Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Anonymous User wrote:Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Anonymous User wrote:I will never understand why a forum for lawyers is so hostile to legal work.
LOL. A perplexing mystery indeed!
"Sorry honey, Joe Boomer's internal deadline for moving those commas around is COB tomorrow. Maybe next anniversary."
But your job is to move those commas, for the first two years or so. And they pay you a shitton of money to do it. And then you never move commas again. It's like a marine complaining about having to go through basic training. They TELL YOU IN ADVANCE. And still people complain.
Yeah, it is like the Marines. That's the point. People are unhappy in a job that can reasonably be compared to being in the fucking Marines, if only Annapolis cost $250k in addition to whatever you paid for an undergrad degree. Do you still not get why a lawyer might hate his/her job?
Also, "you signed up for this" is not a reason to be happy. A healthy proportion leave the instant their loans are paid; some earlier than that. Precisely zero people who go in house go on and on about how much they want to be back in Biglaw. And even the ones that are swayed by the money aren't thinking "You know, I really shouldn't be so hostile to legal work!" when it's 1 AM, they still have to review 500 more documents, and they're staring out a window wondering how hard they'd have to throw themselves at it for it to break.
I think that's an insanely negative point of view. First off, only idiots take on that much educational debt, so that's like saying law sucks because 25 year olds are too short-sighted to understand how much it sucks to pay off loans. I'm down to a relatively nominal amount of debt (which I could pay off tomorrow, but incurs interest at such a low rate that its almost not worth bothering) - same as most of the folks I work with. The folks who are working to pay off debt 5 years out from school are mostly miserable because they have much less disposable income and feel trapped in their jobs. It almost doesn't matter if the job is good or not in that scenario - feeling like an indentured servant makes any job oppressive. But that's not inherent to the job, its inherent to certain 25 year olds being idiots.
Then you have to consider what's baked into your perspective. There's a first order question - do you want to shoot for a well-compensated/powerful/prestigious job? It's not obvious that its worth it. Making a decent living with a 40 hour week is really freaking attractive. You can grow tomatoes in your backyard and coach your kids sports teams and stuff.
If you don't want to have a gunner professional life, then biglaw is generally not for you.
But if you want that job, then biglaw is a pretty sweet deal. My doctor friends make much less and have worked like dogs for 15 years. They say it gets easier from now on, but, damn, up until 30 its a brutal career. My banker friends work just as hard or harder, do way more travel (subtle perk of law is minimal travel which is great if you have kids) and have shitty job security. Their comp is better but its not worlds better - maybe 30-50% more at equivalent seniority? And you need to be saving like an animal because you never know when the axe will fall. Traders and other hedge fund folks make much more money and have better hours but their job security is zero. PE guys make a bit more than the bankers and have lawyer-like job security, but that job is MUCH tougher to get than biglaw - if you're a superstar at HBS then maybe you have a chance at it, have fun with that. You ever lived with a consultant? Their hours are brutal and the travel soul crushing. And their comp is worse than biglaw, even at MBB. You can go work for your buddy's startup but the risk is astronomical and if you think law hours are grueling and unpredictable then you're in for a surprise when you start your entrepreneurial career.
Also, its not like our skills or interests necessarily port to the other high earning professions. I'm really good at legal work - near the top of my LS class, survived for a long time at my firm and enjoy work. Would I be a great banker or trader? Maybe, but the risk of crashing and burning is HUGE. Would I like it? Who the hell knows?
I think I'm insanely lucky to be paid $300k/yr to do something that I happen to be good at and like doing. It's just random luck - I could've been a killer carpenter and then I'd make $75k. But my skill happens to be well compensated and I enjoy doing it. So I thank the spaghetti monster in the sky for making it so and I sure as hell don't bitch about how much it sucks to work till midnight on a Wednesday, because that is a high class problem if there ever was one.