So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

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Jchance
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Jchance » Sun May 14, 2017 1:25 pm

Npret wrote:
Actually the people who come from nothing may make the most content biglaw associates.


Agreed, I read somewhere a while back that biglaw partners like to hire their associates who came from a working class background. Their parents essentially worked paycheck to paycheck. So as the next generation, the kids appreciate the large $$$ biglaw offers and seem quite content without thinking whether there is more to practicing law than simply $$$. Consequently, they stay at law firms longer and grind to become partners.

conker
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby conker » Mon May 15, 2017 1:21 pm

BernieTrump wrote:The above is correct. [. . .] Nobody will hire a JD in 2017. People don't go after their true calling because those doors are, for almost every true calling, closed after starting as a firm lawyer.


Thank you.

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RParadela
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby RParadela » Mon May 22, 2017 8:21 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:
jb111 wrote:I appreciate the way that people here encourage aspiring lawyers to approach law school with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I have a lot of trouble relating to these types of threads.

I went to a state school and ended up with a decent GPA, but nothing on my transcript or resume that is going to get me into pretty much any other decent graduate program. I've worked multiple ~minimum wage jobs throughout college for as many hours as I can. I come from a small town, working class family, the social/career network that you should expect given that description.

I'm good at reading and writing, and very good at taking tests. So next year I get the opportunity of a fucking lifetime: I'll be attending a Top 5 law school with a decent scholarship instead of making 30-35k a year working seven days a week and trying to build up the "social/career capital" that everyone here thinks just gloms on to every college graduate.

Maybe if you went to an elite undergrad and are ditching your McKinsey job or something, then law isn't such a golden ticket. I don't know anybody who knows anybody who works at McKinsey.

If I'm here bitching about my long hours and my golden fucking handcuffs in 5 years... Well, I can think of worse.

So if your goal is to talk that UPenn finance undergrad out of going to Cornell to become an international 1st amendment rights lawyer... I get it. Thanks. But if your goal is to talk "me" out of law school. Sorry. You live in a bubble.

I want to encourage everybody else who falls into that "me" to not be scared off. And I say that with a certainty, that despite being a 0L, some of you will never be able to speak with.

... No flame meant by the way. I think these threads are valuable to many people, but I'm hoping my perspective might be as well.


Caveat that I'm a litigator and shouldn't be posting in this thread, but because this has veered into "general thoughts on biglaw":

This is sort of painful for me to read as I shared your perspective before law school. Also grew up lower-middle-class, small town, midwest, I was literally the only person from my graduating class of ~100 to leave the state for college. I currently make about 8x as much as my mom ever made in a single year while I was growing up. Law school felt like the more "sure thing" path to living the life I hoped for growing up.

I will still tell you that it sucks. And I'm one of the lucky ones who happens to mostly enjoy the practice of law (so far). If you have no experience with law firms, you have no idea whether you will like it or not--but you'll be stuck with it anyway, because debt is real shit. There are other options and there are many, many better options if your motivation is just "this seems like a good opportunity" rather than specifically "I love the law and have a pretty good idea of what practicing as a lawyer is like". The vast majority of these will not handcuff you financially for 5+ years. There is a reason 99.9% of current or former biglaw lawyers on this board sing the same tune: unless you really know it's for you, don't go. If you have to ask whether you really know, or say shit along the lines of "I don't really know, but I can't think of anything better" -- don't go. I realize I'm pissing into the wind here.

I am writing this at 1am on a Friday night / Saturday morning while taking a ten minute work break to preserve my sanity. I got to work at 9:15am today and have been working straight through, with fifteen minute breaks at my desk for lunch and dinner, since then. I have at least two more hours of work to go before I'm done for the night. I've done basically this exact schedule every day since last Saturday, and although the weeks before that were more sane solely by comparison, they're still insane by any reasonable metric of work hours. I regularly commiserate with friends from college / other walks of life who are reasonable professions like teachers (hey, that's something between the $12/hr strawman and "taking on 200k+ debt is the best thing I can do with my life"! I can think of others), programmers, work in publishing, advertising, etc etc -- they basically react like I'm in the gulag when I mention my hours.

You will think "he just ended up at a firm that's especially bad for hours." I'm not. This happens everywhere. You will think, "I will just say no if they ask me to do that." You won't. You won't turn down the project that will destroy 100% of your free time and eat into many nights of sleep for days upon weeks, because once you're in, you'll realize you need to keep developing skills to stay useful / not get shitcanned / not feel like your life is a failure (you'll still end up saying no, probably more than you should, to prevent not dying from overwork). You'll need to make hours. You are the only person on the team with knowledge of this particular aspect of the deal / facts / law and thus do not have the option of saying no.

