Biglaw Partner Hours

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Ajax666
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Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Ajax666 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:15 pm

Do hours improve at the V20 as you work your way up in Biglaw? Do senior associates work fewer hours? Do partners still work 60-70 hours a week at firms like Cravath and Wachtell? If anyone can break this down from personal experience, that'd be nice.

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Detrox
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Detrox » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:33 pm

No experience but it tends to be commonly known that its almost exactly the opposite. If you want to make partner you have to put in more hours then everyone else (not a hard and fast rule, but the generally accepted belief), and once you make partner you won't be allowed to rest on your laurels.

Senior partners may have a lot more flexibility in schedules and hours since they've already brought in so much business, but below that, biglaw partner is not a career track for you if you're in it for a 9-5 job.

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Ajax666
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Ajax666 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:25 pm

Detrox wrote:No experience but it tends to be commonly known that its almost exactly the opposite. If you want to make partner you have to put in more hours then everyone else (not a hard and fast rule, but the generally accepted belief), and once you make partner you won't be allowed to rest on your laurels.

Senior partners may have a lot more flexibility in schedules and hours since they've already brought in so much business, but below that, biglaw partner is not a career track for you if you're in it for a 9-5 job.



I see; I know many firms are lockstep. Is senior partner a matter of how long you've been partner at the firm? I know at many firms it implies equity partner, but I also know at many popular V20 lockstep firms (I think Cravath and Skadden among them), all partners are equity partners. Do attorneys generally gain seniority after 5ish years, Or is there no common trend? If people are making it at around 40 I would still say its not a bad deal.

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glitter178
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby glitter178 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:31 pm

Ajax666 wrote:
Detrox wrote:No experience but it tends to be commonly known that its almost exactly the opposite. If you want to make partner you have to put in more hours then everyone else (not a hard and fast rule, but the generally accepted belief), and once you make partner you won't be allowed to rest on your laurels.

Senior partners may have a lot more flexibility in schedules and hours since they've already brought in so much business, but below that, biglaw partner is not a career track for you if you're in it for a 9-5 job.



I see; I know many firms are lockstep. Is senior partner a matter of how long you've been partner at the firm? I know at many firms it implies equity partner, but I also know at many popular V20 lockstep firms (I think Cravath and Skadden among them), all partners are equity partners. Do attorneys generally gain seniority after 5ish years, Or is there no common trend? If people are making it at around 40 I would still say its not a bad deal.


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monkey85
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby monkey85 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:40 pm

Ajax666 wrote:Do partners still work 60-70 hours a week at firms like Cravath and Wachtell?


You sound as if you think 60-70 hours a week is a lot of work. Not even close. If you think that, you're in the wrong business.

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Ajax666
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Ajax666 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:57 pm

I love it when people reply with useless information as if they're sitting on top of a high chair. I'm just trying to get a perspective as to what biglaw life is throughout the entire career of anyone who sticks it through. I never said I'll make partner, I never even said I will be a lawyer. Im just curious, and I imagine this information would be useful to anyone else reading this thread gunning for biglaw. Hell maybe it will discourage some folks. In any case, no reason to jump to conclusions.

I know general odds of making partner are <5%; again, I'm just curious as to what life is like as a biglaw attorney. Detrox has been helpeful, Im hoping he or anyone else will continue to chime in.

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Emma.
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Emma. » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:04 pm

monkey85 wrote:
Ajax666 wrote:Do partners still work 60-70 hours a week at firms like Cravath and Wachtell?


You sound as if you think 60-70 hours a week is a lot of work. Not even close. If you think that, you're in the wrong business.


This. Lulz at the idea that anyone at Wachtell only works 70 hours.

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monkey85
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby monkey85 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:28 pm

Ajax666 wrote:I love it when people reply with useless information as if they're sitting on top of a high chair. I'm just trying to get a perspective as to what biglaw life is throughout the entire career of anyone who sticks it through. I never said I'll make partner, I never even said I will be a lawyer. Im just curious, and I imagine this information would be useful to anyone else reading this thread gunning for biglaw. Hell maybe it will discourage some folks. In any case, no reason to jump to conclusions.

