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DELG
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby DELG » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:37 pm

At my prelaw jobs I would go whole weeks without doing anything that could fairly be considered "billable"

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:42 pm

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Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:46 pm

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Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Desert Fox
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:50 pm

NoBladesNoBows wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
NoBladesNoBows wrote:How did your life as an electrical engineer compare to that of a biglaw associate?


Way way way better. the difference between 9-5 and 9-9 isn't just 4 hours it's like all of your free time.


Yea I currently work 60-80 hour weeks and it can definitely suck (and I know biglaw gets worse than that). Much moreso than the hours though I'm worried about the other negative aspects such as management style, importance of your work (toward the overall project, not toward making the world a better place or anything), how expendable you are, and any other horrible things that I haven't even considered. How does that compare?


I honestly don't believe people who say "I work 60-80 hour weeks." 9/10 times someone without a job that typically requires it (doctor, lawyer, banker) they are bullshitting or not accurately accounting. They subconsciously round up or include shit like commuting, getting ready for work, and eating lunch. 60 hours is "9-8:30 plus 5 hours on Saturday." 80 hours is "9-10:30 plus 5 hours Sat AND Sun." Very few people work that much.

Management style - its a combo of the worst parts of no management with the worst part of gang management. Nobody makes sure that I have enough work or that i dont have too much. random people will just start giving you orders. If the way you learned to do something is different than they like it, YOU ARE WRONG. You learn by trying and failing, yet there is an expectation that you are perfect.

Importance of work - for juniors its typically pretty unimportant Unless its wrong. And then its the worst thing that has even happened including, but not limited to, gas showers.

Expendable - your partners have hired and fired someone like you 5-20 times depending how old you are. Goodwin just laid of 20% of it's litigation staff while otherwise increasing profits.

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Desert Fox
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:53 pm

NoBladesNoBows wrote:Is it possible to actively seek out additional hours during slow periods, or are you kind of just screwed? Does this happen to everyone, or is it more luck of the draw?


You definitely can seek out more work, but that can be risky. If you are slow for the long haul you do it. But just a week with nothing really due? You ask for work then in three weeks you have too much work.

Or you are super busy for 3 years then the case settles and everyone gets laid off because there is no more work.

BearLaw
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby BearLaw » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:03 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
DELG wrote:Things that suck: nothing is ever done "well" it was just either flawless and error free or something was wrong.

You're never not on call.

There isn't much inconsequential, mindless work, and you have to track all your hours, so you don't get to have "off" days. Hope you work well with hangovers.

There is no work gatekeeper. No one wonders if it's possible for you to do all the work you have.



This part is really awful. I had a slow week last week. Partners were gone, nothing really urgent, I was told to lay off billing to one client who was pissed at the last bill. I think I probably billed about 15 hours. Well that 25 hours I didn't bill has to be done some other time now.


Pshaw dude- thats only like, an extra half hour a week for the year. Da fuk you complaining about.

Wait, its already the end of March? ok, so like, and extra .7 hours a week...

Wait, you wanna take a vaction some time. Maybe like, an extra hour a week then.

Oh, you have to work more than an hour for each hour billed... well that sux

Oh, there may be a shit ton of other things come up that you have to do but cant bill for... will damnit!

In August and a shitton of people are taking vacation and youre still behind? Going to get further behind by a 5-10 hours a week likely- FUCK!

No worries, you just worked 300 hours each for September and October. You can barely remember your name, but your hours are caught up, YAY!

Wait, what?! November is going to be as bad as October? but, but... im tired... Oh, you dont care, ok then. Well at least there is Thanksgiv... whats that? Oh, I need to work on thanksgiving? But I wanted to drink beer, watch football, and eat too much... You still dont care? ok then... FUCK for other reasons than before.

/Why biglaw can and often does suck. (Among other things)

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DELG
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby DELG » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:05 pm

I waited until literally 1:30 on a Friday to *start working* on what someone else had to hand off to me. That sorta sucked. But I couldn't leave the office until it came because it was coming at any time.