But hey, I can order takeout like five times in a week and not bat an eye at the cost, so it's all worth it, right?


Im finding it hard to believe that the norm is 126-hour work weeks even when trials come up

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon May 22, 2017 8:29 pm

He didn't say that was the norm, though.

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jbagelboy
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 22, 2017 8:40 pm

RParadela wrote:
beepboopbeep wrote:
jb111 wrote:I appreciate the way that people here encourage aspiring lawyers to approach law school with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I have a lot of trouble relating to these types of threads.

I went to a state school and ended up with a decent GPA, but nothing on my transcript or resume that is going to get me into pretty much any other decent graduate program. I've worked multiple ~minimum wage jobs throughout college for as many hours as I can. I come from a small town, working class family, the social/career network that you should expect given that description.

I'm good at reading and writing, and very good at taking tests. So next year I get the opportunity of a fucking lifetime: I'll be attending a Top 5 law school with a decent scholarship instead of making 30-35k a year working seven days a week and trying to build up the "social/career capital" that everyone here thinks just gloms on to every college graduate.

Maybe if you went to an elite undergrad and are ditching your McKinsey job or something, then law isn't such a golden ticket. I don't know anybody who knows anybody who works at McKinsey.

If I'm here bitching about my long hours and my golden fucking handcuffs in 5 years... Well, I can think of worse.

So if your goal is to talk that UPenn finance undergrad out of going to Cornell to become an international 1st amendment rights lawyer... I get it. Thanks. But if your goal is to talk "me" out of law school. Sorry. You live in a bubble.

I want to encourage everybody else who falls into that "me" to not be scared off. And I say that with a certainty, that despite being a 0L, some of you will never be able to speak with.

... No flame meant by the way. I think these threads are valuable to many people, but I'm hoping my perspective might be as well.


Caveat that I'm a litigator and shouldn't be posting in this thread, but because this has veered into "general thoughts on biglaw":

This is sort of painful for me to read as I shared your perspective before law school. Also grew up lower-middle-class, small town, midwest, I was literally the only person from my graduating class of ~100 to leave the state for college. I currently make about 8x as much as my mom ever made in a single year while I was growing up. Law school felt like the more "sure thing" path to living the life I hoped for growing up.

I will still tell you that it sucks. And I'm one of the lucky ones who happens to mostly enjoy the practice of law (so far). If you have no experience with law firms, you have no idea whether you will like it or not--but you'll be stuck with it anyway, because debt is real shit. There are other options and there are many, many better options if your motivation is just "this seems like a good opportunity" rather than specifically "I love the law and have a pretty good idea of what practicing as a lawyer is like". The vast majority of these will not handcuff you financially for 5+ years. There is a reason 99.9% of current or former biglaw lawyers on this board sing the same tune: unless you really know it's for you, don't go. If you have to ask whether you really know, or say shit along the lines of "I don't really know, but I can't think of anything better" -- don't go. I realize I'm pissing into the wind here.

I am writing this at 1am on a Friday night / Saturday morning while taking a ten minute work break to preserve my sanity. I got to work at 9:15am today and have been working straight through, with fifteen minute breaks at my desk for lunch and dinner, since then. I have at least two more hours of work to go before I'm done for the night. I've done basically this exact schedule every day since last Saturday, and although the weeks before that were more sane solely by comparison, they're still insane by any reasonable metric of work hours. I regularly commiserate with friends from college / other walks of life who are reasonable professions like teachers (hey, that's something between the $12/hr strawman and "taking on 200k+ debt is the best thing I can do with my life"! I can think of others), programmers, work in publishing, advertising, etc etc -- they basically react like I'm in the gulag when I mention my hours.

You will think "he just ended up at a firm that's especially bad for hours." I'm not. This happens everywhere. You will think, "I will just say no if they ask me to do that." You won't. You won't turn down the project that will destroy 100% of your free time and eat into many nights of sleep for days upon weeks, because once you're in, you'll realize you need to keep developing skills to stay useful / not get shitcanned / not feel like your life is a failure (you'll still end up saying no, probably more than you should, to prevent not dying from overwork). You'll need to make hours. You are the only person on the team with knowledge of this particular aspect of the deal / facts / law and thus do not have the option of saying no.

But hey, I can order takeout like five times in a week and not bat an eye at the cost, so it's all worth it, right?


