Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

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Bigbub75
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Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby Bigbub75 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:59 am

I'm currently a 2L evening student at a solid regional school. I've done "well" so far so biglaw/ midlaw is possibly within my reach. In my research and from reading blogs/TLS one major complaint I continue to read about is the hours. But to be honest the hours don't seem to be that bad. Because I hold a fulltime job and go to school my days start at around 5:30am and end at around 10:00pm Monday - Thursday. Friday evenings I take it easy and then I usually study on the weekends. So BigLaw just seems like it would be a continuation of the current hours I keep, which aren't wonderful, but it certainty aren't unbearable either. Granted I am not married and don't have children so I am sure that may change the dynamics.

Prior to law school I worked at Merrill Lynch, and working at least until 7 was the norm. I also have friends who are doctors, Vice Presidents at Fortune 500 companies, Investment Bankers, etc and all seem to work insane hours. No matter what field you work in, if you want to be successful, it appears that long hours are par for the course. I know very few extremely successful people that work 40 hours a week. Maybe because I am a non-trad my outlook is different, but Biglaw hours don't seem to be that big of a turn off to me.

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tallboone
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby tallboone » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:07 am

Bigbub75 wrote: I know very few extremely successful people that work 40 hours a week. Maybe because I am a non-trad my outlook is different, but Biglaw hours don't seem to be that big of a turn off to me.


You have a pretty narrow definition of "extremely successful." Not everyone wants to be rich.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:09 am

Bigbub75 wrote:I'm currently a 2L evening student at a solid regional school. I've done "well" so far so biglaw/ midlaw is possibly within my reach. In my research and from reading blogs/TLS one major complaint I continue to read about is the hours. But to be honest the hours don't seem to be that bad. Because I hold a fulltime job and go to school my days start at around 5:30am and end at around 10:00pm Monday - Thursday. Friday evenings I take it easy and then I usually study on the weekends. So BigLaw just seems like it would be a continuation of the current hours I keep, which aren't wonderful, but it certainty aren't unbearable either. Granted I am not married and don't have children so I am sure that may change the dynamics.

Prior to law school I worked at Merrill Lynch, and working at least until 7 was the norm. I also have friends who are doctors, Vice Presidents at Fortune 500 companies, Investment Bankers, etc and all seem to work insane hours. No matter what field you work in, if you want to be successful, it appears that long hours are par for the course. I know very few extremely successful people that work 40 hours a week. Maybe because I am a non-trad my outlook is different, but Biglaw hours don't seem to be that big of a turn off to me.


Well yeah, if you're working full time AND going to law school, then biglaw hours might not seem to whack to you. 5:30 am till 10 pm? Jeez, yeah...

If all your friends are investment bankers, young doctors and VPs of Fortune 500s, then yeah, biglaw hours won't seem that insane to you. People on the interwebz just expect to have jobs that pay a lot with minimal work *coughdentistrycough*...that isn't biglaw.

The only thing I can add is that, one annoying thing about biglaw that your current work/school schedule does not account for is the unpredictability of the hours. It isn't like it is 6 to 8 every weekday (which I would STEAL for)...but rather when you get a big case in, bam you're pulling all-nighters or late hrs for a few days. Just closed a deal and nothing else on the table? Have fun twiddling thumbs for the next few days. Up and down cycle, especially in transactional work. Thought you had the weekend off? Sorry, big deal landed on your desk Friday afternoon -- have fun. It is the unpredictability that gets a lot of people.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:10 am

tallboone wrote:
Bigbub75 wrote: I know very few extremely successful people that work 40 hours a week. Maybe because I am a non-trad my outlook is different, but Biglaw hours don't seem to be that big of a turn off to me.


You have a pretty narrow definition of "extremely successful." Not everyone wants to be rich.


For all practical purposes, I think his characterization of "extremely successful" is a fair one. But you're right, it is completely subjective. Depending on how you grew up and what you prioritize, person A may seem "okay" or "unbelievably successful."

