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.
User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14376
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:25 pm

when ever I work over 60 hours in a week, I'm either working or drunk. Sometimes both.

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

Re: 110 hour week

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:41 pm

Desert Fox wrote:when ever I work over 60 hours in a week, I'm either working or drunk. Sometimes both.

Totally impressed by this. While busy, I just lack the fortitude to drink heavily, find illegal stimulants, or arrange for anonymous gay sex in hotel rooms. I feel like I'm doing this wrong.

exitoptions
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:58 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby exitoptions » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:50 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:when ever I work over 60 hours in a week, I'm either working or drunk. Sometimes both.

Totally impressed by this. While busy, I just lack the fortitude to drink heavily, find illegal stimulants, or arrange for anonymous gay sex in hotel rooms. I feel like I'm doing this wrong.


Not that I'm saying it's impossible, but how do you bill during your anonymous gay sex in hotel rooms?

User avatar
MarkinKansasCity
Posts: 10955
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:18 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:53 pm

exitoptions wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:when ever I work over 60 hours in a week, I'm either working or drunk. Sometimes both.

Totally impressed by this. While busy, I just lack the fortitude to drink heavily, find illegal stimulants, or arrange for anonymous gay sex in hotel rooms. I feel like I'm doing this wrong.


Not that I'm saying it's impossible, but how do you bill during your anonymous gay sex in hotel rooms?


"Client Servicing Meeting - 4.5"

KidStuddi
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:35 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:55 pm

wildhaggis wrote:More money only helps to the extent that it gets you the fuck out sooner. An extra dollar (or hundred) doesn't equal an extra unit of misery you're willing to swallow, so to speak, or an extra tenth of an hour away from my friends or family. This almost implies that some amount of compensation could get me to work 3000 hours per year indefinitely, with satisfaction, so long as I was compensated such as I felt was necessary for that sort of input. I imagine this is not true for most people (go ahead, tell me I'm wrong, I guess). At the risk of sounding banal, there are some things in life that are actually "priceless" for most people, literally speaking.

As others have already posted, compensation as it presently exists in the biglaw model is a hygiene factor. They're giving you a sufficiently high enough number to keep you comfortable and complacent so you shut your mouth and do what needs to get done whenever that needs to happen. If they were actually compensating you for the amount you contribute or generate, either base salary would be computed in a considerably different fashion, or bonuses would not work the way they currently do.


Man, some of you people are so irrational and jaded. People on TLS (and in BigLaw in general since it's most people's first and only careers) drastically underestimate how much people in other professions work, and that perspective really seems to lower their job satisfaction. Twenty-one percent of Americans now work between 50 to 59 hours with 18% taking their weekly quota to 60 hours plus. Even if we assumed every single BigLaw associate averages 60 hour work weeks (which isn't true), we're almost certainly better compensated than at least 17 of that 18% who work as much as us.

And that matches with my anecdotal experience. I worked for a few years before law school and my hours were pretty much just as bad then as they are now, except that I made a fraction as much. I didn't feel like I was being screwed then, and so I don't know why I should feel like I'm being screwed now.

And to be clear, I'm not arguing that associates should somehow feel beholden to partners for giving us such great jobs and just do whatever they say -- I am huge proponent of setting your own limits and doing what works for you; I'm just saying they're not screwing us and acknowledging they are, by and large, far more generous than management elsewhere. I mean, could you imagine the outrage on TLS if some law firm was sitting on 178 billion in cash but only keeping salaries just barely above market rates? I don't really frequent engineering forums, but I somehow doubt they're making threads about "CA to [whatever the equivalent of 190k would be if adjusted for the absurd profitability of Apple]." No one really cares when companies keep compensation rates near the market because they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, but when BigLaw partners do it, obviously it's because they're evil fucks just trying to keep you complacent so you shut up and keep killing yourself for them. It's a bit absurd and sort of just speaks to a fundamental misunderstand of how labor markets generally operate.

You don't get twice the talent or twice the output by paying the same number of people twice as much. So why the hell would any rationale actor do it? There are very few industries that operate on the principle that employees should be compensated primarily by some sort of commission, and those that do work that way usually have pretty terrible turnover rates. I'm pretty sure the general consensus is that law firms that operate in more "eat what you kill" modes, especially at the associate level, are usually the places with the most toxic cultures.