Im finding it hard to believe that the norm is 126-hour work weeks even when trials come up


No one averages that, but just one or two 100+ hour weeks in a month can completely knock you out (and yes, poison the money and the facade of social acceleration).

I think if that money is not largely going to rent + loan payments, its probably a greater psychological & material benefit even with shitty hours. But if you're a #richparents situation, then your life is so different and you have so many other alternatives that its not germane to these choices or this vocabulary

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RParadela
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby RParadela » Mon May 22, 2017 9:20 pm

I don't think the vast majority of litigators are working 100+ hour work weeks twice a month. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm sure there are a few that do, but I don't think that's common. And even if you work under that assumption, 100 hour work week is pretty different from a 126 hour work week.

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jkpolk
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby jkpolk » Mon May 22, 2017 9:25 pm

RParadela wrote:I don't think the vast majority of litigators are working 100+ hour work weeks twice a month. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm sure there are a few that do, but I don't think that's common. And even if you work under that assumption, 100 hour work week is pretty different from a 126 hour work week.


Being on call 24/7 is p exhausting. Ya you might not bill 100 hour weeks all the time, but you will be paying attention to your phone + doing work >100 hours every week that you are not on vacation, even if you are "slow."

Npret
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Npret » Mon May 22, 2017 9:30 pm

RParadela wrote:I don't think the vast majority of litigators are working 100+ hour work weeks twice a month. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm sure there are a few that do, but I don't think that's common. And even if you work under that assumption, 100 hour work week is pretty different from a 126 hour work week.

Sorry. I can't tell if you are in law school now or an 0L?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon May 22, 2017 10:29 pm

RParadela wrote:I don't think the vast majority of litigators are working 100+ hour work weeks twice a month. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm sure there are a few that do, but I don't think that's common. And even if you work under that assumption, 100 hour work week is pretty different from a 126 hour work week.

So 14 hr/days 7 days/week are such an improvement in quality over 18 hr/days that it's worth entirely ignoring one poster's statement of their actual experience this week? I think you are getting hung up on the wrong details.

carsondalywashere
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby carsondalywashere » Tue May 23, 2017 9:59 pm

Do big law lawyers have time to lift weights/work-out in some fashion? If people typically come in at 9:30, it seems like they would

BigZuck
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby BigZuck » Tue May 23, 2017 10:36 pm

carsondalywashere wrote:Do big law lawyers have time to lift weights/work-out in some fashion? If people typically come in at 9:30, it seems like they would

There's a potential flaw in this logic, do you know what it is?

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Nebby
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Nebby » Tue May 23, 2017 10:46 pm

carsondalywashere wrote:Do big law lawyers have time to lift weights/work-out in some fashion? If people typically come in at 9:30, it seems like they would

Nope. You'll feel the atrophy every day until you're a dadbod

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Vincent Adultman
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Vincent Adultman » Tue May 23, 2017 11:50 pm

I just want to say that I hate being a corporate associate. I'm not even in NY.

carsondalywashere
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby carsondalywashere » Tue May 23, 2017 11:59 pm

BigZuck wrote:
carsondalywashere wrote:Do big law lawyers have time to lift weights/work-out in some fashion? If people typically come in at 9:30, it seems like they would

There's a potential flaw in this logic, do you know what it is?

That they come in at 9:30 because they were at the office till 2-4 in the morning? Or that they never leave the office...
Last edited by carsondalywashere on Wed May 24, 2017 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

carsondalywashere
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby carsondalywashere » Wed May 24, 2017 12:01 am

Nebby wrote:
carsondalywashere wrote:Do big law lawyers have time to lift weights/work-out in some fashion? If people typically come in at 9:30, it seems like they would

Nope. You'll feel the atrophy every day until you're a dadbod

Serious post?

notgreat
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby notgreat » Wed May 24, 2017 7:28 pm

carsondalywashere wrote:
Nebby wrote:
carsondalywashere wrote:Do big law lawyers have time to lift weights/work-out in some fashion? If people typically come in at 9:30, it seems like they would

Nope. You'll feel the atrophy every day until you're a dadbod

Serious post?


Been true for me. Used to work out all the time. Now i never do. A lot of nights the gym near work closes before 10 and I don't get out in time to change and work out (if I even get out before 10). Even if I leave before 9 i am usually too tired to work out. Mornings are tough because I like to sleep and rarely fall asleep before midnight. Hard to make into the gym when you wake up at 8 and half to be at work at 9:30.

Work becomes life and it sucks.

