Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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janwlee
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:03 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby janwlee » Sun May 29, 2016 9:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First year Commercial Real Estate/Corporate Law, Boutique Firm, Major U.S. Market. No billable requirement.


7:00 AM - wake up, breakfast, get ready
8:15 AM - leave house
8:45-9:15AM - arrive at work
9:15-11:00AM - answer e-mails from the night before, review what deals will be closing soon and what still needs to be done in the way of due diligence, etc.
11AM-12:00PM - reviewing loan documents/drafting and amending various organizational documents for entities in preparation for acquisition or financing (usually our clients operate through LLCs, so, operating agreements, articles of organization, etc.)
12PM - 1PM - Lunch - usually at my desk while surfing the web, sometimes I go out. I try to take a little bit of time during the day to step away.
1PM - 5PM - conference calls/status calls with lenders and clients on various deals, as well as other client work such as drafting/reviewing commercial leases or purchase and sale agreements.
5:30-6:00PM - finish up for the day, send final e-mails, head out.

If a big deal is closing I'll be in the office later than above, but typically I'm out by 5:30 /6:30


If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to ask you some questions on commercial real estate stuff. Could you please PM me?

Mucho Maas
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:10 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Mucho Maas » Mon May 30, 2016 11:26 am

I actually wrote some notes down from last Thursday.

I am a PD who works criminal appeals for a county in a southern metro area--seaboard, but not in Florida. .

Telecommuted on Friday, on all Fridays, so that wouldn't necessarily be representative of a normal day.

8:50 - accidentally kick the dog getting out of bed.
9:15 - "Fuck, I better drink this coffee quick."
9:30 - Hop in the car.
9:44 - Reach the gov complex.
9:45 - Shoot the shit with the sheriffs.
10:00 - Sheriff drops by, congratulate him on winning the election.
10:15 - Hit the office.
10:30 - Talk with a trial attorney about Batson.
10:45 until 11:30 or so - double check to make sure I haven't been docketed for anything in Ct. of Appeals or state Supreme Court. Send out a few emails. Listen to messages. Yep, nothing relevant.
11:31 - "Thank God."
11:45 - Go to remind my boss that I'm 'working from home tomorrow.' She isn't in. Ah well. Shoot her a text. She responds with a lot of smiley faces and exclamations. Cool.
12:00 until 1:00 or so - Waffle House with some friendly coworkers.
1:15 - shoot the shit with some sheriff's, one of the APDs and a ADA while they smoke.
1:30 - a judge comes out to smoke. Talk about Batson.
1:36 - An ADA keeps saying "the blacks." Smile politely.
1:40 until 3 or so - get lost on Westlaw trying to track down a particular case I sort of remember reading a month back. Maybe I dreamed it.
3:15 - Senior APD comes by to chat, laugh.
3:21 - "I was so drunk last weekend I busted through a glass door... But I dont want to pay for it. Fuck him."
3:25 - Another APD drops in. A magistrate judge is looking for someone to smoke with. We all head out pretending we know something about civil stuff.
3:40 to about 4:50 is simply 'lost time.'
4:51 watch everyone leave.
4:55 leave. Catch the lights.
5:15 Drink a beer. Accidentally kick the dog again.

misterjames
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:20 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby misterjames » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:DC Regulatory BigLaw (Banking and Financial Services)

Days are pretty typical in regulatory, I cannot really think of a time when I had a crazy day or worked on something outside the wheelhouse. Mostly I am looking at state and federal regulation of financial institutions such as banks and consumer lenders. Primarily I research law and draft summary emails or memos all day. Occasionally I will work on a 50 state survey looking at lending restrictions in credit cards, mortgages, or personal loans - and the dreaded licensing work.

We get questions from clients on a wide range of regulatory issues such as depository rules, BSA-AML, data privacy, borrower disclosures, loan servicing, and escrow provisions. All this stuff is regulated on the state and federal level. Most of the time the question is pretty complex but it needs to be boiled down to a three paragraph response or so. Clients will sometimes want a full memo on the more general topics such as whether fair lending applies to commercial loans.

About 20% of my time is spent on civil investigations by regulators or advising the litigators on a related issue. Once in a while we prepare and submit legislative changes for clients or draft a comment letter. Even more rarely we are obtained to do regulatory diligence in a transactions involving a regulated client such as a payday lender or mortgage originator/seller/servicer.

