110 hour week

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:35 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:29% of moms don't work.

Only 63% of Americans even are in the labor force.
I think if you take 37% unemployed-7% unemployment rate, that equals 30% of Americans don't want to work.

Sure that number includes some who have given up searching. But some people who do work are also content with their modest salaries for their non 110 hr workweeks you elitist fuck. Or maybe they do like non profit work they dig. You stink.



Labor participation rate is a very misleading number - big portion of that 37% are retired, another portion are in the military (yeah they don't count them as employed for the purposes of that statistic) and many that get paid under the table.

But I get your point.....

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:29% of moms don't work.

Only 63% of Americans even are in the labor force.
I think if you take 37% unemployed-7% unemployment rate, that equals 30% of Americans don't want to work.

Sure that number includes some who have given up searching. But some people who do work are also content with their modest salaries for their non 110 hr workweeks you elitist fuck. Or maybe they do like non profit work they dig. You stink.



Labor participation rate is a very misleading number - big portion of that 37% are retired, another portion are in the military (yeah they don't count them as employed for the purposes of that statistic) and many folks work and get paid under the table - so they appear to be unemployed as well.

But I get your point.....

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Desert Fox
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:44 pm

I think it is bullshit to say that this is what you are getting paid for.

No firm, when recruiting, says "hey bro, I'm going to purposely ruin your weekends because I wait on stuff then sudddenly create a deadline for monday AM." Or "Hey, bro, I'm going to force you to work for 25% over the already high minimum billable requirement."

It is a pretty hard bait and switch.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:47 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I think it is bullshit to say that this is what you are getting paid for.

No firm, when recruiting, says "hey bro, I'm going to purposely ruin your weekends because I wait on stuff then sudddenly create a deadline for monday AM." Or "Hey, bro, I'm going to force you to work for 25% over the already high minimum billable requirement."

It is a pretty hard bait and switch.


OP here: Yeah, it's not what you are getting paid for. Especially when you consider that you could a) work so much less or b) make so much more (in economic terms) by doing something simple like switching to a calmer group or lower cost of living area. So you wonder what the extra consideration might be that would make it worth it to work so much more than your peers. I think it is some really amorphous concept of opportunity and learning experience, but then you wonder whether those are worth the sacrifice. I don't think anyone can answer that.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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).


OP here. Yeah, I debated on writing this because I don't want to sound macho-hours-braggy because that is really ignorant, and I don't mean to be complaining, but I think this is necessary as a PSA. My impression - from associates in this thread and from others in M&A - is that 100 hours, or overnighters, are not unheard of - as in, everyone experiences them.

But when you ask about them during recruiting or mentoring sessions or whatever, you get really crappy vague or completely incorrect comments about a) how the firm will make sure you're not over-worked because it is in their best interest not to grind you down (maybe true, but much more important to satisfy client demands), b) how you can relax the day after an all-nighter (usually not true - the only reason you're pulling an all-nighter in the first place is because shit is crazy and it's not like you can just suddenly call it quits at 9am) or c) you can take vacation to recover (maybe true, but it's not like you can get through a 100 hour week and suddenly peace out for a week without advance notice).

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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).


OP here. Yeah, I debated on writing this because I don't want to sound macho-hours-braggy because that is really ignorant, and I don't mean to be complaining, but I think this is necessary as a PSA. My impression - from associates in this thread and from others in M&A - is that 100 hours, or overnighters, are not unheard of - as in, everyone experiences them.

But when you ask about them during recruiting or mentoring sessions or whatever, you get really crappy vague or completely incorrect comments about a) how the firm will make sure you're not over-worked because it is in their best interest not to grind you down (maybe true, but much more important to satisfy client demands), b) how you can relax the day after an all-nighter (usually not true - the only reason you're pulling an all-nighter in the first place is because shit is crazy and it's not like you can just suddenly call it quits at 9am) or c) you can take vacation to recover (maybe true, but it's not like you can get through a 100 hour week and suddenly peace out for a week without advance notice).



The issue is that even working 70 hours on the reg really fucking blows.

bjohnsobf
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Re: 110 hour week

Postby bjohnsobf » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:30 pm

holy shit I'm never leaving my fed gig, fuck money it aint worth that

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:34 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.


I agree with the sentiment that OP brought this on himself, but his experience is not what people categorically sign up for by taking jobs in BigLaw. 110 hours in a week is an extreme outlier. I don't care where you work, it is not ever "expected" of anyone to have to work that much unless it absolutely necessary. The whole point of working in a firm is so huge projects can be distributed among people of roughly equal talent. One person shouldn't be getting arbitrarily fucked with a week from hell like this without some extreme circumstances.

That being said, that is not at all what happened to OP. His working 110 hours in one week was just a poor choice he made, from all indications.

