110 hour week

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273175
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:05 am

Senior associate can tank your career just as easily as a partner if the senior associate is well respected. Every firm/group is different but in my old corporate group, work flowed to juniors through senior associates almost exclusively. If senior associates did not want to work with you, you were boned. Not to say you shouldn't try to push back....but if it were me, I'd try to just start working with other people so you are fully staffed up on matters that don't involve this senior. This is a safer way to preserve yourself. If it's really bad, maybe talk to other associates that you trust in your group about it....or even a partner if you can truly trust them. If this is really bad just for this one deal, suck it up for now. If this had been going on for a long time, I'd be more inclined to speak with an associate you trust that is more senior than you to ask for advice. Every group is different so it's better to get advice from them than us.

handsonthewheel
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:12 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby handsonthewheel » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:40 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any practical tips on pushing back? I have tried making plans (and insisting that I stick to them). Or just looking ridiculously demoralized/tired/beat up.

I suggest against the "looking ridiculously demoralized/tired/beat up" approach. I mean, if you look tired because you're not sleeping, then you look tired. But don't go out of your way to "act" tired or demoralized. Come at this from a position of strength.

As for your workaholic senior associate, you hold more cards than he does. He's freaked out because he knows that he is being considered for partner. His work is being closely scrutinized by decisions makers; your work isn't. If you leave at 8 p.m. to meet a friend for dinner, and if the senior associate doesn't like it, what is he going to do? If he complains about it to a partner, he will look bad, not you.

Now, if a workaholic partner claims you as his or her bitch, you're fucked. But a senior associate? Don't sweat it. Do good work, don't be a dick, and keep your social plans.


The senior can fuck by just talking shit about you to people. But I'd risk it. He'll run you ragged and throw you away for his own futile partnership prospects.


I don't think most senior associates are that cunning.

But, they can choose not to use you for the work they're doing, and that's a pretty bad thing.

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14403
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Desert Fox » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:51 pm

It's not cunning that is required but a vindictive or shit personality. I doubt they would be purposely trying to ruin you.

The best idea is to find other work for different people and claim you are busy.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273175
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:48 am

Providing a litigation senior associate perspective here...

When juniors "push back," insist on keeping personal plans when everyone else is cancelling theirs due to a serious work need, or just plain submit sloppy work ... I generally don't want to "ruin" this person. I just want to minimize their staffing on my matters (they're going to be out the door in 1-3 years when they're happier with their student loan balance, anyway) so that I can work with juniors who are giving their all. If I can do this without any complaining to partners, so much the better. Often I can reassign work internally to the higher performer(s) on larger cases with more staffing. If so, I'll do that, without saying anything overt to the partners at all. Most of the feedback partners need on this topic comes not from petty complaining about the low performers, but simply requesting/expressing excitement about the higher performers...whether for more substantive work on an existing matter, or the next time we're trying to staff a case or pitch team. The partners "hear" who the senior associates are not requesting/praising just as much as they hear who is in demand. Within 1-2 years at the firm, a spread (up to hundreds of billable hours) seems to emerge between the more sought after and less sought after juniors. Of course this is true all the way up the food chain, and we senior associates are similarly judged in part by how much the partners fight for our time, or don't.

If you leave at 8 p.m. to meet a friend for dinner, and if the senior associate doesn't like it, what is he going to do? If he complains about it to a partner, he will look bad, not you.


The only time I'd comment to a partner about this happening - if it's a single occasion - is if the circumstances are egregious (the night of a dispositive brief filing, the day before a pitch is submitted, at the height of pre-trial prep, etc.) If this happens, there needs to be a conversation with the junior, and we generally discuss whether the partner or senior associate should have it in the first instance. My experience has been that most partners are concerned when this happens and want to speak to the junior associate themselves. I'm not sure why you think a senior associate would look bad to the partner for raising this. Both the partner and senior associate share an expectation that the junior associate should have cancelled their plans in this circumstance. Usually at least the senior associate (and sometimes the partner) will have cancelled their own plans for the same matter.