Pros: learning an area of law and becoming an expert in a field pretty quickly, predictable hours close to 9-6 every day and very few weekends or late nights, very few deadlines or much pressure compared to other biglaw groups, exit options are good because companies need in house compliance people, publishing and speaking opportunities are aplenty

Cons: making hours can be difficult, clients hate you because you are doing compliance before there are any problems and they think you made up the laws that over-regulate them, not exciting or deal driven, constant pressure to build a brand and bring in business (may be specific to this firm)


I know this is pretty old but if you see this please pm me, thanks


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Sir Blackstone
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Sir Blackstone » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Junior in-house in the financial industry.

9:30-10 - Put my lunch order in, make coffee, chat with co-workers.

10-10:30 - Review emails I only glanced at on my blackberry, send out execution versions and official legal sign off for documents I received comments.

10:30-11:30 - Review and negotiate NDAs, engagement letters, vendor agreements, etc. Have calls regarding outstanding issues and sticking points. Sometimes this may mean sitting with my phone on mute while business issues are discussed, other times legal may be driving the call. On an unfortunate day I might have calls regarding NDAs, unfortunate because they are generally a waste of time and are driven by issues that shouldn't require a phone call to resolve (typically the other side is outside counsel when this happens).

11:30-1 - Review and draft documentation for medium term note and 3(a)(2) programs. A majority of the documents are for internal or compliance purposes as these issuances are exempt. I also review the documents prepared by the business side such as the pricing supplements and term sheets that are sent to distributors and clients.

1-2 - Eat lunch while browsing the internet. I may review documents if they are urgent or sit in on a conference call, but I try to avoid working while eating when possible.

2-5 - Work on larger projects. It may be that we have had a credit agreement in place with a counterparty that we have amended 20 plus times over the years without ever amending and restating the agreement in its entirety, so that some amendments might even conflict with others. I will then go through all the amendments and discuss with the business side the terms that we want to favor and draft an amended and restated agreement, adding whatever sanctions and other legal language that needs to be updated. Maybe a trust needs to be dissolved and terminated because the notional amount related to a swap is reduced to zero. In that case I will go through the trust documents and agency agreement and see what needs to be done to dissolve/terminate the trust and draft a letter to ensure that those steps are carried out. Or the derivatives group may need additional coverage so I will meet with credit committee, negotiate ISDA documentation, etc.

5:30-6:30 - Review any new NDA's, engagement letters, vendor agreements, etc. that have come through and send comments to the business guys or counterparty.

6:30 - whenever - Review and maybe respond to emails on my blackberry. Address any urgent matters (not often).

Everything is a lot more jumbled together than it appears on that schedule, but that's a rough idea of how my day generally progresses.


Would you mind revealing the apx pay? How is this job going?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:44 pm

Sir Blackstone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Junior in-house in the financial industry.

Would you mind revealing the apx pay? How is this job going?

It's still going very well. I shifted gears towards capital markets and spend a significant amount of my time doing ISDAs, MSLAs, GMSLAs, MRAs, etc. It's more interesting than structured notes, insofar as corporate transactional can be interesting. I also do some related regulatory work.

I make around 130k including bonus, plus 50% (up to 9k) in 401k matching, 3% of my salary as a 401k bonus, great medical and dental benefits nearly entirely paid for, in-house nurse practioner that does most basic medical things, etc. Lawyers that never worked at a firm but are more senior make around 175k including bonus and lawyers that started after say their 5th plus year at a firm make between 175-250k depending on their practice area and seniority. If I were to stick around for 5 years I would probably top out at around 215k (salary + bonus) with incremental increases. The only scenario where it would go much higher would be if I took a supervising position.

synergy
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:43 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby synergy » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sir Blackstone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Junior in-house in the financial industry.

Would you mind revealing the apx pay? How is this job going?

It's still going very well. I shifted gears towards capital markets and spend a significant amount of my time doing ISDAs, MSLAs, GMSLAs, MRAs, etc. It's more interesting than structured notes, insofar as corporate transactional can be interesting. I also do some related regulatory work.

