Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

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ticklemesilly

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Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby ticklemesilly » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:13 am

What's striking to me is the number of people who have told me in person that they enjoy their Biglaw jobs, versus the general sentiment on this board, which seems to be that all Biglaw firms are one and the same lifestyle-wise and that it's a safe bet to assume us future Biglaw associates are in for a miserable time.

It's possible that everyone I talked to was trying to sell me on a firm, but some of these people were no longer employed in Biglaw or affiliated with their former firms. Why the disconnect?

Anyone out there actually enjoy their job?

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:46 am

There's no disconnect. People who do recruiting have to say they love their job. They have to play up how interesting it is and how nice a culture their firm has and how you'd fit in so great there and have a wonderful experience; that doesn't make any of it true. TLS can be overly pessimistic, but its far more accurate than the recruiting pitches you'll get doing OCI or networking events.

I personally don't hate my firm or my job, but 1) I am at a somewhat unique place, and 2) I could only take this sort of environment with constant pressure for a limited amount of time, knowing that I have an out, and I'm most likely going to leave biglaw as soon as I've paid off my loans.

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Toni V

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Toni V » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:16 am

ticklemesilly wrote:Anyone out there actually enjoy their job?


Sure. The work is usually interesting. The associates and partners work very well together. Plus, I can’t compliment the support staffs enough. The hours are often longer than I’d like but it’s somewhat offset with four weeks of vacation (which can be spread out). I rarely dread going to work. I am obviously much happier when I can leave after 8-9 hours without bringing work home.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby SLS_AMG » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:There's no disconnect. People who do recruiting have to say they love their job. They have to play up how interesting it is and how nice a culture their firm has and how you'd fit in so great there and have a wonderful experience; that doesn't make any of it true. TLS can be overly pessimistic, but its far more accurate than the recruiting pitches you'll get doing OCI or networking events.

I personally don't hate my firm or my job, but 1) I am at a somewhat unique place, and 2) I could only take this sort of environment with constant pressure for a limited amount of time, knowing that I have an out, and I'm most likely going to leave biglaw as soon as I've paid off my loans.


Honestly, people on TLS are just bitchy and believe they deserve a six-figure salary for a 40-hour-per-week job. There's some combination of people who just need to vent, others who just love to hear themselves speak/see themselves write, a third group that has totally unreasonable expectations, and a fourth group that is just whiny and insufferable. Sadly, there are a lot of whiny, insufferable lawyers.

Is big law the most fun thing in the world? No. But there are a small group of posters on here that whine incessantly and make it seem worse than it is.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:14 am

I subscribe to a certain work-life philosophy. Unless you are incredibly lucky in life, you will have three out of four things at most: (1) you'll like your pay; (2) you'll like your work; (3) you'll like the people with whom you work; and (4) you'll like your hours. My BigLaw job fits three of the four, and it's about the most I can ask for at this stage of my career -- I do lots of interesting work, like the people I work with, and obviously the salary is great. The hours can be better (the last few months have been rough), but it is what it is. I know some BigLaw folks who have only two of the four (pay/work or pay/people), and some who have only one of the four (pay).

V50 mid-level lit associate, if that matters.

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:28 am

Anon above

Would you mind Pm'ing me? I have some questions and I have specifically been looking to chat with someone like you who has a similar work-life philsophy and works in big law.
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby deepseapartners » Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:56 am

I wouldn't ask this question again OP. Just search through old threads, this topic gets brought up every now and then, and you'll see that there are some (usually lit) associates who like their jobs just fine, no one loves it, and the majority of people dislike their biglaw gigs to various degrees.

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Clearly

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Clearly » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:23 am

Oh another one of these

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Clearly

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Clearly » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:27 am

SLS_AMG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:There's no disconnect. People who do recruiting have to say they love their job. They have to play up how interesting it is and how nice a culture their firm has and how you'd fit in so great there and have a wonderful experience; that doesn't make any of it true. TLS can be overly pessimistic, but its far more accurate than the recruiting pitches you'll get doing OCI or networking events.

I personally don't hate my firm or my job, but 1) I am at a somewhat unique place, and 2) I could only take this sort of environment with constant pressure for a limited amount of time, knowing that I have an out, and I'm most likely going to leave biglaw as soon as I've paid off my loans.


Honestly, people on TLS are just bitchy and believe they deserve a six-figure salary for a 40-hour-per-week job. There's some combination of people who just need to vent, others who just love to hear themselves speak/see themselves write, a third group that has totally unreasonable expectations, and a fourth group that is just whiny and insufferable. Sadly, there are a lot of whiny, insufferable lawyers.

Is big law the most fun thing in the world? No. But there are a small group of posters on here that whine incessantly and make it seem worse than it is.

