110 hour week

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Anonymous User
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can OP or people with experience doing this please give more specifics and the breakdown of how things like this go?

Do you go home at 3 am and sleep some, or do you just stay in the office and sleep on the floor? Do you immediately get to go home after the closing of everything, i.e. the end of the 35 hours straight and take the rest of the day off.

People say that this is corporate, but how frequent is this?

There's a few "typical day" threads, but can anyone with experience please detail the actual hours your day unfolds for the weeks like this.


OP here.
First of all, to the associates who have chimed in with substantive responses - thank you. I'll certainly survive, but like with lots of things, I just needed a little bit of time to take a deep breath and consider the situation. So I appreciate the perspective.

I'll answer the question above, with some detail, because I asked this question often as a law student or summer and got either vague or bullshit answers about how accommodating everyone is.

The issue is that there is too much work to possibly be done, and "it all has to be done urgently", so every waking moment possible is allocated to doing the work. So yeah, you churn and churn until 3 or 4 am. Take a car home, sleep like crap because you're body is so fucked, wake up at 8 or whatever, get back to the office and keep churning at 9:30am or so. As you do that for a number of days in a row, you get pretty loopy. So, maybe once a night you lay down on your crappy office floor and try to sleep for just 20 minutes, but that sucks too because your email keeps chiming and your phone ringing and you're body is so fucked that it is impossible to relax.
Also, tons and tons and unhealthy tons of caffeine. I honestly think with an endless supply of good caffeine, I could continue working at a decent level for much longer, but I won't have a heart attack for this job, so I have to draw a line somewhere. But I couldn't do it without caffeine pills. (At least it's not adderall.)
Also, I've learned to avoid eating much. a) you don't have time to eat b) it makes you lethargic c) you get fat really fast downing 3000 calorie Seamless meals while not moving all day.
So I eat like one meal and spread it out throughout the day and snack here and there.
For the 35 hour stretch - first you work 70 hours in 4 days. Then you start at 10am, it gets urgent, and you just keep churning and churning until 4am. Then you realize you still have a ton to do and the idea of taking 3 hours away would really throw you off, so you're like whatever, let's keep going. More caffeine.
You keep driving at a frantic pace, you're visibly physically wrecked but you're so hopped up on caffeine and adrenaline that somehow you're cranking out decent work product (at least decent enough to not get yelled at) and then eventually, thankfully, the deal signs or closes or whatever.
No relief. Almost as soon as it ends, there are urgent wrap-up tasks. So emails keep buzzing, you politely excuse yourself and head home, while responding to email and phone calls. Eventually shit quiets down long enough to take sleeping pills and you fall asleep for 12 hours.

You wake up. Feel like shit. And get staffed on other stuff with people who have no idea or appreciation for how hard you've been working.

That's where I'm at. And listen, writing this out, I know how terribly unhealthy it sounds. But I do it as a caution because this is like the real expectation, and this is what really happens.

This is a really good description of life as a corporate associate during a really busy stint. You basically push your body as hard as you can until you start to worry you might have a heart-attack and then you back off. No clue how people do it with just caffeine. I would have never made it without adderall.

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homestyle28
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:46 pm

NEdelton1987 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just billed a 110 hour week (junior assoc., NYC, corp, V15).
I ended the week by billing 35 hours straight.
I'm not here to brag - I couldn't care less. I'm just really freaking tired and don't know what to do. I don't want to seem like a pansy if I push for a little down time. I mean, someone has to do the work, so if I bail, that leaves someone else stuck with the responsibility, and I'm not down with allowing that to happen.
Also curious as to how much of an outlier this is. If this is just like, a common recurrence for some people, I'll just toughen up and grind it out. But for some reason it is hard to get an objective picture beyond "that's crazy" or "that's corporate".
So, I welcome any thoughts.