Similarly, if a junior associate is repeatedly prioritizing personal plans over urgent work in a way that's really compromising my ability to run the case, and my speaking with the junior directly didn't help, sure, I'd discuss it with the partner. The only reason I would look bad is if I submitted subpar work and blamed it on the junior associate not doing their job. No dice there; the buck stops with me, associate-wise. If the junior's screwed it up or phoned it in, it's my job to fix it. But as long as I've made sure that all work headed to the partner and client is pristine, I could raise a concern of this sort with a partner without looking bad. Ultimately, they want their cases to run well and bills to look right, and if a senior associate is having to bill for junior associate work because the junior is off socializing rather than getting it done on time, yeah, they want to know about that.

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:22 am

Thanks for sharing your perspective. I am not a senior associate. I was a junior associate in big law and later left, and I'm now a mid-level at a boutique. You would know better than I about how a senior associate could hurt the reputation of a junior associate who left for a social commitment instead of working late. But I will defend my advice just a bit:

If you leave at 8 p.m. to meet a friend for dinner, and if the senior associate doesn't like it, what is he going to do? If he complains about it to a partner, he will look bad, not you.

The only time I'd comment to a partner about this happening - if it's a single occasion - is if the circumstances are egregious (the night of a dispositive brief filing, the day before a pitch is submitted, at the height of pre-trial prep, etc.) If this happens, there needs to be a conversation with the junior, and we generally discuss whether the partner or senior associate should have it in the first instance. I'm not sure why you think a senior associate would look bad to the partner for raising this. Both the partner and senior associate share an expectation that the junior associate should have cancelled their plans in this circumstance. Usually at least the senior associate (and sometimes the partner) will have cancelled their own plans for the same matter.

I of course agree. If you've got a filing deadline, or if you're at the height of pre-trial prep, then you don't leave early to meet your friend for a drink. But I understand the poster's situation to be a little different: he wrote that the senior associate never leaves the office before 1-2AM "regardless of upcoming deadlines." If the senior associate just likes to bill a ton and work late irrespective of urgency, and if the junior had plans to meet someone for dinner or whatever, then I don't think the junior is taking a big risk by leaving. I think the senior associate would probably look bad if he complained to a partner about it.

But, yeah, if you've got an upcoming filing deadline, don't leave early.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273175
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:55 am

Senior associate anon here...yes, I understood you weren't necessarily saying, "Leave for a drink at 8 PM when there's a midnight summary judgment filing." I just wanted to spell out my own thoughts on this topic in case they're useful to any junior associates here.

rpupkin wrote:You would know better than I about how a senior associate could hurt the reputation of a junior associate who left for a social commitment instead of working late.


I do want to be clear that, at least for me, it's really not about hurting that junior associate's reputation so much as just making sure I've got strong associates on my cases, ideally people who enjoy/want to do the work, or at least are determined to put their all into it. Junior associates who are very concerned with "setting boundaries" tend not to fit this mold, so I'm unlikely to fight for them to be on my cases. But I don't go around disparaging them.

I of course agree. If you've got a filing deadline, or if you're at the height of pre-trial prep, then you don't leave early to meet your friend for a drink. But I understand the poster's situation to be a little different: he wrote that the senior associate never leaves the office before 1-2AM "regardless of upcoming deadlines." If the senior associate just likes to bill a ton and work late irrespective of urgency, and if the junior had plans to meet someone for dinner or whatever, then I don't think the junior is taking a big risk by leaving. I think the senior associate would probably look bad if he complained to a partner about it.


I can be a bit of a workaholic, and still I agree with you on this. I don't believe in the advice (which I've heard from folks at various biglaw firms) that you should be in the office as long as someone more senior than you is there. If I'm choosing to work late, I don't think that means that the junior associates on my cases have to be there unless there's an urgent deadline. And given that I work for a firm where face-time is deemphasized, even if we are dealing with an urgent deadline, I don't really care where they physically are as long as they are connected and responsive. I'm fine if they want to work from home (and I might be at home myself), if there's not a logistical need for us to be in the office.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3139
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:12 am

I don't think anyone is complaining about working long hours before real deadlines. That's obviously what we signed up for. The issue is unnecessary internal fire drills due to poor case management and/or staffing.

smallfirmassociate
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:47 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby smallfirmassociate » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:43 pm

Oh anon senior associate, how properly indoctrinated thou art! Your word choice, the tone of your post, it's really all just like perfect satire. I'm sure this post will be caustic, but it's not personal. You are not the problem. You're probably a really nice person who volunteers on the weekends and owns well-groomed house cats. But I've got some issues with the system that produces posts like yours. Allow me to translate.

