How many hours is too many?

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:16 am

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:I have several friends, generally the smarter and more capable of my friends, who are now breaking into the $115,000-$150,000 area. That's pre-bonus. With bonus they're starting to hit more like $140,000-$175,000. They're all getting around 30 years old and have been working for years now. They don't have professional degrees or even prestigious UG degrees. None are developers or coders or even really that technical. They're just smart, responsible, take ownership of things, started at the bottom and have been working for 7-8 years now.

This doesn't necessarily prove anything but I think it's important to note that it's far from impossible to make decent money while working reasonable hours.


Well, for one, those salaries are with 7-8 years of senority, which seems normal. But also, remember how we tell people who don't go to T14s to expect biglaw because less than half of them get that job? I'm sure far less than 1/2 of non-technical UG degrees make that much money. Assuming finance/accounting are considered "technical," because those UG degrees can net you high salaries. I guess you could hit that doing marketing/sales work, so there's one non-technical major that'll get you to 150k+ after 7-8 years?

Point being, those guys seem to be the exception, and you even admit as much--"smarter and more capable of my friends"--and that hitting high salaries, especially in the 200k+ range, typically requires some professional schooling. That, or comp sci/engineering/finance, but as covered before, those jobs can be often as grueling as biglaw, if not more. Especially the ones that pay like biglaw.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
oblig.lawl.ref wrote:I have several friends, generally the smarter and more capable of my friends, who are now breaking into the $115,000-$150,000 area. That's pre-bonus. With bonus they're starting to hit more like $140,000-$175,000. They're all getting around 30 years old and have been working for years now. They don't have professional degrees or even prestigious UG degrees. None are developers or coders or even really that technical. They're just smart, responsible, take ownership of things, started at the bottom and have been working for 7-8 years now.

This doesn't necessarily prove anything but I think it's important to note that it's far from impossible to make decent money while working reasonable hours.


Well, for one, those salaries are with 7-8 years of senority, which seems normal. But also, remember how we tell people who don't go to T14s to expect biglaw because less than half of them get that job? I'm sure far less than 1/2 of non-technical UG degrees make that much money. Assuming finance/accounting are considered "technical," because those UG degrees can net you high salaries. I guess you could hit that doing marketing/sales work, so there's one non-technical major that'll get you to 150k+ after 7-8 years?

Point being, those guys seem to be the exception, and you even admit as much--"smarter and more capable of my friends"--and that hitting high salaries, especially in the 200k+ range, typically requires some professional schooling. That, or comp sci/engineering/finance, but as covered before, those jobs can be often as grueling as biglaw, if not more. Especially the ones that pay like biglaw.


A huge benefit of not doing professional school is that you can start making money earlier, invest it, and possibly retire in your 30s if you do it right (especially if you're making low six figures in your 20s already). It's the time value of money.

I could legit be a millionaire by now if I followed my own investment strategies in my 20s and didn't go to grad school. I am worth around 400k liquid net worth at 30 despite going to professional school and taking out six figures of debt, mainly due to some strategic investments. If I hadn't gone to professional school, wasted 3 years and got into debt, I might be worth 1 million+ by now.

At this point, I just realize that working for others sucks, esp. if they are long hours. I just want to save up some money, enough so I can live off investments. A job is just a job - nobody really wants to work unless you're a rock star or whatever. What matters most is economic freedom and frankly doing professional school is a terrible way to achieve that goal because you start off way behind financially.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby tbird » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:12 am

What were those “strategic investments”?

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:03 pm

jd20132013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jkpolk wrote:In my experience the stress in big law gets better over time (obviously there are neurotics for whom that is not true). Other parts of the job get worse, but the stress gets better.


I feel like the stress gets worse over time. You are required to do more work, more substantive work (aka harder work), and have to manage more people the more senior you get. Not to mention, given the high attrition rate, I feel like midlevels and seniors work even harder than juniors since there aren't that many people left in your class year. Also expectations are lower for juniors - nobody cares if a junior doesn't know something, but you are supposed to make certain progressions the more senior you are.