OP, follow these steps:
1. don't bitch about it
2. don't feel entitled
3. reflect on all the mistakes you made over the past week (I'm sure there are many)
4. think about how you can avoid making similar mistakes again
5. repeat these steps for your next project

If you do all of these steps well, in 5 years, you will not only become a pretty good corporate lawyer but also a professional who has more control over his work and life.


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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:58 pm

NEdelton1987 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just billed a 110 hour week (junior assoc., NYC, corp, V15).
I ended the week by billing 35 hours straight.
I'm not here to brag - I couldn't care less. I'm just really freaking tired and don't know what to do. I don't want to seem like a pansy if I push for a little down time. I mean, someone has to do the work, so if I bail, that leaves someone else stuck with the responsibility, and I'm not down with allowing that to happen.
Also curious as to how much of an outlier this is. If this is just like, a common recurrence for some people, I'll just toughen up and grind it out. But for some reason it is hard to get an objective picture beyond "that's crazy" or "that's corporate".
So, I welcome any thoughts.


OP, follow these steps:
1. don't bitch about it
2. don't feel entitled
3. reflect on all the mistakes you made over the past week (I'm sure there are many)
4. think about how you can avoid making similar mistakes again
5. repeat these steps for your next project

If you do all of these steps well, in 5 years, you will not only become a pretty good corporate lawyer but also a professional who has more control over his work and life.


Ironically, people like this asshole are the primary reason why it's okay to bitch about the practice of law. It's shitty people like this that make the practice of law so uniquely hellish.

Pulsar
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Pulsar » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:03 pm

People who will take infinite amounts of shit/punishment and act like it's normal make life hard for all the sane people who suddenly start looking bad by comparison.

Is this normal in litigation? I've known attorneys to be up till 2-3 finishing motions and whatnot, and trial's crazy if that ever happens, but my impression/hope is that 110 hours is beyond the pale and that the fluctuations aren't as wild as they are in corporate. (I'm a 3L).

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homestyle28
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:15 pm

Pulsar wrote:People who will take infinite amounts of shit/punishment and act like it's normal make life hard for all the sane people who suddenly start looking bad by comparison.

Is this normal in litigation? I've known attorneys to be up till 2-3 finishing motions and whatnot, and trial's crazy if that ever happens, but my impression/hope is that 110 hours is beyond the pale and that the fluctuations aren't as wild as they are in corporate. (I'm a 3L).


Everything I've ever heard about 100 hr weeks are during trial. I mean, you basically have to have to clock running every waking moment and the only time that's close to justified in lit is during trial.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:23 pm

homestyle28 wrote:
Pulsar wrote:People who will take infinite amounts of shit/punishment and act like it's normal make life hard for all the sane people who suddenly start looking bad by comparison.

Is this normal in litigation? I've known attorneys to be up till 2-3 finishing motions and whatnot, and trial's crazy if that ever happens, but my impression/hope is that 110 hours is beyond the pale and that the fluctuations aren't as wild as they are in corporate. (I'm a 3L).


Everything I've ever heard about 100 hr weeks are during trial. I mean, you basically have to have to clock running every waking moment and the only time that's close to justified in lit is during trial.


Yeah litigation is a lot different. You can basically plan your workflow, so much more consistent weeks. 100 work weeks during trial are common enough, but trial happens maybe once every 2-3 years for a lot of groups.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can OP or people with experience doing this please give more specifics and the breakdown of how things like this go?

Do you go home at 3 am and sleep some, or do you just stay in the office and sleep on the floor? Do you immediately get to go home after the closing of everything, i.e. the end of the 35 hours straight and take the rest of the day off.

People say that this is corporate, but how frequent is this?

There's a few "typical day" threads, but can anyone with experience please detail the actual hours your day unfolds for the weeks like this.


OP here.
First of all, to the associates who have chimed in with substantive responses - thank you. I'll certainly survive, but like with lots of things, I just needed a little bit of time to take a deep breath and consider the situation. So I appreciate the perspective.

