Check Your Blackberry . . .

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jh60405
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Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby jh60405 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:28 pm

--LinkRemoved--

thoughts?

dakatz
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby dakatz » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:33 pm

Checking email every single hour you are out of work is a bit too much.

thompson
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby thompson » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:39 pm

Why is OP anonymous? Seriously? There's not even the SMALLEST reason why.

As to dakatz, I think it's a little extreme but still - attorneys playing at the biglaw level are expected to be reasonably 'on-call'. This doesn't mean waking up every 4 hours to make sure nothing's come in, but I don't think asking someone to check their email every hour or two if they don't have a good reason not to is unreasonable. If you're at a wedding, or on vacation (where you've made it clear you're unreachable) then fine -- otherwise, welcome to getting paid $160k/year.

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nealric
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby nealric » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:40 pm

There were attorneys at my firm who used to literally sleep with their blackberry on vibrate under their pillow during the height of the boom.

IMO, part of what they are paying you for is being available 24/7.

thompson
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby thompson » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:45 pm

nealric wrote:There were attorneys at my firm who used to literally sleep with their blackberry on vibrate under their pillow during the height of the boom.

IMO, part of what they are paying you for is being available 24/7.

I'm not sure if my wife would be cool with the BB co-sleeping arrangement. It's bad enough when I have my iPhone on the dock next to the bed.

"It vibrated! It could be IMPORTANT!"

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paratactical
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby paratactical » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:47 pm

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posner
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby Posner » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:48 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby TTT-LS » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:11 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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stavand
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby stavand » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:01 pm

I think checking your email once an hour (during waking hours, which is what it says) is perfectly legit. Biglaw pays a lot b/c they demand a lot... And it's not that hard to check emails every hour, especially when u have have a phone that easily displays them, and beeps/ vibrates whenever a new email comes in.

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underdawg
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby underdawg » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:16 pm

why are we talking about checking your e-mail every hour? it's doing the work described in the e-mail that people can argue about...but checking a phone every hour? i do that already and i don't even have a job. if i had a blackberry, i would be checking e-mails too, yeah

it's not like he said check them in your sleep...

(p.s. even the government, who people think is the place to be to slack for some reason, will call their assistant district attorneys sometimes for emergencies...)

this is nothing like mofo's "uh you should really come in an hour early to work every day and do jumping jacks"...

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:46 pm

You're being paid $160,000 a year. You're on call. Deal with it. Consider yourself blessed that you have the opportunity to be on call. If I did my math correctly, a 1st-year associate makes ~$18 an hour, plus benefits, plus (admittedly low/non-existent now) bonus, if you consider yourself to literally be on call every hour of the year. Considering that 6 hours or so of that a night is out for sleep, and even the hardest-driving people generally work at least reduced hours on the weekends... yeah.

If you don't like it, quit. There are thousands of other people who would take the same job for considerably less pay. I truly don't understand why biglaw hasn't dropped its pay down to $100-120k; they would easily fill all the slots at that pay, or lower, with people who could do the job just as well.

That said, I think the way that partner handled the situation was probably a little harsh--it should have been handled privately with the associate at issue. The e-mail could have made the same point without specifically calling out the "anonymous" "relatively new" associate--I'd be willing to bet that everyone in the office knows who that "anonymous" associate is.

Anonymous User
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:50 am

Transfer hit it on the nose: you're making $160k/year, deal with it. If you went to law school chasing that BigLaw salary you better have known the price it comes with. This ATL post brought nothing new to the table, why it had 700 responses I'll never know.

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BradyToMoss
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby BradyToMoss » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:56 am

underdawg wrote:why are we talking about checking your e-mail every hour? it's doing the work described in the e-mail that people can argue about...but checking a phone every hour? i do that already and i don't even have a job. if i had a blackberry, i would be checking e-mails too, yeah

it's not like he said check them in your sleep...

(p.s. even the government, who people think is the place to be to slack for some reason, will call their assistant district attorneys sometimes for emergencies...)

this is nothing like mofo's "uh you should really come in an hour early to work every day and do jumping jacks"
...


MoFo also dropped CA starting salaries to $145k from $160k, perhaps marking the beginning of many big dogs retreating from $160k. That big news got around 100 comments, while an internal memo reminding employees they need to check their email on weekday evenings got 700 comments. Pretty insane if you ask me.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:59 am

How long does it take to check your blackberry? It was stupid of the partner to make it a firm-wide email, but he has a point.

