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Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:52 pm
by pricon
There are 1/3 of attorneys where I work doing the bare minimum, 45 hours per week. Those in management/executive positions or trying to be are working 55-65 per week, depending on deadlines or cases. One night a week they work into the night, a full day over the weekend twice a month. Starting salary here is a smooth $40,000.

It's easy to work hard for low-income people, but the resources are scarce and require long hours to make up for it.

Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life. Some others are like that, but we trash them. They are lazy and uncommitted. My friend in one quit because everyone was looking for reasons not to be in their office—all day, everyday.

Don't expect much as any lawyer. Unless you want to be broke and tired for the right reasons, someone would advise gunning for big law.

Anyone is free to pile on.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:13 pm
by UVA2B
I'm struggling to see the actual point of this thread. What do you think you're accomplishing?

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:39 pm
by tomwatts
UVA2B wrote:I'm struggling to see the actual point of this thread. What do you think you're accomplishing?

pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life.

Pretty sure this is it.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:42 pm
by UVA2B
tomwatts wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I'm struggling to see the actual point of this thread. What do you think you're accomplishing?

pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life.

Pretty sure this is it.


But did anyone think this, and more importantly, why would someone think asking a law student or graduate accomplished the goal?

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:44 pm
by Thesaurus
pricon wrote:There are 1/3 of attorneys where I work doing the bare minimum, 45 hours per week. Those in management/executive positions or trying to be are working 55-65 per week, depending on deadlines or cases. One night a week they work into the night, a full day over the weekend twice a month. Starting salary here is a smooth $40,000.

It's easy to work hard for low-income people, but the resources are scarce and require long hours to make up for it.

Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life. Some others are like that, but we trash them. They are lazy and uncommitted. My friend in one quit because everyone was looking for reasons not to be in their office—all day, everyday.

Don't expect much as any lawyer. Unless you want to be broke and tired for the right reasons, someone would advise gunning for big law.

Anyone is free to pile on.

Went to a PI career alumni panel the other day. One of the lawyers said he often works long hours, but he refuses to do any work while at home. Another said she typically works 45 hours a week and also avoids doing work at home.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:51 pm
by runinthefront
UVA2B wrote:
tomwatts wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I'm struggling to see the actual point of this thread. What do you think you're accomplishing?

pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life.

Pretty sure this is it.


But did anyone think this, and more importantly, why would someone think asking a law student or graduate accomplished the goal?

I think many people naively think that working in PI won't entail hours similar to biglaw. I don't think OP's thread is any better or worse than any of the other venting threads (or the countless "here's what working in private equity/corp finance/consulting/tax/real estate/insurance litigation/etc' is like" threads on this site).

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:55 pm
by UVA2B
runinthefront wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
tomwatts wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I'm struggling to see the actual point of this thread. What do you think you're accomplishing?

pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life.

Pretty sure this is it.


But did anyone think this, and more importantly, why would someone think asking a law student or graduate accomplished the goal?

I think many people naively think that working in PI won't entail hours similar to biglaw. I don't think OP's thread is any better or worse than any of the other venting threads (or the countless "here's what working in private equity/corp finance/consulting/tax/real estate/insurance litigation/etc' is like" threads on this site).


But, in this case, we're talking about third party accounts of what that field is like, which is decidedly less reliable than even the basic anecdotal account of "how bad [insert field] sucks."

And, to be clear, this is a 0L venting about how they perceive attorneys in their particular org., and how exactly is that helpful to anyone?

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:57 pm
by Thesaurus
runinthefront wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
tomwatts wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I'm struggling to see the actual point of this thread. What do you think you're accomplishing?

pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life.

Pretty sure this is it.


But did anyone think this, and more importantly, why would someone think asking a law student or graduate accomplished the goal?

I think many people naively think that working in PI won't entail hours similar to biglaw. I don't think OP's thread is any better or worse than any of the other venting threads (or the countless "here's what working in private equity/corp finance/consulting/tax/real estate/insurance litigation/etc' is like" threads on this site).

