-nighter--just a consistent, consistent grind and huge list of loyal firm clients making it rain PPP.

But you're right about supporting working from home/remote in general. I think the best part of the switch is actually the superior tech at the new firm and ability/willingness to support people working remotely (at least to some degree)... probably the first gig would've been pretty livable otherwise (minus NYC needing to go to 210, bc the 160 scale w/loans is tough there).

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:40 pm

I really hate working from home. I get that it can be a reasonable/necessary option some days, but I want home to be the place where I don't work, or it feels like I'm never not working.

Being able to work from a coffee shop or the like would be nice, though. Stupid security concerns. (Though invariably if I did that, something would come up that would require stuff in my physical office. We are really not paperless yet.)

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby juzam_djinn » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:03 pm

clshopeful wrote:
WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:Transactional associate regional mid/biglaw (suburban office):

6:00-6:20: Wake-up.
6:20-8:00: Breakfast, run/some other activity or sport and then drive to office.
8:45-12:00: Get to the office, existing work, new work, conference calls etc.
12:00-1:00: Lunch, usually at desk.
1:00-4:30/6:30: Existing work, new work, conference calls etc., office begins to empty out.
4:30/6:30 --> Sleep: Finish work with AM deadlines, continue longer term assignments or go home and call it a workday.

Repeat.

Prior job, transactional associate NYC biglaw:

7:45ish: Wake-up, light workout, breakfast etc., take the subway to office.
9:45-12:00: Get to the office, existing work, new work, conference calls, if any, etc.
12:00-12:45: Lunch, desk, cafeteria or nearby cheap/quick location.
1:00-5:30/8: Existing work, new work, conference calls if any, dinner usually at desk.
8-1AM: Often still at the office, often still getting new work, etc.
1AM-3AM: Finish "necessary" work.
Head home as soon as feasible (reimbursed cab, when a cab would be faster than the subway) -- very poor technology and a culture that valued/demanded face time.

Repeat. Often carrying through to 1-day on the weekend, more rarely both days.



NYC gig sounds absolutely miserable. I hate the old 1990s way of doing business: Suit, Tie, Stay at office for long time.

In the new day and age, it's all about comfort: no suits. And, even better, new companies like yelp/google/zillow/uber etc are all about having employees work from home when they want to. Makes sense: we can literally do everything via internet -- me sitting in an office is no different than me sitting on the other side of the US in an entirely different time zone; still can answer calls, check email, receive work assignments etc (lke I could at home) but these god-damn traditional-ass law firms are so engrained in the traditional way of doing work.

Hate how slow the legal profession adopts. My friends at Zillow wear jeans to work, and work half the time from home.

Let me spend 1-2 hours of my day in traffic while getting to work, where I wear a suit and sit in a chair and type on my computer. I could EASILY do this at home and be more productive/efficient w/ my time and be way happier. But the law firm says: No, you need to do it here, in this plain, oppressive workplace.


I worked at one of the companies you listed, and can tell you that these silicon valley type perks are absolutely overrated

not to say that the lifestyle in biglaw is better by any means, but the ability to wfh, wear jeans to work, or even have free food/snacks at your office gets old very very quickly.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:25 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I really hate working from home. I get that it can be a reasonable/necessary option some days, but I want home to be the place where I don't work, or it feels like I'm never not working.

Being able to work from a coffee shop or the like would be nice, though. Stupid security concerns. (Though invariably if I did that, something would come up that would require stuff in my physical office. We are really not paperless yet.)


I love working from home, but I have a home office, so once I'm done for the day, I just shut the doors.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:47 am

NYC Biglaw - Tax associate - Junior level
Mostly tax controversy and sprinkle in some transactional work

Normal hours: (70-75% of the time I have normal hours)

8:00 - Wake up
9:00 - Get to my desk
9-9:30 - Check emails, eat breakfast at my desk
9:30-12:00 - write memos, research, contact clients
12-1:15 - Workout for 45, shower, pickup lunch
1-15-1:30 - eat lunch, catch up on emails
1:30-6:30 - more memos, meet with partners, draft IRS submissions, etc.
6:30 - go home / done for the night

Add in time for LLM classes

No weekends during normal hours. Bill around 150 hours

Trial Hours / Crazy transaction time (25% of the year)

8:00 - Wake up
9:00 - Get to my desk
9-9:30 - Check emails, eat breakfast at my desk
9:30-12:00 - write memos, research, draft motions
12-00- 1:30 - eat lunch at desk - Review to-do items for court or major transaction
1:30-10:00 - more memos, call clients / witnesses, more motion drafting

Work every weekend. Bill around 200-240 hours.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:28 am

Public Interest Attorney in California. Have a case load of 200+

5:45: Wake up, shower and drink some tea
6:45 - 7:45: Get into the office, prep for court
8:00 - 9:00: Get into court, check the court calendar. Make sure I'm not missing any of my files.
9:00 - 9:30: Calendar call
9:30 - 12:00: Meet clients, begin to argue cases (Detentions, Arraignments, etc).
12:00 - 1:30: Break for lunch, usually stay in the courtroom and do some last minute research/preparation
1:30 - 4:30: Finish the rest of my cases on the calendar
4:30 - 7:00: Return to the office and prep for the next day.