I feel like Biglaw people tend to get more prissy about compensation because we're all very aware of our billing rates and we understand exactly how our time translates into profits for the partnership, and somehow they just forget that because the calculus is easy and obvious for attorneys it doesn't magically make our time more valuable than the engineers killing it over at Google. It probably doesn't help the overall level of resentment that we go to work everyday and do the same thing as the people making millions off our backs, but I personally would rather the money go to the partners I know are actually doing something than watch it go to some anonymous shareholder or lining corporate coffers.

exitoptions
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:58 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby exitoptions » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:55 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:"Client Servicing Meeting - 4.5"


Actually, it's pretty much indistinguishable from a client meeting I've been in now that you mention it...

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

Re: 110 hour week

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:58 pm

exitoptions wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:"Client Servicing Meeting - 4.5"


Actually, it's pretty much indistinguishable from a client meeting I've been in now that you mention it...

And I bet the client didn't even bring lube and an enema.

exitoptions
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:58 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby exitoptions » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:06 pm

rpupkin wrote:
exitoptions wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:"Client Servicing Meeting - 4.5"


Actually, it's pretty much indistinguishable from a client meeting I've been in now that you mention it...

And I bet the client didn't even bring lube and an enema.


You should know that as the associate, it's your job to bring those... Maybe we'll have to bring BiglawAssociate next time...

KidStuddi
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:35 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:07 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
You know, I've never gotten this. When I'm slammed and working a ton, I don't really want to drink. I mean, once in awhile I'll have a drink or two in the evening and then do some additional work, but if I drink a lot I can't work as effectively and I'll take even longer to get shit done (thus further cutting into free time/sleep). If anything, I drink more when work is slow and I'm not stressed.

I'm really impressed by folks who bill 200+ hours month after month while drinking heavily. The two seem incompatible. I guess I just lack the constitution. Or perhaps I just lack the amphetamines required to offset the depressant effects of alcohol.


I think at first it has to do more with getting you mind off work when you aren't working. Alcohol probably helps, but I could imagine that, after several months of using alcohol every day to relax, shit could start to spiral.


I think there is some just genetic component / tolerance component to it too. Some people are utterly fucking useless after 3 drinks. Some people, you wouldn't even know if they're on their 5th drink. As someone who regularly does work while mildly drunk, I certainly hope I fall into the latter category.

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

Re: 110 hour week

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:59 pm

KidStuddi wrote: [redacted]

Dude we get it. We make plenty of money. By most objective measures we're fortunate people. Not everyone always feels so rationally. When your friends try to blow off steam about something that's bugging them, do you respond with 1,000 word soliloquys about why the free market says they're wrong?

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby BiglawAssociate » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:40 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
wildhaggis wrote:More money only helps to the extent that it gets you the fuck out sooner. An extra dollar (or hundred) doesn't equal an extra unit of misery you're willing to swallow, so to speak, or an extra tenth of an hour away from my friends or family. This almost implies that some amount of compensation could get me to work 3000 hours per year indefinitely, with satisfaction, so long as I was compensated such as I felt was necessary for that sort of input. I imagine this is not true for most people (go ahead, tell me I'm wrong, I guess). At the risk of sounding banal, there are some things in life that are actually "priceless" for most people, literally speaking.

As others have already posted, compensation as it presently exists in the biglaw model is a hygiene factor. They're giving you a sufficiently high enough number to keep you comfortable and complacent so you shut your mouth and do what needs to get done whenever that needs to happen. If they were actually compensating you for the amount you contribute or generate, either base salary would be computed in a considerably different fashion, or bonuses would not work the way they currently do.


Man, some of you people are so irrational and jaded. People on TLS (and in BigLaw in general since it's most people's first and only careers) drastically underestimate how much people in other professions work, and that perspective really seems to lower their job satisfaction. Twenty-one percent of Americans now work between 50 to 59 hours with 18% taking their weekly quota to 60 hours plus. Even if we assumed every single BigLaw associate averages 60 hour work weeks (which isn't true), we're almost certainly better compensated than at least 17 of that 18% who work as much as us.

And that matches with my anecdotal experience. I worked for a few years before law school and my hours were pretty much just as bad then as they are now, except that I made a fraction as much. I didn't feel like I was being screwed then, and so I don't know why I should feel like I'm being screwed now.

