Fuck This Shit

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elendinel

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby elendinel » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:07 am

Wonnker wrote:This has been a very provocative thread... However shitty OP's life might be, it can't be half as bad as he'd have it on the other side of the wealth divide. Too many people I grew up with are now addicted to opioids and/or working for near-minimum wage, if they are employed at all. Not a good life. Some middle ground would be nice, but tbh, I feel like anyone making a decent living in the year 2017 should be grateful. As the wise and powerful Kanye once said, "Havin' money's not everything, not havin' it is."


Plenty of lawyers are also OD'ing on alcohol and drugs as a result of their high levels of stress in the legal profession because, surprisingly, wealth doesn't solve all problems. Many also get this bad because they lack support networks that they can talk to when they're particularly bad, because like you they look at the average biglaw salary and think "How can anyone be that stressed when they're making so much money? Stop focusing so much on the negative!"

The fact that lawyers may not face one type of stress (poverty) does not negate the fact that they still face other forms of stress that people in other fields, even in min-wage jobs, don't necessarily face. Perspective is great and it's great that you'd rather be in a toxic environment with a lot of money than in a great environment with half as much money, but not everyone is you and not everyone needs to feel like the fact that they earn $X means they're not really that bad off. Some people need a good environment more than they need to be able to have a certain level of earning potential, and that's perfectly fine, too.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby candidlatke » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:27 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Did you guys really get to a third page before anyone bothered to see that OP is a 2017 grad?

OP, have you been in Biglaw for like...a week?

i feel like this is an important point that people have glossed over for the sake of their own (probably fair) narratives

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Wonnker » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:33 am

elendinel wrote:
Wonnker wrote:This has been a very provocative thread... However shitty OP's life might be, it can't be half as bad as he'd have it on the other side of the wealth divide. Too many people I grew up with are now addicted to opioids and/or working for near-minimum wage, if they are employed at all. Not a good life. Some middle ground would be nice, but tbh, I feel like anyone making a decent living in the year 2017 should be grateful. As the wise and powerful Kanye once said, "Havin' money's not everything, not havin' it is."


Plenty of lawyers are also OD'ing on alcohol and drugs as a result of their high levels of stress in the legal profession because, surprisingly, wealth doesn't solve all problems. Many also get this bad because they lack support networks that they can talk to when they're particularly bad, because like you they look at the average biglaw salary and think "How can anyone be that stressed when they're making so much money? Stop focusing so much on the negative!"

The fact that lawyers may not face one type of stress (poverty) does not negate the fact that they still face other forms of stress that people in other fields, even in min-wage jobs, don't necessarily face. Perspective is great and it's great that you'd rather be in a toxic environment with a lot of money than in a great environment with half as much money, but not everyone is you and not everyone needs to feel like the fact that they earn $X means they're not really that bad off. Some people need a good environment more than they need to be able to have a certain level of earning potential, and that's perfectly fine, too.


Okay... That is kinndd of a bullshit misrepresentation of my point. I did not say "how can he be stressed when he is making so much money?" or express that I would rather work in a shit environment with tons of money than in a great environment with half the money. The core of my post was really that being thankful for the blessings in one's life can make the bad times less bad, and OP has at least two HUGE blessings in his life: (1) that he can support his family, and (2) that he can likely find better work. I don't understand why that was a controversial statement.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby orangecup » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:41 am

Wonnker wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Wonnker wrote:This has been a very provocative thread... However shitty OP's life might be, it can't be half as bad as he'd have it on the other side of the wealth divide. Too many people I grew up with are now addicted to opioids and/or working for near-minimum wage, if they are employed at all. Not a good life. Some middle ground would be nice, but tbh, I feel like anyone making a decent living in the year 2017 should be grateful. As the wise and powerful Kanye once said, "Havin' money's not everything, not havin' it is."


Plenty of lawyers are also OD'ing on alcohol and drugs as a result of their high levels of stress in the legal profession because, surprisingly, wealth doesn't solve all problems. Many also get this bad because they lack support networks that they can talk to when they're particularly bad, because like you they look at the average biglaw salary and think "How can anyone be that stressed when they're making so much money? Stop focusing so much on the negative!"