Anonymous User wrote:Providing a litigation senior associate perspective here...

When juniors "push back," insist on keeping personal plans when everyone else is cancelling theirs due to a serious work need


Your plans are "personal," but your workload constitutes a "serious need." (As opposed to non-serious needs, of course. Anyway: subtle, yet effective. Maslow doesn't agree, but that's ok.)

so that I can work with juniors who are giving their all.


If you stand up for yourself, your health, your lifestyle, your family plans, your life in any way, you're not "giving your all" like the others. I know you paid $3500 for plane tickets and a resort reservation in the Caribbean for a four-day extended weekend excursion with your fiancee, but there's a serious work "need" that just came up. Just be a team player, brah.

requesting/expressing excitement about the higher performers. ... The partners "hear" who the senior associates are not requesting/praising just as much as they hear who is in demand.


It's not that you're a bad lawyer, per se, it's just that you're not a "higher performer" who is "in demand." Don't you want to be a higher performer? Here, let me get you a towel. You're just going to want to bite down on this real quick, yeahhh, that's a good little boy...

Within 1-2 years at the firm, a spread (up to hundreds of billable hours) seems to emerge between the more sought after and less sought after juniors.


Be nice to us, do as we say, and you'll be rewarded with more work and an ego-feeding reputation. The only minor side effect is that you'll be miserable, personally and professionally, but that's the price for winning and being a team player.

Both the partner and senior associate share an expectation that the junior associate should have cancelled their plans in this circumstance. Usually at least the senior associate (and sometimes the partner) will have cancelled their own plans for the same matter.


It's not about what you HAVE to do or are ORDERED to do, you see, it's all about "shared expectations." And we might kind of usually maybe have canceled plans too! This is all happening because someone (read: probably not you, junior associate) completely mismanaged something, but we're not going to admit that. I mean, we work as a team, so it's not really relevant whose fault it was. Unless it was your fault, then we have to sit you down and talk. Follow?

Similarly, if a junior associate is repeatedly prioritizing personal plans over urgent work


Your plans are "personal" and subject to prioritization. Work is a "need," and it's "urgent." You really can't prioritize an "urgent need," can you? That'd make you an asshole, to refuse to help someone with an "urgent need" just so you can do something "personal!"

in a way that's really compromising my ability to run the case


I measure your worth based on how much I can whimsically use you as a tool for my own convenience. I claim my desires are a "need," and your failure to serve them tirelessly "compromises" our case. You wouldn't want to ruin our case, would you? It only naturally follows from this viewpoint that the golden rule governing how I assess your work is how much your plans inconvenienced me.

On the other hand, we do a lot for you! Your salary, the amenties we offer... Here, take this ice water. It's really nice for refreshing that towel. Best ice water on the market.

and my speaking with the junior directly didn't help


"Really, I'm just trying to 'help!' And let me tell you about how bad I had it as a junior..."

Ultimately, they want their cases to run well and bills to look right, and if a senior associate is having to bill for junior associate work because the junior is off socializing rather than getting it done on time, yeah, they want to know about that.


You better not be "off socializing," or I'm gonna have to tattle on you to the partner.

Junior associates who are very concerned with "setting boundaries" tend not to fit this mold, so I'm unlikely to fight for them to be on my cases.


If you care about your health, if you believe in having a personal life, if you aren't willing to take care of my "urgent needs" at any moment of the week, I will crush you. I will crush you using a passive-aggressive system that rewards my slaves sufficiently that my non-slaves suffer irreparable career harm. But it's not that I'm disparaging you!

If I'm choosing to work late, I don't think that means that the junior associates on my cases have to be there unless there's an urgent deadline.


See, I'm a reasonable person! Of course, you'll notice from reading my posts and talking to me around the office that I don't use the word "deadline" or "need" without the word urgent. Here, you look like you use some Astroglide, bruh. They don't offer Astroglide to juniors over at that other firm you worked for in law school. Made the right choice, right buddy?

I don't really care where they physically are as long as they are connected and responsive. I'm fine if they want to work from home


My final note is really the moral of the story: I don't care where you are or what you are doing (see, I'm reasonable!). As long as I own you. I mean, what I'm trying to say, is that you are given the freedom to live your life as you see fit. You are treated like a professional. There is, however, a "shared expectation" that you will respond "urgently" to "work needs." If you don't, I won't disparage you, but I will ensure you "are not staffed" on my cases, and if you're being really naughty, I'll have to tell the partner. Now go out there and "be responsive," bill some hours, and avail yourself of our endless supply of supple, fresh towels!