I'll answer the question above, with some detail, because I asked this question often as a law student or summer and got either vague or bullshit answers about how accommodating everyone is.

The issue is that there is too much work to possibly be done, and "it all has to be done urgently", so every waking moment possible is allocated to doing the work. So yeah, you churn and churn until 3 or 4 am. Take a car home, sleep like crap because you're body is so fucked, wake up at 8 or whatever, get back to the office and keep churning at 9:30am or so. As you do that for a number of days in a row, you get pretty loopy. So, maybe once a night you lay down on your crappy office floor and try to sleep for just 20 minutes, but that sucks too because your email keeps chiming and your phone ringing and you're body is so fucked that it is impossible to relax.
Also, tons and tons and unhealthy tons of caffeine. I honestly think with an endless supply of good caffeine, I could continue working at a decent level for much longer, but I won't have a heart attack for this job, so I have to draw a line somewhere. But I couldn't do it without caffeine pills. (At least it's not adderall.)
Also, I've learned to avoid eating much. a) you don't have time to eat b) it makes you lethargic c) you get fat really fast downing 3000 calorie Seamless meals while not moving all day.
So I eat like one meal and spread it out throughout the day and snack here and there.
For the 35 hour stretch - first you work 70 hours in 4 days. Then you start at 10am, it gets urgent, and you just keep churning and churning until 4am. Then you realize you still have a ton to do and the idea of taking 3 hours away would really throw you off, so you're like whatever, let's keep going. More caffeine.
You keep driving at a frantic pace, you're visibly physically wrecked but you're so hopped up on caffeine and adrenaline that somehow you're cranking out decent work product (at least decent enough to not get yelled at) and then eventually, thankfully, the deal signs or closes or whatever.
No relief. Almost as soon as it ends, there are urgent wrap-up tasks. So emails keep buzzing, you politely excuse yourself and head home, while responding to email and phone calls. Eventually shit quiets down long enough to take sleeping pills and you fall asleep for 12 hours.

You wake up. Feel like shit. And get staffed on other stuff with people who have no idea or appreciation for how hard you've been working.

That's where I'm at. And listen, writing this out, I know how terribly unhealthy it sounds. But I do it as a caution because this is like the real expectation, and this is what really happens.


Jeez, what group are you in. I've never heard of a 110 hour week in my corporate group (V10 - NYC). Was the deal you were on super time crunched? Seems like it must have been really poor time management if the last week before closing comes and you are ramped up to 110 hours.

On an active deal that takes a month to close, my weekly hours go something like 45 - 60 - 65 - 70, but never would I think i'd be up till 4 am everynight and end with a 35 hour straight billing session. I have friends that do M&A though, and I've heard them pull back to back all nighters. Pretty much the reason why I refuse to switch to M&A is that this is the expectation.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:20 pm

That's pretty low. I work closely with corporate people and that would mean 235 hours is a rough month. A rough month in corporate is 300. Corporate people hit 300 - it's not unheard of or really really uncommon, though not the norm.

Anonymous User
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:10 pm

OP here: Yeah, this is M&A, and yes, this was driven by atypical client demands.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:14 pm

Big Patent Shitigator here: I worked 52 hours Sun-Tues, but then haven't work an hour since to recoup. Deadlines suck but they aren't back to back.

It helps to talk to partners. I was two cases with deadlines this week. Instead of trying to bill 100 hours, I was just taken off one.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:31 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:"La la la. Everyone wants my job but they can't have it because I'm the best and I'm a douchey douche douche." -hutz and goodouche


Very sad some of the idiots on here
No, I'm not saying I'm the best or anything
A 110 hr billing week is extremely brutal I'm sure
I was just trying to put it in perspective bc people were saying the normal thing of "OMG working this much you are only making $X per hour!"

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:14 pm

There's always something worse out there but that doesn't mean it's acceptable to put up with shit like this. Unions fought to keep people from having to kill themselves for their jobs yet somehow because we're highly paid professionals we're supposed to put up with shit that would be intolerable at McDonald's?