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emciosn
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby emciosn » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:11 am

Bigbub75 wrote:I'm currently a 2L evening student at a solid regional school. I've done "well" so far so biglaw/ midlaw is possibly within my reach. In my research and from reading blogs/TLS one major complaint I continue to read about is the hours. But to be honest the hours don't seem to be that bad. Because I hold a fulltime job and go to school my days start at around 5:30am and end at around 10:00pm Monday - Thursday. Friday evenings I take it easy and then I usually study on the weekends. So BigLaw just seems like it would be a continuation of the current hours I keep, which aren't wonderful, but it certainty aren't unbearable either. Granted I am not married and don't have children so I am sure that may change the dynamics.

Prior to law school I worked at Merrill Lynch, and working at least until 7 was the norm. I also have friends who are doctors, Vice Presidents at Fortune 500 companies, Investment Bankers, etc and all seem to work insane hours. No matter what field you work in, if you want to be successful, it appears that long hours are par for the course. I know very few extremely successful people that work 40 hours a week. Maybe because I am a non-trad my outlook is different, but Biglaw hours don't seem to be that big of a turn off to me.


Man I really hope midlaw hours aren't 5:30 am to 10 pm.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:16 am

emciosn wrote:
Bigbub75 wrote:I'm currently a 2L evening student at a solid regional school. I've done "well" so far so biglaw/ midlaw is possibly within my reach. In my research and from reading blogs/TLS one major complaint I continue to read about is the hours. But to be honest the hours don't seem to be that bad. Because I hold a fulltime job and go to school my days start at around 5:30am and end at around 10:00pm Monday - Thursday. Friday evenings I take it easy and then I usually study on the weekends. So BigLaw just seems like it would be a continuation of the current hours I keep, which aren't wonderful, but it certainty aren't unbearable either. Granted I am not married and don't have children so I am sure that may change the dynamics.

Prior to law school I worked at Merrill Lynch, and working at least until 7 was the norm. I also have friends who are doctors, Vice Presidents at Fortune 500 companies, Investment Bankers, etc and all seem to work insane hours. No matter what field you work in, if you want to be successful, it appears that long hours are par for the course. I know very few extremely successful people that work 40 hours a week. Maybe because I am a non-trad my outlook is different, but Biglaw hours don't seem to be that big of a turn off to me.


Man I really hope midlaw hours aren't 5:30 am to 10 pm.


lol from what I hear, midlaw depends a LOT on the firm.

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Bigbub75
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby Bigbub75 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:22 am

[quote="DoubleChecks"] People on the interwebz just expect to have jobs that pay a lot with minimal work *coughdentistrycough*...that isn't biglaw.
[quote]

Yeah I guess that's my point. $160,000 is a lot of money. Working 40 hours and making that much money in most fields is verly unlikely....maybe dentistry/ family medicine lol. But not many careers pay that well for minimal work.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:24 am

tallboone wrote:
Bigbub75 wrote: I know very few extremely successful people that work 40 hours a week. Maybe because I am a non-trad my outlook is different, but Biglaw hours don't seem to be that big of a turn off to me.


You have a pretty narrow definition of "extremely successful." Not everyone wants to be rich.


Most people "want" to be rich. It is a question of:

1. How much do they want it?
2. How much work are they willing to put in?
3. How many connections they have
4. How intelligent they are

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emciosn
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby emciosn » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:26 am

Bigbub75 wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote: People on the interwebz just expect to have jobs that pay a lot with minimal work *coughdentistrycough*...that isn't biglaw.


Yeah I guess that's my point. $160,000 is a lot of money. Working 40 hours and making that much money in most fields is verly unlikely....maybe dentistry/ family medicine lol. But not many careers pay that well for minimal work.


Yeah that is a lot of money, hard to imagine a 26 year old "earning" that amount without putting in some serious hours. Even if it was more like 90k for midlaw or something. Also I have friends my age working a full time job then working at a restaurant or something at night to extra money (not uncommon). Its like the same hours but a lot less money.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:27 am

Bigbub75 wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote: People on the interwebz just expect to have jobs that pay a lot with minimal work *coughdentistrycough*...that isn't biglaw.


