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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:02 am
by Tiago Splitter
So glad I didn't choose Lincoln's firm.

Market: CA
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: M&A, Cap Markets
Week: 90
Month: 210
Year: 1500

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:32 am
by OutCold
NY Biglaw
Lit - White Collar

Week: 100
Month: 300
Year: Wasn't there for a full year before clerking, but was on pace for 3000.

As someone else mentioned, the part that made this difficult was the fact that a four month period looked like 240 - 250 - 300 - 250. One busy month isn't terrible in isolation.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:16 pm
by RaceJudicata
What is worse: a single 125 hour week (which seems insane, but someone above had a few) OR Back to back 270-300 ish months? I suppose the 127 is pure adrenaline at some point (sad! adrenaline to draft/review documents...but nonetheless, adrenaline).

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:30 pm
by dixiecupdrinking
RaceJudicata wrote:What is worse: a single 125 hour week (which seems insane, but someone above had a few) OR Back to back 270-300 ish months? I suppose the 127 is pure adrenaline at some point (sad! adrenaline to draft/review documents...but nonetheless, adrenaline).

125 if you're billing travel time, though maybe that's cheating.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:07 pm
by Anonymous User
Market: CA
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: Tech Transactions
Week: 68
Month: 232
Year: 2253

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:16 pm
by 2014
RaceJudicata wrote:What is worse: a single 125 hour week (which seems insane, but someone above had a few) OR Back to back 270-300 ish months? I suppose the 127 is pure adrenaline at some point (sad! adrenaline to draft/review documents...but nonetheless, adrenaline).

Functionally everyone in this job is capable of mentally and physically bunkering down for a crazy week, probably a month. Stacking crazy months back to back is where people start to quickly lose stamina and the lack of balance catches up in a big way.

TL;DR - absolutely back to back busy months is worse IMO

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:29 pm
by Anonymous User
Honestly, the worst I've had it is 240 and 190 back to back and by the end I was completely burned out. Not sure how people on here pull these kinds of hours for months on end. Do you guys seriously not value free time at all? How bad does your mental and physical health get? For me, i was literally having panic attacks and insomnia from the stress and constant work. Can you guys just crush through months of this shit and not be affected? I already told myself that if I have 200+ hours in a row at any point this year i'm calling it quits and never looking back. At the end of the day the money isn't worth it.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:49 pm
by masque du pantsu
Anonymous User wrote:Honestly, the worst I've had it is 240 and 190 back to back and by the end I was completely burned out. Not sure how people on here pull these kinds of hours for months on end. Do you guys seriously not value free time at all? How bad does your mental and physical health get? For me, i was literally having panic attacks and insomnia from the stress and constant work. Can you guys just crush through months of this shit and not be affected? I already told myself that if I have 200+ hours in a row at any point this year i'm calling it quits and never looking back. At the end of the day the money isn't worth it.


Couple of options i think:

1. People who no longer have access to their time records (because moved jobs) could be overestimating their time (based on a sort of "suckiness bias" if you will); not saying they are lying or exaggerating, but it might feel like more than it is.

2. You might be UNDERestimating your time, because the time records will tab for you your longest week and longest month if you scroll through to look, but not your longest 7-day period or longest 30-day period. Like, if Wednesday to Thursday was really busy but you signed Friday morning and then went home, just looking week-by-week wouldn't really show the impact. Same with months. Like my biggest week was 108 something but biggest 7-day period's at least 35 hours higher because of the shit weekend that preceded it.

3. Not all big months are created equal. If the first three weeks are on pace for 350 but the final week is light, you might be able to do more of them in a row because there are built-in "breaks" of sorts that aren't shown in the numbers

4. Some people clearly just have higher tolerance for this kinda thing. People who enjoy it generally can take more of it.

5. You might be looking at outliers, even in our profession. I work at a firm that has a hard sweatshop reputation and some people in this thread would be in the top 1% of billers, most of the time.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:00 pm
by dixiecupdrinking
I do think some people in here are full of shit. 120 hours a week or multiple 300 hour months in a row is insane.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:30 pm
by masque du pantsu
Kind of agree. Also note sometimes this includes travel. Like my giant week i just referenced above didn't include travel, but it did include time i was at an opposing law firm's offices overnight (twice) where fuck if i'm not billing the whole damn time even though we were doing nothing, just waiting around. If at my office, i wouldnt' bill for the time i'm napping.

anyway you get the idea

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:06 pm
by glitched
dixiecupdrinking wrote:I do think some people in here are full of shit. 120 hours a week or multiple 300 hour months in a row is insane.


Seriously. Though I have friends who in their second month of their stub year claim that they billed 350+. I asked what the hell could you possibly be doing to fill that many hours? Doc review apparently. And "some motion practice." But then again...I can't find any incentive to lie... especially since we weren't even working at the same firm...