And to be clear, I'm not arguing that associates should somehow feel beholden to partners for giving us such great jobs and just do whatever they say -- I am huge proponent of setting your own limits and doing what works for you; I'm just saying they're not screwing us and acknowledging they are, by and large, far more generous than management elsewhere. I mean, could you imagine the outrage on TLS if some law firm was sitting on 178 billion in cash but only keeping salaries just barely above market rates? I don't really frequent engineering forums, but I somehow doubt they're making threads about "CA to [whatever the equivalent of 190k would be if adjusted for the absurd profitability of Apple]." No one really cares when companies keep compensation rates near the market because they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, but when BigLaw partners do it, obviously it's because they're evil fucks just trying to keep you complacent so you shut up and keep killing yourself for them. It's a bit absurd and sort of just speaks to a fundamental misunderstand of how labor markets generally operate.

You don't get twice the talent or twice the output by paying the same number of people twice as much. So why the hell would any rationale actor do it? There are very few industries that operate on the principle that employees should be compensated primarily by some sort of commission, and those that do work that way usually have pretty terrible turnover rates. I'm pretty sure the general consensus is that law firms that operate in more "eat what you kill" modes, especially at the associate level, are usually the places with the most toxic cultures.

I feel like Biglaw people tend to get more prissy about compensation because we're all very aware of our billing rates and we understand exactly how our time translates into profits for the partnership, and somehow they just forget that because the calculus is easy and obvious for attorneys it doesn't magically make our time more valuable than the engineers killing it over at Google. It probably doesn't help the overall level of resentment that we go to work everyday and do the same thing as the people making millions off our backs, but I personally would rather the money go to the partners I know are actually doing something than watch it go to some anonymous shareholder or lining corporate coffers.


Well, fwiw, my parents work like 9 to 5 and make six figures... they ain't lawyers. They never worked long hours....This profession has on average much worse hours than the average office job.

Also what kind of jobs require 60 hour work weeks? If it's like sitting around doing jack shit, then that's pretty easy. Lawyers have to BILLLLLLLLLLLL (unlike most professions), which is the big difference. Our work week is probably like on average 70 to 80 hours in the office, billing less than that.

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby BiglawAssociate » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:44 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
KidStuddi wrote: [redacted]

Dude we get it. We make plenty of money. By most objective measures we're fortunate people. Not everyone always feels so rationally. When your friends try to blow off steam about something that's bugging them, do you respond with 1,000 word soliloquys about why the free market says they're wrong?


We don't make that much fucking money, not for the COL since cities are so expensive.

But based on my interactions, something like half of biglawyers come from wealthy (and extremely wealthy families) so they don't have to worry about money. They're just doing it because they have nothing else to do/parents wanted them to do law school.

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14376
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:46 pm

i cant even afford a 2 bed condo within 25 min commute of my office.

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13817
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:17 pm

Desert Fox wrote:i cant even afford a 2 bed condo within 25 min commute of my office.


The average American family of 11 people and shares a 700 square foot rental you fatcat! Appreciate that you aren't behind on your rent. - kidstuddi

User avatar
nyyankskid
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:49 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby nyyankskid » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:18 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:i cant even afford a 2 bed condo within 25 min commute of my office.


The average American family of 11 people and shares a 700 square foot rental you fatcat! Appreciate that you aren't behind on your rent. - kidstuddi


wat

PMan99
Posts: 300
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:21 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby PMan99 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:12 am

KidStuddi wrote:
You don't get twice the talent or twice the output by paying the same number of people twice as much. So why the hell would any rationale actor do it? There are very few industries that operate on the principle that employees should be compensated primarily by some sort of commission, and those that do work that way usually have pretty terrible turnover rates. I'm pretty sure the general consensus is that law firms that operate in more "eat what you kill" modes, especially at the associate level, are usually the places with the most toxic cultures.


Well, Wachtell does get top 10% T6 kids who bill 3000+ while paying 2x...

