JusticeJackson wrote:I swung a hammer for years before and during undergrad, and worked long ass hours for dick bosses after undergrad. Biglaw is worse.
First, I pull all-nighters now. I never did that before. While it's not "expected," I am expected to finish work on ridiculous deadlines, which requires lots of shitty hours.
Second, in "bet the company litigation," the opposing party is often hoping to retire on the judgment/settlement. For that reason, they will offer no professional courtesy, and some will file many many motions for sanctions with (falsely) accuse you of being a scumbag. Courts typically disregard this, but it's still emotionally draining to deal with.
Third, clients in "bet the company litigation" are fucking scared, so they call you nonstop and are often on the verge of a nervous break down over the case. It's a lot of hand holding, and the stress of knowing that if you blow a deadline or write a shitty brief it may result in the end of your client really wears on you.
Fourth, unlike my previous job where there was a team of guys working hard, but pulling on the same rope, in biglaw, it's you. Your partner overlords will point out every fuck up, but they won't be reviewing a million e-mails and they won't be writing briefs at 1 in the am. It's you, alone. There is no comradery, which I think lessened the shittiness of my previous long-hour job.
This. The mid-levels and seniors I work for are all nice enough, but when push comes to shove, they will suck you dry for any amount of work that can even marginally increase their standings in partners' eyes. You have a family event that is very important to you that you flagged weeks in advance? Everyone will say that you need to go, but they'll still tell you to come in that weekend.
And that part someone mentioned about reading the phone book? It's more along the lines of "please read this phone book and summarize. Also, please read this other phone book and summarize. How long is reasonable? Four hrs per phone book? You have five to do both."
[5 hrs and 5 mins later, 11:05 pm] "WTF WHY DID THIS TAKE SO LONG AND WHY ISN'T THAT ONE PERSON'S PHONE NUMBER IN HERE THAT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT EVEN THOUGH I DIDN'T TELL YOU WTF WE ARE PAYING YOU A LOT OF MONEY TO ADD VALUE AND OMG THIS IS IMPORTANT AND YOU SUCK DO IT AGAIN YOU HAVE FOUR HOURS TO REDO BOTH PHONE BOOKS."
Did I mention it was probably your SOs birthday? S/he's now sleeping with the neighbor because the neighbor leaves work at 6 and then goes to the gym, so s/he gets home at 7 and looks great while you literally never see your SO and you're fat and gross from sitting in a chair 16 hrs a day.
Edited for gender neutrality.