Anonymous User wrote: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...

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.


No, buddy, this is what really happens to people who go K-JD and come into BigLaw without any idea how to manage the expectations of others. This isn't school anymore; you don't just blindly accept every assignment thrown your way and think that someone, somewhere has sat down and planned out a syllabus for your workload over the next week and determined that you have enough time to get it done. Even at firms where there are assigning partners or some other formal assignment system instead of hallway staffing, it is principally incumbent on you to manage your own workflow.

If you've already billed 75 hours by Wednesday and someone calls to staff you to something else, you politely explain that you're already at capacity. If they persist, you tell them that you'll try but it's unlikely the work will get done by the deadline because of your preexisting obligations to other matters. If someone says "I absolutely need this by Saturday" and getting it done means working 100+ hours, you say that you need help to make it happen by Saturday. If they tell you that everyone else is already working 100+ hours to get it done, that's when you suck it up and jump into the trenches with everyone else and pull your weight. From what it sounds like, right now you're basically throwing yourself on grenades for no apparent reason and wondering why people aren't impressed. Here's a hint, people respect work ethic, not workaholism.

I'm not saying strive for 40 hour weeks, but pretending you're superman and can handle anything thrown at you is just stupid. If you keep this up, you're going to blow a hard deadline (or turn something in that's SPS at a hard deadline), and no one is going to want to hear your excuses.

The reality is the average associate at the majority of V10s bills right around 2,000 hours a year. By and large, signing up for BigLaw means signing up for 45-55 hour weeks with a smattering of 60-70 hour weeks, and that's if you take all of your vacation (without billing on those days). 100+ hour weeks that don't involve substantial travel time charges are exceedingly rare, and almost always the product of someone failing to upwardly manage expectations (and yes, I understand sometimes that someone is the partner who promised a near impossible timetable to a client).

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Cogburn87 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:24 pm

Some weird victim blaming going on ITT.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:43 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
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.


I agree with the sentiment that OP brought this on himself, but his experience is not what people categorically sign up for by taking jobs in BigLaw. 110 hours in a week is an extreme outlier. I don't care where you work, it is not ever "expected" of anyone to have to work that much unless it absolutely necessary. The whole point of working in a firm is so huge projects can be distributed among people of roughly equal talent. One person shouldn't be getting arbitrarily fucked with a week from hell like this without some extreme circumstances.

That being said, that is not at all what happened to OP. His working 110 hours in one week was just a poor choice he made, from all indications.

Anonymous User wrote: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...

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.


No, buddy, this is what really happens to people who go K-JD and come into BigLaw without any idea how to manage the expectations of others. This isn't school anymore; you don't just blindly accept every assignment thrown your way and think that someone, somewhere has sat down and planned out a syllabus for your workload over the next week and determined that you have enough time to get it done. Even at firms where there are assigning partners or some other formal assignment system instead of hallway staffing, it is principally incumbent on you to manage your own workflow.

If you've already billed 75 hours by Wednesday and someone calls to staff you to something else, you politely explain that you're already at capacity. If they persist, you tell them that you'll try but it's unlikely the work will get done by the deadline because of your preexisting obligations to other matters. If someone says "I absolutely need this by Saturday" and getting it done means working 100+ hours, you say that you need help to make it happen by Saturday. If they tell you that everyone else is already working 100+ hours to get it done, that's when you suck it up and jump into the trenches with everyone else and pull your weight. From what it sounds like, right now you're basically throwing yourself on grenades for no apparent reason and wondering why people aren't impressed. Here's a hint, people respect work ethic, not workaholism.

I'm not saying strive for 40 hour weeks, but pretending you're superman and can handle anything thrown at you is just stupid. If you keep this up, you're going to blow a hard deadline (or turn something in that's SPS at a hard deadline), and no one is going to want to hear your excuses.

The reality is the average associate at the majority of V10s bills right around 2,000 hours a year. By and large, signing up for BigLaw means signing up for 45-55 hour weeks with a smattering of 60-70 hour weeks, and that's if you take all of your vacation (without billing on those days). 100+ hour weeks that don't involve substantial travel time charges are exceedingly rare, and almost always the product of someone failing to upwardly manage expectations (and yes, I understand sometimes that someone is the partner who promised a near impossible timetable to a client).