TTTooKewl
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:03 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby TTTooKewl » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:45 am

BiglawAssociate wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
wildhaggis wrote:More money only helps to the extent that it gets you the fuck out sooner. An extra dollar (or hundred) doesn't equal an extra unit of misery you're willing to swallow, so to speak, or an extra tenth of an hour away from my friends or family. This almost implies that some amount of compensation could get me to work 3000 hours per year indefinitely, with satisfaction, so long as I was compensated such as I felt was necessary for that sort of input. I imagine this is not true for most people (go ahead, tell me I'm wrong, I guess). At the risk of sounding banal, there are some things in life that are actually "priceless" for most people, literally speaking.

As others have already posted, compensation as it presently exists in the biglaw model is a hygiene factor. They're giving you a sufficiently high enough number to keep you comfortable and complacent so you shut your mouth and do what needs to get done whenever that needs to happen. If they were actually compensating you for the amount you contribute or generate, either base salary would be computed in a considerably different fashion, or bonuses would not work the way they currently do.


Man, some of you people are so irrational and jaded. People on TLS (and in BigLaw in general since it's most people's first and only careers) drastically underestimate how much people in other professions work, and that perspective really seems to lower their job satisfaction. Twenty-one percent of Americans now work between 50 to 59 hours with 18% taking their weekly quota to 60 hours plus. Even if we assumed every single BigLaw associate averages 60 hour work weeks (which isn't true), we're almost certainly better compensated than at least 17 of that 18% who work as much as us.

And that matches with my anecdotal experience. I worked for a few years before law school and my hours were pretty much just as bad then as they are now, except that I made a fraction as much. I didn't feel like I was being screwed then, and so I don't know why I should feel like I'm being screwed now.

And to be clear, I'm not arguing that associates should somehow feel beholden to partners for giving us such great jobs and just do whatever they say -- I am huge proponent of setting your own limits and doing what works for you; I'm just saying they're not screwing us and acknowledging they are, by and large, far more generous than management elsewhere. I mean, could you imagine the outrage on TLS if some law firm was sitting on 178 billion in cash but only keeping salaries just barely above market rates? I don't really frequent engineering forums, but I somehow doubt they're making threads about "CA to [whatever the equivalent of 190k would be if adjusted for the absurd profitability of Apple]." No one really cares when companies keep compensation rates near the market because they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, but when BigLaw partners do it, obviously it's because they're evil fucks just trying to keep you complacent so you shut up and keep killing yourself for them. It's a bit absurd and sort of just speaks to a fundamental misunderstand of how labor markets generally operate.

You don't get twice the talent or twice the output by paying the same number of people twice as much. So why the hell would any rationale actor do it? There are very few industries that operate on the principle that employees should be compensated primarily by some sort of commission, and those that do work that way usually have pretty terrible turnover rates. I'm pretty sure the general consensus is that law firms that operate in more "eat what you kill" modes, especially at the associate level, are usually the places with the most toxic cultures.

I feel like Biglaw people tend to get more prissy about compensation because we're all very aware of our billing rates and we understand exactly how our time translates into profits for the partnership, and somehow they just forget that because the calculus is easy and obvious for attorneys it doesn't magically make our time more valuable than the engineers killing it over at Google. It probably doesn't help the overall level of resentment that we go to work everyday and do the same thing as the people making millions off our backs, but I personally would rather the money go to the partners I know are actually doing something than watch it go to some anonymous shareholder or lining corporate coffers.


Well, fwiw, my parents work like 9 to 5 and make six figures... they ain't lawyers. They never worked long hours....This profession has on average much worse hours than the average office job.

Also what kind of jobs require 60 hour work weeks? If it's like sitting around doing jack shit, then that's pretty easy. Lawyers have to BILLLLLLLLLLLL (unlike most professions), which is the big difference. Our work week is probably like on average 70 to 80 hours in the office, billing less than that.


And how old are your parents? Yea, six figures isn't that hard to crack at the peak of your career. But if you want to crack it straight out of school, expect to work. And 70-80 hours seems an exaggeration. If you're working 75 hours per week, and sitting around for 25 hours a week, you're still billing 2500 hours, which is gunner territory.

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby deadpanic » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:49 am

BiglawAssociate wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
wildhaggis wrote:More money only helps to the extent that it gets you the fuck out sooner. An extra dollar (or hundred) doesn't equal an extra unit of misery you're willing to swallow, so to speak, or an extra tenth of an hour away from my friends or family. This almost implies that some amount of compensation could get me to work 3000 hours per year indefinitely, with satisfaction, so long as I was compensated such as I felt was necessary for that sort of input. I imagine this is not true for most people (go ahead, tell me I'm wrong, I guess). At the risk of sounding banal, there are some things in life that are actually "priceless" for most people, literally speaking.

