Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

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fats provolone
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby fats provolone » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:44 pm

yea i don't think you're really getting either of our posts. it's not that people don't want to make partner, it's that they can't.

a_fireinside
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby a_fireinside » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:11 pm

Currently I am an economics and US history teacher in Shanghai at a private high school.

Sure I have what looks like a typical 9-5 job where the school day ends at 3pm. But I am often lesson planning on the weekends for the next week, revising lesson plans as needed. Helping students with their work, making exams, grading exams, grading homework, grading papers, helping with extra curricular activities, and other tasks as needed. I would say I put in close to 60 hours a week including all of the external work needed just to teach. I have a normal life to the extent that I get to go to the gym, go out to dinner on Friday and Saturday nights with friends.

I have put off law school for almost 7 years, mainly because I wasn't sure if it's what I wanted. Now I know that in the bigger context of what I want to do with my life/career, yes, it is what I want to do and so I am taking the steps to achieve that goal. But I think I will echo what everyone else has said that 1: you really have to want to go to law school and 2: be prepared for a "normal" life in the context of whatever firm you work at.

Just my two-cents.

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twenty 8
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby twenty 8 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:00 pm

First year associates may find the hours to be a grind but as the months roll on, it all becomes manageable to have normalcy. Last year at this time I worked through most the holiday. In comparison this year is a breeze. How many jobs are there when you can usually come in and leave when you want? The moment you sit at your desk you qualify for a >500k home. The Christmas bonus is five figures and not a honey baked ham (although I do love those) go Christmas shopping without looking at price tags. Partners are nurturing and other associates and staff are supportive (clients are another story sometimes).

Maybe it’s different in big law, small law or gov. Don’t know. I am at (what I consider) a large firm approaching 100 attorneys serving two top 20 metros within 300 miles of each other. Fast track to partner is four years, five/six for many. The point is, after the drudgery of LS, the anxiety of SA offered, the bar and the first year associate indoctrination, it is worth it all.

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sublime
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby sublime » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:05 pm

..

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fats provolone
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby fats provolone » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:11 pm

twenty 8 wrote:First year associates may find the hours to be a grind but as the months roll on, it all becomes manageable to have normalcy. Last year at this time I worked through most the holiday. In comparison this year is a breeze. How many jobs are there when you can usually come in and leave when you want? The moment you sit at your desk you qualify for a >500k home. The Christmas bonus is five figures and not a honey baked ham (although I do love those) go Christmas shopping without looking at price tags. Partners are nurturing and other associates and staff are supportive (clients are another story sometimes).

Maybe it’s different in big law, small law or gov. Don’t know. I am at (what I consider) a large firm approaching 100 attorneys serving two top 20 metros within 300 miles of each other. Fast track to partner is four years, five/six for many. The point is, after the drudgery of LS, the anxiety of SA offered, the bar and the first year associate indoctrination, it is worth it all.

u sound like a unicorn tho

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SweetTort
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby SweetTort » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:11 pm

twenty 8 wrote:First year associates may find the hours to be a grind but as the months roll on, it all becomes manageable to have normalcy. Last year at this time I worked through most the holiday. In comparison this year is a breeze. How many jobs are there when you can usually come in and leave when you want? The moment you sit at your desk you qualify for a >500k home. The Christmas bonus is five figures and not a honey baked ham (although I do love those) go Christmas shopping without looking at price tags. Partners are nurturing and other associates and staff are supportive (clients are another story sometimes).

Maybe it’s different in big law, small law or gov. Don’t know. I am at (what I consider) a large firm approaching 100 attorneys serving two top 20 metros within 300 miles of each other. Fast track to partner is four years, five/six for many. The point is, after the drudgery of LS, the anxiety of SA offered, the bar and the first year associate indoctrination, it is worth it all.