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14403
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:51 pm

Senior associates are like local leaders during the French revolution. It is their turn next on the guillotine and they don't know it.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3139
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:58 pm

smallfirmassociate wrote:Oh anon senior associate, how properly indoctrinated thou art! Your word choice, the tone of your post, it's really all just like perfect satire. I'm sure this post will be caustic, but it's not personal. You are not the problem. You're probably a really nice person who volunteers on the weekends and owns well-groomed house cats. But I've got some issues with the system that produces posts like yours. Allow me to translate.

Anonymous User wrote:Providing a litigation senior associate perspective here...

When juniors "push back," insist on keeping personal plans when everyone else is cancelling theirs due to a serious work need


Your plans are "personal," but your workload constitutes a "serious need." (As opposed to non-serious needs, of course. Anyway: subtle, yet effective. Maslow doesn't agree, but that's ok.)

so that I can work with juniors who are giving their all.


If you stand up for yourself, your health, your lifestyle, your family plans, your life in any way, you're not "giving your all" like the others. I know you paid $3500 for plane tickets and a resort reservation in the Caribbean for a four-day extended weekend excursion with your fiancee, but there's a serious work "need" that just came up. Just be a team player, brah.

requesting/expressing excitement about the higher performers. ... The partners "hear" who the senior associates are not requesting/praising just as much as they hear who is in demand.


It's not that you're a bad lawyer, per se, it's just that you're not a "higher performer" who is "in demand." Don't you want to be a higher performer? Here, let me get you a towel. You're just going to want to bite down on this real quick, yeahhh, that's a good little boy...

Within 1-2 years at the firm, a spread (up to hundreds of billable hours) seems to emerge between the more sought after and less sought after juniors.


Be nice to us, do as we say, and you'll be rewarded with more work and an ego-feeding reputation. The only minor side effect is that you'll be miserable, personally and professionally, but that's the price for winning and being a team player.

Both the partner and senior associate share an expectation that the junior associate should have cancelled their plans in this circumstance. Usually at least the senior associate (and sometimes the partner) will have cancelled their own plans for the same matter.


It's not about what you HAVE to do or are ORDERED to do, you see, it's all about "shared expectations." And we might kind of usually maybe have canceled plans too! This is all happening because someone (read: probably not you, junior associate) completely mismanaged something, but we're not going to admit that. I mean, we work as a team, so it's not really relevant whose fault it was. Unless it was your fault, then we have to sit you down and talk. Follow?

Similarly, if a junior associate is repeatedly prioritizing personal plans over urgent work


Your plans are "personal" and subject to prioritization. Work is a "need," and it's "urgent." You really can't prioritize an "urgent need," can you? That'd make you an asshole, to refuse to help someone with an "urgent need" just so you can do something "personal!"

in a way that's really compromising my ability to run the case


I measure your worth based on how much I can whimsically use you as a tool for my own convenience. I claim my desires are a "need," and your failure to serve them tirelessly "compromises" our case. You wouldn't want to ruin our case, would you? It only naturally follows from this viewpoint that the golden rule governing how I assess your work is how much your plans inconvenienced me.

On the other hand, we do a lot for you! Your salary, the amenties we offer... Here, take this ice water. It's really nice for refreshing that towel. Best ice water on the market.

and my speaking with the junior directly didn't help


"Really, I'm just trying to 'help!' And let me tell you about how bad I had it as a junior..."

Ultimately, they want their cases to run well and bills to look right, and if a senior associate is having to bill for junior associate work because the junior is off socializing rather than getting it done on time, yeah, they want to know about that.


You better not be "off socializing," or I'm gonna have to tattle on you to the partner.

Junior associates who are very concerned with "setting boundaries" tend not to fit this mold, so I'm unlikely to fight for them to be on my cases.


If you care about your health, if you believe in having a personal life, if you aren't willing to take care of my "urgent needs" at any moment of the week, I will crush you. I will crush you using a passive-aggressive system that rewards my slaves sufficiently that my non-slaves suffer irreparable career harm. But it's not that I'm disparaging you!

If I'm choosing to work late, I don't think that means that the junior associates on my cases have to be there unless there's an urgent deadline.