Yeah I guess that's my point. $160,000 is a lot of money. Working 40 hours and making that much money in most fields is verly unlikely....maybe dentistry/ family medicine lol. But not many careers pay that well for minimal work.


While I realize that is your point, I'd also like to emphasize my main point, which is that you are in an extreme minority of people who are around VPs, doctors, investment bankers, etc. and work full time while going to law school (read: 5:30-10pm schedule) lol.

That is also a reason why others gawk at the hours. I mean, there are a number of other professions that make just as much as biglaw (excluding partnership) once you factor in average debt...but they don't have anywhere near the insane hours and unpredictability. Oh yeah, that was my other main point haha. :P

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englawyer
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby englawyer » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:32 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
That is also a reason why others gawk at the hours. I mean, there are a number of other professions that make just as much as biglaw (excluding partnership) once you factor in average debt...but they don't have anywhere near the insane hours and unpredictability. Oh yeah, that was my other main point haha. :P


what are these professions?

liLtuneChi
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby liLtuneChi » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:33 am

I agree. I think alot of law students are pampered whiners. Firm life isn't that bad and getting in 2500 hours is not that hard at all. I've only been working as a summer but billing 8 hrs a day is not very hard. Just show up at 8am and leave at 8pm. Take a 45 minute lunch, 25 minutes for bathroom breaks, etc. And as long as you don't daze off too much, I don't think billing 10/11 hours worked is very hard at all. I've been billing 7/8 hours as a summer so far.

That would come out to 50 hours billed a week (if you only worked weekdays) and multiply that by 50 weeks and your at 2500 hours billed with a 2 week vacation for the year. Throw in a couple of weekends worked each month and you can easily get to 2700-2800 for the year. Now I realize that some weeks would get more hectic than others if there is deal closing or a case about to go to trial but that would just mean that other weeks would get very chill so there is the trade off.

I think as long as you don't have a family and kids, firm life is not very hard at all. This is simply from my experience so far as a summer.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:35 am

liLtuneChi wrote:This is simply from my experience so far as a summer.


Yeah, about that.

One of the many varients on this joke wrote:The Devil offers a third year law student a free look at Hell. The student sees beautiful, happy people, eating well and having fun, an so he becomes a sinner. When he finally dies and goes to Hell permanently, it's a very different place with fire and misery. He complains to the Devil, reminding him of what he had been previously shown. The Devil replies, "That was our summer associates program."

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Kronk
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby Kronk » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:38 am

50-55 hours a week isn't bad at all. But it's the fact that some weeks you'll be working 35 and others you'll be working 75 that I think gets to people. Also the unpredictability of not knowing when you'll get an assignment. You may plan an entire weekend away somewhere, only to get an assignment on Thursday that needs to be done Monday and is going to take 15 hours. So you're either staying home or working on your vacation.

If it was 50 hours a week, every week, with consistent hours and 4 weeks vacation I don't think anyone would complain. Most lawyers I talk to say they haven't had a vacation where they haven't had to work at least a little since they started BigLaw.

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Whatisthis
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby Whatisthis » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:40 am

Bigbub75 wrote:my days start at around 5:30am and end at around 10:00pm


If you don't find the continuation of this to be unbearable, then I hope, for your sake, that there is an afterlife.

I mean, I also work hard and I am not totally put off by biglaw hours, but you have to appreciate the fact that giving up most of your waking life is a hell of a sacrifice, and one that a more rational person would likely find unacceptable.

rangers0412
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby rangers0412 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:40 am

In addition to the hours you need to factor in stress and routine of doing the same thing every day. Im sure most people could do it for a year or two, after that it would probably be too much - especially if your ultimate goal is a family. If you want to dedicate your life to working (ugh) than yea firm life seems peachy. I already faced this issue going through big 4 accounting so I think theres little chance I could ever do biglaw.

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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:41 am

Whatisthis wrote:
Bigbub75 wrote:my days start at around 5:30am and end at around 10:00pm


If you don't find the continuation of this to be unbearable, then I hope, for your sake, that there is an afterlife.