So, what I'm hearing is that I should aim for regional big law.

hokuspokus
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby hokuspokus » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:01 am

[/quote] I agree law school sucks, but you're doing it totally wrong if you think its an unmanageable amount of work or that you dont have time for gym/relaxation. Honestly if it's too much now, you should drop out cause real practice is probably gonna chew you up.[/quote]

1L is way way way worse than 2L and 3L. It's a pressure cooker that's supposed screw the 90% of people who don't make it into the top 10%. It's a miserable experience for everyone.

hokuspokus
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby hokuspokus » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:25 am

twenty 8 wrote:First year associates may find the hours to be a grind but as the months roll on, it all becomes manageable to have normalcy. Last year at this time I worked through most the holiday. In comparison this year is a breeze. How many jobs are there when you can usually come in and leave when you want? The moment you sit at your desk you qualify for a >500k home. The Christmas bonus is five figures and not a honey baked ham (although I do love those) go Christmas shopping without looking at price tags. Partners are nurturing and other associates and staff are supportive (clients are another story sometimes).

Maybe it’s different in big law, small law or gov. Don’t know. I am at (what I consider) a large firm approaching 100 attorneys serving two top 20 metros within 300 miles of each other. Fast track to partner is four years, five/six for many. The point is, after the drudgery of LS, the anxiety of SA offered, the bar and the first year associate indoctrination, it is worth it all.


Not exactly sure what qualifying for a 500K home means.

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sublime
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby sublime » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:28 am

..

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twenty 8
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby twenty 8 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:25 pm

SweetTort wrote:
twenty 8 wrote:First year associates may find the hours to be a grind but as the months roll on, it all becomes manageable to have normalcy. Last year at this time I worked through most the holiday. In comparison this year is a breeze. How many jobs are there when you can usually come in and leave when you want? The moment you sit at your desk you qualify for a >500k home. The Christmas bonus is five figures and not a honey baked ham (although I do love those) go Christmas shopping without looking at price tags. Partners are nurturing and other associates and staff are supportive (clients are another story sometimes).

Maybe it’s different in big law, small law or gov. Don’t know. I am at (what I consider) a large firm approaching 100 attorneys serving two top 20 metros within 300 miles of each other. Fast track to partner is four years, five/six for many. The point is, after the drudgery of LS, the anxiety of SA offered, the bar and the first year associate indoctrination, it is worth it all.



So, what I'm hearing is that I should aim for regional big law.

Landing at a semi-large firm that pays market, offering fair bonuses and benefits is a plan that should serve you well.

Again, not familiar with BL (thousands of attorneys, offices worldwide) or small firms (<10 attorneys) or any type of gov work. Maybe someone here can fill in those blanks.

hokuspokus
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby hokuspokus » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:18 am

sublime wrote:
hokuspokus wrote:
twenty 8 wrote:First year associates may find the hours to be a grind but as the months roll on, it all becomes manageable to have normalcy. Last year at this time I worked through most the holiday. In comparison this year is a breeze. How many jobs are there when you can usually come in and leave when you want? The moment you sit at your desk you qualify for a >500k home. The Christmas bonus is five figures and not a honey baked ham (although I do love those) go Christmas shopping without looking at price tags. Partners are nurturing and other associates and staff are supportive (clients are another story sometimes).

Maybe it’s different in big law, small law or gov. Don’t know. I am at (what I consider) a large firm approaching 100 attorneys serving two top 20 metros within 300 miles of each other. Fast track to partner is four years, five/six for many. The point is, after the drudgery of LS, the anxiety of SA offered, the bar and the first year associate indoctrination, it is worth it all.


Not exactly sure what qualifying for a 500K home means.



It means you make enough and are secure enough to be eligible to finance a $500k house.


Yeah ok but that's a really vague description. Doesn't give me a good idea of how much this person earns vs. how long this person has been working and how much savings he/she has.
Anyway, whatever. It was just another fluff post.

kcdc1
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby kcdc1 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:39 am

hokuspokus wrote:Doesn't give me a good idea of how much this person earns vs. how long this person has been working and how much savings he/she has.