OP here: What an interesting reaction. I'm not really interested in getting into a debate on this, because you seem pretty convinced of what is happening in my life, but I can tell you that most of what you've written above is not accurate, and makes me question whether you have very much familiarity in this setting.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:46 pm

i think data of average 1st and 2nd year associate hours at the V10 would strongly disagree that it is 2000. Im pretty sure less than 2100 would put you in the bottom quartile.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:50 pm

At my V50, the median is over 2000 when you include pro rating and stuff like that. A V10 that has substantially more RPL would have to be well over 2000. I'm guessing any average that is under 2000 is including part timers, maternity leavers, and people just waiting to get fired.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Frayed Knot » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: What an interesting reaction. I'm not really interested in getting into a debate on this, because you seem pretty convinced of what is happening in my life, but I can tell you that most of what you've written above is not accurate, and makes me question whether you have very much familiarity in this setting.


I'd be interested in hearing where this is off-base about your life, OP. Is it that you try to communicate your workload to others and they don't get it? Or don't care? Or that you find yourself in situations where you're really the only one who can do the work (e.g., because of a small team/specialized roles)? Or something else?
Last edited by Frayed Knot on Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby gk101 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At my V50, the median is over 2000 when you include pro rating and stuff like that. A V10 that has substantially more RPL would have to be well over 2000. I'm guessing any average that is under 2000 is including part timers, maternity leavers, and people just waiting to get fired.


yeah the average number of hours worked that firms put out is such horseshit.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:08 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:i think data of average 1st and 2nd year associate hours at the V10 would strongly disagree that it is 2000. Im pretty sure less than 2100 would put you in the bottom quartile.


I work at a V10. They give us the data for our firm annually and going back 4 years before that. Mean and median. 2014 was an all time high for us in every financial category and neither number was over 2100. Can't imagine why they'd lie to us. They also told us we're in line with our peer firms.

Edit: To be clear, yeah I get the whole theoretical appeal of appearing as a "lifestyle firm" in recruiting materials. This isn't that kind of firm outwardly, and certainly not internally. And this isn't PR fluff for wide distribution either, it's the information that is presented at in-house "state of the firm" events. I don't see what would be gained by downplaying how much associates are working to other associates. If anything, I'd think they'd inflate the numbers to push people step it up and not feel like slackers.

Anonymous User wrote:At my V50, the median is over 2000 when you include pro rating and stuff like that. A V10 that has substantially more RPL would have to be well over 2000. I'm guessing any average that is under 2000 is including part timers, maternity leavers, and people just waiting to get fired.


Dat billing rate privilege. I don't recall whether they excluded associates from those categories or not, but at worst it just demonstrates that the people billing 2800-3000 hours are outliers also relatively few in number since they don't move the needle the other way.
Last edited by KidStuddi on Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:19 pm

KidStuddi wrote:I work at a V10. They give us the data for our firm annually and going back 4 years before that. Mean and median. 2014 was an all time high for us in every financial category and neither number was over 2100. Can't imagine why they'd lie to us. They also told us we're in line with our peer firms.





That average includes niche groups who bill like 1600-1800 and as previously stated - I'm guessing any average that is under 2000 is including part timers, maternity leavers, and people just waiting to get fired.

Also, OP is in corporate. Corporate usually is good for an extra couple hundred of hours.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:22 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
Dat billing rate privilege. I don't recall whether they excluded associates from those categories or not, but at worst it just demonstrates that the people billing 2800-3000 hours are outliers also relatively few in number since they don't move the needle the other way.


This is a CLASSIC. People billing 2800-3000 are outliers! Don't worry about those numbers. No shit they are outliers. That is barely humanly possible. The fact firms even have this is at all should be raising a major wtf flag.

Youre talking 70 hour weeks in the office with 0 vacation to get those numbers.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:32 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:That average includes niche groups who bill like 1600-1800 and as previously stated - I'm guessing any average that is under 2000 is including part timers, maternity leavers, and people just waiting to get fired.

Also, OP is in corporate. Corporate usually is good for an extra couple hundred of hours.


As I said before, mean and median were presented. Your guess might be accurate, but it doesn't change the significance of the median being below 2100.

And yes, I understand that OP is in M&A. M&A is a very large part of what my firm does and we're pretty good at it. The M&A hours are counted in the averages too (and they don't actually bill more hours annually than our litigation folks, they just tend to have worse hours because they have slow months / downtime between deals).

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:34 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:i think data of average 1st and 2nd year associate hours at the V10 would strongly disagree that it is 2000. Im pretty sure less than 2100 would put you in the bottom quartile.


I work at a V10. They give us the data for our firm annually and going back 4 years before that. Mean and median. 2014 was an all time high for us in every financial category and neither number was over 2100. Can't imagine why they'd lie to us. They also told us we're in line with our peer firms.

Edit: To be clear, yeah I get the whole theoretical appeal of appearing as a "lifestyle firm" in recruiting materials. This isn't that kind of firm outwardly, and certainly not internally. And this isn't PR fluff for wide distribution either, it's the information that is presented at in-house "state of the firm" events. I don't see what would be gained by downplaying how much associates are working to other associates. If anything, I'd think they'd inflate the numbers to push people step it up and not feel like slackers.

