Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

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Elbble

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Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Elbble » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:27 am

I’m about to start a biglaw-ish litigation job (boutique/midsized firm in major city, cravath scale), and am full-on freaking out about how I can make this work while spending actual time with my kid, who will be 4 when I start (spouse works long hours as well).

anyone have any *positive* stories? I’ve read so many nightmare accounts of absentee biglaw parents, and could really use some encouragement that it’s possible to do this while being an actual parent.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby nealric » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:41 am

I'm in house, but my spouse is in biglaw (lit). We have two kids (3 and infant). I won't say it's been easy, but we've both been able to be there for them, and don't have to hire care outside of regular business hours. I end up filling in when there are late nights, but we can usually both be there when the kids go to bed. Unless there is trial prep, we can usually have a decent bit of family time on the weekend even when work has to be done. Remote work has also been a great way to be there for the kids while also getting things done. Another bright spot has been parental leave- the firm allows 4 months which does not need to be taken in a single chunk (actually more generous than my F500 company).

The downsides are what you'd expect- sometimes it requires crazy feats to get everything done, make hours, and be there for the kids. That's part of the reason why I went in-house. Two parents in biglaw would be a special kind of crazy - I at least have a pretty stable schedule other than 2-3 weeks of year of travel.

I'd also note that I was raised with a biglaw parent. Contrary to the stereotype, they were always there for me when I needed them. That said, I didn't realize as a kid that they were sometimes staying up until 3 in the morning to get work done after spending time with me- so I would never claim it's an easy path.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:41 pm

Anon because possibly identifying anecdotes. I am not a parent, but I am in lit at a V50 in a non-NYC/DC/CA major market. I would guess that 75% of the partners and many of the associates in my group have kids that they spend significant time with. My partner mentor and his wife are both Biglaw partners (different firms), and they rotate school pick-up and drop-off, coach their kids' sports teams, and are involved in PTA and things like that. My group's chair is a single mother and she is very involved in her kids' lives. This is all anecdotal, but it can be done.

I think most firms are trending towards being very flexible with working remotely and face time requirements. So, if you want to spend time with your kid, and that means working from home for half of the day, no one at my firm would bat an eye. It is obviously challenging, but I think things are getting better for Biglaw parents as firms have recognized the need for work-life integration.

Also, see if your firm has a group for parents. I think most do nowadays, and the groups are supposedly a great resource.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:05 pm

Biglaw midlevel at a V10 in a non-NYC major market. I have three kids (all 5 and under), and my spouse works (non-lawyer). We are fortunate that we get a lot of help from family, so that helps when we have to jump through hoops to drop off and pick up kids from school/daycare if I have to travel or if my spouse has to work late.

There are stretches where I won't see my kids for a few days, but, for the most part, I see them every morning and drop them off at school/daycare, and I'm home to see at least two of my kids before bedtime, and those stretches are balanced by the stretches (like the one I've had the past few weeks) where I bill 15-20 hours/week. I also get to spend plenty of time with them on the weekend.

Perhaps my frame of reference has been warped by this job, but I see my kids plenty, and most parents in my group are in a similar position. I've settled into a nice rhythm of leaving between 5-530, hanging with the family for a bit, and then logging back on if I have to. I'm also more likely to work longer during the week so I can have more free time on the weekend (to the extent I can control it). Most partners in my group have kids and are very understanding. Also, we have virtually no face time in my group, so it's fairly easy to work remotely as long as you're responsive--no one cares.

I'm sure you can find apocryphal stories of absentee parents, but, in my experience, definitely the exception.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:37 am

I’ve had two kids in NYC big law (one is 1 the other is 3). I’m at home with them in the morning until the nanny comes at 830 am and I head to work (approximately 6:30-830am). When I’m very busy I usually only see them before bed once or so a week (plus Saturday and Sunday), but when I’m not that busy I am home by 7pm and see them for bedtime. We spend all weekends together as a family so that is consistent time together, and I log in and do work when they’re napping or at night as needed. Overall, I think it is doable and it gets easier over time particularly if a firm trusts you to get work done on time while working remotely.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby notinbiglaw » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:19 am

I know people who've made it work but it often comes down to luck on how flexible your partners/employers are.