How much this person earns: 160k
How long this person has been working: "the moment you sit down at your desk" == Day 1
How much savings he/she has: debt for miles in most cases

Of course, having the financials to qualify for a loan does not a home purchase make. You need to have some cash for a down payment -- preferably 20% of sale price for favorable terms. That would probably take a couple years to save up, and you'd have to float your higher interest student loans a little longer.

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valen
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby valen » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:47 pm

twenty 8 wrote:First year associates may find the hours to be a grind but as the months roll on, it all becomes manageable to have normalcy. Last year at this time I worked through most the holiday. In comparison this year is a breeze. How many jobs are there when you can usually come in and leave when you want? The moment you sit at your desk you qualify for a >500k home. The Christmas bonus is five figures and not a honey baked ham (although I do love those) go Christmas shopping without looking at price tags. Partners are nurturing and other associates and staff are supportive (clients are another story sometimes).

Maybe it’s different in big law, small law or gov. Don’t know. I am at (what I consider) a large firm approaching 100 attorneys serving two top 20 metros within 300 miles of each other. Fast track to partner is four years, five/six for many. The point is, after the drudgery of LS, the anxiety of SA offered, the bar and the first year associate indoctrination, it is worth it all.

This sounds ideal

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fats provolone
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby fats provolone » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:51 pm

unicorn

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valen
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby valen » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:58 pm

fats provolone wrote:unicorn

Tru :(

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kalvano
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby kalvano » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:50 pm

The answer to this question entirely depends on what you define as a "normal life." Law is a service profession, and you have to respond to your client's needs. I work about 8:00 to 6:00 most days, and generally when I go home, I'm home and not working. But if a client has an emergency or needs something immediately, then I work until it gets resolved. That may mean until 8:00 at night, it may mean Saturday and Sunday.

In return, I make a pretty damn good amount of money, I can work from home as needed, and I can afford to go out and do generally what I want. If you want to leave work at home and work a strict 9:00 - 5:00, don't expect to make a lot of money.

Karl123456
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby Karl123456 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:57 pm

IDK. I work 8:00-5:00, occasionally do half days on Saturday. I'd say, compared to my non-lawyer friends I even work a bit less than them. I got called into my bosses office a few days ago so he could recommend that I use my vacation time.
I'm not rich, but I can pay the rent on a house with an ocean view, can afford to share a boat between two other friends, can afford the occasional vacation. Can afford decent beer. I'm not eating caviar and driving a Mercedes, but I'm happy.
So I would say it is entirely possible to have work-life balance as a lawyer. If you want this, I would advise you to focus on affordability over prestige. Most of my co-workers did not go to T-30s.

lawschoolftw
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby lawschoolftw » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:53 pm

lionelmessi wrote:
sd5289 wrote:^ At least don't do it right away.

Everyone I know who is miserable jumped right in, or took "a year" (or two) off. If you're struggling with the idea of going, don't go. Go out and get a job, work for a while, live like an adult, and if somehow miraculously you decide that you want to be a lawyer, then go to law school. There is no other reason to go to law school. Only go when you're convinced that you don't want to do anything else than be a lawyer.

Also, I don't understand what you mean by a "normal" lifestyle. The so-called lifestyle of a 2nd grade teacher is going to be significantly different than that of a lawyer, which is significantly different than that of a cop. One thing that can generally be safely said about law is that you'll more than likely be working a ton. After all, that's better than the alternative (unemployed with debt).


I second this 100%. I fit into one of the school/rank categories OP started with. I worked for a number of years before law school, and have a wife and kids. My experience is that biglaw can range from being pretty similar to every other professional job (which is, 60 or so hours a week, with crunches when things really matter) to something a bit worse than that. The range is mostly dependent on whether a firm's culture is to stay late and on weekends for the sake of it or only because you have to.

But the real shock for most law school grads is that employment in general pretty much sucks. Lots of 2nd grade teachers, cops, and others would tell you the same. Lots of professors, government employees, salesman, bankers, doctors, etc...would also tell you the same. And the point that not enough work is way worse than too much is so under-appreciated...