The fact that lawyers may not face one type of stress (poverty) does not negate the fact that they still face other forms of stress that people in other fields, even in min-wage jobs, don't necessarily face. Perspective is great and it's great that you'd rather be in a toxic environment with a lot of money than in a great environment with half as much money, but not everyone is you and not everyone needs to feel like the fact that they earn $X means they're not really that bad off. Some people need a good environment more than they need to be able to have a certain level of earning potential, and that's perfectly fine, too.


Okay... That is kinndd of a bullshit misrepresentation of my point. I did not say "how can he be stressed when he is making so much money?" or express that I would rather work in a shit environment with tons of money than in a great environment with half the money. The core of my post was really that being thankful for the blessings in one's life can make the bad times less bad, and OP has at least two HUGE blessings in his life: (1) that he can support his family, and (2) that he can likely find better work. I don't understand why that was a controversial statement.


Sure, most of us likely have some things to be grateful for. But most of big law involves working in a toxic environment, having very little freedom/control over life, assholes above you making you do tedious and boring work (that often doesn't even need to be done) at absurd hours. All in the name of partners -- who themselves are likely miserable and have no life -- wanting to maximize profits for themselves. They could easily hire far more associates, cut down on the bullshit work, etc. and still be millionaires but they're just driven by greed. Dealing with all that bullshit gets to people. That recent NYT article was pretty damning evidence.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Aergia » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:47 am

Wonnker wrote:I wasn't trying to say that OP has no right to complain or that there aren't other professions that would afford him better work-life balance at a living wage. I've been under severe financial stress before, unable to make ends meet, and I've worked in toxic environments where I could at least pay the bills; I'll take the latter every time, and when work makes me miserable, I at least take some solace in knowing that I have a bed to sleep in and food on the table. Not saying that OP should shut up and be happy with what he's got, and I apologize if it came off that way, but rather that his mental well-being might improve by taking a minute now and then to reflect on all the positives in his life. OP said he has a family, and he has clearly been successful in his providing for them. At the end of the day, that is his primary responsibility (imo). Focusing on that can make all the day-to-day work bullshit a little more tolerable.

That being said, if OP's biglaw job is truly soul-crushing, then he should look for something better. Thankfully, his pedigree should give him options that a lot of working-class people just don't have.



Srry, i know i quoted you, but didn't mean to make that a response to your post. You're just advising to keep things in perspective which I understand. I was thinking about the ppl railing against OP as if this is all just a function of his entitlement.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
orangecup wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are people seriously railing on OP? OP - GTFO of this profession and never look back. Many people in this job are fine working their life away to compile as much money as possible given their limited skill sets. If you aren't one of those people, then just figure out what you want to do and leave. Life is too short to do something you hate and be surrounded by assholes. I know this is the decision that I have made and it has made me a much happier person.

You just can't do this job and have a healthy lifestyle most of the time. Even if you are slow, there is nothing protecting you from being out hiking or biking or just relaxing on a Sunday afternoon and getting a random phone call asking you to sit and do hours of work. Toxic profession filled with toxic people.


+1 to everything here. Big law sucks. People who think otherwise are Stockholmed. Work on getting the hell out, OP.


Or we just lucked out with a good firm that is humane and doesn't work us to the bone. There are good firms out there. There are good offices out there. People just don't listen.

People are like "well I should go to Latham/S&C/Gibson/Skadden/K&E because I got the offer."

And we're all like, "but maybe you should look at that other non V[>10] firm offer you got because it's a dope firm with some cool shit going."

And they're all like, "but I want to go to Latham/S&C/Gibson/Skadden/K&E because it's a V[>10] and I want to maximize my [some bullshit response] that won't be available to me if I go to the other firm because it's only in the V32-43 band."

To which we're like "what fucking band is that?"

To which they're like, "I just gotta follow my gut on this."

To which we're like, "do your gut a favor and get some Pepcid before you start following it."