I'm a 3L so I'm not gonna speculate on these things. I am curious though how long you have been working in big law. It's so unanimously despised here that I'd be shocked to see anyone more than 2 years deep write this post.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:48 am

ticklemesilly wrote:What's striking to me is the number of people who have told me in person that they enjoy their Biglaw jobs, versus the general sentiment on this board, which seems to be that all Biglaw firms are one and the same lifestyle-wise and that it's a safe bet to assume us future Biglaw associates are in for a miserable time.

It's possible that everyone I talked to was trying to sell me on a firm, but some of these people were no longer employed in Biglaw or affiliated with their former firms. Why the disconnect?

Anyone out there actually enjoy their job?


If I told you in person and wasn't good friends with you I'd probably give you a rosy picture too. No one likes a whiner.

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sayan

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby sayan » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:57 am

Part self selection, part uninhibited honesty courtesy of internet anonymity.

Apart from some trolls, nobody on here has an agenda one way or another to discourage or encourage you to go into big law. But similarly, the people who love their jobs are probably working around the clock and don't have any inclination to post on TLS. The big law burn outs are more likely to come on here and commiserate with their fellow big lawlers.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:50 am

If you think you're going to be the happy unicorn, just know that the odds are against you. I'd estimate something like 1 out of 10 to 15 biglaw associates actually "like" or are "okay" with their job. The other 90% or so dislike/hate it.

There's a reason why associate attorney is the #1 unhappiest job in America....

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... n_america/

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby nealric » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:03 am

I used to be in biglaw. I won't say it was perfect or that I loved every minute of it, but overall I think it was a good job. My firm treated me well. It set me up well for my in-house career, and I'm glad I did law school and big law.

I'm in Tax, which may be one reason my experience differs from others. There's a lot less mindless grunt work in tax than in general Corporate/Lit practices, and hours tend to be a bit steadier (if not necessary fewer).

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:31 am

Clearly wrote:
SLS_AMG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:There's no disconnect. People who do recruiting have to say they love their job. They have to play up how interesting it is and how nice a culture their firm has and how you'd fit in so great there and have a wonderful experience; that doesn't make any of it true. TLS can be overly pessimistic, but its far more accurate than the recruiting pitches you'll get doing OCI or networking events.

I personally don't hate my firm or my job, but 1) I am at a somewhat unique place, and 2) I could only take this sort of environment with constant pressure for a limited amount of time, knowing that I have an out, and I'm most likely going to leave biglaw as soon as I've paid off my loans.


Honestly, people on TLS are just bitchy and believe they deserve a six-figure salary for a 40-hour-per-week job. There's some combination of people who just need to vent, others who just love to hear themselves speak/see themselves write, a third group that has totally unreasonable expectations, and a fourth group that is just whiny and insufferable. Sadly, there are a lot of whiny, insufferable lawyers.

Is big law the most fun thing in the world? No. But there are a small group of posters on here that whine incessantly and make it seem worse than it is.

I'm a 3L so I'm not gonna speculate on these things. I am curious though how long you have been working in big law. It's so unanimously despised here that I'd be shocked to see anyone more than 2 years deep write this post.


Lol he a prob a law student. This forum is mostly dumb law students trying to justify their decisions.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:
ticklemesilly wrote:What's striking to me is the number of people who have told me in person that they enjoy their Biglaw jobs, versus the general sentiment on this board, which seems to be that all Biglaw firms are one and the same lifestyle-wise and that it's a safe bet to assume us future Biglaw associates are in for a miserable time.

It's possible that everyone I talked to was trying to sell me on a firm, but some of these people were no longer employed in Biglaw or affiliated with their former firms. Why the disconnect?

Anyone out there actually enjoy their job?


If I told you in person and wasn't good friends with you I'd probably give you a rosy picture too. No one likes a whiner.


Biglaw associate here. Had lunch with a friend from another firm about 6 months in. Asked him what he thought of the work. He said "Oh it's fine." I said "I hate it." He responds "Yeah me too! It's miserable." This is very common ime. Some people can't handle negativity so best not to complain if you don't know someone well.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:39 am

One year in and I like mine -- I think it helps to do something like bankruptcy or tax as opposed to general lit or corp.

If you can, it's also "fun" to do pro bono that's completely different from your billable work.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:40 am

whysoseriousbiglaw wrote:If you think you're going to be the happy unicorn, just know that the odds are against you. I'd estimate something like 1 out of 10 to 15 biglaw associates actually "like" or are "okay" with their job. The other 90% or so dislike/hate it.

There's a reason why associate attorney is the #1 unhappiest job in America....

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... n_america/


This is so true. Lawyer dominates those surveys. That's as close to objective evidence as you'll find that law is shittier than other white collar jobs even if some 3L's anecdotes say otherwise.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby misterjames » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:10 pm

this is obviously anecdotal, but from what I can tell with my own friends and network is that the people who work in big firms in practice areas they sought out early on tend to enjoy the work, while those who simply went to a big firm just for money and prestige tend to hate the work. but that makes sense, right? like I have one friend who loves IP and wanted it from day 1 of law school, now he's at a big firm doing it and having a blast. alternatively I have two friends doing securities lit at two different firms, one of them really wanted securities lit and the other just wanted a high paying job. the former loves her work and the latter hates it and already wants out, despite the fact that they're both doing substantially the same work and hours. just like any other job if you enjoy what you do you'll find that the benefits outweigh the downsides.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby patentlitigatrix » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:46 pm

Toni V wrote:
ticklemesilly wrote:Anyone out there actually enjoy their job?