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:38 pm
by Pokemon
Anonymous User wrote:
masque du pantsu wrote:I'll jump in, why not--everyone loves a good billing horror story

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: M&A
Week: 108.9
Month: 309.6
Year: 2653

Lesson here is to take your vacation days: As you can see, I've had some weeks and months that have been pretty rough but my worst year was not great but also not intolerable. Also finding good teams of reasonable, humane people to work for will make the bad months much less bad. I sort of like the up-and-down nature of it, where you work around the clock for a week and then don't even come in for days after it signs, without the excitement i can't stay engaged. If i had a position with seven hours of reasonable work, research, writing, advice, etc., i would be bored and just procrastinate all day. Couldn't do it.


Honestly, there is no lesson here other than "This is how bad it can be". Seems like you were meant to do this job if 2653 hours is not intolerable. After two months i'd be gone.

Mine is only this - and I had to quit my first firm because I was burnt out:

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: Finance
Week: 78
Month: 350
Year: 1930


How can you have a month of 350 yet top week 78? That makes no sense.

Anyway, worse week I am guessing around 85 hours. Worse month, around 280, but before that month was 250 and after 220.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:49 pm
by Anonymous User
2014 wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:What is worse: a single 125 hour week (which seems insane, but someone above had a few) OR Back to back 270-300 ish months? I suppose the 127 is pure adrenaline at some point (sad! adrenaline to draft/review documents...but nonetheless, adrenaline).

Functionally everyone in this job is capable of mentally and physically bunkering down for a crazy week, probably a month. Stacking crazy months back to back is where people start to quickly lose stamina and the lack of balance catches up in a big way.

TL;DR - absolutely back to back busy months is worse IMO


I'm the poster who worked multiple non-consecutive weeks above 125 hours and I agree. In a 7 consecutive day period, you can almost go without sleep the entire time (or at least 3-4 hours a night). For two of those three weeks, my final two and a half days were 60+ hours straight without sleep. But it's not really possible to go beyond 7 days at that pace. Going weeks at 70+ kills your soul.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:18 pm
by Anonymous User
Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: [Not specified]
Week: 85
Month: 260
Year: 2350

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:19 pm
by whysooseriousbiglaw
Diplock1 wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
Prana-9 wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
Prana-9 wrote:Geez. How did you not die? That is crazy hours. No job is worth that much. Congrats though on your effort and perseverance.


I almost did die a few times. But I loved my cases and got to do really cool stuff with really great lawyers. It helps.

love to do the job of two lawyers so my great partners can make more money


I definitely paid for some vacation houses with blood, sweat and tears.


Did any of the partners ever tell you to slow down?


No. Not that kind of firm.


my god this sounds bad for your health


Biglaw doesn't pay that well
...why not just get like 1 full time office job working 9 to 5 and 2 part-time jobs working at party city on weekends and as a bartender/waiter at night or whatever.....probably would be more fun and make the same money.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:23 pm
by Lincoln
whysooseriousbiglaw wrote:Biglaw doesn't pay that well...why not just get like 1 full time office job working 9 to 5 and 2 part-time jobs working at party city on weekends and as a bartender/waiter at night or whatever.....probably would be more fun and make the same money.


If one's goal is to maximize one's pay per hour worked, going to law school in the first place is a bad idea.

In response to everyone's "concern" about how unhealthy I must be or how stupid I am or how I'm lying about my hours, I would just say that it's conventional wisdom on these boards that (1) it is common to bill well over 2,000 hrs/yr at "sweatshop" BigLaw firms in NYC; (2) lots of newly minted JDs choose to start their careers at such firms; and (3) although it's not for everyone, doing so can have tangible benefits over the course of your career.

If you are billing fewer hours and are happy where you are, good for you. We all have different priorities and things we want to do in our lives and careers.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:37 pm
by Anonymous User
Market: SF
Firm type: Biglaw
Practice: Gen Lit
Week: 70ish
Month: 260 -- was the month immediately before trial; worse hours than month I was actually in trial
Year: 2300ish

I tend to have a pretty regular set of 150-180 hour months, but a case wound up going to trial and I was just along for the ride.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:51 pm
by Anonymous User
Lol and I thought 180 was a lot

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:52 am
by Genius
JohannDeMann wrote:Haven't billed more than 150 in a month in almost a year. 70% of my months have been sub 150. You guys gotta learn to say no.


how do you not get fired though if that went on for almost a year? or is this one of ur last posts as an associate? :lol:

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:36 am
by Johann
Genius wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:Haven't billed more than 150 in a month in almost a year. 70% of my months have been sub 150. You guys gotta learn to say no.


how do you not get fired though if that went on for almost a year? or is this one of ur last posts as an associate? :lol:


Because I work primarily for one very big deal rainmaker. They protect me from others. I say no to other work I don't want / don't find interesting. When that rainmaker says jump, I know he means to ump 22.75 inches and that's what I do.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:07 am
by Anonymous User
Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
masque du pantsu wrote:I'll jump in, why not--everyone loves a good billing horror story

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: M&A
Week: 108.9
Month: 309.6
Year: 2653

Lesson here is to take your vacation days: As you can see, I've had some weeks and months that have been pretty rough but my worst year was not great but also not intolerable. Also finding good teams of reasonable, humane people to work for will make the bad months much less bad. I sort of like the up-and-down nature of it, where you work around the clock for a week and then don't even come in for days after it signs, without the excitement i can't stay engaged. If i had a position with seven hours of reasonable work, research, writing, advice, etc., i would be bored and just procrastinate all day. Couldn't do it.