My senior associate friends left in biglaw often work 300 hour months because nobody is left in their class year and obviously the partners aren't the ones running the deals.



this seems right and fits with my observation of the senior associates that manage me


Senior associate gunning for partner is probably the worst and most stressful job in biglaw. You are basically treated like a junior partner (another miserable job), but given really limited visibility into the business that you are spending valuable years of your life to buy into, plus your chances of actually joining the business after all that time, stress, and effort fluctuate due to the economy, internal firm politics, and the firm's other hires. The people making a concerted try to make partner always amaze me.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Yugihoe » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:17 pm

tbird wrote:What were those “strategic investments”?

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby jd20132013 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jd20132013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jkpolk wrote:In my experience the stress in big law gets better over time (obviously there are neurotics for whom that is not true). Other parts of the job get worse, but the stress gets better.


I feel like the stress gets worse over time. You are required to do more work, more substantive work (aka harder work), and have to manage more people the more senior you get. Not to mention, given the high attrition rate, I feel like midlevels and seniors work even harder than juniors since there aren't that many people left in your class year. Also expectations are lower for juniors - nobody cares if a junior doesn't know something, but you are supposed to make certain progressions the more senior you are.

My senior associate friends left in biglaw often work 300 hour months because nobody is left in their class year and obviously the partners aren't the ones running the deals.



this seems right and fits with my observation of the senior associates that manage me


Senior associate gunning for partner is probably the worst and most stressful job in biglaw. You are basically treated like a junior partner (another miserable job), but given really limited visibility into the business that you are spending valuable years of your life to buy into, plus your chances of actually joining the business after all that time, stress, and effort fluctuate due to the economy, internal firm politics, and the firm's other hires. The people making a concerted try to make partner always amaze me.


I have more sympathy for the ones trapped by family expenses etc than the ones just doing it bc they only know how to chase brass rings

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:02 pm

One of the best things about a job like nursing (aside from good pay) is that when your shift ends, you are done. There is no worrying about whether you should log in later or come in at 5 am to finish that ongoing project. Once you walk off the premises, everything that is happening inside the hospital is no longer your responsibility.

Or one can become a travel nurse, work 3 months, make 60K, and then go to southeast asia until you run out of money. Then come back to the states and just sign up for another 3 month stint. Nurses are so in demand you don't have to worry about getting a position. (I have a friend who does this exact thing).

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A huge benefit of not doing professional school is that you can start making money earlier, invest it, and possibly retire in your 30s if you do it right (especially if you're making low six figures in your 20s already). It's the time value of money.

I could legit be a millionaire by now if I followed my own investment strategies in my 20s and didn't go to grad school. I am worth around 400k liquid net worth at 30 despite going to professional school and taking out six figures of debt, mainly due to some strategic investments. If I hadn't gone to professional school, wasted 3 years and got into debt, I might be worth 1 million+ by now.
.


Lets not get carried away. If you want to live in a place where other people also live (read: not on a farm or middle of the woods) and you want to have a family, youa re not retiring in your 30s unless you are a special snowflake who invested in bitcoin or something like that. Even if you have a million dollars, that is rarely capable of sustaining someone for the remaining potentially 70 years of their life.

Yes there are better ways to make money than biglaw. but let's not pretend that there are these amazing places where peopel work in their 20s and retire after working for 15 years.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:A huge benefit of not doing professional school is that you can start making money earlier, invest it, and possibly retire in your 30s if you do it right (especially if you're making low six figures in your 20s already). It's the time value of money.

I could legit be a millionaire by now if I followed my own investment strategies in my 20s and didn't go to grad school. I am worth around 400k liquid net worth at 30 despite going to professional school and taking out six figures of debt, mainly due to some strategic investments. If I hadn't gone to professional school, wasted 3 years and got into debt, I might be worth 1 million+ by now.
.


