Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

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Alex12
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:34 pm

Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby Alex12 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:42 pm

Hey guys,
I'm new to this whole law school forum, but if you can help me that would be great!
I'm wondering if their are jobs that are outside of biglaw, where you can make 90-100K but working closer to a 50 hour week/ minimal weekends? Or is that totally unreasonable? And if it is possible, what kinds of law would it be? I'm guessing stuff like real estate, divorce, patent maybe, but I really have no idea.
Any help would be really appreciated!
O and I haven't decided where I'm going yet, but I will be at a good but not very top school. (deciding between top 15 school/ more debt and top 50 school/ minimal debt)
Thanks!
Last edited by Alex12 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

johndhi
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby johndhi » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:43 pm

From what I've seen, patent prosecution might fall into that category if you can find a firm with the right mindset. From what I've heard, Knobbe Martens is one such firm.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:51 pm

No.

Real jobs in services industries, such as law and consulting (audit, management, risk, etc.), are almost entirely client need based. You cannot control when your client needs either to get something completed or to respond to a third party (regulatory agencies/IRS/opposing parties). That's part of the reason that you get paid more than entry service jobs - you are getting paid for (1) producing quality work (not being wrong/doing a very good job), (2) being reliable in terms of meeting deadlines (set either by the client or by a third party), (3) having good enough communication skills to meet (1) and (2).

If you don't work a lot of hours, teach at a community college (no publishing/service required).

Anonymous User
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:59 pm

johndhi wrote:From what I've seen, patent prosecution might fall into that category if you can find a firm with the right mindset. From what I've heard, Knobbe Martens is one such firm.


I'm not sure about KMOB, but there are lots of small patent prosecution boutiques that have low hours (1500-1600) and salaries of $125k+.

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traehekat
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby traehekat » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:10 pm

I think this more or less describes working in-house, but I've read some things recently that suggest in-house isn't really that much better on the work/life balance.

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MBZags
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby MBZags » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:04 pm

traehekat wrote:I think this more or less describes working in-house, but I've read some things recently that suggest in-house isn't really that much better on the work/life balance.


Yeah, I had an in-house SA last summer. My boss worked roughly 8 a.m. to 7-8 p.m. and weekends.

Jhuen_the_bird
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:20 pm

Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby Jhuen_the_bird » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:48 pm

No one is going to pay you $90K+ for domestic relations / family law. Of course, it varies by region, but here in the midwest, DR firms probably pay associates between $40K-$60K ... if you're lucky enough to even GET one of these jobs. And a lot of these firms are shitty shitlaw "mills" that just churn associates in and out b/c it's a crappy place to work. In the midwest, if you want to start at over $70K a year ... it's gotta be big law or a successful mid-size firm and there will be the billable hour game (sometimes super busy, sometimes less busy).

r6_philly
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:
johndhi wrote:From what I've seen, patent prosecution might fall into that category if you can find a firm with the right mindset. From what I've heard, Knobbe Martens is one such firm.


I'm not sure about KMOB, but there are lots of small patent prosecution boutiques that have low hours (1500-1600) and salaries of $125k+.


KMOB and a couple of true/small IP boutiques I've talked to generally bill 1700-1900. Biglaw pros. is probably 1850-2100. Minimum is low, but you probably want to bill the average just for some job security. They pay $130-140 in secondary markets, which is more than market in NY.

But still, that's in aggregate. Work don't come in evenly throughout the year. You will have busy weeks and not busy weeks. You will have to work extra on some weeks to make up for weeks where you are billing 20-30 hours to even it out. You are at the mercy of your clients.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:44 pm

traehekat wrote:I think this more or less describes working in-house, but I've read some things recently that suggest in-house isn't really that much better on the work/life balance.


There was an in-house attorney on here a while back who said that the beauty of working in-house was that he could kick the really crappy weekend assignments to the outside counsel. But it sounded like he still worked 50+ hour weeks.

Alex12
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby Alex12 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:47 pm

Thanks guys for the info! It seems like I'm being a little overly optimistic :( O and I will most likely be in CA, if that makes any difference

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arhmcpo
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Re: Hours/ Salary Tradeoff

Postby arhmcpo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:30 pm

Alex12 wrote:Thanks guys for the info! It seems like I'm being a little overly optimistic :( O and I will most likely be in CA, if that makes any difference


It makes a difference from the midwest guys; because in CA your money will not go as far, so a higher salary does not necessarily equal a better QOL than the midwest peeps.

I think you would find great work life balance in government work depending on your definition of "well-paid". Starting salaries (surprisingly) vary widely depending on branch of government and County.The problem is with hiring freezes and CA being a F***ed up state, getting into government work is harder than its ever been.

But for example DA's in LA start at $55k-$60k but within 5 years and a couple promotions are making over $100k. Other counties, like San Mateo, have starting salaries more like $72k so your breaching 6 figures much faster. DA's get an hour and a half for lunch and routinely clock in at 9am (or later) and clock out at 5, with the exception being if they have a big case they need to work on. However, the great thing is that as long as you get your work done, the hours you clock in or out are not closely monitored or scrutinized. Plus you don't have to bill hours, don't underestimate how awesome not having to bill hours is.

The reality of government jobs in CA however was summed up recently when the LA DA decided to hire 20 new DA's and received over 1000 applications. Market blows. In your situation I would go to the T50 just to minimize your debt so that you have greater flexibility in the type of first attorney jobs you can take




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