I know general odds of making partner are <5%; again, I'm just curious as to what life is like as a biglaw attorney. Detrox has been helpeful, Im hoping he or anyone else will continue to chime in.


Here is your real BigLaw for productivity:
- Junior Associate: minimum 1800 hours - hope for 2400 hours, both for experience and job security
- Mid-level Associate: try to maintain and up that a little so that you don't get canned, or lateral out in your 5th-6th year
- Senior Associate: push closer to 3000 if you want partner or lateral out, assuming the opportunity hasn't passed you by

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Detrox
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Detrox » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:30 pm

monkey85 wrote:
Ajax666 wrote:I love it when people reply with useless information as if they're sitting on top of a high chair. I'm just trying to get a perspective as to what biglaw life is throughout the entire career of anyone who sticks it through. I never said I'll make partner, I never even said I will be a lawyer. Im just curious, and I imagine this information would be useful to anyone else reading this thread gunning for biglaw. Hell maybe it will discourage some folks. In any case, no reason to jump to conclusions.

I know general odds of making partner are <5%; again, I'm just curious as to what life is like as a biglaw attorney. Detrox has been helpeful, Im hoping he or anyone else will continue to chime in.


Here is your real BigLaw for productivity:
- Junior Associate: minimum 1800 hours - hope for 2400 hours, both for experience and job security
- Mid-level Associate: try to maintain and up that a little so that you don't get canned, or lateral out in your 5th-6th year
- Senior Associate: push closer to 3000 if you want partner or lateral out, assuming the opportunity hasn't passed you by


This sounds about right but it will be variable by firm. Wachtell for instance will be working you up to 2800 hours early on and expecting you to stay at that level until you burn out.

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Ajax666
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Ajax666 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:41 pm

Thanks everyone! Although I dont know why people were throwing a fit about my mention of 60-70 hours before. Even if you apply the 4/3rds efficiency rule to the 3000 billable hours per year (60 hours per work week), you get 80 hours actually worked every week. Was it really that inappropriate to ask if partners work on average 10 hours less than the most gunner senior associates? Im not trying to game anything, Im just surprised that you guys think its outrageous to think established professionals would be working fewer than 80 hours every week.

rad lulz
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:24 am

It's not anything like 80 hours a week every week. If you're on deals, you're at the mercy of bankers who do shit when they want and then you gotta stay up until 5 am for a week to get it done after cancelling your vacation. Then you sit around waiting for shit to come in. In lit sometimes you will be busy as shit when loads of docs come in or you have a big motion due, then have less work another week. 3000 hours objectively sucks dick. Also I think you're a little too efficient.

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Ajax666
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Ajax666 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:01 am

rad lulz wrote:It's not anything like 80 hours a week every week. If you're on deals, you're at the mercy of bankers who do shit when they want and then you gotta stay up until 5 am for a week to get it done after cancelling your vacation. Then you sit around waiting for shit to come in. In lit sometimes you will be busy as shit when loads of docs come in or you have a big motion due, then have less work another week. 3000 hours objectively sucks dick. Also I think you're a little too efficient.



Yeah I figured its inconsistent, just like banking. But is that always a bad thing? If you are averaging 70 hour work weeks, then for every 90 - 100 hour work week, you get a laid back 40 -50 hour work week. Also, maybe the numbers on this site aren't accurate, but the highest reported average IS Wachtell at 70 hours, and most top firms seem to hover around 60 hours worked (not billed). I'll take the word of anyone who works in biglaw over this site, but could it just be that then 80 - 100 hour work weeks stick in an associates memory more often because they're more painful? I'd be surprised to see that the actual average of hours worked is 80 rather than 60, that's a huge difference.


Unless I suppose since most associates drop out of the partnership rat race, the averages mean jack **** for people gunning for partner? Detrox did mention senior associates being the ones to crank out 3000+ billables.


P.S. I got the inefficiency formula from this forum as well as other law blogs.

rad lulz
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:10 am

Ajax666 wrote:Yeah I figured its inconsistent, just like banking. But is that always a bad thing? If you are averaging 70 hour work weeks, then for every 90 - 100 hour work week, you get a laid back 40 -50 hour work week.

