Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:congratulations OP! This is a very solid exit option. Also it is encouraging to hear from mid-level+ big law people with stories other than "don't do this, I want to kill myself every day."
but for real how many days doing it did you like or not like your job?
Also, my partnership comment is more to get a grasp on how hard partnership really is. Selfish question. I wasn't trying to say that should be everyone's goal. In fact, I think it should not be anyone's goal.
Do you have a family? Do you have hobbies that you are able to spend time on? How much time do you spend on family/hobbies?
I think "liking" my job is a tricky question. What does that mean? Enjoy every minute? There were probably few or zero days where I enjoyed every minute. But, that is a lot to ask. There is a reason you are paid to do it; if it were truly enjoyable, people would do it for free. I think overall, I had a great degree of job satisfaction. Especially during the first 3 years, where I was constantly learning new things and progressing and developing as a lawyer. The past year or so, I have felt a little more of a plateau professionally, which is frustrating. There have been times where I've been overworked (80 hour billable weeks were my max, and my biggest month was about 270 billable, a pace which is, to me, unsustainable). There have been times where I've been overstressed (can't sleep for fear I messed something up). But, overall, those times were not too common. I think a lot of the negatives of Biglaw are overhyped, and in general I was happy that I had the job that I did.
My point about partnership isn't that it's a good goal or a bad goal. My point is it's sort of an incomplete goal. There is sometimes a sense among junior attorneys that being "made" partner means you have "made it." But it's really not the case. Being made partner really just means that the firm is betting that you will make it, but you still haven't yet. I think a more complete goal is to develop yourself into an excellent lawyer, one who is an expert in your chosen area, and who people could trust to handle a certain type of legal problem. That expertise and ability is what I'm aiming for.
I don't have kids yet, but I have a wife and hobbies and a life outside work. Sometimes that life has to take a back seat to work, but I am able to balance it pretty well, on the whole.