Lets not get carried away. If you want to live in a place where other people also live (read: not on a farm or middle of the woods) and you want to have a family, youa re not retiring in your 30s unless you are a special snowflake who invested in bitcoin or something like that. Even if you have a million dollars, that is rarely capable of sustaining someone for the remaining potentially 70 years of their life.

Yes there are better ways to make money than biglaw. but let's not pretend that there are these amazing places where peopel work in their 20s and retire after working for 15 years.


Not saying this has all the answers or is the right way to do it, but: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby umichman » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:42 pm

unlicensedpotato wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:A huge benefit of not doing professional school is that you can start making money earlier, invest it, and possibly retire in your 30s if you do it right (especially if you're making low six figures in your 20s already). It's the time value of money.

I could legit be a millionaire by now if I followed my own investment strategies in my 20s and didn't go to grad school. I am worth around 400k liquid net worth at 30 despite going to professional school and taking out six figures of debt, mainly due to some strategic investments. If I hadn't gone to professional school, wasted 3 years and got into debt, I might be worth 1 million+ by now.
.


Lets not get carried away. If you want to live in a place where other people also live (read: not on a farm or middle of the woods) and you want to have a family, youa re not retiring in your 30s unless you are a special snowflake who invested in bitcoin or something like that. Even if you have a million dollars, that is rarely capable of sustaining someone for the remaining potentially 70 years of their life.

Yes there are better ways to make money than biglaw. but let's not pretend that there are these amazing places where peopel work in their 20s and retire after working for 15 years.


Not saying this has all the answers or is the right way to do it, but: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/


Of course, if you want to live like MMM then that works. Most peopel I know would not choose to live that way. Also,you could easily do that big law. If you were very frugal in biglaw and took out minimal debt through scholarships, then you could retire in in your thirties easily. That is not to say that this is the easiest way. but going to big law does not preclude you from doing the same things as him.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby jchiles » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
oblig.lawl.ref wrote:I have several friends, generally the smarter and more capable of my friends, who are now breaking into the $115,000-$150,000 area. That's pre-bonus. With bonus they're starting to hit more like $140,000-$175,000. They're all getting around 30 years old and have been working for years now. They don't have professional degrees or even prestigious UG degrees. None are developers or coders or even really that technical. They're just smart, responsible, take ownership of things, started at the bottom and have been working for 7-8 years now.

This doesn't necessarily prove anything but I think it's important to note that it's far from impossible to make decent money while working reasonable hours.


Well, for one, those salaries are with 7-8 years of senority, which seems normal. But also, remember how we tell people who don't go to T14s to expect biglaw because less than half of them get that job? I'm sure far less than 1/2 of non-technical UG degrees make that much money. Assuming finance/accounting are considered "technical," because those UG degrees can net you high salaries. I guess you could hit that doing marketing/sales work, so there's one non-technical major that'll get you to 150k+ after 7-8 years?

Point being, those guys seem to be the exception, and you even admit as much--"smarter and more capable of my friends"--and that hitting high salaries, especially in the 200k+ range, typically requires some professional schooling. That, or comp sci/engineering/finance, but as covered before, those jobs can be often as grueling as biglaw, if not more. Especially the ones that pay like biglaw.


A huge benefit of not doing professional school is that you can start making money earlier, invest it, and possibly retire in your 30s if you do it right (especially if you're making low six figures in your 20s already). It's the time value of money.

I could legit be a millionaire by now if I followed my own investment strategies in my 20s and didn't go to grad school. I am worth around 400k liquid net worth at 30 despite going to professional school and taking out six figures of debt, mainly due to some strategic investments. If I hadn't gone to professional school, wasted 3 years and got into debt, I might be worth 1 million+ by now.

At this point, I just realize that working for others sucks, esp. if they are long hours. I just want to save up some money, enough so I can live off investments. A job is just a job - nobody really wants to work unless you're a rock star or whatever. What matters most is economic freedom and frankly doing professional school is a terrible way to achieve that goal because you start off way behind financially.