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Mad Hatter
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Mad Hatter » Thu May 25, 2017 4:13 am

Checking in - waiting for a couple sig pages at 4 AM from some guy in Asia. FML.

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Danger Zone
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Danger Zone » Thu May 25, 2017 9:20 am

carsondalywashere wrote:
Nebby wrote:
carsondalywashere wrote:Do big law lawyers have time to lift weights/work-out in some fashion? If people typically come in at 9:30, it seems like they would

Nope. You'll feel the atrophy every day until you're a dadbod

Serious post?

Lol you have no idea

notgreat
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby notgreat » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:39 pm

Just got the "I need you to do these insanely tedious and labor intensive junior assignments by early tomorrow morning" email. Meanwhile, retards are contemplating six figures in loans for the privilege and asking about their chances at NYC biglaw. LOL k.

BernieTrump
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby BernieTrump » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:40 pm

Several of my non-law friends from college (who mostly make more than I do and work 1/3rd as much and aren't on call every minute of every day) are sitting on a rooftop having some beers today. I've been in my office since 10. I will be here until late tonight, and I will be back tomorrow. You all will love this life you get here!

I did read this today. It's a long form article on alcoholism, substance abuse and depression in the profession, and especially in the big firms. It should be required reading for aspiring corporate lawyers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/busi ... ealth.html

Some research shows that before they start law school, law students are actually healthier than the general population, both physically and mentally. “There’s good data showing that,” said Andy Benjamin, a psychologist and lawyer who teaches law and psychology at the University of Washington. “They drink less than other young people, use less substances, have less depression and are less hostile.”


but

According to reports, lawyers also have the highest rate of depression of any occupational group in the country. A 1990 study of more than 100 professions indicated that lawyers are 3.6 times as likely to be depressed as people with other jobs. The Hazelden study found that 28 percent of lawyers suffer depression.


One of the most comprehensive studies of lawyers and substance abuse was released just seven months after Peter died. That 2016 report, from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association, analyzed the responses of 12,825 licensed, practicing attorneys across 19 states.

Over all, the results showed that about 21 percent of lawyers qualify as problem drinkers, while 28 percent struggle with mild or more serious depression and 19 percent struggle with anxiety. Only 3,419 lawyers answered questions about drug use, and that itself is telling, said Patrick Krill, the study’s lead author and also a lawyer. “It’s left to speculation what motivated 75 percent of attorneys to skip over the section on drug use as if it wasn’t there.”


Young lawyers in treatment at the Center for Network Therapy, an ambulatory detox facility in Middlesex, N.J., frequently tell Dr. Indra Cidambi, the medical director, that the reality of working as a lawyer does not match what they had pictured while in law school. She has found that law students often drink and use drugs until they start their first job. After that, Dr. Cidambi said, “it’s mostly alcohol, until they are established as senior associates or partners and they move back to opiates.”



And one gets believable details like:

Of all the heartbreaking details of his story, the one that continues to haunt me is this: The history on his cellphone shows the last call he ever made was for work. Peter, vomiting, unable to sit up, slipping in and out of consciousness, had managed, somehow, to dial into a conference call.


At Peter’s memorial service in 2015 — held in a place he loved, with sweeping views of the Pacific — a young associate from his firm stood up to speak of their friendship and of the bands they sometimes went to see together, only to break down in tears. Quite a few of the lawyers attending the service were bent over their phones, reading and tapping out emails.

Their friend and colleague was dead, and yet they couldn’t stop working long enough to listen to what was being said about him.


People don't realize how stressful it is to be on call 24/7. People don't realize how stressful it is to have another side literally reading over everything you've done in 5,000 pages of documents to ram some minor broken cross reference down your throat. People don't realize how boring, but at the same time stressful, it is to read and revise legalese in 200 page documents for 30 years. People don't realize how stressful it is to be part of a shrinking profession where there isn't enough valuable work for everyone trained to do it, where you can't reply "no" or "tomorrow" to any client for any reason ever. I've seen women partners billing the day after the birth of their first kid. I've seen partners billing 1-2 days after a terminal cancer diagnosis. You slip up once, the client will find someone else.

The resulting substance abuse, anxiety and depression is real. I've seen mostly alcohol for the substance. There are dozens of known alcoholics in my firm. I've also seen the benzos and pill painkillers, though who knows what they're doing outside of the office. I've seen substances become a problem for several colleagues already in my relatively short career. Nobody says anything, and when it becomes a problem that impacts performance, firms quietly let the person go (associates, counsel, non-equity partners) or push them into a leave of absence or/and cut their pay so much they want to leave (partners).