You can control the outcome to a huge extent by fighting for assignments that aren't permanent fire drills or done with partners who are often remote anyway. But that will only get you so far especially in litigation and M&A focused groups.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:14 pm

I'm a senior associate in NYC biglaw firm with a 5-month old child. Wife is non-lawyer who works a more regular schedule, though still with demanding hours. I'm finding it very difficult to make it work so far, though I know of many others who have been able to make it work. Part of it is because (i) I have a commute that is a bit too long, which eats up too much family time, and (ii) I'm not willing to make the sacrifices that some others are willing to make.

Some folks mentioned possibly going the better part of a week without seeing their child during busy times. I would draw a line there and refuse to make that sacrifice for the sake of work. Not saying its a right/wrong thing. Its just a personal choice, and obviously that involves certain compromises. In the end, I think its entirely possible to make it work and find the balance with kids, since I see other folks doing it. But you have to be comfortable making certain sacrifices that not everyone will be comfortable making.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:24 pm

Single parent of a 5-year old at NYC V10. It's doable but you're going to have some tough stretches. Finding a great nanny is key, particularly if you don't have family near by (i.e. someone who will help with pick-ups, drop-offs, weekends if need be, overnights when traveling, household chores). Also, being at a firm that is liberal about remote work is helpful. Ultimately, you'll have some stressful nights and probably won't be saving bucket loads of cash, but it's absolutely doable. One thing I've done is simplify my life to maximize time spent at home. That means living within walking distance of work/school/nanny. The less variables the better. We don't always have tons of time together in the mornings, but usually have a few hours together most evenings and I work remotely if need be over the weekends.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby notinbiglaw » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:28 pm

It's hard to make it work at first and you have to be prepared to pay a lot for full time help and/or have relatives on the ready.

But lots of couples make it work. For those that manage it, the kids tend to be very well rounded because the parents can afford to send them to a lot of places. For example, not everyone can afford to fly a child out to Europe with a full-time nanny in tow while the father/mother spends all day on client site or a branch office for a temporary assignment.

I think the biggest reason people end up failing is just people don't talk about this as much as they should and more often than not there is just nobody to show the ropes. But if you know someone who's already pulled it off, learn from that someone (frankly, probably a she since the he usually has no clue) and are willing to pay the costs (including often sometimes only seeing your child for 30 minutes in a day, possible over video conferencing), it works.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby LBJ's Hair » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:00 pm

notinbiglaw wrote:It's hard to make it work at first and you have to be prepared to pay a lot for full time help and/or have relatives on the ready.

But lots of couples make it work. For those that manage it, the kids tend to be very well rounded because the parents can afford to send them to a lot of places. For example, not everyone can afford to fly a child out to Europe with a full-time nanny in tow while the father/mother spends all day on client site or a branch office for a temporary assignment.

I think the biggest reason people end up failing is just people don't talk about this as much as they should and more often than not there is just nobody to show the ropes. But if you know someone who's already pulled it off, learn from that someone (frankly, probably a she since the he usually has no clue) and are willing to pay the costs (including often sometimes only seeing your child for 30 minutes in a day, possible over video conferencing), it works.


"well rounded" = grow up rich. no problem with that and agree w your point, I just thought this was a hilarious euphemism lol

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:21 pm

It's been touched on a bit, but I think it's worth noting that there is a definite difference between "making it work" and quality time with your family.

With the money you are making in biglaw, you can likely afford a nanny to watch your kids, shuttle them to and from school/events, etc. If your significant other has a more regular/flexible schedule (or is a SAHD/SAHM), you may not even have to hire outside help.

