What is big law really like?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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scifiguy
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby scifiguy » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:06 pm

Icculus wrote:
scifiguy wrote:Never been to a Brooks Brothers. You can shave and shower there?


Brooks Brothers is a men's clothing store.

Another option is join a gym close-ish to work. You can always shower there.


I would think biglaw could afford showers in teh office for workers in these situations. :lol:

I think Google may be the best. They have cool stuff like ping pong tables to help workers relax and have fun and stay fresh and motivated. I think I remember hearing Yahoo! has an entire fitness facility with full basketball courts.

These things help the work environment.

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scifiguy
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby scifiguy » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:11 pm

http://www.incomediary.com/top-20-most- ... ny-offices

Check out the "top 20" best company offices. Maybe biglaw could learn from these?

I love the slide at Google. hahaha! It would be awesome to work there!!! :idea: :idea:

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:24 pm

Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, but they don't pay you the big bucks to ride the gravy train.

We'll see how long I can stick this out.

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rayiner
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby rayiner » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:46 pm

scifiguy wrote:
rayiner wrote:
scifiguy wrote:Was wondering too if you have to be on call 24/7 in biglaw?

Is taht just one of the things that comes with teh job? Like being POTUS? Do you have to always have your cell on you and respond at any hour to work calls?


Generally nobody expects responses during sleep hours unless you have notice. Otherwise, yes.



That's good that at least you can sleep through the night. I think some types of MD's don't have that luxury.

But what about weekends? Do you biglaw folks work Sat./Sun.'s too and have to be on call on weekends too? Or do you just work like 15 hour weekdays Mon-Fri. to get all that work in before the weekend and then relax?


When you're busy, weekends are just another work day except nobody expects you to be into the office.

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rayiner
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby rayiner » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:48 pm

scifiguy wrote:
Icculus wrote:"24/7" not "24/5". All of my friends who work BigLaw tend to work on weekends, usually not every weekend, and it really depends on what they are working on, but generally you can expect that weekends are not off the table. Note: This is anecdotal evidence from reading this board and talking to friends who have been working in BigLaw 5-7 years. I also would say most of my friends tend to at least get Sunday to themselves most weeks but I have also talked to them after they've pulled a few allnighters in a row.


Interesting. Thanks very much guys for the input.

I guess as long as I had one day off per week most of the time, then that wouldn't be too bad and reasonable. On the other hand, if I had a job where I literally worked all seven days (like full days), then that would be torture. I don't know how people can recharge with no off days like that. Just hearing that actually makes me *feel* drained. :D

Although, I sitll wonder why a person couldn't just work faster and harder Mon - Fri.? I read often that biglaw requires 60-80 hour weeks. If a person works 15 hours a day Mon thru fri, then they would have worked 75 hours already. Then maybe work half a day Sat. and get the night off and have Sunday off too. Possible?

A 15 hour day still sounds rough though: 8AM to 11PM. :shock: Sort of like final exam time here at UG. Actually finals are worse. We do all nighters .....have done like 3 hour sleep days. Even non-finals times when I have papers due and other stuff I sometimes do days where I get 3 hours of sleep. I try to avoid it, but it's happened before.

I'm just trying to visualize what working 80 hours a week constantly year round would be like.


Your work schedule usually isn't regular like that. It's "oh this has to be done by monday so you have to work though the weekend." The flip side of that, though, is that even when you're busy you'll have reprieves like: "they'll get back to us with this tomorrow, so go home early and sleep."

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rayiner
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby rayiner » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:51 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:How early can you reasonably start your day at most law firms? If I'm looking at a steady diet of 12-hour days, I'd much rather do 7a-7p than 9a-9p. And if you do come in earlier than most of your peers, will there still be the perception that you're leaving "early", even though you came in a couple hours before most everyone else?


Your colleagues at firms are basically your law school classmates. More people are likely to do 11am to 1am than 7am to 7pm. If you're on a team where a person like that is above you, you follow their schedule.

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scifiguy
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby scifiguy » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:05 am

How do people balance marriage/dating/family life in biglaw?

Do you guys ever have to cancel dates and dinner appointments, because a superior called with an assignment?

Is it possible to "schedule" in family or significant other time and know for sure you can make it?