See, I'm a reasonable person! Of course, you'll notice from reading my posts and talking to me around the office that I don't use the word "deadline" or "need" without the word urgent. Here, you look like you use some Astroglide, bruh. They don't offer Astroglide to juniors over at that other firm you worked for in law school. Made the right choice, right buddy?

I don't really care where they physically are as long as they are connected and responsive. I'm fine if they want to work from home


My final note is really the moral of the story: I don't care where you are or what you are doing (see, I'm reasonable!). As long as I own you. I mean, what I'm trying to say, is that you are given the freedom to live your life as you see fit. You are treated like a professional. There is, however, a "shared expectation" that you will respond "urgently" to "work needs." If you don't, I won't disparage you, but I will ensure you "are not staffed" on my cases, and if you're being really naughty, I'll have to tell the partner. Now go out there and "be responsive," bill some hours, and avail yourself of our endless supply of supple, fresh towels!

!!!!!!!!

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Big Shrimpin » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:11 pm

gr8 work here everyone

User avatar
FlightoftheEarls
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:50 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:14 pm

I'm going to go against the grain here apparently, but I actually found the senior's explanation to generally be a pretty reasonable approach to working with juniors - there are plenty of terrible associates to work for, but (s)he doesn't really sound like one of them.

But damn if that long-winded, anal-fixated diatribe wasn't eye-rollingly douchey.

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:19 pm

And you thinking they are a reasonable sr leaves one to wonder just how terrible one has to be to be terrible in your book. The fact that terrible caN and does exist on your lenient scale Shows what law is all about.

wildhaggis
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:47 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby wildhaggis » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:30 pm

smallfirmassociate wrote:Oh anon senior associate, how properly indoctrinated thou art! Your word choice, the tone of your post, it's really all just like perfect satire. I'm sure this post will be caustic, but it's not personal. You are not the problem. You're probably a really nice person who volunteers on the weekends and owns well-groomed house cats. But I've got some issues with the system that produces posts like yours. Allow me to translate.

Anonymous User wrote:Providing a litigation senior associate perspective here...

When juniors "push back," insist on keeping personal plans when everyone else is cancelling theirs due to a serious work need


Your plans are "personal," but your workload constitutes a "serious need." (As opposed to non-serious needs, of course. Anyway: subtle, yet effective. Maslow doesn't agree, but that's ok.)

so that I can work with juniors who are giving their all.


If you stand up for yourself, your health, your lifestyle, your family plans, your life in any way, you're not "giving your all" like the others. I know you paid $3500 for plane tickets and a resort reservation in the Caribbean for a four-day extended weekend excursion with your fiancee, but there's a serious work "need" that just came up. Just be a team player, brah.

requesting/expressing excitement about the higher performers. ... The partners "hear" who the senior associates are not requesting/praising just as much as they hear who is in demand.


It's not that you're a bad lawyer, per se, it's just that you're not a "higher performer" who is "in demand." Don't you want to be a higher performer? Here, let me get you a towel. You're just going to want to bite down on this real quick, yeahhh, that's a good little boy...

Within 1-2 years at the firm, a spread (up to hundreds of billable hours) seems to emerge between the more sought after and less sought after juniors.


Be nice to us, do as we say, and you'll be rewarded with more work and an ego-feeding reputation. The only minor side effect is that you'll be miserable, personally and professionally, but that's the price for winning and being a team player.

Both the partner and senior associate share an expectation that the junior associate should have cancelled their plans in this circumstance. Usually at least the senior associate (and sometimes the partner) will have cancelled their own plans for the same matter.


It's not about what you HAVE to do or are ORDERED to do, you see, it's all about "shared expectations." And we might kind of usually maybe have canceled plans too! This is all happening because someone (read: probably not you, junior associate) completely mismanaged something, but we're not going to admit that. I mean, we work as a team, so it's not really relevant whose fault it was. Unless it was your fault, then we have to sit you down and talk. Follow?

Similarly, if a junior associate is repeatedly prioritizing personal plans over urgent work


Your plans are "personal" and subject to prioritization. Work is a "need," and it's "urgent." You really can't prioritize an "urgent need," can you? That'd make you an asshole, to refuse to help someone with an "urgent need" just so you can do something "personal!"

in a way that's really compromising my ability to run the case


I measure your worth based on how much I can whimsically use you as a tool for my own convenience. I claim my desires are a "need," and your failure to serve them tirelessly "compromises" our case. You wouldn't want to ruin our case, would you? It only naturally follows from this viewpoint that the golden rule governing how I assess your work is how much your plans inconvenienced me.