Then fast forward a year to the above OP.


I'm a midlevel at one of the firms you named above, in the NYC office no less, and I can say that less than 1% of the associates are even remotely fat and at least 85% of us are happy and have an amazing QOL. You should know that your miserable experience does not necessarily speak for everyone in a V10.


Calling BS. What are your billables? If over, like, 1800, you can't say with a straight face you have an amazing QOL.


But I can. I'm currently on pace for 2200 (though our bonus eligibility is unlocked at significantly less), as I have been every other year give or take 150 hours depending on the market. Numerous associates at my firm have children, wives, husbands, intense hobbies, etc. and everyone respects their personal "me" time. We have virtually no facetime requirement which helps.

Even a relatively high hour target (2100 maybe?) works out to about a 45 hour work week. If you have steady work, which most of the V10s do, 45 billable hours per week is by no means a nightmare. If you're at a slower firm where you need to scrounge for work, and some weeks you barely squeak by 20-30hrs, then you have a lot of ground to cover to make up that time during busier weeks; that can be problematic.

None of this is to say that there aren't times when I'm slammed and have to cancel plans or bail on family to bill around the clock, but that's the price you pay for a high six-figure salary and above-market bonus. And those times are made better by the fact that when I'm slower I can go out and do whatever the hell I want and no one is watching my back or hounding me about clocking in at 9am.

The people I work for are smart, respectful, and genuinely like what they do. Big law isn't for everyone but there are certain firm/practice area combos that can make life pretty sweet.

The issue with TLS is that it attracts all of the people that are anxious/nervous/miserable that want to commiserate about that misery. I know this because that's how I felt in law school and I've been a lurker ever since because the "woe is me" resonated with me at that time. TLS on the whole paints a dire, miserable picture of Biglaw that just isn't true for everyone across the board. There are plenty of people that love these jobs, which is why it's still damn near impossible to get them.


Gibson?

Thought it stood out as a bit of "one of these things is not like the others."

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:43 am

Deleted. Wrong forum. My apologies.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hutz_and_Goodman

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:06 am

Wonnker is right imo. Big law is stressful but anyone who is an associate is in an incredibly privileged position, even though that may sound wrong when you're racing to proofread a document before filing at 11:59pm. Unless you are a very successful entrepreneur, a professional athlete or similar exceptions making a lot of $ means stress, working a lot, and sacrificing personal time. It's totally reasonable to say you don't want that and choose to take a job with less $,less stress, and less working. But keep in mind that many people don't have that luxury. You could be working 70 hrs a week at two minimum wage jobs where your salary is 25k, and have stress over real things like if you were going to make rent.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:51 am

orangecup wrote:Sure, most of us likely have some things to be grateful for. But most of big law involves working in a toxic environment, having very little freedom/control over life, assholes above you making you do tedious and boring work (that often doesn't even need to be done) at absurd hours. All in the name of partners -- who themselves are likely miserable and have no life -- wanting to maximize profits for themselves. They could easily hire far more associates, cut down on the bullshit work, etc. and still be millionaires but they're just driven by greed. Dealing with all that bullshit gets to people. That recent NYT article was pretty damning evidence.


I'm sure that biglaw comes with its own sets of challenges, but that sounds like literally every job in corporate America.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
orangecup wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are people seriously railing on OP? OP - GTFO of this profession and never look back. Many people in this job are fine working their life away to compile as much money as possible given their limited skill sets. If you aren't one of those people, then just figure out what you want to do and leave. Life is too short to do something you hate and be surrounded by assholes. I know this is the decision that I have made and it has made me a much happier person.

You just can't do this job and have a healthy lifestyle most of the time. Even if you are slow, there is nothing protecting you from being out hiking or biking or just relaxing on a Sunday afternoon and getting a random phone call asking you to sit and do hours of work. Toxic profession filled with toxic people.


+1 to everything here. Big law sucks. People who think otherwise are Stockholmed. Work on getting the hell out, OP.


Or we just lucked out with a good firm that is humane and doesn't work us to the bone. There are good firms out there. There are good offices out there. People just don't listen.

