Worst week/month/year billing

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:50 pm

Pokemon wrote:
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...


75+78+77+76 = 306 +15 + 15 + 15 = 351. These are all estimates but the math adds up just fine, not very "suspicious"

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


When I was doing that stretch I wasn't working out, wasn't eating right (you just kinda start needing something to make you feel good, like lobster rolls and ice cream), I was taking adderall everyday and drinking like 5 cups of coffee. The mix of stress, not sleeping, shit eating and stimulants is what likely caused my irregular heartbeat. Generally i'm a pretty athletic person (this actually was a wake up call that I needed to start exercising and eat better). After this stretch I quit adderall and got off caffeine and I've felt a lot better. Honestly, any job that requires you needing stimulants is probably not the job you should be doing.

In terms of how common, its pretty common to see these hours. I'd say on average you are going to bill 250+ hours at least once a year (only once if you are lucky), but that is for NYC corporate. I've seen people at my new firm do back to back 250 and they come out looking terrible and very unhealthy, to the point where they are literally just floating around unable to function. I've pretty much told myself never again, none of this is worth getting long-term health issues for and stress related mental illness is a very real thing that can take a long time to get over. Don't push yourself too hard and know your limits when it comes to getting good sleep and leaving the office to get a workout in. Anyone mad at you for being at the gym at 8 pm on a Tuesday can screw themselves.

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quiver

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby quiver » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:53 pm

None of these numbers strike me as unreasonable. At my prior firm (NY biglaw lit), many people have/had far beyond what people in this thread think is "bullshit", including myself.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:15 pm

quiver wrote:None of these numbers strike me as unreasonable. At my prior firm (NY biglaw lit), many people have/had far beyond what people in this thread think is "bullshit", including myself.


I thinks someone up thread had a 138 hour week. Not sure its possible to bill "far beyond" that number.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby h2go » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:04 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
quiver wrote:None of these numbers strike me as unreasonable. At my prior firm (NY biglaw lit), many people have/had far beyond what people in this thread think is "bullshit", including myself.


I thinks someone up thread had a 138 hour week. Not sure its possible to bill "far beyond" that number.


138 hours in a week still allows for 4 full hours of passing out at your desk. You can bill more.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:05 pm

h2go wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
quiver wrote:None of these numbers strike me as unreasonable. At my prior firm (NY biglaw lit), many people have/had far beyond what people in this thread think is "bullshit", including myself.


I thinks someone up thread had a 138 hour week. Not sure its possible to bill "far beyond" that number.


138 hours in a week still allows for 4 full hours of passing out at your desk. You can bill more.


Truth. I rescind my post.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby h2go » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:35 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
h2go wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
quiver wrote:None of these numbers strike me as unreasonable. At my prior firm (NY biglaw lit), many people have/had far beyond what people in this thread think is "bullshit", including myself.


I thinks someone up thread had a 138 hour week. Not sure its possible to bill "far beyond" that number.


138 hours in a week still allows for 4 full hours of passing out at your desk. You can bill more.


Truth. I rescind my post.


Biglaw wouldn't be so terrible if you could bill two 100-hour weeks each month and just take the rest of the time off.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:58 pm

Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: Cap markets
Week: 80.5
Month: 268.8
Year: 2300

[all based on regular week/month boundaries]

worst stretch was a 5 month period of: 249.8, 268.8, 262.8, 223.1, 226.6. it was miserable and i hated it, but haven't approached anything even close to that since. work has gotten more stressful but less voluminous as i go from junior to midlevel.

i really don't get some of these weeks you guys are putting up. is it all just one matter, or multiple? if i were billing >80 hours a week i would simply tell people i didn't have time to do stuff. different if it's all the same matter

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quiver

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby quiver » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:15 pm

h2go wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
h2go wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
quiver wrote:None of these numbers strike me as unreasonable. At my prior firm (NY biglaw lit), many people have/had far beyond what people in this thread think is "bullshit", including myself.


I thinks someone up thread had a 138 hour week. Not sure its possible to bill "far beyond" that number.


138 hours in a week still allows for 4 full hours of passing out at your desk. You can bill more.


Truth. I rescind my post.


Biglaw wouldn't be so terrible if you could bill two 100-hour weeks each month and just take the rest of the time off.
I was mostly referencing the month and year billables, obviously.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: Cap markets
Week: 80.5
Month: 268.8
Year: 2300

[all based on regular week/month boundaries]

worst stretch was a 5 month period of: 249.8, 268.8, 262.8, 223.1, 226.6. it was miserable and i hated it, but haven't approached anything even close to that since. work has gotten more stressful but less voluminous as i go from junior to midlevel.

i really don't get some of these weeks you guys are putting up. is it all just one matter, or multiple? if i were billing >80 hours a week i would simply tell people i didn't have time to do stuff. different if it's all the same matter


It's quite easy to get to 125 hours a week on a single M&A matter in the week leading up to signing or the week leading up to closing. Either way, there is a certain fixed amount of work to accomplish and only so much time in which to accomplish it. If you're the most senior associate on the deal with a first year who can barely type a coherent sentence, it means it's all on you not to fuck it up.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Market: NY
Firm Type: BL
Practice area: Cap markets
Week: 80.5
Month: 268.8
Year: 2300

