Transfer and BigLaw

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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Journeybound
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:12 pm

Transfer and BigLaw

Postby Journeybound » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:42 am

I am still debating whether transferring is for me. I probably have the grades to get into GULC EA or better, but I'm not sure if I want the life that will be required to pay off all of the extra money involved with a more expensive degree. I'm currently going to a state school where I have guaranteed job prospects, and tuition is cheap.

However, I'm interested in the prestige and quality of a T14 education. Furthermore, I'm tempted by the BigLaw lifestyle. I like to work hard and be rewarded for it. I am also tempted by the ideas of possibly working on high profile cases, being in large office atmosphere, and living in a big city. But the problem is that I'm not 100% sure. Who knows until they've worked 80-90 hour weeks for a few years. Right?

Anyways, is it practical to plan on working for just 3 years in BigLaw so that I can pay off my loans, and then decide if its for me? How long do people plan on working for BigLaw firms when they start? What do you guys think? Also, how are you rationalizing taking on possibly another 100K in debt? Thanks!

Journeybound
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:12 pm

Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby Journeybound » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:39 am

Bump. I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

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A'nold
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Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby A'nold » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:59 am

I'm sorry but I just can't believe that biglaw associates work, on average, 80-90 hour weeks for years. I'm sure there are a few 80 hour weeks a year, but c'mon guys. It's like, when I first started posting on a law website a few years ago when I was in UG, it was like, man, 55 hour weeks! Then 60, 70, 80, 147.... :) It's like a horrible urban legend or something that keeps growing larger and scarier as time goes on. Yes, you work A LOT in biglaw, I just don't see how a 90 hour work week is even possible, let alone 90 hours a week for 3-4 years.

Feel free to ridicule me now people. :)

Oh, and b/c of this website I'm now convinced that there are 4,000 top 5% students all applying to GULC EA. That is all.

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Mattalones
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Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby Mattalones » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:49 am

Did TFA and, as a result, many 90 hour weeks. They were on and off. They just creep up on you and your body/mind go into this weird work mode, and you come out the other end. You don't realized that you worked 90 hours until after you think back on what a crazy week you had, then you move on till the next one comes ... I've been tired for two years, but its doable. I think it will continue to be doable in a Biglaw firm too, especially with 4x the pay I get today.

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A'nold
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Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby A'nold » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:01 am

Mattalones wrote:Did TFA and, as a result, many 90 hour weeks. They were on and off. They just creep up on you and your body/mind go into this weird work mode, and you come out the other end. You don't realized that you worked 90 hours until after you think back on what a crazy week you had, then you move on till the next one comes ... I've been tired for two years, but its doable. I think it will continue to be doable in a Biglaw firm too, especially with 4x the pay I get today.



Yeah but are you counting stuff like grading papers and other "out of the office" time? I could work 80 hour weeks (hell, I do more than that now for ls) but I get to spend a decent amount of time at home, which makes a world of difference IMO. It just seems like pre-biglaw people talk a big 100 hour game and the people that actually work it relay a more realistic (yet still crazy) work week.

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Mattalones
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Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby Mattalones » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:46 am

A'nold wrote:
Mattalones wrote:Did TFA and, as a result, many 90 hour weeks. They were on and off. They just creep up on you and your body/mind go into this weird work mode, and you come out the other end. You don't realized that you worked 90 hours until after you think back on what a crazy week you had, then you move on till the next one comes ... I've been tired for two years, but its doable. I think it will continue to be doable in a Biglaw firm too, especially with 4x the pay I get today.



Yeah but are you counting stuff like grading papers and other "out of the office" time? I could work 80 hour weeks (hell, I do more than that now for ls) but I get to spend a decent amount of time at home, which makes a world of difference IMO. It just seems like pre-biglaw people talk a big 100 hour game and the people that actually work it relay a more realistic (yet still crazy) work week.

I don't know your background, so I won't speculate. But, since you did on mine, here's some more info:

My TA graded papers and I was still seriously busy. My teaching job was at a charter that had a 60hr work week. During that, I did 16 units each term during master's time (T5 Ed school ... Maybe they were more work than normal ... don't know). Of all my friends at the time, I was the only one who worked every second while I was at on the job (Biglaw friends/family included still had time to eat lunch or check facebook occasionally). I don't think it could possibly be much (if any) crazier at a firm. I have a very close friend at o'melveny & [deleted] who wasn't as consistently slammed with work (she is pretty busy. Don't get me wrong). But, she is comparatively no more worked by any means.