On the other hand, we do a lot for you! Your salary, the amenties we offer... Here, take this ice water. It's really nice for refreshing that towel. Best ice water on the market.

and my speaking with the junior directly didn't help


"Really, I'm just trying to 'help!' And let me tell you about how bad I had it as a junior..."

Ultimately, they want their cases to run well and bills to look right, and if a senior associate is having to bill for junior associate work because the junior is off socializing rather than getting it done on time, yeah, they want to know about that.


You better not be "off socializing," or I'm gonna have to tattle on you to the partner.

Junior associates who are very concerned with "setting boundaries" tend not to fit this mold, so I'm unlikely to fight for them to be on my cases.


If you care about your health, if you believe in having a personal life, if you aren't willing to take care of my "urgent needs" at any moment of the week, I will crush you. I will crush you using a passive-aggressive system that rewards my slaves sufficiently that my non-slaves suffer irreparable career harm. But it's not that I'm disparaging you!

If I'm choosing to work late, I don't think that means that the junior associates on my cases have to be there unless there's an urgent deadline.


See, I'm a reasonable person! Of course, you'll notice from reading my posts and talking to me around the office that I don't use the word "deadline" or "need" without the word urgent. Here, you look like you use some Astroglide, bruh. They don't offer Astroglide to juniors over at that other firm you worked for in law school. Made the right choice, right buddy?

I don't really care where they physically are as long as they are connected and responsive. I'm fine if they want to work from home


My final note is really the moral of the story: I don't care where you are or what you are doing (see, I'm reasonable!). As long as I own you. I mean, what I'm trying to say, is that you are given the freedom to live your life as you see fit. You are treated like a professional. There is, however, a "shared expectation" that you will respond "urgently" to "work needs." If you don't, I won't disparage you, but I will ensure you "are not staffed" on my cases, and if you're being really naughty, I'll have to tell the partner. Now go out there and "be responsive," bill some hours, and avail yourself of our endless supply of supple, fresh towels!


Image

User avatar
FlightoftheEarls
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:50 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:56 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:And you thinking they are a reasonable sr leaves one to wonder just how terrible one has to be to be terrible in your book. The fact that terrible caN and does exist on your lenient scale Shows what law is all about.

I guess man - maybe I'm just desensitized to this stuff after a few years. All the senior really said is that he's not going to go dragging your name through the mud, but you won't be somebody that he specifically requests to have on future matters if you're one of those people (and anyone who has been at a firm a couple years knows exactly the type I'm talking about) who consistently finds reasons to evade helping out when stuff comes up and everyone else is biting the bullet. That really doesn't seem all that absurd to me.

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby rpupkin » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:01 am

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:And you thinking they are a reasonable sr leaves one to wonder just how terrible one has to be to be terrible in your book. The fact that terrible caN and does exist on your lenient scale Shows what law is all about.

I guess man - maybe I'm just desensitized to this stuff after a few years. All the senior really said is that he's not going to go dragging your name through the mud, but you won't be somebody that he specifically requests to have on future matters if you're one of those people (and anyone who has been at a firm a couple years knows exactly the type I'm talking about) who consistently finds reasons to evade helping out when stuff comes up and everyone else is biting the bullet. That really doesn't seem all that absurd to me.

Completely agree with you, FlightoftheEarls. I thought the senior associate seemed reasonable as well.

TLS is dominated by law students and junior associates. When a lurking senior associate actually shares their perspective, the TLS hive shits all over them. Unfortunate.

smallfirmassociate
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:47 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby smallfirmassociate » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:35 am

Of course what he said seemed reasonable; you don't build a system that successfully screws over thousands of really smart people without it all seeming reasonable.