[all based on regular week/month boundaries]

worst stretch was a 5 month period of: 249.8, 268.8, 262.8, 223.1, 226.6. it was miserable and i hated it, but haven't approached anything even close to that since. work has gotten more stressful but less voluminous as i go from junior to midlevel.

i really don't get some of these weeks you guys are putting up. is it all just one matter, or multiple? if i were billing >80 hours a week i would simply tell people i didn't have time to do stuff. different if it's all the same matter


It's quite easy to get to 125 hours a week on a single M&A matter in the week leading up to signing or the week leading up to closing. Either way, there is a certain fixed amount of work to accomplish and only so much time in which to accomplish it. If you're the most senior associate on the deal with a first year who can barely type a coherent sentence, it means it's all on you not to fuck it up.


Yeah, as I said, a single matter is different. I've had weeks like that in cap markets, usually at the printer to scramble to get everything done, but we filed confidentially at 3:00 pm on Friday -- hard to get more than 80.5 hours from Sun to Sat when you bill 0 past afternoon on Friday.

That being said, the partners I work for would not abide by a single associate working >100 hours in a week. they would bring somebody else on to assist, so i've been pretty lucky with who i work with

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby v5junior » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:23 pm

quiver wrote:None of these numbers strike me as unreasonable. At my prior firm (NY biglaw lit), many people have/had far beyond what people in this thread think is "bullshit", including myself.



Billable hrs in corporate are not the same as billable hrs in lit. Higher degree of unpredictability + more time waiting around for comments in corporate. There are pros and cons to this from a corporate associate's perspective--on the one hand, it is nice to be able to chill a bit more while you're in the office, and you don't always have the feeling of work hanging over your head, but the cost is more total time in the office and less sleep.

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quiver

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby quiver » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:39 pm

v5junior wrote:
quiver wrote:None of these numbers strike me as unreasonable. At my prior firm (NY biglaw lit), many people have/had far beyond what people in this thread think is "bullshit", including myself.



Billable hrs in corporate are not the same as billable hrs in lit. Higher degree of unpredictability + more time waiting around for comments in corporate. There are pros and cons to this from a corporate associate's perspective--on the one hand, it is nice to be able to chill a bit more while you're in the office, and you don't always have the feeling of work hanging over your head, but the cost is more total time in the office and less sleep.
Fair enough. I mean, when you get up to like 400/month, you're going to be spending a lot of time in the office (and definitely not sleeping much) whether you're in corp or lit. But for non-crazy times, I get your point that corp hours are more variable than lit even if they produce the same total billables.

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5ky

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby 5ky » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:44 pm

the other problem with corporate is that i've had plenty of really miserable months of ~140-160 hours where i bill like 30 hours for half of the month and then 130 hours in the latter part of it

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:31 pm

5ky wrote:the other problem with corporate is that i've had plenty of really miserable months of ~140-160 hours where i bill like 30 hours for half of the month and then 130 hours in the latter part of it

All the way down to the weeks where you bill 30 hours but 15 on the weekend or the days where you bill 6 hours but all of them are after 4 pm.

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5ky

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby 5ky » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:44 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
5ky wrote:the other problem with corporate is that i've had plenty of really miserable months of ~140-160 hours where i bill like 30 hours for half of the month and then 130 hours in the latter part of it

All the way down to the weeks where you bill 30 hours but 15 on the weekend or the days where you bill 6 hours but all of them are after 4 pm.


the best!

(bill ~20 hours M through Friday at 4pm, then 25-30 from friday at 4 until monday, then deal dies, are immediately slow the next week)

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:35 am

This thread is dead but wanted to say I have done a ~420 hour month. It was not fun. Luckily all of the weekend work was done at home. I went on nine thirty minute runs over the 31 calendar days. I did not do a single other thing in the month that was not work, bath, eat or sleep.

97% of it was on one matter. Corporate.

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Pokemon

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Pokemon » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:45 am

I billed 310 last month even though I had a week long vacay. I would have billed more if I had not said no to certain projects and if no vacay. It was quite miserable.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Itiswritten » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:51 pm

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.


What year associate are you now if you don't mind me asking? I'm asking because it's nice to see this kind of response (you don't seem to be wanting to run away despite the workload). Also, any tips for billing/finding work as a 1st year transactional/M&A associate?

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:12 pm

KunAgnis wrote:Lincoln's numbers sound insane, almost like Wachtell. I'm pretty sure I would have died.


I dont really buy 3400 hours are all billed totally ethically.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:50 pm

Had a 303 followed by a 296, but billed 2400 that year because of a couple of really slow months. Not fun. Now I truly enjoy months where I hit 220 since I know I am saving for the inevitable 100 hour month.

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rpupkin

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby rpupkin » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:58 pm

I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:17 pm

My worst month by far was my 65 hour one.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby cheaptilts » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:27 pm

rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:12 pm

My worst month is 250. I am lucky that I've been 150-250 every month and usually in the 170-200 range. NYC v10 firm.



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