Anonymous User wrote:At my V50, the median is over 2000 when you include pro rating and stuff like that. A V10 that has substantially more RPL would have to be well over 2000. I'm guessing any average that is under 2000 is including part timers, maternity leavers, and people just waiting to get fired.


Dat billing rate privilege. I don't recall whether they excluded associates from those categories or not, but at worst it just demonstrates that the people billing 2800-3000 hours are outliers also relatively few in number since they don't move the needle the other way.


I'm sure 2800+ is pretty much an outlier.

But I don't think effective billing rates can explain the entire gap in RPL. Ours is 430 for first years / 630 4th / 725 6th / 1050 ish for partners on average with leeway, with 81% realization rate.

What does a V10 look like.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:39 pm

JohannDeMann wrote: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.


235 hours is a pretty bad month. You said you work closely with corporate, but aren't in corporate. Trust me, those 235 hours come at random times, especially when signing papers or getting pre-closing tasks finalized. 300 hours is absolutely brutal, but don't say 235 hours isn't rough. When I bill 70 hours, I am usually working/at work for over 100 hours a week, that is pretty bad.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:43 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
Dat billing rate privilege. I don't recall whether they excluded associates from those categories or not, but at worst it just demonstrates that the people billing 2800-3000 hours are outliers also relatively few in number since they don't move the needle the other way.


This is a CLASSIC. People billing 2800-3000 are outliers! Don't worry about those numbers. No shit they are outliers. That is barely humanly possible. The fact firms even have this is at all should be raising a smajor wtf flag.

Youre talking 70 hour weeks in the office with 0 vacation to get those numbers.


Uh, do you not understand how averages work? Your argument was that the few people each year who take maternity leave are skewing the numbers for an entire firm. I pointed out that the exact same can be made about people working significantly more than ~2000 hours too. The point being to highlight that both groups are relatively small and the vast majority of associates at my firm are billing around 2,000 hours per year.

Also, 2800 is not "barely humanly possible." That's billing less than 60 hours per week for 48 weeks. That's relatively mild compared to some of the shit strivers do around here.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:But I don't think effective billing rates can explain the entire gap in RPL. Ours is 430 for first years / 630 4th / 725 6th / 1050 ish for partners on average with leeway, with 81% realization rate.

What does a V10 look like.


Feel free to PM me if you want to know our rates, but I've probably dropped enough identifying information for one thread. Realization is >90% though. That 10% difference is, at the scale of our firms, potentially %90-100M right there.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote: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.


235 hours is a pretty bad month. You said you work closely with corporate, but aren't in corporate. Trust me, those 235 hours come at random times, especially when signing papers or getting pre-closing tasks finalized. 300 hours is absolutely brutal, but don't say 235 hours isn't rough. When I bill 70 hours, I am usually working/at work for over 100 hours a week, that is pretty bad.


Yes, I agree 235 is rough as far as work goes. I meant its not rough in that corporate people probably have 235 hour months 6 months a year. Somone said 235 is a particularly rough month as in corporate people don't work more.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:17 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
Dat billing rate privilege. I don't recall whether they excluded associates from those categories or not, but at worst it just demonstrates that the people billing 2800-3000 hours are outliers also relatively few in number since they don't move the needle the other way.


This is a CLASSIC. People billing 2800-3000 are outliers! Don't worry about those numbers. No shit they are outliers. That is barely humanly possible. The fact firms even have this is at all should be raising a smajor wtf flag.

Youre talking 70 hour weeks in the office with 0 vacation to get those numbers.


Uh, do you not understand how averages work? Your argument was that the few people each year who take maternity leave are skewing the numbers for an entire firm. I pointed out that the exact same can be made about people working significantly more than ~2000 hours too. The point being to highlight that both groups are relatively small and the vast majority of associates at my firm are billing around 2,000 hours per year.

Also, 2800 is not "barely humanly possible." That's billing less than 60 hours per week for 48 weeks. That's relatively mild compared to some of the shit strivers do around here.


Nice job. In the same post of trying to claim your firm doesn't sweatshop you (Life is chill here mane. Just don't look at those guys billing 3k hours a year!), you also note that 2800 is "relatively mild" and there are strivers far exceeding this. You are sociopath and your firm is full of sociopaths. Sorry you have low standards for what life should be like.

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Re: 110 hour week

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:24 pm

It's crazy to me how hard it is to get someone to agree that billing 110 hours in a week blows. How much would it suck to work 110 hours in a week? A lot. It needs no qualifying. But thats another reason (in addition to working 110 hours) why law sucks - because you're around insufferable people who have to disagree about everything - including that working 110 hours in a single week sucks.




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