I don't think anyone is criticizing senior associate. If you live in a place that rains too much, you don't blame that on the raindrop.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273175
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:40 am

Senior associate anon here. (female, not male)

I don't have any problem with smallfirmassociate's perspective. The extremes of biglaw write the satire themselves. (E.g., the senior partner who said to me a few months ago, believing he was being flexible and accommodating, "Of course associates can work anywhere they want over the holidays!") And I too have some issues with the system that produces posts like mine from yesterday. I don't think any reasonable person could argue that biglaw work strikes a reasonable balance between work and life. I would rather work within a system that makes more accommodation for people's personal lives. I would happily take a reasonable paycut if biglaw could find a way to achieve that balance -- and it's worth noting that the reason that biglaw can't find a way to achieve that balance is largely because those higher up the food chain don't want to take a reasonable paycut to achieve that balance in associates' lives or (usually) their own.

But I've worked outside of biglaw since law school, including jobs that have offered more respect for my personal life. On balance, I find the pros and cons of biglaw preferable. I've found a niche I really enjoy, and I can't remember the last day I felt bored at work even for an hour. (This is the trickiest part of biglaw, I think - if you don't love the area you're in, the hours make it utterly intolerable.) I like the complexity of my cases, the competitiveness of the atmosphere (mostly referring here to competing against opposing counsel or against other firms for business, although there is also internal competition that I like less), and the high expectations that push me to do my best work. Oh, and of course the money. Everyone loves that part. But if the other things I wrote before "money" weren't true, I wouldn't be able to do this job because it takes just too many hours.

Anyway, to wrap up this navel-gazing: as I said, I'm in biglaw because the pros outweigh the cons for me, and I will stay so long as that remains true and my firm will have me. And in general, I prefer to work with other associates who feel the same way, because they tend to put more into the job and be able to weather the rough patches a bit better than those for whom the cons outweigh the pros. But that doesn't mean I don't see the cons. It doesn't mean I love cancelling plans, compromising my personal life, losing sleep, not exercising enough. Nor is there even the slightest bit of pleasure in asking (indirectly) people junior to me to do any of these things. But we all knew these were the realities of biglaw from the time we were 1Ls, if not before. Each person has to figure out whether there's "pros" to this kind of work that outweigh the "cons" for them - and if not, then put in their notice. Biglaw can't "exploit" or "mistreat" anyone for one day longer than they choose to let it.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby sparty99 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Senior associate anon here. (female, not male)

I don't have any problem with smallfirmassociate's perspective. The extremes of biglaw write the satire themselves. (E.g., the senior partner who said to me a few months ago, believing he was being flexible and accommodating, "Of course associates can work anywhere they want over the holidays!") And I too have some issues with the system that produces posts like mine from yesterday. I don't think any reasonable person could argue that biglaw work strikes a reasonable balance between work and life. I would rather work within a system that makes more accommodation for people's personal lives. I would happily take a reasonable paycut if biglaw could find a way to achieve that balance -- and it's worth noting that the reason that biglaw can't find a way to achieve that balance is largely because those higher up the food chain don't want to take a reasonable paycut to achieve that balance in associates' lives or (usually) their own.

But I've worked outside of biglaw since law school, including jobs that have offered more respect for my personal life. On balance, I find the pros and cons of biglaw preferable. I've found a niche I really enjoy, and I can't remember the last day I felt bored at work even for an hour. (This is the trickiest part of biglaw, I think - if you don't love the area you're in, the hours make it utterly intolerable.) I like the complexity of my cases, the competitiveness of the atmosphere (mostly referring here to competing against opposing counsel or against other firms for business, although there is also internal competition that I like less), and the high expectations that push me to do my best work. Oh, and of course the money. Everyone loves that part. But if the other things I wrote before "money" weren't true, I wouldn't be able to do this job because it takes just too many hours.

Anyway, to wrap up this navel-gazing: as I said, I'm in biglaw because the pros outweigh the cons for me, and I will stay so long as that remains true and my firm will have me. And in general, I prefer to work with other associates who feel the same way, because they tend to put more into the job and be able to weather the rough patches a bit better than those for whom the cons outweigh the pros. But that doesn't mean I don't see the cons. It doesn't mean I love cancelling plans, compromising my personal life, losing sleep, not exercising enough. Nor is there even the slightest bit of pleasure in asking (indirectly) people junior to me to do any of these things. But we all knew these were the realities of biglaw from the time we were 1Ls, if not before. Each person has to figure out whether there's "pros" to this kind of work that outweigh the "cons" for them - and if not, then put in their notice. Biglaw can't "exploit" or "mistreat" anyone for one day longer than they choose to let it.