When I was an associate, my wife and I were able to "make it work", but I was still miserable. I would sometimes go days without seeing my children, and I had many more days where I was only able to see them for a half hour or less, usually right before bed. Even though I was there physically, I was often too tired/stressed to engage with them in a meaningful way, and I also found myself running out of patience way too quickly (just brush your teeth!). There were also quite a few weekends where I needed to work, cancelled plans at the last minute due to work, etc. The feeling that I was failing as a father impacted my relationship with my kids, wreaked havoc on my marriage, and was a constant source of sadness that impacted my mental health/work quality.

I may be more sensitive than most to this, as my father was an attorney who had a biglaw-esque work schedule when I was younger. When I think of my relationship with my father as a child, I remember things like crying my eyes out every time he would leave for depos, calling him at the office at night before bed, etc. He switched to more "regular" hours when I was 9, and it made a world of difference in our relationship -- he went from missing my soccer games almost every week to coaching my soccer team.

Hopefully this response isn't too depressing, but I do think it's important to be real about what parenting can be like in biglaw. When I first started working, my office was next to a senior associate who would facetime his kids every night from the office before they went to bed. I made a point to let people know that I had plans with my kids during certain times and would work around those plans, but at the end of the day, you can't tell a partner that you can't turn a document for client X because you want to go to your kids' soccer game.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's been touched on a bit, but I think it's worth noting that there is a definite difference between "making it work" and quality time with your family.

With the money you are making in biglaw, you can likely afford a nanny to watch your kids, shuttle them to and from school/events, etc. If your significant other has a more regular/flexible schedule (or is a SAHD/SAHM), you may not even have to hire outside help.

When I was an associate, my wife and I were able to "make it work", but I was still miserable. I would sometimes go days without seeing my children, and I had many more days where I was only able to see them for a half hour or less, usually right before bed. Even though I was there physically, I was often too tired/stressed to engage with them in a meaningful way, and I also found myself running out of patience way too quickly (just brush your teeth!). There were also quite a few weekends where I needed to work, cancelled plans at the last minute due to work, etc. The feeling that I was failing as a father impacted my relationship with my kids, wreaked havoc on my marriage, and was a constant source of sadness that impacted my mental health/work quality.

I may be more sensitive than most to this, as my father was an attorney who had a biglaw-esque work schedule when I was younger. When I think of my relationship with my father as a child, I remember things like crying my eyes out every time he would leave for depos, calling him at the office at night before bed, etc. He switched to more "regular" hours when I was 9, and it made a world of difference in our relationship -- he went from missing my soccer games almost every week to coaching my soccer team.

Hopefully this response isn't too depressing, but I do think it's important to be real about what parenting can be like in biglaw. When I first started working, my office was next to a senior associate who would facetime his kids every night from the office before they went to bed. I made a point to let people know that I had plans with my kids during certain times and would work around those plans, but at the end of the day, you can't tell a partner that you can't turn a document for client X because you want to go to your kids' soccer game.


I think its important that folks get a realistic picture. Too often, a conversation about "making it work" ends up painting a far too rosy picture, and one that fails to account for the extent of sacrifice necessary. And as you said, there is a big difference between "making it work" and actually having a quality, fulfilling family life. "Making it work" is akin to keeping your head just above the water line so that you don't drown.

So the real question most folks should be asking isn't whether they can "make it work" (the answer to that is very likely yes, as many folks manage it every day). Instead, they should be asking whether "making it work" is worth the sacrifices necessary to make it work in the first place. That is a far more personal and far more difficult question. And to compound the problem, many folks won't know the answer until after the fact. I don't mean this to be depressing. I just want folks to approach this from as realistic a viewpoint as possible.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Elbble » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:43 pm

OP here. Thanks to all for such thoughtful responses. The last two were sobering. I know that I personally couldn’t make the choice of only seeing my kid for 30 min over Skype, for days on end, because of work. I guess my hope in asking the question is that there would be ways of managing time to basically make it look more or less like an intense but basically doable “regular” job - to work extremely hard during the daytime, bill a solid 8-10 hours, then block off a solid amount of time (hours) every day for family. Obviously there would be periods, like trial prep, where this schedule would go out the window, and I’d be fine with that. But I don’t think I can handle a relentless grind where the baseline is a messed up family life.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:13 am