Edit: I would check my BB every hour I wasn't asleep for 100k. When you enter the legal profession, you enter a demanding profession. Deal with it. Although, I'm sure the associate simply made an oversight.
Last edited by dextermorgan on Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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onwisconsin25
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby onwisconsin25 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:03 am

My dad is in a demanding industry (private equity) and the first thing they tell associates is "You get a Blackberry on Day 1. This is your new best friend." His Blackberry is an extension of his body. When we are on vacation, he probably spends 2 hours a day on the BB. It's really not that bad.

I only bring up his example to show that it isn't just law. Any high paying job is going to require you to be available when needed, just like you'd have to be on call if you were a doctor. As previous posters have said, its the tradeoff for the salary.

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superserial
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby superserial » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:31 am

not unreasonable at all. those of us who do want jobs/do have friends will check our blackberrys much more than once an hour.

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omnomnom
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby omnomnom » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:45 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:You're being paid $160,000 a year. You're on call. Deal with it. Consider yourself blessed that you have the opportunity to be on call. If I did my math correctly, a 1st-year associate makes ~$18 an hour, plus benefits, plus (admittedly low/non-existent now)


A McDonald's manager makes $38k/yr on average. At 40 hours per week, that would also come out to ~$18/hr. Also, you're forgetting taxes; a $160k salary should cost you something like $37k in taxes

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M51
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby M51 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:47 am

omnomnom wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:You're being paid $160,000 a year. You're on call. Deal with it. Consider yourself blessed that you have the opportunity to be on call. If I did my math correctly, a 1st-year associate makes ~$18 an hour, plus benefits, plus (admittedly low/non-existent now)


A McDonald's manager makes $38k/yr on average. At 40 hours per week, that would also come out to ~$18/hr. Also, you're forgetting taxes; a $160k salary should cost you something like $37k in taxes


Here's some math:
160,000$ / 3000 hours (2000 billable at a 2:1 ratio, which is a pretty low ratio. from what i here is more like 3:1) = ~53$/hr

I'm not saying other professions don't make more by the hour, but comparison w/ McDonald's manager (without accounting for opportunity cost of college/lawschool) are unwarrantedly pessimistic.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:07 am

omnomnom wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:You're being paid $160,000 a year. You're on call. Deal with it. Consider yourself blessed that you have the opportunity to be on call. If I did my math correctly, a 1st-year associate makes ~$18 an hour, plus benefits, plus (admittedly low/non-existent now)


A McDonald's manager makes $38k/yr on average. At 40 hours per week, that would also come out to ~$18/hr. Also, you're forgetting taxes; a $160k salary should cost you something like $37k in taxes


That's nice. The McDonalds manager doesn't make that $18 while he is asleep/not at work though. You can argue "oh, but he has more free time, etc" which is absolutely true. You sold your free time to the firm for a much, much higher salary.

And I'm not "forgetting" taxes. You, however, are "forgetting" fringe benefits, if you *really* want to go there.

I was just pointing out a fact that doesn't mean much, considering that no one is literally on-call 24/7. If you take out 6 hours a night for sleep, you're at $24 an hour. Are there other professions where you make $24 an hour? Obviously, there are plenty. Are there other professions that allow you to make $24 an hour for 16 hours a day? No. Does "checking your Blackberry once an hour" really constitute heavy lifting as far as work goes? No.

Biglaw lawyers are paid far more than they are worth, and the tradeoff is that the firm owns your time. There just isn't a debate.

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lishi
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby lishi » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:05 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
thompson wrote:Why is OP anonymous? Seriously? There's not even the SMALLEST reason why.

Correct. Stop it with the unnecessarily anonymoyus posts, people.



Yup, the original poster is jh60405. Feel free to mock him. Hopefully he won't abuse the anonymous feature again.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Check Your Blackberry . . .

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:48 pm

I'm puzzled as to what, exactly people expected to do in the professional sector and be able to punch-clock it. Believe it or not, you're not being paid all that money solely because you are purportedly intelligent.

There is no high paying field where you are not put under some form of extreme demand of time, and that's usually coupled with some extreme demand of skill despite that time. At least a junior associate doesn't have that concern. Not so for medical residents. Not so for Ibankers either, although for a different reason (summary termination).

If you can check fracking FaceBook 10x a day and run a Twitter stream, you can check your work e-mail every hour and right before you go to bed.




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