A lot of trial experiences. A lot of work. A lot of getting yelled at.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:04 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I really hate working from home. I get that it can be a reasonable/necessary option some days, but I want home to be the place where I don't work, or it feels like I'm never not working.

I feel exactly the same way. In theory, the idea of working from home really appealed to me. But in practice, I found that I strongly disliked it for the reasons you stated.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby lawschoolftw » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:39 pm

rpupkin wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I really hate working from home. I get that it can be a reasonable/necessary option some days, but I want home to be the place where I don't work, or it feels like I'm never not working.

I feel exactly the same way. In theory, the idea of working from home really appealed to me. But in practice, I found that I strongly disliked it for the reasons you stated.


Agreed. even on the weekends when I work, I tend to go to the office and/or a local coffee shop. I imagine that I'll feel different when I have kids though.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Tiny123 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:09 pm

As a 0L this post has being very helpful and fun to read, so thanks everyone.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby SplitMyPants » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:11 pm

lawschoolftw wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I really hate working from home. I get that it can be a reasonable/necessary option some days, but I want home to be the place where I don't work, or it feels like I'm never not working.

I feel exactly the same way. In theory, the idea of working from home really appealed to me. But in practice, I found that I strongly disliked it for the reasons you stated.


Agreed. even on the weekends when I work, I tend to go to the office and/or a local coffee shop. I imagine that I'll feel different when I have kids though.


Did you guys also study similarly in law school? I know a lot of people that only study at the library or their favorite spot away from home. Conversely, I actually like being at home with my multi-monitor desk set-up.

Curious if others have changed their habits once they actually started practicing.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:13 pm

SplitMyPants wrote:
lawschoolftw wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I really hate working from home. I get that it can be a reasonable/necessary option some days, but I want home to be the place where I don't work, or it feels like I'm never not working.

I feel exactly the same way. In theory, the idea of working from home really appealed to me. But in practice, I found that I strongly disliked it for the reasons you stated.


Agreed. even on the weekends when I work, I tend to go to the office and/or a local coffee shop. I imagine that I'll feel different when I have kids though.


Did you guys also study similarly in law school? I know a lot of people that only study at the library or their favorite spot away from home. Conversely, I actually like being at home with my multi-monitor desk set-up.

Curious if others have changed their habits once they actually started practicing.

For me, it's different than law school. I didn't mind studying at home while in school. In fact, I preferred it to the library.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:29 pm

Yup, different for me, too, not sure why. I actually didn't study in the library unless it was between classes, but I also commuted to law school so didn't stay on campus when I didn't have to. I liked studying in coffee shops a lot (hello, drinks and food), but didn't mind studying at home the way I mind working from home.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:50 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Yup, different for me, too, not sure why. I actually didn't study in the library unless it was between classes, but I also commuted to law school so didn't stay on campus when I didn't have to. I liked studying in coffee shops a lot (hello, drinks and food), but didn't mind studying at home the way I mind working from home.

I've never really reflected on this, but I think one difference is that--with the exception of the couple of weeks before finals--law school studying is very low stress. You're mostly just reading and taking notes on your own schedule. When I'm working, by contrast, I'm dealing with various and shifting demands/requests from clients, partners, and co-counsel. It's significantly more stressful than law school; I think I try to avoid bringing that stress into my home.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:05 pm

Yeah, that makes sense. I think too in the end you could usually bail on schoolwork if necessary, so it felt more like a choice than work does? (Except for papers/finals.)

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby SplitMyPants » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:11 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Yeah, that makes sense. I think too in the end you could usually bail on schoolwork if necessary, so it felt more like a choice than work does? (Except for papers/finals.)


This makes a lot of sense. Even with finals its totally true. You never have to put in that extra XX hours of outline review.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby lawschoolftw » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:43 am

SplitMyPants wrote:
lawschoolftw wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I really hate working from home. I get that it can be a reasonable/necessary option some days, but I want home to be the place where I don't work, or it feels like I'm never not working.

I feel exactly the same way. In theory, the idea of working from home really appealed to me. But in practice, I found that I strongly disliked it for the reasons you stated.


Agreed. even on the weekends when I work, I tend to go to the office and/or a local coffee shop. I imagine that I'll feel different when I have kids though.


Did you guys also study similarly in law school? I know a lot of people that only study at the library or their favorite spot away from home. Conversely, I actually like being at home with my multi-monitor desk set-up.

Curious if others have changed their habits once they actually started practicing.


I didn't like working much from home in law school either, so I've stayed the same. If anything has changed, I probably end up working more from home because I'm married and have animals to take care of so sometimes, despite my preference, I work from home. But, even then, we have a room we use as an office and I always work from there because I like to keep the stress of my professional life as far away from home as possible.

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:46 am

For what it's worth on the home vs. office front: Always worked from home in law school, but much prefer to limit work to the office when possible.

However, now that I commute more than 30 minutes (car, no public transportation), I have zero interest in ever staying too late and would under no circumstance go in on a weekend. So, while I myself lean toward the do your work at work mantra, having the technology (for me, a vpn/laptop and never using citrix or any other vdi software again) and option to work remotely is key for the world we live in (i.e., post the invention of the cell phone).

All that rambling though, I would definitely be good with soundproofing a room and working from home, so I can truly enjoy downtime... similar idea to those in NYC that live right next to the office and retreat to their apartments when they are slow.



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