I don't have kids, but I have family obligations. I won't get into them, and they're certainly nowhere as demanding as kids, but they did pose challenges when I was in big law (I left earlier this year for a cushy 9-5 govt job). I found having to cancel weekend family plans at the last minute because something blew up to be the most demoralizing, terrible aspect of big law. I loathed how impossible it was sometimes to be present and there for your family because I was glued to my phone, stressing over what I didn't do/had to do, and generally miserable because of my job.

Based on my experience and that of my former coworkers' who have kids, I think it depends 100% on the partners you work for and the ebb and flow of work. I had a coworker who was on a really awful case with our firm's nightmare partner, and she almost quit without notice because of the strain the job put on her marriage and relationship with her kid. Another coworker made a decision that his wife (a big law lawyer) had to stop working for a few years to raise their kids. But a junior partner whose wife is the managing partner of another big firm seemed to raise their 2 kids effortlessly. I think they were able to make it work because they didn't have kids til they both made partner. And I think they come from a loaded family.

Personally, I don't see how anyone does it. I could barely handle the stress and long hours without kids. I don't think it could have done it, even for a couple years, if I had had kids at the time. It's certainly feasible to have kids while in big law, but I really don't understand how people do it long-term.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby notinbiglaw » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:17 am

It’s not realistic to “block” off “hours” every day. I know people who live within walking distance of work and have something like 7-8pm blocked for dinner together and catch up on the day then decide if they go back to office or finish remotely.

But you will often just not be able to block off more than that.

Just to offer a counterpoint. A lot of parents have managed to make their kids feel loved and be present in their kids’ lives even if physical presence is limited. Skyping in to reward ceremonies, progress reports from nannies they actually read and talk to kids about, blocking off a few days of the year (possible even in some of the worst firms) for vacation, and being available for true emergencies (which is often the hardest to negotiate. Sorry, but a cut/flu is not an emergency and nanny can take care of it.

OP, if you’re skivved out about asking about what you seem to think as skipping out on your duties as a parent, track down parents that sent kids to out of state/UK boarding schools. There are plenty of them in NYC, some are even stay at home mom/dad.

Ask them about their experience and how they keep in touch with their children. Boarding school kids have no trouble feeling loved and I often hear that they, and their parents, learn to really value and maximize their time together.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Elbble » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:28 am

Oookkkk - this thread started out fairly upbeat, and got grim real quick (especially the boarding school comment above - wow).

Anyone want to jump back in with something positive? Anyone?

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby JHP » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:36 am

notinbiglaw wrote:Skyping in to reward ceremonies

Yikes.

Congrats honey!
*your connection was lost*

Poignant.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:50 am

Elbble wrote:OP here. Thanks to all for such thoughtful responses. The last two were sobering. I know that I personally couldn’t make the choice of only seeing my kid for 30 min over Skype, for days on end, because of work. I guess my hope in asking the question is that there would be ways of managing time to basically make it look more or less like an intense but basically doable “regular” job - to work extremely hard during the daytime, bill a solid 8-10 hours, then block off a solid amount of time (hours) every day for family. Obviously there would be periods, like trial prep, where this schedule would go out the window, and I’d be fine with that. But I don’t think I can handle a relentless grind where the baseline is a messed up family life.


That just isn't how it works, especially for a more junior associate. You can't just bill 8-10 hours and then block out the rest of the day for family time. First, workflows aren't always that predictable. For example, you may be sitting at your desk with absolutely nothing to do for a few hours, and then a big assignment comes up at 2pm. So if you want to bill 8 hrs, those 8 hrs start at 2pm that day. And don't forget that you can't bill at 100% efficiency. It may take 10 hours of time in the office to bill 7 hrs when you factor in time for lunch, restroom, a few breaks here and there to refocus, a few personal items you need to tend to, etc. So billing 8-10 hours regularly is going to require far more than 8-10 actual hours in the office.