It's a bad thing because especially in corporate, when the work pics up is not in your control. That gets VERY stressful. It's hard to make plans, and depending on how busy you are, you have an inconsistent lifestyle.

Also it's silly to take the word of "anyone who works in biglaw" over TLS in general when you consider that a bunch of us have summered at large firms or currently work at large firms.

anonymouse2828
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby anonymouse2828 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:22 am

as far as I know, from talking to sr. associates and partners, the actual hours worked to billable hours worked ratio starts to decrease as the billable hours go up.

That being said, depends on your field... some fields are stable, some have vastly different hours each week/month/quarter/etc.

Also, remember that partners are in charge of some management as well, so some partners actually have MORE work than associates... management, longer meetings and conferences to attend (eating up actual work time), more responsibility (you're at fault for your associate's screw ups), etc.

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Ajax666
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Ajax666 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:45 am

rad lulz wrote:Also it's silly to take the word of "anyone who works in biglaw" over TLS in general when you consider that a bunch of us have summered at large firms or currently work at large firms.


My bad for phrasing that poorly, I was actually referring to the TLS posters who work in biglaw rather than the impersonal chart in the link I provided.

And thanks anon.

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flem
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby flem » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:52 am

LOL @ even thinking you have a shot at making partner, ever

drbarry987
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby drbarry987 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:11 am

What are the chances of making parter at a V100 firm if you start out at a V10 firm? I've heard 5% thrown around and such, but given the attrition rates and the ability to lateral down once you received top training at a V10- how to the partnership propsects look here if you are gunning for partner? 30%?

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Ajax666
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Ajax666 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:14 pm

flem wrote:LOL @ even thinking you have a shot at making partner, ever


What can I say? Some of us aren't bums. :lol:


drbarry987 wrote:What are the chances of making parter at a V100 firm if you start out at a V10 firm? I've heard 5% thrown around and such, but given the attrition rates and the ability to lateral down once you received top training at a V10- how to the partnership propsects look here if you are gunning for partner? 30%?



I believe overall it is between 3-5% in the V100. But if you narrow down, your odds if coming out of a T-7 shoot up from between 10 - 20%: (this obviously isn't from my personal experience, but I've done my fair share of research on TLS and ATL)

http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecare ... g-law.html

If you consider maybe a third to half the people might not even be gunning for partner, I'd guess 30% would sound reasonable. The statistics aren't perfect, and I don't know how many of those partners are in biglaw, the numbers thrown around sound reasonable enough.

drbarry987
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby drbarry987 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:56 pm

Right and I'm not sure how you quantify the ability to lateral down from a V10. I mean saying X% of a V100 doesn't capture ur actual shot at parnership of you start at a top tier firm, dont burn out etc. obviously a huge part comes down to the business case/markets conditions when ur up for partner but just cruising through the various V10 Lawyer Taking Qs threads it does not look like its accurate to say ur odds are 10% a making partner at a v100 comig from one of those top firms. I'm just a 0L though and curious as to ones chances of actually making equity from a top shop.

Morgan12Oak
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby Morgan12Oak » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:50 pm

I don't think Skadden is lockstep at the partner level. I think they have relatively low multiple gaps (~4x generally max) though. I'm not sure how many firms are lockstep all the way through partner. I know Davis Polk and Cravath are, but those are the only two I know of.

People also tend to see the 3-5% partner chance level and look at it as it is impossible, but it's absolutely incredibly misleading to use that number since thats the odds that just about any 1st year would make partner. You have to adjust for so many factors like the huge amounts of people that go into big law wanting to do 2 years and getting out, people wanting to do a few years and go in-house, etc.

It's impossible to quantify really what the chances are of someone who enters into big law 100% knowing they want to try to make partner of making partner. Assuming you are absolutely committed and unwavering of that goal, your chances would surely be higher than 3-5%. Then again, it is basically impossible to be 100% committed and unwavering because the hours that you need to make partner are simply insane.

I've heard informally/casually that some V20 firms (not just NYC, but DC/LA also) basically look at you making 3000 billable hours for 5-7 of your first 8 years before they give you consideration.