I make around 130k including bonus, plus 50% (up to 9k) in 401k matching, 3% of my salary as a 401k bonus, great medical and dental benefits nearly entirely paid for, in-house nurse practioner that does most basic medical things, etc. Lawyers that never worked at a firm but are more senior make around 175k including bonus and lawyers that started after say their 5th plus year at a firm make between 175-250k depending on their practice area and seniority. If I were to stick around for 5 years I would probably top out at around 215k (salary + bonus) with incremental increases. The only scenario where it would go much higher would be if I took a supervising position.


If you don't mind me asking, what are the approximate pay bumps when you're in house in finance? And out of curiosity, how do you know what your co-workers? Also, for the lawyers who are there now who hadn't come from firms, what were their backgrounds and how did they get there? Lastly, how did you go about transitioning into capital markets? Was it just a more pressing need for the firm or did you request? How does one go about asking to transition and/or diversify their skill set once they are in-house? Thanks so much!

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

Postby sigil » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:04 pm

Could someone working in either tax, or copyright law provide some insight into their daily routine? Thanks in advance!

browniestasty
Posts: 110
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby browniestasty » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:28 pm

What do you do when the boss tells you to work on an absolute loser and you just can't come up with a winning argument beyond public policy?

smallfirmassociate
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:47 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby smallfirmassociate » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:51 am

browniestasty wrote:What do you do when the boss tells you to work on an absolute loser and you just can't come up with a winning argument beyond public policy?


YMMV, but once as an SA I basically told that to the partner. I dug up a couple of arguments that were real reaches, but stated that I didn't believe any were meritorious and that a court was likely to rule against us. He thanked me for the memo and said it confirmed what he suspected. You definitely don't want to set someone up to waste time and fail, so be honest.

But why is this post in this thread? Let's try to keep it rolling without the clutter, eh?

Anonymous User
Posts: 278184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:47 pm

Small Law Firm Commercial, Insurance, Social Services, just whatever litigation.

630am get up and clean my kitchen, what a mess
645am drink cup 1 of coffee
700am get on my laptop and drink cup 2 of coffee
"Oh good, my boss isn't mad yet"
730am shower
800am drive to work
826am fuck this traffic I'm gonna be a few minutes late *honk *honk fuck you too!
832am arrive at my office
845-1130am work, this is the most productive part of my day
1130-1145am, eat some leftovers my wife made, she's sweet but her cooking isn't very good
1145am-545pm, work while trying not to be bothered by misc. partners frantically throwing firedrills at me
545pm sneak out of office
630pm fuck this traffic, stupid city
635pm arrive home
6453244 too drunk
1230am should gotta bed mmmm

Anonymous User
Posts: 278184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:54 pm

browniestasty wrote:What do you do when the boss tells you to work on an absolute loser and you just can't come up with a winning argument beyond public policy?

I've written many losing motions, just do it at your best and write things in alternatives. You might get lucky.

Cant_stump_trump2020
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:05 pm

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Cant_stump_trump2020 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:14 pm

Mucho Maas wrote:I actually wrote some notes down from last Thursday.

I am a PD who works criminal appeals for a county in a southern metro area--seaboard, but not in Florida. .

Telecommuted on Friday, on all Fridays, so that wouldn't necessarily be representative of a normal day.

8:50 - accidentally kick the dog getting out of bed.
9:15 - "Fuck, I better drink this coffee quick."
9:30 - Hop in the car.
9:44 - Reach the gov complex.
9:45 - Shoot the shit with the sheriffs.
10:00 - Sheriff drops by, congratulate him on winning the election.
10:15 - Hit the office.
10:30 - Talk with a trial attorney about Batson.
10:45 until 11:30 or so - double check to make sure I haven't been docketed for anything in Ct. of Appeals or state Supreme Court. Send out a few emails. Listen to messages. Yep, nothing relevant.
11:31 - "Thank God."
11:45 - Go to remind my boss that I'm 'working from home tomorrow.' She isn't in. Ah well. Shoot her a text. She responds with a lot of smiley faces and exclamations. Cool.
12:00 until 1:00 or so - Waffle House with some friendly coworkers.
1:15 - shoot the shit with some sheriff's, one of the APDs and a ADA while they smoke.
1:30 - a judge comes out to smoke. Talk about Batson.
1:36 - An ADA keeps saying "the blacks." Smile politely.
1:40 until 3 or so - get lost on Westlaw trying to track down a particular case I sort of remember reading a month back. Maybe I dreamed it.
3:15 - Senior APD comes by to chat, laugh.
3:21 - "I was so drunk last weekend I busted through a glass door... But I dont want to pay for it. Fuck him."
3:25 - Another APD drops in. A magistrate judge is looking for someone to smoke with. We all head out pretending we know something about civil stuff.
3:40 to about 4:50 is simply 'lost time.'
4:51 watch everyone leave.
4:55 leave. Catch the lights.
5:15 Drink a beer. Accidentally kick the dog again.