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:12 pm

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Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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CaptainJapan
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby CaptainJapan » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:13 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
DELG wrote:Things that suck: nothing is ever done "well" it was just either flawless and error free or something was wrong.

You're never not on call.

There isn't much inconsequential, mindless work, and you have to track all your hours, so you don't get to have "off" days. Hope you work well with hangovers.

There is no work gatekeeper. No one wonders if it's possible for you to do all the work you have.



This part is really awful. I had a slow week last week. Partners were gone, nothing really urgent, I was told to lay off billing to one client who was pissed at the last bill. I think I probably billed about 15 hours. Well that 25 hours I didn't bill has to be done some other time now.



This seems like the type of insight OP was looking for. That's awful man.

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DELG
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby DELG » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:14 pm

You don't get recognized or quickly promoted in biglaw for working hard you're just not the bottom 5% that will actually get booted. But getting fired for work product is pretty rare. People leave because of how much it sucks, not because they have to.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:17 pm

The clients view you as a red tape manager and not wealth creator. So everything is very cost conscious throughout the whole process. Because of that, partners pressure associates to be efficient (don't want to waste the client's money and sometimes they won't pay if it looks egregious), but not too efficient (gotta get them billables); work a lot of hours - problem is workflow is inconsistent and not the type of thing you can just do something here or there on because you are staffed on things from start to finish for the most part so your work ebbs and flows with the matter/people above you's work schedule and on monday - wednesday there may be absolutely nothing for you to do and you twiddle your thumbs and then thursday comes and you have 60 hours of billable work; a lot of the people you interact with are stressed and have little sleep and family problems, and it affects their mood and how they treat you; no job security - as mentioned already law firms will cut costs anyway they can including laying off people after a big matter settles despite the firm being profitable at record levels that year. 2008-10 are still fresh in partners' minds and their planning will be very conservative because of it. They were very conservative hiring and law was one of the last industries to bounce back. And they'll be very conservative going forward and sensitive to being overstaffed, which leads to the Goodwin situation. The firm doesn't care about firing you because if they get busy again, someone will always be there to replace your spot.

Not to mention, you better hope you dont graduate into a recession like the 2010 grads. Because that shit will wreck your career, as a professor has recently put together a really good article analyzing the fallout.

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ymmv
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby ymmv » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:20 pm

DELG wrote:You don't get recognized or quickly promoted in biglaw for working hard you're just not the bottom 5% that will actually get booted. But getting fired for work product is pretty rare. People leave because of how much it sucks, not because they have to.


Which, given the salaries they're giving up, should pretty much tell OP everything he'd ever need to know about this.

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:22 pm

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Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:25 pm

From a litigation perspective:

1. You are not going to make partner. Only a few people make partner and you will feel inadequate, dumb and undesirable basically all the time as your fellow associates get better work and get groomed for partner while you do doc review.

2. Everyone you interact with is a huge asshole. The experts you work with are overpaid, eccentric and/or incredibly condescending to you (because you don't understand what is going on as well as they do when it comes to stuff you retain them for). Clients have irrationally insane demands, because there are too many lawyers and not enough work to go around at every level of law (including biglaw) and they can therefore treat you like absolute shit all the time. Partners can treat you like shit because there is a long line of new law grads every year who are capable of taking your place.

3. Turnover is so high that no one wants to put in the time to train you or give you any skills, so you are basically useless after you leave biglaw. Good luck finding your next job with no skills.

4. Your schedule is insane and you have almost no control over it. You get fat, depressed and divorced. Your kids hate you. Everything in your life basically sucks.

Other than that, biglaw pays well and is very rewarding.

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:25 pm

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Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:29 pm

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Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DELG
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby DELG » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:40 pm

NoBladesNoBows wrote:Does anyone like biglaw? Are you all trapped due to student loans?

I don't feel trapped and I like to practice law. This is just a terrible environment in which to do it. And there are no exit options right now for litigators. Right now my big dream is to take a job paying about what I made before law school to hopefully work 50 hours/week.