People are like "well I should go to Latham/S&C/Gibson/Skadden/K&E because I got the offer."

And we're all like, "but maybe you should look at that other non V[>10] firm offer you got because it's a dope firm with some cool shit going."

And they're all like, "but I want to go to Latham/S&C/Gibson/Skadden/K&E because it's a V[>10] and I want to maximize my [some bullshit response] that won't be available to me if I go to the other firm because it's only in the V32-43 band."

To which we're like "what fucking band is that?"

To which they're like, "I just gotta follow my gut on this."

To which we're like, "do your gut a favor and get some Pepcid before you start following it."

Then fast forward a year to the above OP.


I'm a midlevel at one of the firms you named above, in the NYC office no less, and I can say that less than 1% of the associates are even remotely fat and at least 85% of us are happy and have an amazing QOL. You should know that your miserable experience does not necessarily speak for everyone in a V10.


Calling BS. What are your billables? If over, like, 1800, you can't say with a straight face you have an amazing QOL.


But I can. I'm currently on pace for 2200 (though our bonus eligibility is unlocked at significantly less), as I have been every other year give or take 150 hours depending on the market. Numerous associates at my firm have children, wives, husbands, intense hobbies, etc. and everyone respects their personal "me" time. We have virtually no facetime requirement which helps.

Even a relatively high hour target (2100 maybe?) works out to about a 45 hour work week. If you have steady work, which most of the V10s do, 45 billable hours per week is by no means a nightmare. If you're at a slower firm where you need to scrounge for work, and some weeks you barely squeak by 20-30hrs, then you have a lot of ground to cover to make up that time during busier weeks; that can be problematic.

None of this is to say that there aren't times when I'm slammed and have to cancel plans or bail on family to bill around the clock, but that's the price you pay for a high six-figure salary and above-market bonus. And those times are made better by the fact that when I'm slower I can go out and do whatever the hell I want and no one is watching my back or hounding me about clocking in at 9am.

The people I work for are smart, respectful, and genuinely like what they do. Big law isn't for everyone but there are certain firm/practice area combos that can make life pretty sweet.

The issue with TLS is that it attracts all of the people that are anxious/nervous/miserable that want to commiserate about that misery. I know this because that's how I felt in law school and I've been a lurker ever since because the "woe is me" resonated with me at that time. TLS on the whole paints a dire, miserable picture of Biglaw that just isn't true for everyone across the board. There are plenty of people that love these jobs, which is why it's still damn near impossible to get them.


Gibson?

Thought it stood out as a bit of "one of these things is not like the others."


Nope. Though my friends there are equally happy.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:I wish more people could share your mindset, Wonnker. I think some people in this thread need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Sure, the job is stressful, but you are heavily compensated for the work you do. By all means, you're entitled to bitch about getting shit on all the time. But to make the case that you genuinely have it "bad", GTFO. In my former life I was getting shot at in Iraq, witnessing my men get killed, calling families to tell them their son/husband had been killed, while also spending 15 months at a time away from my wife and kids. As an Officer I thought I had it good/better than others because my paycheck was tax-free so I was making 70k instead of 55k. The difference between that and being a lawyer, aside from getting shot at, is that when you're in the military you can't walk away when the going gets tough and your QOL gets horrible beyond recognition. As a lawyer, you can walk away.

And as far as a toxic environment, nothing tops some of the leadership that plagues the military. Every time Big Law took a shit on me, I knew things could be far worse. I could be in a desert sweating my balls off making a quarter of what I was making at the time, getting yelled at by some asshole who wanted to further his career by jeopardizing the lives of his guys. Seriously, some people on this thread need to grow the fuck up and realize the "first world problems" that they are exhibiting across this thread. Be stressed and vent all you want, but don't actually believe for a second that you have it harder than someone making minimum wage/not having a job to support their family. If you hate it, walk away and open the door for someone hungry for the opportunity to do what you're doing.

Remember, no one is holding a gun to your head telling you to stay. Walk away.