I knew you were a female. It was obvi.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273175
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:26 am

What was obvious about it?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273175
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Senior associate anon here. (female, not male)

I don't have any problem with smallfirmassociate's perspective. The extremes of biglaw write the satire themselves. (E.g., the senior partner who said to me a few months ago, believing he was being flexible and accommodating, "Of course associates can work anywhere they want over the holidays!") And I too have some issues with the system that produces posts like mine from yesterday. I don't think any reasonable person could argue that biglaw work strikes a reasonable balance between work and life. I would rather work within a system that makes more accommodation for people's personal lives. I would happily take a reasonable paycut if biglaw could find a way to achieve that balance -- and it's worth noting that the reason that biglaw can't find a way to achieve that balance is largely because those higher up the food chain don't want to take a reasonable paycut to achieve that balance in associates' lives or (usually) their own.

But I've worked outside of biglaw since law school, including jobs that have offered more respect for my personal life. On balance, I find the pros and cons of biglaw preferable. I've found a niche I really enjoy, and I can't remember the last day I felt bored at work even for an hour. (This is the trickiest part of biglaw, I think - if you don't love the area you're in, the hours make it utterly intolerable.) I like the complexity of my cases, the competitiveness of the atmosphere (mostly referring here to competing against opposing counsel or against other firms for business, although there is also internal competition that I like less), and the high expectations that push me to do my best work. Oh, and of course the money. Everyone loves that part. But if the other things I wrote before "money" weren't true, I wouldn't be able to do this job because it takes just too many hours.

Anyway, to wrap up this navel-gazing: as I said, I'm in biglaw because the pros outweigh the cons for me, and I will stay so long as that remains true and my firm will have me. And in general, I prefer to work with other associates who feel the same way, because they tend to put more into the job and be able to weather the rough patches a bit better than those for whom the cons outweigh the pros. But that doesn't mean I don't see the cons. It doesn't mean I love cancelling plans, compromising my personal life, losing sleep, not exercising enough. Nor is there even the slightest bit of pleasure in asking (indirectly) people junior to me to do any of these things. But we all knew these were the realities of biglaw from the time we were 1Ls, if not before. Each person has to figure out whether there's "pros" to this kind of work that outweigh the "cons" for them - and if not, then put in their notice. Biglaw can't "exploit" or "mistreat" anyone for one day longer than they choose to let it.


I cannot understand how people out there honestly experience big law as anything but a constant struggle of valuing your happiness against your salary.

As an admittedly junior associate, I have to construct a hope that I can maintain a socially, physically and emotionally healthy life in the face of the demands and rigors of the job despite the lack of almost anyone around me that achieves these things. Not that everyone is unhappy, but I've always witnessed a degree of strain in those around me, whether associates of various seniorities or even some partnership.

The people that stay for a while seem, almost universally, to wear their career on their sleeve and little else. Maybe some of these people are natural workaholics and need something like this in their life, which is fine by me. But, the climate I've experiences at big law firms has fairly universally presented me with a culture of over-worked, over-stressed and under-developed people sacrificing a variety of important life experiences for the sake of salary.

Whenever I leave, I will absolutely miss the financial security (or at least the perception of it, given an average associate's tenure in big law), but I can't say I'll ever think the sacrifice is truly worth it. Resources in life are important but no excess of resources will ever make up for a lack of substance in your life.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273175
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:09 am

Ultimately the challenge is that if people above you are willing to sacrifice their personal lives at the drop of a hat, as their underling (whether junior, mid or senior) you need to do the same, unfortunately. If they regularly bill 10-20 hours minimum during a vacation week, it does not bode well when you try to take a vacation, at least in my several years of experience.

You want to work for people with similar values on work/life balance. If you are okay canceling plans with your best friend that you haven't seen in a year because of a routine work matter (because 90% of my work is a rush in corporate), then you will be good. If cancelling plans eats at you, you will be miserable eventually after work has interfered with one too many life events. If a better balance could be struck, I wouldn't be leaving big law. A large portion of your worth and value is prioritizing work above all else in your life.

User avatar
lacrossebrother
Top 17 consensus poster
Posts: 6853
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:15 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby lacrossebrother » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:29 pm


User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14403
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:30 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:thought this is worth posting:
http://www.ansarada.com/news/moelis-laz ... most-hours


85 house is like what? 70 billable?

User avatar
Cicero76
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Cicero76 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:32 pm

On balance, I'd say the perspectives in this thread seem in balance.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.