I mean, I also work hard and I am not totally put off by biglaw hours, but you have to appreciate the fact that giving up most of your waking life is a hell of a sacrifice, and one that a more rational person would likely find unacceptable.


But the remaining hour of waking life is full of dom perignon, caviar-encrusted filet mignon, $3000/hour "companions," and golden toilets!

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Bigbub75
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby Bigbub75 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:43 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
Bigbub75 wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote: People on the interwebz just expect to have jobs that pay a lot with minimal work *coughdentistrycough*...that isn't biglaw.


Yeah I guess that's my point. $160,000 is a lot of money. Working 40 hours and making that much money in most fields is verly unlikely....maybe dentistry/ family medicine lol. But not many careers pay that well for minimal work.


While I realize that is your point, I'd also like to emphasize my main point, which is that you are in an extreme minority of people who are around VPs, doctors, investment bankers, etc. and work full time while going to law school (read: 5:30-10pm schedule) lol.

That is also a reason why others gawk at the hours. I mean, there are a number of other professions that make just as much as biglaw (excluding partnership) once you factor in average debt...but they don't have anywhere near the insane hours and unpredictability. Oh yeah, that was my other main point haha. :P


FYI my 5:30am - 10pm includes going to the gym in the morning and commuting time. if you cut that out it would be a closer to a 12-13 hr day.

Yeah The unpredictablity would suck more than the hours I think. Not being able to plan vacations, etc would get old eventually I am sure.

Giddy-Up
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby Giddy-Up » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:59 am

Personally, having a family makes it a game changer. Just like the OP I worked full time while going to law school at night. We had out first child near the end of my first year and I did not get to see her as much as I would like. Most weekdays I did not see her at all, I was gone before she woke up and home after she went to sleep. It was a sacrifice that I was willing to make, but I am glad that I do not have to continue those crazy hours.

Without a family, it is a lot easier to grind out those hours.

fingersxd
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby fingersxd » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:02 am

Also, people underestimate the impact of those hours and the unpredicatability on relationships, family life (if any) and just general socializing. Cancelling vacations, working the whole time, flaking on dates, friends, etc. are all a consequence of biglaw life. In fact, the overwhelming majority of lawyers at biglaw I've spoken or worked with (there have been a lot), don't mind the hours, but rather the negatives effects the hours have on your life outside of the office. It really does get to you (even as a legal assistant I can attest to this being true).

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:03 am

This is why I only date people who are career-first/no family types!

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:06 am

liLtuneChi wrote:I agree. I think alot of law students are pampered whiners. Firm life isn't that bad and getting in 2500 hours is not that hard at all. I've only been working as a summer but billing 8 hrs a day is not very hard. Just show up at 8am and leave at 8pm. Take a 45 minute lunch, 25 minutes for bathroom breaks, etc. And as long as you don't daze off too much, I don't think billing 10/11 hours worked is very hard at all. I've been billing 7/8 hours as a summer so far.

That would come out to 50 hours billed a week (if you only worked weekdays) and multiply that by 50 weeks and your at 2500 hours billed with a 2 week vacation for the year. Throw in a couple of weekends worked each month and you can easily get to 2700-2800 for the year. Now I realize that some weeks would get more hectic than others if there is deal closing or a case about to go to trial but that would just mean that other weeks would get very chill so there is the trade off.

I think as long as you don't have a family and kids, firm life is not very hard at all. This is simply from my experience so far as a summer.


yeah sorry...that is not what being an associate will be like im sure lol.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:07 am

englawyer wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
That is also a reason why others gawk at the hours. I mean, there are a number of other professions that make just as much as biglaw (excluding partnership) once you factor in average debt...but they don't have anywhere near the insane hours and unpredictability. Oh yeah, that was my other main point haha. :P


what are these professions?


after factoring debt? accounting, dentistry, pharmacy, certain types of engineering, etc.

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Kronk
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby Kronk » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:15 am

This is why my target market has billable requirements of 1950hrs.

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Veyron
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Re: Only one not turned off by Biglaw hours?

Postby Veyron » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:18 am

Bigbub75 wrote:No matter what field you work in, if you want to be successful, it appears that long hours are par for the course.


QFT




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