So, I'm not going to out you, but based on your post history you haven't even entered law school yet, which means 1) you can't speak to this from personal experience (even if you worked in biglaw in a non-lawyer capacity at some point) and 2) you're not allowed to answer questions in this forum (except in the rare circumstance that you actually have direct, pertinent experience).

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby edwardt1988 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:32 am

elendinel wrote:
Wonnker wrote:This has been a very provocative thread... However shitty OP's life might be, it can't be half as bad as he'd have it on the other side of the wealth divide. Too many people I grew up with are now addicted to opioids and/or working for near-minimum wage, if they are employed at all. Not a good life. Some middle ground would be nice, but tbh, I feel like anyone making a decent living in the year 2017 should be grateful. As the wise and powerful Kanye once said, "Havin' money's not everything, not havin' it is."


Plenty of lawyers are also OD'ing on alcohol and drugs as a result of their high levels of stress in the legal profession because, surprisingly, wealth doesn't solve all problems. Many also get this bad because they lack support networks that they can talk to when they're particularly bad, because like you they look at the average biglaw salary and think "How can anyone be that stressed when they're making so much money? Stop focusing so much on the negative!"

The fact that lawyers may not face one type of stress (poverty) does not negate the fact that they still face other forms of stress that people in other fields, even in min-wage jobs, don't necessarily face. Perspective is great and it's great that you'd rather be in a toxic environment with a lot of money than in a great environment with half as much money, but not everyone is you and not everyone needs to feel like the fact that they earn $X means they're not really that bad off. Some people need a good environment more than they need to be able to have a certain level of earning potential, and that's perfectly fine, too.


Someone already mentioned it, but it's not about "half as much money". Some of us grew up, at least part of our lives, in poverty. Poverty is not about taking half the pay cut, but worrying if you have enough money to buy any sort of food, having to plan and save before you're able to buy used clothes, etc. If someone experienced that, I'm sure they can feel a little bit grateful when they are able to feed their family and pay off their loans and I'm sure that can make BigLaw feel less oppressive.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Rahviveh » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:33 am

edwardt1988 wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Wonnker wrote:This has been a very provocative thread... However shitty OP's life might be, it can't be half as bad as he'd have it on the other side of the wealth divide. Too many people I grew up with are now addicted to opioids and/or working for near-minimum wage, if they are employed at all. Not a good life. Some middle ground would be nice, but tbh, I feel like anyone making a decent living in the year 2017 should be grateful. As the wise and powerful Kanye once said, "Havin' money's not everything, not havin' it is."


Plenty of lawyers are also OD'ing on alcohol and drugs as a result of their high levels of stress in the legal profession because, surprisingly, wealth doesn't solve all problems. Many also get this bad because they lack support networks that they can talk to when they're particularly bad, because like you they look at the average biglaw salary and think "How can anyone be that stressed when they're making so much money? Stop focusing so much on the negative!"

The fact that lawyers may not face one type of stress (poverty) does not negate the fact that they still face other forms of stress that people in other fields, even in min-wage jobs, don't necessarily face. Perspective is great and it's great that you'd rather be in a toxic environment with a lot of money than in a great environment with half as much money, but not everyone is you and not everyone needs to feel like the fact that they earn $X means they're not really that bad off. Some people need a good environment more than they need to be able to have a certain level of earning potential, and that's perfectly fine, too.


Someone already mentioned it, but it's not about "half as much money". Some of us grew up, at least part of our lives, in poverty. Poverty is not about taking half the pay cut, but worrying if you have enough money to buy any sort of food, having to plan and save before you're able to buy used clothes, etc. If someone experienced that, I'm sure they can feel a little bit grateful when they are able to feed their family and pay off their loans and I'm sure that can make BigLaw feel less oppressive.


This applies to very few law students. Vast majority of law students are UMC brats.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby TooMuchTuna » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:38 am

Rahviveh wrote:This applies to very few law students. Vast majority of law students are UMC brats.


Yeah? You got a cite for those stats?