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rpupkin
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby rpupkin » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:24 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Unions fought to keep people from having to kill themselves for their jobs yet somehow because we're highly paid professionals we're supposed to put up with shit that would be intolerable at McDonald's?

Kind of, yeah.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:29 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:"La la la. Everyone wants my job but they can't have it because I'm the best and I'm a douchey douche douche." -hutz and goodouche


Very sad some of the idiots on here
No, I'm not saying I'm the best or anything
A 110 hr billing week is extremely brutal I'm sure
I was just trying to put it in perspective bc people were saying the normal thing of "OMG working this much you are only making $X per hour!"


but the thing is how much perspective do you think you can really contribute as a law student who hasnt worked big law?

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homestyle28
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:31 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:There's always something worse out there but that doesn't mean it's acceptable to put up with shit like this. Unions fought to keep people from having to kill themselves for their jobs yet somehow because we're highly paid professionals we're supposed to put up with shit that would be intolerable at McDonald's?


You're not "putting up with it." You're getting what you bargained for when you took the job at a big firm. You don't like the hours, go work somewhere else.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:34 pm

rpupkin wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Unions fought to keep people from having to kill themselves for their jobs yet somehow because we're highly paid professionals we're supposed to put up with shit that would be intolerable at McDonald's?

Kind of, yeah.


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rpupkin
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby rpupkin » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:44 pm

Very unfair comparison, DF.

My firm doesn't give me cognac.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:03 pm

The point is "you get paid a lot" isn't much of a response to "this is psychologically and almost physically intolerable."

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:08 pm

homestyle28 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:There's always something worse out there but that doesn't mean it's acceptable to put up with shit like this. Unions fought to keep people from having to kill themselves for their jobs yet somehow because we're highly paid professionals we're supposed to put up with shit that would be intolerable at McDonald's?


You're not "putting up with it." You're getting what you bargained for when you took the job at a big firm. You don't like the hours, go work somewhere else.

And this is totally nonresponsive, unless you think "putting up with" something means "being a literal slave."

Pulsar
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Pulsar » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:43 am

homestyle28 wrote:You're not "putting up with it." You're getting what you bargained for when you took the job at a big firm. You don't like the hours, go work somewhere else.


This argument applies to literally any job. Under your logic no job no matter how shitty would ever be worth complaining about. People should just die in mine explosions because that's what they bargained for and they could have always gone and worked somewhere else. Brilliant; thanks for enlightening us.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:03 am

it makes law students feel like badasses thinking they can do something other lawyers cant. i can shuffle papers for 110 hours ina week without complaining im a better lawyer than you.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:12 am

JohannDeMann wrote:it makes law students feel like badasses thinking they can do something other lawyers cant. i can shuffle papers for 110 hours ina week without complaining im a better lawyer than you.

The really sad thing is the lawyers also think like this. It's pathetic.

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Worker and Parasite
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Worker and Parasite » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:54 am


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JohannDeMann
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:19 am

that's how i do it. the american way.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:25 pm

homestyle28 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:There's always something worse out there but that doesn't mean it's acceptable to put up with shit like this. Unions fought to keep people from having to kill themselves for their jobs yet somehow because we're highly paid professionals we're supposed to put up with shit that would be intolerable at McDonald's?


You're not "putting up with it." You're getting what you bargained for when you took the job at a big firm. You don't like the hours, go work somewhere else.


OK fair enough, except as a law student I can tell you I have never heard as detailed a description of the hours like this from anyone. And I've been looking. The problem w/ "bargained for" is that in law school and law in general everyone is an obfuscating fake smiling prick that wouldn't give an honest answer to save their lives.

I know the hours are bad, and now I know realistically how bad. So thank you to OP, and until his description is made a sticky post on the top threads, then don't say this is what K-JD's or anyone who hasn't actually worked in the field bargained for expected... because there is no way to expect it (see fake prick above).




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