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).