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:17 am

scifiguy wrote:How do people balance marriage/dating/family life in biglaw?

Do you guys ever have to cancel dates and dinner appointments, because a superior called with an assignment?

Is it possible to "schedule" in family or significant other time and know for sure you can make it?


We'll see in a few months here.

Yes.

Not really.

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DCDuck
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby DCDuck » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:14 am

How do people balance marriage/dating/family life in biglaw? It's tricky. You have to prioritize it at the expense of other things. My priorities go: 1. work, 2. my partner, 3. Sleep. Very little exercise/models and bottles. I frequently wonder how I will find time to spend my money.
Do you guys ever have to cancel dates and dinner appointments, because a superior called with an assignment? You betcha. basically all of my plans are tentative until I show up.
Is it possible to "schedule" in family or significant other time and know for sure you can make it? No, but co-workers are usually willing to step in and help you out for special occasions or emergencies. "I'm in the hospital with my sick kid." "I'm proposing/it's my anniversary/It's my wedding" can usually be solid plans that co-workers will do their best to make possible for you.

I love my firm and the work, though, so it's totally worth it for me.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:24 pm

DCDuck wrote:How do people balance marriage/dating/family life in biglaw? It's tricky. You have to prioritize it at the expense of other things. My priorities go: 1. work, 2. my partner, 3. Sleep. Very little exercise/models and bottles. I frequently wonder how I will find time to spend my money.
Do you guys ever have to cancel dates and dinner appointments, because a superior called with an assignment? You betcha. basically all of my plans are tentative until I show up.
Is it possible to "schedule" in family or significant other time and know for sure you can make it? No, but co-workers are usually willing to step in and help you out for special occasions or emergencies. "I'm in the hospital with my sick kid." "I'm proposing/it's my anniversary/It's my wedding" can usually be solid plans that co-workers will do their best to make possible for you.

I love my firm and the work, though, so it's totally worth it for me.


Re spending your money - do you have no loans? I'm in MFH, paying 3.5K/mo towards loans and am basically banking nothing (decent but not too expensive rent, thankfully).

Alexandria
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby Alexandria » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:13 pm

There is a huge variation -- depends on the firm, the practice group, and, most importantly (as in any job) the people you are working with. When interviewing, really try to feel out the personalities of the firm. I am pretty happy at my firm (though not so happy that I think I would ever make partner/want to make partner) because I picked a firm that prides itself on "collegiality," that does not have the kind of culture where you are expected to go to bars and socialize after work, and because I am in a small, industry-focused practice group rather than a general litigation associate. And because the partners in my group really are great people to work for. Some months I don't bill as much as I should, but other months I exceed benchmark. I have a toddler, and I do leave work by 6:30 at the latest (with occasional exceptions, of course). If I have more work to do, I do it after she goes to bed. It's not that bad. But, again, I don't always bill as much as I should, and I won't be making partner. I'm a rising third-year, and I like working at a firm a lot more than I ever thought I would. There is, of course, some doc review or other crap, but I have also had some extremely interesting matters (including nerdy con law issues) -- much more interesting than I ever thought I'd get at a firm.

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rayiner
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby rayiner » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:53 am

scifiguy wrote:How do people balance marriage/dating/family life in biglaw?

Do you guys ever have to cancel dates and dinner appointments, because a superior called with an assignment?

Is it possible to "schedule" in family or significant other time and know for sure you can make it?


My experience so far:

1) People gave me just a huge amount of leeway when I went on paternity leave for two weeks in the middle of a very busy case. Nearly every single person asked why I didn't take a longer one. At least at my firm, people are very protective of each other's baby obligations.

2) I've left my girlfriend waiting at Grand Central for an hour because a case dropped on my desk at the last minute.

3) I've taken to scheduling lunches and dinners within a few blocks of my office so I can run back to my office if need-be.

That being said, I've been billing 60 hour weeks the last couple of months, and still managed to make every single lunch and dinner date (about once a week). In litigation, at least, being busy usually means just having a lot of work to do, not having things pop up for you randomly.

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bk1
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby bk1 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:55 am

.

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cahwc12
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:45 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:ITT, people slam the OP to cover up their insecurity about not knowing the answers to OP's questions.