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SeewhathappensLarry
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby SeewhathappensLarry » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:43 am

^That article is so, so depressing

$$$$$$
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby $$$$$$ » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:08 am

Sent that article to my SO and parents. People really don't understand what its like. Pretty much priming the pump for them to be OK with me getting fired or quitting, cause fucckkkkkk that life

tomwatts
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby tomwatts » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:17 am

For me, perhaps the most damning (yet accurate) section begins:
In addition, he said, law students generally start school with their sense of self and their values intact. But, in his research, he said, he has found that the formal structure of law school starts to change that.

I don't think many people go to law school thinking, "My life's ambition is to defend corporations accused of wrongdoing," or "I aspire to do the paperwork for business deals." But after a year at a top law school....

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lavarman84
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby lavarman84 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:34 am

BernieTrump wrote:People don't realize how stressful it is to be on call 24/7. People don't realize how stressful it is to have another side literally reading over everything you've done in 5,000 pages of documents to ram some minor broken cross reference down your throat. People don't realize how boring, but at the same time stressful, it is to read and revise legalese in 200 page documents for 30 years. People don't realize how stressful it is to be part of a shrinking profession where there isn't enough valuable work for everyone trained to do it, where you can't reply "no" or "tomorrow" to any client for any reason ever. I've seen women partners billing the day after the birth of their first kid. I've seen partners billing 1-2 days after a terminal cancer diagnosis. You slip up once, the client will find someone else.

The resulting substance abuse, anxiety and depression is real. I've seen mostly alcohol for the substance. There are dozens of known alcoholics in my firm. I've also seen the benzos and pill painkillers, though who knows what they're doing outside of the office. I've seen substances become a problem for several colleagues already in my relatively short career. Nobody says anything, and when it becomes a problem that impacts performance, firms quietly let the person go (associates, counsel, non-equity partners) or push them into a leave of absence or/and cut their pay so much they want to leave (partners).


I'm glad you're putting this message out there. But dude, you gotta get out if this is what law is to you. You have one life. There's no reason to be this miserable. If you can't find a job as a lawyer that improves your QOL, get the fuck out of the profession. I'm not saying this because you're wrong here. I'm not saying this because I'm angry that you're shedding a light on all these issues. I respect that you're doing that. I'm saying this because you genuinely seem miserable due to your job. I just don't think the money is worth that. Maybe you can't find another high-paying job, but you gotta be able to find some 9-5 that's not very stressful and will give you your life back.

sanzgo
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby sanzgo » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:08 am

lavarman84 wrote:
BernieTrump wrote:People don't realize how stressful it is to be on call 24/7. People don't realize how stressful it is to have another side literally reading over everything you've done in 5,000 pages of documents to ram some minor broken cross reference down your throat. People don't realize how boring, but at the same time stressful, it is to read and revise legalese in 200 page documents for 30 years. People don't realize how stressful it is to be part of a shrinking profession where there isn't enough valuable work for everyone trained to do it, where you can't reply "no" or "tomorrow" to any client for any reason ever. I've seen women partners billing the day after the birth of their first kid. I've seen partners billing 1-2 days after a terminal cancer diagnosis. You slip up once, the client will find someone else.

The resulting substance abuse, anxiety and depression is real. I've seen mostly alcohol for the substance. There are dozens of known alcoholics in my firm. I've also seen the benzos and pill painkillers, though who knows what they're doing outside of the office. I've seen substances become a problem for several colleagues already in my relatively short career. Nobody says anything, and when it becomes a problem that impacts performance, firms quietly let the person go (associates, counsel, non-equity partners) or push them into a leave of absence or/and cut their pay so much they want to leave (partners).


I'm glad you're putting this message out there. But dude, you gotta get out if this is what law is to you. You have one life. There's no reason to be this miserable. If you can't find a job as a lawyer that improves your QOL, get the fuck out of the profession. I'm not saying this because you're wrong here. I'm not saying this because I'm angry that you're shedding a light on all these issues. I respect that you're doing that. I'm saying this because you genuinely seem miserable due to your job. I just don't think the money is worth that. Maybe you can't find another high-paying job, but you gotta be able to find some 9-5 that's not very stressful and will give you your life back.


+1

extremely thankful that you're putting this out there bernietrump but i'm genuinely worried for you. maybe you have personal reasons for having to stay in your current job but i'd be looking to go in-house or gov't (few corporate positions, i know) asap. you seem like a dude with good credentials and WE; should be able to find something.




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