As others have already posted, compensation as it presently exists in the biglaw model is a hygiene factor. They're giving you a sufficiently high enough number to keep you comfortable and complacent so you shut your mouth and do what needs to get done whenever that needs to happen. If they were actually compensating you for the amount you contribute or generate, either base salary would be computed in a considerably different fashion, or bonuses would not work the way they currently do.


Man, some of you people are so irrational and jaded. People on TLS (and in BigLaw in general since it's most people's first and only careers) drastically underestimate how much people in other professions work, and that perspective really seems to lower their job satisfaction. Twenty-one percent of Americans now work between 50 to 59 hours with 18% taking their weekly quota to 60 hours plus. Even if we assumed every single BigLaw associate averages 60 hour work weeks (which isn't true), we're almost certainly better compensated than at least 17 of that 18% who work as much as us.

And that matches with my anecdotal experience. I worked for a few years before law school and my hours were pretty much just as bad then as they are now, except that I made a fraction as much. I didn't feel like I was being screwed then, and so I don't know why I should feel like I'm being screwed now.

And to be clear, I'm not arguing that associates should somehow feel beholden to partners for giving us such great jobs and just do whatever they say -- I am huge proponent of setting your own limits and doing what works for you; I'm just saying they're not screwing us and acknowledging they are, by and large, far more generous than management elsewhere. I mean, could you imagine the outrage on TLS if some law firm was sitting on 178 billion in cash but only keeping salaries just barely above market rates? I don't really frequent engineering forums, but I somehow doubt they're making threads about "CA to [whatever the equivalent of 190k would be if adjusted for the absurd profitability of Apple]." No one really cares when companies keep compensation rates near the market because they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, but when BigLaw partners do it, obviously it's because they're evil fucks just trying to keep you complacent so you shut up and keep killing yourself for them. It's a bit absurd and sort of just speaks to a fundamental misunderstand of how labor markets generally operate.

You don't get twice the talent or twice the output by paying the same number of people twice as much. So why the hell would any rationale actor do it? There are very few industries that operate on the principle that employees should be compensated primarily by some sort of commission, and those that do work that way usually have pretty terrible turnover rates. I'm pretty sure the general consensus is that law firms that operate in more "eat what you kill" modes, especially at the associate level, are usually the places with the most toxic cultures.

I feel like Biglaw people tend to get more prissy about compensation because we're all very aware of our billing rates and we understand exactly how our time translates into profits for the partnership, and somehow they just forget that because the calculus is easy and obvious for attorneys it doesn't magically make our time more valuable than the engineers killing it over at Google. It probably doesn't help the overall level of resentment that we go to work everyday and do the same thing as the people making millions off our backs, but I personally would rather the money go to the partners I know are actually doing something than watch it go to some anonymous shareholder or lining corporate coffers.


Well, fwiw, my parents work like 9 to 5 and make six figures... they ain't lawyers. They never worked long hours....This profession has on average much worse hours than the average office job.

Also what kind of jobs require 60 hour work weeks? If it's like sitting around doing jack shit, then that's pretty easy. Lawyers have to BILLLLLLLLLLLL (unlike most professions), which is the big difference. Our work week is probably like on average 70 to 80 hours in the office, billing less than that.


Agree with this: most office jobs are not working even close to the hours lawyers (even a lot of small firm lawyers) work. My roommate works a typical office job as a sales manager making good money. It is 9-5 every single day like clockwork. He has not worked one Saturday or Sunday in his entire career. It is pretty much stress free as can be. He gets to work from home sometimes. One day I was snowed in and they had a conference call where they literally talked whether to have a taco day or a turkey dog day at an upcoming promotional event for about 1.5 hours.