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nealric
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby nealric » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:30 pm

Morgan12Oak wrote:
I've heard informally/casually that some V20 firms (not just NYC, but DC/LA also) basically look at you making 3000 billable hours for 5-7 of your first 8 years before they give you consideration.


As a second year NYC biglaw associate, I have a hard time believing that ANYONE has EVER honestly billed 3,000 hours for 5 year straight. Believe me, that is NOT necessary to make partner.

Do hours improve at the V20 as you work your way up in Biglaw? Do senior associates work fewer hours? Do partners still work 60-70 hours a week at firms like Cravath and Wachtell? If anyone can break this down from personal experience, that'd be nice.


It's my experience that senior associates and junior partners work the most hours. You get a bit more predictability as you get more senior, but the hours don't change much.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby rickgrimes69 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:09 am

monkey85 wrote:
Ajax666 wrote:I love it when people reply with useless information as if they're sitting on top of a high chair. I'm just trying to get a perspective as to what biglaw life is throughout the entire career of anyone who sticks it through. I never said I'll make partner, I never even said I will be a lawyer. Im just curious, and I imagine this information would be useful to anyone else reading this thread gunning for biglaw. Hell maybe it will discourage some folks. In any case, no reason to jump to conclusions.

I know general odds of making partner are <5%; again, I'm just curious as to what life is like as a biglaw attorney. Detrox has been helpeful, Im hoping he or anyone else will continue to chime in.


Here is your real BigLaw for productivity:
- Junior Associate: minimum 1800 hours - hope for 2400 hours, both for experience and job security
- Mid-level Associate: try to maintain and up that a little so that you don't get canned, or lateral out in your 5th-6th year
- Senior Associate: push closer to 3000 if you want partner or lateral out, assuming the opportunity hasn't passed you by


This is pretty much dead on. Two of the associates I worked with who were gunning for partner billed over 2000 hours in six months. One of them has billed around 400 hours in a month multiple times.

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flem
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby flem » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:24 am

rickgrimes69 wrote:This is pretty much dead on. Two of the associates I worked with who were gunning for partner billed over 2000 hours in six months. One of them has billed around 400 hours in a month multiple times.


Which market was this?

And I doubt that's accurate. Or, if true, they are both 1) insane and 2) committing some form of malpractice, inadvertent or not.

Your ability to make partner in a big time shop depends more on your ability to snag and connect with big clients to bring in new business. It's a lot more than just hours worked.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby rickgrimes69 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:18 pm

flem wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:This is pretty much dead on. Two of the associates I worked with who were gunning for partner billed over 2000 hours in six months. One of them has billed around 400 hours in a month multiple times.


Which market was this?

And I doubt that's accurate. Or, if true, they are both 1) insane and 2) committing some form of malpractice, inadvertent or not.

Your ability to make partner in a big time shop depends more on your ability to snag and connect with big clients to bring in new business. It's a lot more than just hours worked.


NYC. My job as a paralegal was to prepare the client invoices, so I know exactly how much they billed.

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AlanShore
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Re: Biglaw Partner Hours

Postby AlanShore » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:27 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
monkey85 wrote:
Ajax666 wrote:I love it when people reply with useless information as if they're sitting on top of a high chair. I'm just trying to get a perspective as to what biglaw life is throughout the entire career of anyone who sticks it through. I never said I'll make partner, I never even said I will be a lawyer. Im just curious, and I imagine this information would be useful to anyone else reading this thread gunning for biglaw. Hell maybe it will discourage some folks. In any case, no reason to jump to conclusions.

I know general odds of making partner are <5%; again, I'm just curious as to what life is like as a biglaw attorney. Detrox has been helpeful, Im hoping he or anyone else will continue to chime in.


Here is your real BigLaw for productivity:
- Junior Associate: minimum 1800 hours - hope for 2400 hours, both for experience and job security
- Mid-level Associate: try to maintain and up that a little so that you don't get canned, or lateral out in your 5th-6th year
- Senior Associate: push closer to 3000 if you want partner or lateral out, assuming the opportunity hasn't passed you by


This is pretty much dead on. Two of the associates I worked with who were gunning for partner billed over 2000 hours in six months. One of them has billed around 400 hours in a month multiple times.

yikes......




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