Also, the nature of the job is that they are buying your availability and your attention at a moment's notice. That specifically means not drawing those kinds of lines and boundaries. The implicit understanding is that you will stay as late as necessary to get the work done. Or if something urgent comes up in the evening, that you will at least start moving the ball along (unless it can absolutely wait). I drew hard boundaries like the one you mentioned, and even as a senior associate who can push back more, I do not see how it would be workable.

This is precisely why my wife and I sort of agreed well beforehand that I would begin the transition out of biglaw once we have a child. We both knew the kinds of boundaries I would want to draw, and we also knew that those boundaries would be almost impossible to impose. So now my question becomes whether the "making it work" you see others describing above is worth it. And to me the answer is unquestionably no. In the abstract, my advice would be to wait until you are a few years into biglaw before having children. That way, you can push back a bit more, have more $$ saved up and less debt, and more flexibility to decide whether to continue with biglaw or to go another route.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Elbble » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:48 am

OP here again. Positive stories, please, guys!


To repeat, I already know the nightmare stories. I have a child; I’m committed, for financial reasons, to at least a couple years of biglaw. It would be helpful to me, and I suspect to others in my position, to hear advice and encouragement. Thanks to all those above who basically offered that already (and a very special shoutout to the commenter above whose advice was not to have kids until you’re partner - lol, thanks dude.)

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:26 am

Elbble wrote:OP here again. Positive stories, please, guys!


To repeat, I already know the nightmare stories. I have a child; I’m committed, for financial reasons, to at least a couple years of biglaw. It would be helpful to me, and I suspect to others in my position, to hear advice and encouragement. Thanks to all those above who basically offered that already (and a very special shoutout to the commenter above whose advice was not to have kids until you’re partner - lol, thanks dude.)


Here are a few positives to consider:

--Its only a few years, not a lifetime. Sure, it will be tough, but its always easier to make it through something tough when you know it has an end point

--Many firms have gotten much better with remote work. I work a day from home now and then, and often work remotely at night so that I can at least be physically present with family

--An increasing number of partners at the junior ranks are from our same generation. Because of that, many of them "get it" whereas many of the older partners do not. And when the partners above you get what you are going through and are empathetic, it makes things more manageable

--If you shorten your commute substantially and live very close to your big law office, it will absolutely make the whole thing more workable and will give you more time with family

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby objctnyrhnr » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:28 am

I have a one year old and I make it a goal to spend a good bit of most weekends with him (maybe I work from home for a chunk every other Sunday, and I probably work one saturday every couple months), and then I independently have a Saturday night social engagement with other adults once every few weeks to stay sane.

On weeknights, I’ll try to get in 30 to 60 minutes at least three nights a week. Sometimes it’s more, but it’s rarely less. If you look at that as an absolute priority, it’s often doable by the time you’re a decently respected midlevel. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. Am I partially glued to my phone during that time around 730pm? Yeah, I am, and I try to only glance at it when he’s looking the other way. Where I do have to respond to something, I’ll try to do it in the other room.

But anyway, that’s how I make it work and I would like to think that I’ve cultivated a strong relationship with my kid thus far, even though I’ve been a mid level biglaw lit associate his entire life.

Still, if and when I eventually go to govt or something, is time with kids going to be a substantial motivating factor for my departure? Definitely. But for the time being, I’m pretty financially committed (on behalf of the family) to this lifestyle.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:29 am

Elbble wrote:OP here again. Positive stories, please, guys!


To repeat, I already know the nightmare stories. I have a child; I’m committed, for financial reasons, to at least a couple years of biglaw. It would be helpful to me, and I suspect to others in my position, to hear advice and encouragement. Thanks to all those above who basically offered that already (and a very special shoutout to the commenter above whose advice was not to have kids until you’re partner - lol, thanks dude.)


I am the anon above who discussed the distinction between "making it work" and successful family life.