So, yeah, I am not so much complaining about the compensation vs. billed time, I am just saying we do work way more hours than an average office job. I know because I used to work one and like an idiot, left and became a lawyer.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273091
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:36 am

I've worked in consulting and finance, biglaw works at least 2x as much as those (except investment banking, they work more) and the pay is either equal or worse to both. Also, that kind of hard work is expected in those fields, but at least at my consulting firm, if you worked till 3 am a few nights in a row, your boss made sure the client knew about it, the team knew about, and then you get to work from home on Fridays. Thats the thing about biglaw, everyone is working those hours, and you get zero credit for doing so, "Just another one of those weeks, don't worry, you'll get used to it," i've already heard like 5x since starting my job. Nice to know i'll get used to the fact that I am taking years off my life by averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a night for months on end. Never seen a place where people actually feel a little good inside because someone else had to work those hours, rather than feeling some sort of empathy/sympathy....

That's the problem, the people. All of us are horrible people that allow this to happen because "that is the way it is done." We only have ourselves and our screwed up personalities to blame.

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've worked in consulting and finance, biglaw works at least 2x as much as those (except investment banking, they work more) and the pay is either equal or worse to both. Also, that kind of hard work is expected in those fields, but at least at my consulting firm, if you worked till 3 am a few nights in a row, your boss made sure the client knew about it, the team knew about, and then you get to work from home on Fridays. Thats the thing about biglaw, everyone is working those hours, and you get zero credit for doing so, "Just another one of those weeks, don't worry, you'll get used to it," i've already heard like 5x since starting my job. Nice to know i'll get used to the fact that I am taking years off my life by averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a night for months on end. Never seen a place where people actually feel a little good inside because someone else had to work those hours, rather than feeling some sort of empathy/sympathy....

That's the problem, the people. All of us are horrible people that allow this to happen because "that is the way it is done." We only have ourselves and our screwed up personalities to blame.



Yeah, also in my experience, seniors work more than juniors/midlevels do, so there's no fucking way you can complain to them or get any cred. They'd just think you were a pussy. Also for many, that's just their expectation - if they are doing it, you should be too or else you aren't a team player/are a pussy.

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:58 am

TTTooKewl wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
wildhaggis wrote:More money only helps to the extent that it gets you the fuck out sooner. An extra dollar (or hundred) doesn't equal an extra unit of misery you're willing to swallow, so to speak, or an extra tenth of an hour away from my friends or family. This almost implies that some amount of compensation could get me to work 3000 hours per year indefinitely, with satisfaction, so long as I was compensated such as I felt was necessary for that sort of input. I imagine this is not true for most people (go ahead, tell me I'm wrong, I guess). At the risk of sounding banal, there are some things in life that are actually "priceless" for most people, literally speaking.

As others have already posted, compensation as it presently exists in the biglaw model is a hygiene factor. They're giving you a sufficiently high enough number to keep you comfortable and complacent so you shut your mouth and do what needs to get done whenever that needs to happen. If they were actually compensating you for the amount you contribute or generate, either base salary would be computed in a considerably different fashion, or bonuses would not work the way they currently do.


Man, some of you people are so irrational and jaded. People on TLS (and in BigLaw in general since it's most people's first and only careers) drastically underestimate how much people in other professions work, and that perspective really seems to lower their job satisfaction. Twenty-one percent of Americans now work between 50 to 59 hours with 18% taking their weekly quota to 60 hours plus. Even if we assumed every single BigLaw associate averages 60 hour work weeks (which isn't true), we're almost certainly better compensated than at least 17 of that 18% who work as much as us.

And that matches with my anecdotal experience. I worked for a few years before law school and my hours were pretty much just as bad then as they are now, except that I made a fraction as much. I didn't feel like I was being screwed then, and so I don't know why I should feel like I'm being screwed now.

And to be clear, I'm not arguing that associates should somehow feel beholden to partners for giving us such great jobs and just do whatever they say -- I am huge proponent of setting your own limits and doing what works for you; I'm just saying they're not screwing us and acknowledging they are, by and large, far more generous than management elsewhere. I mean, could you imagine the outrage on TLS if some law firm was sitting on 178 billion in cash but only keeping salaries just barely above market rates? I don't really frequent engineering forums, but I somehow doubt they're making threads about "CA to [whatever the equivalent of 190k would be if adjusted for the absurd profitability of Apple]." No one really cares when companies keep compensation rates near the market because they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, but when BigLaw partners do it, obviously it's because they're evil fucks just trying to keep you complacent so you shut up and keep killing yourself for them. It's a bit absurd and sort of just speaks to a fundamental misunderstand of how labor markets generally operate.