Unless someone else can steer me towards a job with a strong salary, in a growing industry, with a high level of job security, and interesting/stimulating work, and years of education/loans aren't required, that you don't you have to work 50-60 hours a week on average and much more than that when things matter most...

I"m not saying law, especially biglaw, is any or all of those things, but if you do find that unicorn, we should all ride that instead.


This is spot on.

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AreJay711
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:32 pm

Most firms outside NYC give you enough free time to live a normal lifestyle. Even many associates at biglaw firms live normal lives (normal for NYC anyway). You can expect to be home most days by 9 or whatever, it's just that you could get slammed randomly and end up working until 2 AM every night for a month too. Anyway, I'm not working for a big firm, but my friends are.

Actually, my friends at midlaw or decent small law firms were all below median students. It's more one of those things you luck into. And yeah, their work seems cushy as fuck. They work like 2 extra hours a day and come in for a bit on Saturdays and get paid twice as much as me.

El Principe
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby El Principe » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:52 am

kcdc1 wrote:
hokuspokus wrote:Doesn't give me a good idea of how much this person earns vs. how long this person has been working and how much savings he/she has.


Of course, having the financials to qualify for a loan does not a home purchase make.


I'm sure your LRW professor loved you :lol:

shock259
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby shock259 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:26 pm

My lifestyle isn't horrible in NYC transactional biglaw - definitely sustainable for a few years. I don't want to do it forever, though. It's too difficult to have a social life and maintain friends when I'm working so many hours, and the hours are ridiculously unpredictable. Thankfully, I work with good people (very rare) and I honestly enjoy the work I do. But I rarely leave the office before 7pm, regularly stay past midnight, and occasionally have 4AM nights. Doing this while single and in my 20s? Fine - I can rock that for the right paycheck. But I see what this job does to people who stay in it. The senior associates with families are universally miserable.

There are a couple of juniors I know that are just coasting. They leave work as soon as humanly possible, ignore emails unless they are directly tasked with something, and generally just don't engage in the work or try to take on any level of responsibility. They'll stick around for a few years and then go somewhere else. Weren't ever really cut out for this work. Sometimes I'm not sure why I put the effort in, because these people make the same amount of money as I do and I know I will leave eventually any way (and neither of us will be making partner).

/rambling

So, decide what kind of lifestyle is "normal" to you.

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15 styx
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby 15 styx » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:14 pm

As a first year I’d enthusiastically answer yes to this question. Other than a heavy workload during my first two months (9A-9P many days) no real complaints now. As the weeks roll on, weekends have become nearly free of any substantial time restraints. Lifestyle is just fine.

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fats provolone
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby fats provolone » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:27 pm

hmmm

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Is a normal lifestyle possible in law?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:41 pm

shock259 wrote:My lifestyle isn't horrible in NYC transactional biglaw - definitely sustainable for a few years. I don't want to do it forever, though. It's too difficult to have a social life and maintain friends when I'm working so many hours, and the hours are ridiculously unpredictable. Thankfully, I work with good people (very rare) and I honestly enjoy the work I do. But I rarely leave the office before 7pm, regularly stay past midnight, and occasionally have 4AM nights. Doing this while single and in my 20s? Fine - I can rock that for the right paycheck. But I see what this job does to people who stay in it. The senior associates with families are universally miserable.

There are a couple of juniors I know that are just coasting. They leave work as soon as humanly possible, ignore emails unless they are directly tasked with something, and generally just don't engage in the work or try to take on any level of responsibility. They'll stick around for a few years and then go somewhere else. Weren't ever really cut out for this work. Sometimes I'm not sure why I put the effort in, because these people make the same amount of money as I do and I know I will leave eventually any way (and neither of us will be making partner).

/rambling

So, decide what kind of lifestyle is "normal" to you.


Make an online dating profile. Put your law school alma mater, your V20 firm, and your salary. Put a picture up of you in an A6. Swim in da pussy.

It's not that your junior bros "weren't cut out for this work". They just know how to do the minimal work to get that paycheck. That's called winning at life.




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