Part of the problem is you are, in essence, asking for advice and encouraging stories on how you can manage associate biglaw life -- where you are working constantly and are on call 24/7 -- while simultaneously enjoying a healthy, positive family life. Both of these require time and attention, and there are only so many hours in a day.

About two years into my associate biglaw career, my wife demanded that I spend more time with the family. Absent some type of fire drill, I would carve out 1-2 hours a night to spend time with my family and work after my kids went to bed. Unfortunately, this meant I was routinely getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night, sometimes less. I started to nod off when driving, had trouble focusing/following conversations, was getting sick all the time, etc. I did this for about four months before my wife, out of concern for my health, suggested I go back to my old routine. I know you asked for encouragement / advice, but I just want to note here that having my wife suggest I spend less time with my family was probably one of the most crushing things anyone has ever said to me and was also the point at which I definitively decided I was going to leave biglaw.

In terms of advice, I think one option is to just decide that you will be a mediocre/bad associate and not be as responsive as your peers. This obviously runs the risk of getting you fired, but with a little luck, you can skate by until you can jump ship. If you want to do the partnership grind, I have no idea how you manage.

Despite the stuff I have posted in this thread, if I could go back in time, I would absolutely make the same choices. I now work in-house doing work I enjoy with great hours and great pay. There is no way I would have been able to get this job without the exposure and experience I received at my firm. I had a friend who was also going through the same issues I faced (two kids and biglaw), and it was helpful for us to be able to vent to each other. If you are not looking to make partner, it's also helpful to view the job like a medical residency (i.e., you're just there to get in, work for x years, and get out).

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:17 pm

Elbble wrote:OP here again. Positive stories, please, guys!


To repeat, I already know the nightmare stories. I have a child; I’m committed, for financial reasons, to at least a couple years of biglaw. It would be helpful to me, and I suspect to others in my position, to hear advice and encouragement. Thanks to all those above who basically offered that already (and a very special shoutout to the commenter above whose advice was not to have kids until you’re partner - lol, thanks dude.)


You ever think of just not doing big law? I was "pot-committed" to it given my debt load, and I wanted to corporate law going into law school. I ended up leaving jobs I enjoyed far more to get the prestige and the money of biglaw and the corporate law experience. I don't have kids (dogs though), I left NYC to be less stressed, and honestly, there isn't much positive to tell you. I don't know how people with kids do it other than having an SO that doesn't work, and even then, you aren't really present in their lives and you are always stressed out, always at tension with the rest of the "normal" world. I take conference calls from dog parks on sundays, I work all day on vacations. Looking back a few years, I regret giving up jobs I enjoyed to make big law money. Confidence has soured, health has taken a downturn, sleep deprived, miserable. I'm lucky my SO is so understanding, otherwise I'd be alone too. The money is good and the debt is almost gone, but feel like this job took a piece of me that I'll never get back.

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby Wubbles » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:36 pm

Yikes. I grew up poor with both parents being shift workers, but seeing my parents for significant portions of time everyday was something I apparently took for granted. Anecdotal, but I remain best friends with my parents to this day and I don't think that'd be the case if I didn't see them as much growing up.

This isn't me saying being a parent in biglaw is impossible, I'm just responding to the comments implying that it doesn't matter much if you don't see your kids everyday and skype into important events.

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nealric

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Re: Biglaw w kids - any positive stories??

Postby nealric » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:42 pm

A general observation about biglaw and work/life balance:

While there are situations that are just bad and inescapable, someone who does good work can afford to push back against the most extreme demands once established. This is especially true if you are not gunning for partner. If spending an hour or two with your family in the evening means sleeping 3 hours a night, that's extreme even by biglaw standards.

I'd also point out that biglaw is not a monolith- there's a world of difference between being a 2nd year V5 M&A associate in NYC and being an of Counsel in T&E or ERISA in a secondary market. If you value family life or relationships outside of work, I'd strongly advise against jobs like the former. Ideally, find a niche practice where you are an adviser to larger projects rather than core to them.



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