Ehhh

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:32 pm

1510 hours total so far (including 200 nonbillable) my group seems to be slow.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby smokeylarue » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:10 pm

Doctors with specialties and the people that end up with top tier finance jobs are really the only salaried people that will be "rich". For most, Biglaw path (assuming exit after 3-7 years), programmer at a big silicon valley company, pharmacist.... these kind of jobs will provide you a comfortable life, but you're not going to be able to retire that early.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby lolwat » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:45 pm

smokeylarue wrote:Doctors with specialties and the people that end up with top tier finance jobs are really the only salaried people that will be "rich". For most, Biglaw path (assuming exit after 3-7 years), programmer at a big silicon valley company, pharmacist.... these kind of jobs will provide you a comfortable life, but you're not going to be able to retire that early.


Not that I want to turn this into another finance thread but I think many people going down the biglaw path etc. tend to make lifestyle choices that preclude them from saving up the wealth that allows them to retire early. For us people that are making above-average salaries, it's all about how much money we decide to save and invest that determines when we can retire. And most of us want to enjoy the money we're making, so most of us aren't really trying to save up that much to retire early. It takes a huge amount of discipline and patience to do that.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:30 pm

smokeylarue wrote:Doctors with specialties and the people that end up with top tier finance jobs are really the only salaried people that will be "rich". For most, Biglaw path (assuming exit after 3-7 years), programmer at a big silicon valley company, pharmacist.... these kind of jobs will provide you a comfortable life, but you're not going to be able to retire that early.


The average doctor with a "specialty" makes like 300k...you aren't going to be rich unless you're a specialized surgeon or whatever.

But yes, top tier finance guys make a lot of money. Living in NYC, I know mid 30s people raking in 800k-1MM a year in finance.

Frankly though, the only "rich" people I know IRL are all entrepreneurs (many in tech).

If you live like MMM, you can easily save on a programmer's salary 1MM by the time you are in your early 30s though. Programmers can start out making low 100s in the Bay Area easily straight out of college, just live super modestly and stack cash/invest your way to 1MM by your 30s. Not to mention, you get equity if you work in tech.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:34 pm

lolwat wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:Doctors with specialties and the people that end up with top tier finance jobs are really the only salaried people that will be "rich". For most, Biglaw path (assuming exit after 3-7 years), programmer at a big silicon valley company, pharmacist.... these kind of jobs will provide you a comfortable life, but you're not going to be able to retire that early.


Not that I want to turn this into another finance thread but I think many people going down the biglaw path etc. tend to make lifestyle choices that preclude them from saving up the wealth that allows them to retire early. For us people that are making above-average salaries, it's all about how much money we decide to save and invest that determines when we can retire. And most of us want to enjoy the money we're making, so most of us aren't really trying to save up that much to retire early. It takes a huge amount of discipline and patience to do that.


Frankly, when I was in biglaw I worked way too much to be spending anything. I lived super, duper cheaply (had multiple roommates, commuted, at one point my rent was $500 a month because I had so many roommates), and even ignoring investments, I increased my net worth by like 250k-300k over a period of a couple of years or so just from my salary alone.

I found it pretty easy to save tons of money in biglaw - I had no time whatsoever to spend it.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:36 pm

I just bought a waffle maker.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby UVA2B » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just bought a waffle maker.


Cheers, brave anonymous soul. May your waffles be fluffy and not excessively early to account for billables.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:Living in NYC, I know mid 30s people raking in 800k-1MM a year in finance.


I have no idea how hard it is to get those jobs, but if you finish law school at 25, you could probably make partner by mid-late 30's, and you'd be raking in about that much too. Whether it's easier to get an 800k-1MM/year finance job than it is to become biglaw partner, who knows?