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Rahviveh

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Rahviveh » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:52 am

TooMuchTuna wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:This applies to very few law students. Vast majority of law students are UMC brats.


Yeah? You got a cite for those stats?

STFU bitch, this isn't your dorky journal, I don't need cites, just common sense. Stop acting like a freak.

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:54 am

Rahviveh wrote:
TooMuchTuna wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:This applies to very few law students. Vast majority of law students are UMC brats.


Yeah? You got a cite for those stats?

STFU bitch, this isn't your dorky journal, I don't need cites, just common sense. Stop acting like a freak.

Dude, dial it down.

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elendinel

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby elendinel » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:01 pm

edwardt1988 wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Wonnker wrote:This has been a very provocative thread... However shitty OP's life might be, it can't be half as bad as he'd have it on the other side of the wealth divide. Too many people I grew up with are now addicted to opioids and/or working for near-minimum wage, if they are employed at all. Not a good life. Some middle ground would be nice, but tbh, I feel like anyone making a decent living in the year 2017 should be grateful. As the wise and powerful Kanye once said, "Havin' money's not everything, not havin' it is."


Plenty of lawyers are also OD'ing on alcohol and drugs as a result of their high levels of stress in the legal profession because, surprisingly, wealth doesn't solve all problems. Many also get this bad because they lack support networks that they can talk to when they're particularly bad, because like you they look at the average biglaw salary and think "How can anyone be that stressed when they're making so much money? Stop focusing so much on the negative!"

The fact that lawyers may not face one type of stress (poverty) does not negate the fact that they still face other forms of stress that people in other fields, even in min-wage jobs, don't necessarily face. Perspective is great and it's great that you'd rather be in a toxic environment with a lot of money than in a great environment with half as much money, but not everyone is you and not everyone needs to feel like the fact that they earn $X means they're not really that bad off. Some people need a good environment more than they need to be able to have a certain level of earning potential, and that's perfectly fine, too.


Someone already mentioned it, but it's not about "half as much money". Some of us grew up, at least part of our lives, in poverty. Poverty is not about taking half the pay cut, but worrying if you have enough money to buy any sort of food, having to plan and save before you're able to buy used clothes, etc. If someone experienced that, I'm sure they can feel a little bit grateful when they are able to feed their family and pay off their loans and I'm sure that can make BigLaw feel less oppressive.


Yes and I grew up poor, too. My point is that if saying "Well at least I have more money now" works for you, great, but it doesn't work for everyone, and that's also fine. If someone feels that money isn't the end-all, be-all they thought it was, that's not automatically an indication that they just don't know what it's like to be poor/they need to be more grateful they have all that money, it's often an indication that they may just have different priorities. But I really don't want to rehash this "biglaw is different when you're poor" debate.

cavalier1138 wrote:
orangecup wrote:Sure, most of us likely have some things to be grateful for. But most of big law involves working in a toxic environment, having very little freedom/control over life, assholes above you making you do tedious and boring work (that often doesn't even need to be done) at absurd hours. All in the name of partners -- who themselves are likely miserable and have no life -- wanting to maximize profits for themselves. They could easily hire far more associates, cut down on the bullshit work, etc. and still be millionaires but they're just driven by greed. Dealing with all that bullshit gets to people. That recent NYT article was pretty damning evidence.


I'm sure that biglaw comes with its own sets of challenges, but that sounds like literally every job in corporate America.


Yeah "toxic environment" is maybe a bit too vague, and most people work jobs where they do tedious work and have no real control over what they do.