Did you become a PD right after law school? If so, what did you do between those months of passing the bar and waiting for results?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:11 am

I focus on estate planning mainly and some elder law in a small firm (10 attorneys - our department has 3 attorneys including me).

TYPICAL DAY

8am - 9am: get up, get dressed.

8:30am - 9:20am: arrive at work. I'll usually pick up a McDonald's or Dunkin on the way.

9:20-9:40am: reddit.

9:40am-12pm: If I have stuff to do, this is when it gets done.

12 - 12:45pm: lunch, whatever; sometimes I just work until I'm hungry later in the day.

1pm - 6pm: I try to be useful. Hopefully I have some writing based projects (plans, motions, etc.) or research to do. Might throw in a little nap.

6pm - 7pm: I'll leave sometime between this timeframe.

MY DAY TODAY

9:20am: got to work. Dawdled until 10.

10am - 12:30pm: audited a meeting.

12:30-2pm: drafted and reviewed a disclaimer to be signed at 2. Didn't take me the who 1.5 hours; I managed my time sporadically.

2 - 2:40: lunch

2:40 - 5: drafted an estate plan (i.e., all of a client's documents pertaining to their plan, including the letter).

5-6: I think I did something productive but I can't recall.

Left between 6 and 6:30.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:25 am

I do matrimonial law for a law firm/organization that has about 60 attorneys, a few different departments, but the matrimonial dept. is the largest one with around 20 lawyers.
I have three different "typical days:" intake day, court day, and work day lol.
They all start the same.
7:30- wake up, walk the dog, eat, leave for work around 8:30.
9:20- arrive at work- technically everyone starts at 9:00 but I'm always the first one to arrive :D
9:20-10- drink coffee and read TLS, news, whatever.
10-2- do work, call OPAs, draft shit, check on cases etc., have appointments with existing clients.
2-3- lunch with other employees.
3-5- more of the same type of work done earlier, chat with other people etc.
5-6- leave for the day.

When I have court, on average 3 times in a two-week period, when I have to be there all day, meaning until 2-3PM, I go home right after, unless there's some emergency type of work that needs to be done (someone was served or something etc.)
On intake days- once a week, instead of doing the work described above, I meet with new clients in person, or talk to them on the phone.

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

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:24 pm

How in the hell do you wait until 2:00 to have lunch?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:47 pm

kalvano wrote:How in the hell do you wait until 2:00 to have lunch?


I don't really get hungry when I do work, I guess? Lol.

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zot1
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby zot1 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
kalvano wrote:How in the hell do you wait until 2:00 to have lunch?


I don't really get hungry when I do work, I guess? Lol.


I'm hungry every workday for lunch starting at like 9:30. But that just may be who I am as a person.

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

Postby Glasseyes » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:21 pm

Is matrimonial law a euphemism for divorce law or what?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:05 am

V10, midlevel, corporate

7am - alarm goes off
715am - alarm still going off, i turn it off in my sleep
735am - briefly wake up, see i have emails, scan them for 10 seconds, ignore them unless they can be answered easily and go back to sleep
845am - get to office
9am - working group deal call
945-1115am - send out emails on various issues to counterparties, partner, review relevant docs
1115am-2pm - conference calls
2pm - revise docs, send more emails, review docs
230-310 - get lunch, maybe coffee
310-330 - comment on editorials on nytimes online
330-530 - send emails, catch up with partner, revise docs, send out distributions to working group
530-6 - it's a nice day, walk home
615-715 - go to gym, answer emails between sets
730-9 - emails with partner, review docs, comments from other side hit around 9pm
9-920 - food order has arrived at apt, eat
930-1015 - conference call with partner and financial advisor
1015 - 1230 - revise docs, send back out to working group
1230-130am - watch tv

as a midlevel, i've actually gotten pretty efficient at billing.