Partners that invest, save, and live far below their means can build >10m net worth by like mid 40's, which seems to be pretty fuckin rich to me. Yeah that can't measure up to someone who starts a company and then sells it for a cool 50 mil, but that's certainly harder to do than making partner in biglaw.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Living in NYC, I know mid 30s people raking in 800k-1MM a year in finance.


I have no idea how hard it is to get those jobs, but if you finish law school at 25, you could probably make partner by mid-late 30's, and you'd be raking in about that much too. Whether it's easier to get an 800k-1MM/year finance job than it is to become biglaw partner, who knows?

Partners that invest, save, and live far below their means can build >10m net worth by like mid 40's, which seems to be pretty fuckin rich to me. Yeah that can't measure up to someone who starts a company and then sells it for a cool 50 mil, but that's certainly harder to do than making partner in biglaw.


the path from investment banking associate -> VP -> MD (which is likely the only position where you will be making "800k-1MM") is just as difficult in terms of hours/stress than the path to partnership in the biglaw model. and to progress in finance, you will be expected to bring in business at a much earlier stage in your career. this is something that the vast majority of aspy attorneys are incapable of, so I am not sure why this is being tossed out as some opportunity that law students are somehow otherwise foregoing by going to law school rather than into the finance world.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:39 am

unlicensedpotato wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:A huge benefit of not doing professional school is that you can start making money earlier, invest it, and possibly retire in your 30s if you do it right (especially if you're making low six figures in your 20s already). It's the time value of money.

I could legit be a millionaire by now if I followed my own investment strategies in my 20s and didn't go to grad school. I am worth around 400k liquid net worth at 30 despite going to professional school and taking out six figures of debt, mainly due to some strategic investments. If I hadn't gone to professional school, wasted 3 years and got into debt, I might be worth 1 million+ by now.
.


Lets not get carried away. If you want to live in a place where other people also live (read: not on a farm or middle of the woods) and you want to have a family, youa re not retiring in your 30s unless you are a special snowflake who invested in bitcoin or something like that. Even if you have a million dollars, that is rarely capable of sustaining someone for the remaining potentially 70 years of their life.

Yes there are better ways to make money than biglaw. but let's not pretend that there are these amazing places where peopel work in their 20s and retire after working for 15 years.


Not saying this has all the answers or is the right way to do it, but: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/

Glad to see a MMM reference from somebody other than me. He's way too frugal for my taste, but the point of reading stuff like that is to challenge your assumptions about money and realize that money (properly invested) should be used to buy time rather than stuff.

My anecdotal experience: two years ago my wife and my expenses were about $3,500/month. Since then we've bought a house and bought a car (yay me), but still, by cutting needless BS (super duper high speed internet, cable, being smarter about groceries, nagging our insurance companies every year, ditching needlessly high cell phone plans, etc.) and paying off other loans, our monthly expenses are about $2,700/month now. That allows us to save about $44k per year on about a $105k joint income.

I'm not saying this way is the right way to do things, and YMMV. And honestly, I'm on the MMM forums and people think I'm a spendthrift there. But if you're grinding at big law and looking for some light at the end of the tunnel, go read some MMM. I don't say this about much, but it changed the way I look at everything.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby PMan99 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Living in NYC, I know mid 30s people raking in 800k-1MM a year in finance.


I have no idea how hard it is to get those jobs, but if you finish law school at 25, you could probably make partner by mid-late 30's, and you'd be raking in about that much too. Whether it's easier to get an 800k-1MM/year finance job than it is to become biglaw partner, who knows?

Partners that invest, save, and live far below their means can build >10m net worth by like mid 40's, which seems to be pretty fuckin rich to me. Yeah that can't measure up to someone who starts a company and then sells it for a cool 50 mil, but that's certainly harder to do than making partner in biglaw.


I think you're overestimating how much junior partners make - given the proliferation of non-equity partnership and large compensation spreads, outside of the handful of true lockstep firms left, the real number is probably closer to half your estimate (or less). Though that doesn't hold at the very top.



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