:mrgreen:

LaBarrister
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby LaBarrister » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:24 pm

I have a question related to time spent working.

I just took a career counseling exam today and was mentored about my personality strengths. My number one, overriding characteristic is that I like to work countless hours and have a ton of stamina. Not only do I find this an important part of my life, but when I am not doing this I am unhappy. Working non-stop except for making small dates with family is how I stay healthy. Will this come to potentially help me out later on when I graduate from law school? Should I use this talent/skill to enter big law?

LaBarrister
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby LaBarrister » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:27 pm

DCDuck wrote:How do people balance marriage/dating/family life in biglaw? It's tricky. You have to prioritize it at the expense of other things. My priorities go: 1. work, 2. my partner, 3. Sleep. Very little exercise/models and bottles. I frequently wonder how I will find time to spend my money.
Do you guys ever have to cancel dates and dinner appointments, because a superior called with an assignment? You betcha. basically all of my plans are tentative until I show up.
Is it possible to "schedule" in family or significant other time and know for sure you can make it? No, but co-workers are usually willing to step in and help you out for special occasions or emergencies. "I'm in the hospital with my sick kid." "I'm proposing/it's my anniversary/It's my wedding" can usually be solid plans that co-workers will do their best to make possible for you.

I love my firm and the work, though, so it's totally worth it for me.


See my post above. This sounds like the life. We have similar priorities/interests, IMO.

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scifiguy
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby scifiguy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:47 pm

LaBarrister wrote:I have a question related to time spent working.

I just took a career counseling exam today and was mentored about my personality strengths. My number one, overriding characteristic is that I like to work countless hours and have a ton of stamina. Not only do I find this an important part of my life, but when I am not doing this I am unhappy. Working non-stop except for making small dates with family is how I stay healthy. Will this come to potentially help me out later on when I graduate from law school? Should I use this talent/skill to enter big law?



Are you already in law school?

LaBarrister
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby LaBarrister » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:47 am

Nope. Engineering undergrad.

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Icculus
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby Icculus » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:35 am

LaBarrister wrote:I have a question related to time spent working.

I just took a career counseling exam today and was mentored about my personality strengths. My number one, overriding characteristic is that I like to work countless hours and have a ton of stamina. Not only do I find this an important part of my life, but when I am not doing this I am unhappy. Working non-stop except for making small dates with family is how I stay healthy. Will this come to potentially help me out later on when I graduate from law school? Should I use this talent/skill to enter big law?


--ImageRemoved--

I think maybe you need a drink...or perhaps a sex life.

Though from what I hear you are exactly the kind of person Wachtell looks for.

splitmuch
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby splitmuch » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:51 pm

Icculus wrote:
LaBarrister wrote:I have a question related to time spent working.

I just took a career counseling exam today and was mentored about my personality strengths. My number one, overriding characteristic is that I like to work countless hours and have a ton of stamina. Not only do I find this an important part of my life, but when I am not doing this I am unhappy. Working non-stop except for making small dates with family is how I stay healthy. Will this come to potentially help me out later on when I graduate from law school? Should I use this talent/skill to enter big law?


--ImageRemoved--

I think maybe you need a drink...or perhaps a sex life.

Though from what I hear you are exactly the kind of person Wachtell looks for.


.
Put that stamina to good use

LaBarrister
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby LaBarrister » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:05 pm

Haha... you are implying that women are a good use? That's a funny joke. Women are more fickle than money.

M458
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby M458 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:46 pm

LaBarrister wrote:Haha... you are implying that women are a good use? That's a funny joke. Women are more fickle than money.


...Friends?...Family?...Hobbies?

LaBarrister
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby LaBarrister » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:11 pm

I visit family and read fiction often enough. I have friends, but I place my personal interests ahead of theirs. They know that.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:25 pm

LaBarrister wrote:I visit family and read fiction often enough. I have friends, but I place my personal interests ahead of theirs. They know that.

Go be a lawyer, you'll be great.

BeenDidThat
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Re: What is big law really like?

Postby BeenDidThat » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:31 pm

LaBarrister wrote:Haha... you are implying that women are a good use? That's a funny joke. Women are more fickle than money.


Awesome flame account.




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