IMO what arguably makes biglaw (and really, the law in general, with some exceptions) unique to other forms of office work is a degree of perpetual animosity that isn't quite the same in other jobs. In that article awhile back about the IP partner who OD'd the author had a good analogy, that while being a doctor may be stressful, a doctor never has to perform a complicated surgery while trying to deal with the fact that a rival surgeon is hovering over their shoulder trying to undo all their work. What makes biglaw/other types of law different in terms of what one means by "toxic environment" isn't just the yelling or the ridiculous clients, it's is the degree of competitiveness on every aspect of the job, where at almost every point in your day you're dealing with the stress of having to defend yourself and your work from other people looking to find was to either invalidate everything you did so their group can win, or to one-up everything you did so they can take the project from you. Then factor in the fact that biglaw doesn't pay people to have a typical 9-6 job, but specifically pays them with the expectation that they'll work as long as the firm wants them to work (which could be as many as 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week, doing work in an attempt to protect themselves and their work from the kind of scrutiny they're up against or in an attempt to address other legal stressors, like billables/etc.), which can actually result in losing some control over your life in ways that may not be as pronounced in a 9-6 job (where they may own you from 9-6 M-F, but you at least get 4-6 hours a day and weekends where you're guaranteed to be able to do your own thing or to be paid extra, as a reminder that you do "own" that time after 6PM and have a right to demand more than base pay if you're going to lose that time), etc. To be sure, there are other stressors of the average office job that shouldn't be overlooked, and there other careers that are incredibly stressful in their own ways; law is not uniquely stressful. But it's a type of stress and environment that the average office worker is never actually going to experience.

lagamemnon

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby lagamemnon » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:08 pm

ponderingmeerkat wrote:Life is full of happy people and, in counterpoint, people who will never be happy.

I flew jets in a former life--arguably a lot of people's (overgrown kid's) dream job. You know what? I met viscerally unhappy people doing that job all the time. I also met people who were thrilled to be doing that job and wouldn't've traded those experiences for the world. Same job, same demands. Different personalities.

Similarly, my wife is a current V100 biglaw litigation associate. In her group of friends, there are viscerally unhappy people and those who are enjoying themselves. Same job, same demands. Different personalities.

To expand this further, my brother is an MD/PHD practicing as a physician and researcher at a very high level in his field. I've met his friends. Some are viscerally unhappy people. Others love the shit out of their job. Same job, same demands. Different personalities.

In this thread you will find examples of people who enjoy being a biglaw lawyer and those who don't. This isn't unique to the legal industry. This spectrum of personalities and their subjective experiences of enjoyment are on full display across careers and across industries.

Ultimately, IMO, people who look to a career to fulfill them are setting themselves up for disappointment. (If it happens, great--but if not, that wasn't its purpose anyway.) Focus on getting/keeping a kickass group of friends, a loving family and developing hobbies or an outlet for your talents and passions after work hours. This is a good way to disappointment-proof your life so you aren't overly reliant on your career to fill that gaping hole where "need for belonging" and "need for fulfillment" plug in.

Good luck!


Utterly asinine comment. Obviously there are unhappy people in every walk of life. The issue is whether biglaw is better or worse in terms of life satisfaction than other career options. You've been reading too many vapid inspirational instagram quotes.

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SmokeytheBear

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:20 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:
TooMuchTuna wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:This applies to very few law students. Vast majority of law students are UMC brats.


Yeah? You got a cite for those stats?

STFU bitch, this isn't your dorky journal, I don't need cites, just common sense. Stop acting like a freak.

Dude, dial it down.


Mods, can you please close this thread?

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Pokemon

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Pokemon » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:06 pm

Who would have thought a job with a starting salary of 180k would be stressful and time consuming?

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Pokemon

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby Pokemon » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:10 pm

elendinel wrote:
edwardt1988 wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Wonnker wrote:This has been a very provocative thread... However shitty OP's life might be, it can't be half as bad as he'd have it on the other side of the wealth divide. Too many people I grew up with are now addicted to opioids and/or working for near-minimum wage, if they are employed at all. Not a good life. Some middle ground would be nice, but tbh, I feel like anyone making a decent living in the year 2017 should be grateful. As the wise and powerful Kanye once said, "Havin' money's not everything, not havin' it is."


Plenty of lawyers are also OD'ing on alcohol and drugs as a result of their high levels of stress in the legal profession because, surprisingly, wealth doesn't solve all problems. Many also get this bad because they lack support networks that they can talk to when they're particularly bad, because like you they look at the average biglaw salary and think "How can anyone be that stressed when they're making so much money? Stop focusing so much on the negative!"