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zot1
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby zot1 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:V10, midlevel, corporate

7am - alarm goes off
715am - alarm still going off, i turn it off in my sleep
735am - briefly wake up, see i have emails, scan them for 10 seconds, ignore them unless they can be answered easily and go back to sleep
845am - get to office
9am - working group deal call
945-1115am - send out emails on various issues to counterparties, partner, review relevant docs
1115am-2pm - conference calls
2pm - revise docs, send more emails, review docs
230-310 - get lunch, maybe coffee
310-330 - comment on editorials on nytimes online
330-530 - send emails, catch up with partner, revise docs, send out distributions to working group
530-6 - it's a nice day, walk home
615-715 - go to gym, answer emails between sets
730-9 - emails with partner, review docs, comments from other side hit around 9pm
9-920 - food order has arrived at apt, eat
930-1015 - conference call with partner and financial advisor
1015 - 1230 - revise docs, send back out to working group
1230-130am - watch tv

as a midlevel, i've actually gotten pretty efficient at billing.


How can you function with so little sleep?

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downing
Posts: 272
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby downing » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:V10, midlevel, corporate

7am - alarm goes off
715am - alarm still going off, i turn it off in my sleep
735am - briefly wake up, see i have emails, scan them for 10 seconds, ignore them unless they can be answered easily and go back to sleep
845am - get to office
9am - working group deal call
945-1115am - send out emails on various issues to counterparties, partner, review relevant docs
1115am-2pm - conference calls
2pm - revise docs, send more emails, review docs
230-310 - get lunch, maybe coffee
310-330 - comment on editorials on nytimes online
330-530 - send emails, catch up with partner, revise docs, send out distributions to working group
530-6 - it's a nice day, walk home
615-715 - go to gym, answer emails between sets
730-9 - emails with partner, review docs, comments from other side hit around 9pm
9-920 - food order has arrived at apt, eat
930-1015 - conference call with partner and financial advisor
1015 - 1230 - revise docs, send back out to working group
1230-130am - watch tv

as a midlevel, i've actually gotten pretty efficient at billing.



Your schedule sounds insane. Is that a common amount of work for big law firms? Do you have any hobbies/activities outside of work (besides gym)? Relationships?

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

Postby kalvano » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:V10, midlevel, corporate

7am - alarm goes off
715am - alarm still going off, i turn it off in my sleep
735am - briefly wake up, see i have emails, scan them for 10 seconds, ignore them unless they can be answered easily and go back to sleep
845am - get to office
9am - working group deal call
945-1115am - send out emails on various issues to counterparties, partner, review relevant docs
1115am-2pm - conference calls
2pm - revise docs, send more emails, review docs
230-310 - get lunch, maybe coffee
310-330 - comment on editorials on nytimes online
330-530 - send emails, catch up with partner, revise docs, send out distributions to working group
530-6 - it's a nice day, walk home
615-715 - go to gym, answer emails between sets
730-9 - emails with partner, review docs, comments from other side hit around 9pm
9-920 - food order has arrived at apt, eat
930-1015 - conference call with partner and financial advisor
1015 - 1230 - revise docs, send back out to working group
1230-130am - watch tv

as a midlevel, i've actually gotten pretty efficient at billing.


This sounds awful.

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

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:53 pm

zot1 wrote:
How can you function with so little sleep?

It looks like he sleeps 5.5-6 hours a night, which I think is common for big law lawyers in New York. I work on the West Coast and often have to get by on less than that. And if you're in big law and have kids? You better be capable of functioning on 5 hours of sleep a night for months (or years) on end.

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zot1
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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Postby zot1 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:06 pm

rpupkin wrote:
zot1 wrote:
How can you function with so little sleep?

It looks like he sleeps 5.5-6 hours a night, which I think is common for big law lawyers in New York. I work on the West Coast and often have to get by on less than that. And if you're in big law and have kids? You better be capable of functioning on 5 hours of sleep a night for months (or years) on end.


If I watch TV until 1:30, I probably wouldn't actually fall asleep until 2-2:20. That puts me at less than 5 hours. I suppose when you got something to motivate you, you just do it.




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