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CaptainJapan
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby CaptainJapan » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:50 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:From a litigation perspective:

1. You are not going to make partner. Only a few people make partner and you will feel inadequate, dumb and undesirable basically all the time as your fellow associates get better work and get groomed for partner while you do doc review.

2. Everyone you interact with is a huge asshole. The experts you work with are overpaid, eccentric and/or incredibly condescending to you (because you don't understand what is going on as well as they do when it comes to stuff you retain them for). Clients have irrationally insane demands, because there are too many lawyers and not enough work to go around at every level of law (including biglaw) and they can therefore treat you like absolute shit all the time. Partners can treat you like shit because there is a long line of new law grads every year who are capable of taking your place.

3. Turnover is so high that no one wants to put in the time to train you or give you any skills, so you are basically useless after you leave biglaw. Good luck finding your next job with no skills.

4. Your schedule is insane and you have almost no control over it. You get fat, depressed and divorced. Your kids hate you. Everything in your life basically sucks.

Other than that, biglaw pays well and is very rewarding.



Oh my.

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swc65
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby swc65 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:56 pm

Because you bill 125 in the last week and a half of a month and only 210 for the whole month and someone comes by your office the day after monthly hours are reported when you have slept 8 hours in five days, look like shit, are starving, havent seen your SO or the gym in days and asks "are you busy enough, your hours last month are a little low" and this is the partner your killing yourself for on x deal or memo.

Because conversations start with "I know you're with your grandmother in the hospitable but if you get time, could you...."

Because other conversations go "I know the partner won't get to look at this because s/he is on vacation, but I would really like to get it to her/him Monday morning, I'll get my comments to you on Saturday morning." Comments come Sunday night at 8 pm. We've decided to change the section symbol to Section in 6 regulatory waivers and underline defined terms instead of bold and a bunch of other unnecessary shit.

Because I get emails asking "can you close out of the document so I can edit it" when google docs exists.

Because when my calls are forwarded to my cell at 7 pm, I get "you're not in the office?!"

Because I am going to leave later for tonight for having written this.

Because I have yet to meet a senior associate who does not hate their job more than I.

Because I edited this for typos/spacing.
Last edited by swc65 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:00 pm

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Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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CaptainJapan
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby CaptainJapan » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:08 pm

The feedback sounds almost identical (other than billable hrs) to what any IB analyst will tell you. The guys I know who went that route say after 2 years you can start respectfully declining ridiculous work, or pawning work off on newcomers; I guess I'm curious to what degree the stress/workload starts to taper off in Big Law after a few years? Is there a point when it starts to get better?

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DELG
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby DELG » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:13 pm

CaptainJapan wrote:The feedback sounds almost identical (other than billable hrs) to what any IB analyst will tell you. The guys I know who went that route say after 2 years you can start respectfully declining ridiculous work, or pawning work off on newcomers; I guess I'm curious to what degree the stress/workload starts to taper off in Big Law after a few years? Is there a point when it starts to get better?

The most senior people in my group are here the latest.

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Desert Fox
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Re: People That Hate Biglaw: What Is Your Pre-Biglaw WE?

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:17 pm

ymmv wrote:
DELG wrote:You don't get recognized or quickly promoted in biglaw for working hard you're just not the bottom 5% that will actually get booted. But getting fired for work product is pretty rare. People leave because of how much it sucks, not because they have to.


Which, given the salaries they're giving up, should pretty much tell OP everything he'd ever need to know about this.


I think attrition is like 50-50% (ur fired/I quit) after year 4.

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seizmaar
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby seizmaar » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:17 pm

i think the key to making biglaw more bearable over time is to make your home life so shitty you prefer being at work. marry someone you hate, get massive debt for stress at home, have unbearable spawn, no friends, judgmental church, terrible in-laws, etc.

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DELG
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Re: Why Do You Hate Biglaw?

Postby DELG » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:19 pm

seizmaar wrote:i think the key to making biglaw more bearable over time is to make your home life so shitty you prefer being at work. marry someone you hate, get massive debt for stress at home, have unbearable spawn, no friends, judgmental church, terrible in-laws, etc.

So so so so so credited




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