The fact that lawyers may not face one type of stress (poverty) does not negate the fact that they still face other forms of stress that people in other fields, even in min-wage jobs, don't necessarily face. Perspective is great and it's great that you'd rather be in a toxic environment with a lot of money than in a great environment with half as much money, but not everyone is you and not everyone needs to feel like the fact that they earn $X means they're not really that bad off. Some people need a good environment more than they need to be able to have a certain level of earning potential, and that's perfectly fine, too.


Someone already mentioned it, but it's not about "half as much money". Some of us grew up, at least part of our lives, in poverty. Poverty is not about taking half the pay cut, but worrying if you have enough money to buy any sort of food, having to plan and save before you're able to buy used clothes, etc. If someone experienced that, I'm sure they can feel a little bit grateful when they are able to feed their family and pay off their loans and I'm sure that can make BigLaw feel less oppressive.


Yes and I grew up poor, too. My point is that if saying "Well at least I have more money now" works for you, great, but it doesn't work for everyone, and that's also fine. If someone feels that money isn't the end-all, be-all they thought it was, that's not automatically an indication that they just don't know what it's like to be poor/they need to be more grateful they have all that money, it's often an indication that they may just have different priorities. But I really don't want to rehash this "biglaw is different when you're poor" debate.

cavalier1138 wrote:
orangecup wrote:Sure, most of us likely have some things to be grateful for. But most of big law involves working in a toxic environment, having very little freedom/control over life, assholes above you making you do tedious and boring work (that often doesn't even need to be done) at absurd hours. All in the name of partners -- who themselves are likely miserable and have no life -- wanting to maximize profits for themselves. They could easily hire far more associates, cut down on the bullshit work, etc. and still be millionaires but they're just driven by greed. Dealing with all that bullshit gets to people. That recent NYT article was pretty damning evidence.


I'm sure that biglaw comes with its own sets of challenges, but that sounds like literally every job in corporate America.


Yeah "toxic environment" is maybe a bit too vague, and most people work jobs where they do tedious work and have no real control over what they do.

IMO what arguably makes biglaw (and really, the law in general, with some exceptions) unique to other forms of office work is a degree of perpetual animosity that isn't quite the same in other jobs. In that article awhile back about the IP partner who OD'd the author had a good analogy, that while being a doctor may be stressful, a doctor never has to perform a complicated surgery while trying to deal with the fact that a rival surgeon is hovering over their shoulder trying to undo all their work. What makes biglaw/other types of law different in terms of what one means by "toxic environment" isn't just the yelling or the ridiculous clients, it's is the degree of competitiveness on every aspect of the job, where at almost every point in your day you're dealing with the stress of having to defend yourself and your work from other people looking to find was to either invalidate everything you did so their group can win, or to one-up everything you did so they can take the project from you. Then factor in the fact that biglaw doesn't pay people to have a typical 9-6 job, but specifically pays them with the expectation that they'll work as long as the firm wants them to work (which could be as many as 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week, doing work in an attempt to protect themselves and their work from the kind of scrutiny they're up against or in an attempt to address other legal stressors, like billables/etc.), which can actually result in losing some control over your life in ways that may not be as pronounced in a 9-6 job (where they may own you from 9-6 M-F, but you at least get 4-6 hours a day and weekends where you're guaranteed to be able to do your own thing or to be paid extra, as a reminder that you do "own" that time after 6PM and have a right to demand more than base pay if you're going to lose that time), etc. To be sure, there are other stressors of the average office job that shouldn't be overlooked, and there other careers that are incredibly stressful in their own ways; law is not uniquely stressful. But it's a type of stress and environment that the average office worker is never actually going to experience.



Dunno, never felt that the other party was hovering and try to do my work, but am in corporate. I cannot see how anything a lawyer does can be as stressful as a surgeon that makes life and death decisions but each to his own.

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TLSModBot

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Re: Fuck This Shit

Postby TLSModBot » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:11 pm

Yeah this is a tired debate and mostly just ad hominem attacks anyway.



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