Honestly, there is no lesson here other than "This is how bad it can be". Seems like you were meant to do this job if 2653 hours is not intolerable. After two months i'd be gone.

Mine is only this - and I had to quit my first firm because I was burnt out:

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: Finance
Week: 78
Month: 350
Year: 1930


How can you have a month of 350 yet top week 78? That makes no sense.

Anyway, worse week I am guessing around 85 hours. Worse month, around 280, but before that month was 250 and after 220.


I counted the month as the worst 30-day period I had (mix of two months). Pretty much billed 75-80 hours a week for 4 weeks straight and then a few extra days of 15+ hours before closing. Hours looked like 150 - 290 for the two calendar months, but within a 30 day period I billed 350. By the end I had to see a doctor about getting irregular heartbeats when I was up at 3 am doing work.

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:20 pm
by Anonymous User
Market - Midwaste
Firm Type: Regional biglaw
Practice: M&A

Week: 85
Month: 280 (Had nearly 4 weeks of 75+ weeks, month after billed 80 hours)
Year: 2050

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:21 pm
by Pokemon
Anonymous User wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
masque du pantsu wrote:I'll jump in, why not--everyone loves a good billing horror story

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: M&A
Week: 108.9
Month: 309.6
Year: 2653

Lesson here is to take your vacation days: As you can see, I've had some weeks and months that have been pretty rough but my worst year was not great but also not intolerable. Also finding good teams of reasonable, humane people to work for will make the bad months much less bad. I sort of like the up-and-down nature of it, where you work around the clock for a week and then don't even come in for days after it signs, without the excitement i can't stay engaged. If i had a position with seven hours of reasonable work, research, writing, advice, etc., i would be bored and just procrastinate all day. Couldn't do it.


Honestly, there is no lesson here other than "This is how bad it can be". Seems like you were meant to do this job if 2653 hours is not intolerable. After two months i'd be gone.

Mine is only this - and I had to quit my first firm because I was burnt out:

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: Finance
Week: 78
Month: 350
Year: 1930


How can you have a month of 350 yet top week 78? That makes no sense.

Anyway, worse week I am guessing around 85 hours. Worse month, around 280, but before that month was 250 and after 220.


I counted the month as the worst 30-day period I had (mix of two months). Pretty much billed 75-80 hours a week for 4 weeks straight and then a few extra days of 15+ hours before closing. Hours looked like 150 - 290 for the two calendar months, but within a 30 day period I billed 350. By the end I had to see a doctor about getting irregular heartbeats when I was up at 3 am doing work.


Suspicious.... Math does not really work but who cares...

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:34 pm
by umichman
Anonymous User wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
masque du pantsu wrote:I'll jump in, why not--everyone loves a good billing horror story

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: M&A
Week: 108.9
Month: 309.6
Year: 2653

Lesson here is to take your vacation days: As you can see, I've had some weeks and months that have been pretty rough but my worst year was not great but also not intolerable. Also finding good teams of reasonable, humane people to work for will make the bad months much less bad. I sort of like the up-and-down nature of it, where you work around the clock for a week and then don't even come in for days after it signs, without the excitement i can't stay engaged. If i had a position with seven hours of reasonable work, research, writing, advice, etc., i would be bored and just procrastinate all day. Couldn't do it.


Honestly, there is no lesson here other than "This is how bad it can be". Seems like you were meant to do this job if 2653 hours is not intolerable. After two months i'd be gone.

Mine is only this - and I had to quit my first firm because I was burnt out:

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: Finance
Week: 78
Month: 350
Year: 1930


How can you have a month of 350 yet top week 78? That makes no sense.

Anyway, worse week I am guessing around 85 hours. Worse month, around 280, but before that month was 250 and after 220.


I counted the month as the worst 30-day period I had (mix of two months). Pretty much billed 75-80 hours a week for 4 weeks straight and then a few extra days of 15+ hours before closing. Hours looked like 150 - 290 for the two calendar months, but within a 30 day period I billed 350. By the end I had to see a doctor about getting irregular heartbeats when I was up at 3 am doing work.


How common are these types of health issues/hours? I have never heard of people saying they billed this much

Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:06 pm
by Anonymous User
umichman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:By the end I had to see a doctor about getting irregular heartbeats when I was up at 3 am doing work.


How common are these types of health issues/hours? I have never heard of people saying they billed this much


Different Anon: I've seen older people get pneumonia and less physically fit people get very unhealthy, smelly, sickly, hair issues, etc... but as a relatively fit 20 something, I can say that I have done it and it just sucks and isn't worth it or cool at all, but I came out of it fine - just eat well, keep doing push-ups, sleep when possible, avoid other distractions, get through it, and never do it again.