Sure. The work is usually interesting. The associates and partners work very well together. Plus, I can’t compliment the support staffs enough. The hours are often longer than I’d like but it’s somewhat offset with four weeks of vacation (which can be spread out). I rarely dread going to work. I am obviously much happier when I can leave after 8-9 hours without bringing work home.


Yeah, this. I like my job alright. Plus the pay helps.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:57 pm

Notice a lot of anonymous posters trying to discredit posters that say they like their job. I'm one year into a general corporate practice. I've done a couple big public mergers over the span of a couple months, with crushing hours and all, and I still like my job. Maybe it's different in NYC. I've been leaving at 6 recently and haven't been bugged on the weekend at all because things have slowed down. Makes that 180k, going on 190k, pretty sweet.

Honestly there are some horrible people and horrible practice groups out there, lots of them. I think a lot of people get stuck in those and can't believe it's different anywhere else or don't want to believe that. Also a lot of people have unrealistic expectations.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:17 pm

Job is fine. I get paid a shitload of money. People are nice. I work too much, occasionally on short notice at inconvenient times, and I wouldn't do this for the rest of my life. Biggest tip I can offer (for lit): Make yourself invaluable on a couple of cases by mastering the facts or a particular issue and your experience will improve immeasurably.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:19 pm

Hated NYC (I like to go home, go outside, and do other things), perfectly tolerable in a tertiary market, would have preferred to have not gone to law school (prestigious UG, and could have had lots of less hours driven, more mobile, more academic options - have applied to non-law, but NYC-based IBD seems the only option, and I am too old for that now), but it's not so bad (though I am not on the major-market scale anymore).

Full disclosure, I work in a niche corporate practice, I think lit (particular fact driven lit) is potentially very interesting and a great job, but I despise courtrooms/procedure and gave a less than stellar law school performance (wish I looked into the courtroom/procedure thing before 1L).

*Pro-tip, I have regular calls with NYC-based partners and they work like dogs (and some genuinely love it, but dogs nonetheless), it's not a matter of putting in the hours, for real success, it is a matter of loving the hours that you put in (and then doubling those hours).

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:44 pm

misterjames wrote:this is obviously anecdotal, but from what I can tell with my own friends and network is that the people who work in big firms in practice areas they sought out early on tend to enjoy the work, while those who simply went to a big firm just for money and prestige tend to hate the work. but that makes sense, right? like I have one friend who loves IP and wanted it from day 1 of law school, now he's at a big firm doing it and having a blast. alternatively I have two friends doing securities lit at two different firms, one of them really wanted securities lit and the other just wanted a high paying job. the former loves her work and the latter hates it and already wants out, despite the fact that they're both doing substantially the same work and hours. just like any other job if you enjoy what you do you'll find that the benefits outweigh the downsides.


I'd agree with this as a miserable corporate biglaw associate. And if you're not sure what you want, go with general lit and try to figure it out from there. Very few people like doing paperwork for a living with no real prospect for improvement, and that's really what a corporate career involves outside the specialty groups like tax. Being unsure and taking corporate for exit options is a massive mistake and probably leads to a lot of the misery. It's ok as a summer and when you're a junior because the money's good, but eventually you'll tire of being a glorified paralegal. The vast majority of the negative posts that criticize the substance of the work rather than the hours seem to be corporate associates.

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby ticklemesilly » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:03 pm

Thanks for all the answers!

I'm interested to know why some have mentioned that tax and bankruptcy tend to be more satisfying areas than general corporate. Anyone care to elaborate?

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Re: Does anyone like their Biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:28 pm

ticklemesilly wrote:Thanks for all the answers!

I'm interested to know why some have mentioned that tax and bankruptcy tend to be more satisfying areas than general corporate. Anyone care to elaborate?


I'm in tax so biased but it seems almost universally regarded as one of the best groups. (1) the hours tend to be smoother and maybe lower overall and (2) you get to do a variety of tasks. Sometimes you're marking up documents like a corporate associate, sometimes you're doing very in-depth research and writing nuts-and-bolts memos, sometimes you're drafting policy arguments or tracking legislative developments, sometimes you're applying for letter rulings or drafting opinions. All that being said, the vast majority of people who enroll in law school would hate it. It's very detail-oriented and statute-based.

I think bankruptcy tends to be the same way in that there's lots of different stuff going on but once it falls into the "bankruptcy" bucket, then other groups tend to steer clear. So you get a wide variety of stuff. BK is a lot more lit- and procedural-focused than transactional tax though.



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