You don't get twice the talent or twice the output by paying the same number of people twice as much. So why the hell would any rationale actor do it? There are very few industries that operate on the principle that employees should be compensated primarily by some sort of commission, and those that do work that way usually have pretty terrible turnover rates. I'm pretty sure the general consensus is that law firms that operate in more "eat what you kill" modes, especially at the associate level, are usually the places with the most toxic cultures.

I feel like Biglaw people tend to get more prissy about compensation because we're all very aware of our billing rates and we understand exactly how our time translates into profits for the partnership, and somehow they just forget that because the calculus is easy and obvious for attorneys it doesn't magically make our time more valuable than the engineers killing it over at Google. It probably doesn't help the overall level of resentment that we go to work everyday and do the same thing as the people making millions off our backs, but I personally would rather the money go to the partners I know are actually doing something than watch it go to some anonymous shareholder or lining corporate coffers.


Well, fwiw, my parents work like 9 to 5 and make six figures... they ain't lawyers. They never worked long hours....This profession has on average much worse hours than the average office job.

Also what kind of jobs require 60 hour work weeks? If it's like sitting around doing jack shit, then that's pretty easy. Lawyers have to BILLLLLLLLLLLL (unlike most professions), which is the big difference. Our work week is probably like on average 70 to 80 hours in the office, billing less than that.


And how old are your parents? Yea, six figures isn't that hard to crack at the peak of your career. But if you want to crack it straight out of school, expect to work. And 70-80 hours seems an exaggeration. If you're working 75 hours per week, and sitting around for 25 hours a week, you're still billing 2500 hours, which is gunner territory.


My parents are early 60ish, but they were making six figures like in the late 80s.....

Also they only worked 40 hours a week. No weekend work, etc.

Law is a terrible profession for work life balance, bro. Just accept it. Like 90%+ of office jobs require fewer hours, and many have similar pay (finance, consulting).

User avatar
BmoreOrLess
Posts: 2082
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:15 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby BmoreOrLess » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:36 am

Definitely no differnces between the economy in the 80's and now.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273091
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:48 am

I have friends who work as consultants, finance people, accountants, engineers, and pretty much every career you could think of (though I don't know any investment bankers). No one works anywhere close to the hours I do. And when my finance or conuslting friend gets stuck working a late night now and then (which is pretty rare), he gets kudos for it and is seen as a huge team player, since its the exception, not the rule.

Our workplace is ruined by the few deluded strivers who make it impossible to change the norm.

User avatar
El Pollito
party fowl
Posts: 17848
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:11 pm

Re: 110 hour week

Postby El Pollito » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:14 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
You know, I've never gotten this. When I'm slammed and working a ton, I don't really want to drink. I mean, once in awhile I'll have a drink or two in the evening and then do some additional work, but if I drink a lot I can't work as effectively and I'll take even longer to get shit done (thus further cutting into free time/sleep). If anything, I drink more when work is slow and I'm not stressed.

I'm really impressed by folks who bill 200+ hours month after month while drinking heavily. The two seem incompatible. I guess I just lack the constitution. Or perhaps I just lack the amphetamines required to offset the depressant effects of alcohol.


I think at first it has to do more with getting you mind off work when you aren't working. Alcohol probably helps, but I could imagine that, after several months of using alcohol every day to relax, shit could start to spiral.


I think there is some just genetic component / tolerance component to it too. Some people are utterly fucking useless after 3 drinks. Some people, you wouldn't even know if they're on their 5th drink. As someone who regularly does work while mildly drunk, I certainly hope I fall into the latter category.

Working drunk is like the saddest thing ever. Congrats on being totally oblivious to how shitty your life is.

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: 110 hour week

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have friends who work as consultants, finance people, accountants, engineers, and pretty much every career you could think of (though I don't know any investment bankers). No one works anywhere close to the hours I do. And when my finance or conuslting friend gets stuck working a late night now and then (which is pretty rare), he gets kudos for it and is seen as a huge team player, since its the exception, not the rule.

Our workplace is ruined by the few deluded strivers who make it impossible to change the norm.


THIS. It's funny when the "Big 4" accountants bitch and whine about hours during tax season. Apparently they bitch and whine about our normal hours that we work year round.............normally they work like 9 to 6.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.