Main point: If you are cut out for the work, it'l get done and you'll find it doable. Otherwise, you'll be another complaining lawyer.
Last edited by Mattalones on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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A'nold
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Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby A'nold » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:52 am

Mattalones wrote:
A'nold wrote:
Mattalones wrote:Did TFA and, as a result, many 90 hour weeks. They were on and off. They just creep up on you and your body/mind go into this weird work mode, and you come out the other end. You don't realized that you worked 90 hours until after you think back on what a crazy week you had, then you move on till the next one comes ... I've been tired for two years, but its doable. I think it will continue to be doable in a Biglaw firm too, especially with 4x the pay I get today.



Yeah but are you counting stuff like grading papers and other "out of the office" time? I could work 80 hour weeks (hell, I do more than that now for ls) but I get to spend a decent amount of time at home, which makes a world of difference IMO. It just seems like pre-biglaw people talk a big 100 hour game and the people that actually work it relay a more realistic (yet still crazy) work week.

My TA graded papers. I was seriously busy. My teaching job was a crazy charter that had us do 60hr/wk. Then I did 16 units each term during master's time (T5 Ed school ... Maybe they were harder than normal ... don't know). Of all my friends at the time, I was the only one who worked every second while I was at work (Biglaw friends/family included). I don't think it could possibly be much (if any) crazier. I have a very close friend at o'melveny & [deleted] who wasn't as consistently slammed with work (she is pretty busy. Don't get me wrong). But, she is comparatively no more worked by any means.

Main point: If you are cut out for the work, it'l get done and you'll find it doable. Otherwise, you'll be another complaining lawyer.


Yeah, we are on the same basic page here. What I was getting at is that, even in your situation, you were doing "16 units" in addition to the 60 hour work weeks. People act like you will physically be in your office 100 hours a week for 3-4 years. Me thinks they overexaggerate bigtime.

engineer
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:51 am

Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby engineer » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:54 am

Mattalones wrote:Did TFA and, as a result, many 90 hour weeks. They were on and off. They just creep up on you and your body/mind go into this weird work mode, and you come out the other end. You don't realized that you worked 90 hours until after you think back on what a crazy week you had, then you move on till the next one comes ... I've been tired for two years, but its doable. I think it will continue to be doable in a Biglaw firm too, especially with 4x the pay I get today.


That happened to me in engineering school, when I was also working full-time as a paramedic. You just stop "feeling" and time becomes continuous. It's the most surreal experience ever...everything stops mattering, and you just feel like you've been disconnected from the world. If you do that long enough, you burn out and can't do anything for a couple weeks/months.

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Mattalones
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Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby Mattalones » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:57 am

engineer wrote:
Mattalones wrote:Did TFA and, as a result, many 90 hour weeks. They were on and off. They just creep up on you and your body/mind go into this weird work mode, and you come out the other end. You don't realized that you worked 90 hours until after you think back on what a crazy week you had, then you move on till the next one comes ... I've been tired for two years, but its doable. I think it will continue to be doable in a Biglaw firm too, especially with 4x the pay I get today.


That happened to me in engineering school, when I was also working full-time as a paramedic. You just stop "feeling" and time becomes continuous. It's the most surreal experience ever...everything stops mattering, and you just feel like you've been disconnected from the world. If you do that long enough, you burn out and can't do anything for a couple weeks/months.

I think that depends on the person and on how much sleep you schedule in. I would just get in a rhythm and it wouldn't be that bad, but I would also make sure that I took care of myself (ate regularly, slept, stretched, drank plenty of water, had vitamins, etc). How one handles those times will dictate whether he/she burns out or not; it is not a sure thing at all.

Crofton
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Re: Transfer and BigLaw

Postby Crofton » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:23 pm

I too did TFA and also worked full-time for TFA and I can second mattalones. There were definitely weeks where I was at school from 6:15/30am- 7:30pm, working non-stop, only to get home and have more work to do. And working full-time for TFA I definitely did 100 hour weeks, working 12 hrs a day on the weekends. They happened, they got done, and they made the 65 hour weeks more bearable. And absolutely made law school easier. If you want to do the work, it will get done. Lawyers take stuff home too. But, I think with BigLaw and with everything else, there are busy times and not so busy times. By 100 hour weeks were typically before conferences or important deadlines, and I could work much less when they finished. It was all apart of the game, what I signed up for.




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