I'm pretty sure it doesn't, though, for most people. There's a lot of middle ground between "I work 40 hours a week consistently" and "I work big law hours."

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:57 pm
by runinthefront
UVA2B wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
tomwatts wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I'm struggling to see the actual point of this thread. What do you think you're accomplishing?

pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life.

Pretty sure this is it.


But did anyone think this, and more importantly, why would someone think asking a law student or graduate accomplished the goal?

I think many people naively think that working in PI won't entail hours similar to biglaw. I don't think OP's thread is any better or worse than any of the other venting threads (or the countless "here's what working in private equity/corp finance/consulting/tax/real estate/insurance litigation/etc' is like" threads on this site).


But, in this case, we're talking about third party accounts of what that field is like, which is decidedly less reliable than even the basic anecdotal account of "how bad [insert field] sucks."

And, to be clear, this is a 0L venting about how they perceive attorneys in their particular org., and how exactly is that helpful to anyone?

It's not. I didn't realize this was an 0L.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:03 am
by A. Nony Mouse
pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life. Some others are like that, but we trash them. They are lazy and uncommitted. My friend in one quit because everyone was looking for reasons not to be in their office—all day, everyday.

So actually, it's not that there *aren't* any legal services attorneys who work 40 hour weeks and leave work at work, it's just that you just disapprove of them.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:15 am
by cavalier1138
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life. Some others are like that, but we trash them. They are lazy and uncommitted. My friend in one quit because everyone was looking for reasons not to be in their office—all day, everyday.

So actually, it's not that there *aren't* any legal services attorneys who work 40 hour weeks and leave work at work, it's just that you just disapprove of them.


I'm also confused by who the "we" is in the OP. This poster doesn't appear to be in law school yet, so I'm not sure what they're doing at legal services that puts them in a position to deride any of the attorneys there.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:27 am
by pricon
I have a non-legal nonprofit leadership position. Basically executive assistant and lead some joint projects being worked on by attorneys from public interest orgs. across the state.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:36 am
by pricon
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life. Some others are like that, but we trash them. They are lazy and uncommitted. My friend in one quit because everyone was looking for reasons not to be in their office—all day, everyday.

So actually, it's not that there *aren't* any legal services attorneys who work 40 hour weeks and leave work at work, it's just that you just disapprove of them.


We deride some for being in the office 40 hours per week but only working 30. They are hard to work with. We do joint projects with them, and they drag their feet or pass deadlines or complain about new work. It’s a relatively toxic environment to the one I work at. I’m contrasting the culture of working whatever it takes to get the job done to one of being a lazy joke. It’s a single firsthand contrast to add to a data pool. I only personally work with three legal PI orgs and attorneys in their 15 offices. This in no way represents all PI.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:38 am
by cavalier1138
So in other words, you're not an attorney. But you've met some attorneys you don't like. And you feel comfortable writing missives to the rest of the legal profession about how they should conduct their business.

Is that about right?

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:42 am
by pricon
cavalier1138 wrote:So in other words, you're not an attorney. But you've met some attorneys you don't like. And you feel comfortable writing missives to the rest of the legal profession about how they should conduct their business.

Is that about right?


This has so much to unpack that I’m just gonna let you keep it.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:53 am
by A. Nony Mouse
pricon wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
pricon wrote:Hoping others don't think non-profit or legal services life is a normal 40 hours, leave-work-at-work kind of lawyer life. Some others are like that, but we trash them. They are lazy and uncommitted. My friend in one quit because everyone was looking for reasons not to be in their office—all day, everyday.

So actually, it's not that there *aren't* any legal services attorneys who work 40 hour weeks and leave work at work, it's just that you just disapprove of them.


We deride some for being in the office 40 hours per week but only working 30. They are hard to work with. We do joint projects with them, and they drag their feet or pass deadlines or complain about new work. It’s a relatively toxic environment to the one I work at. I’m contrasting the culture of working whatever it takes to get the job done to one of being a lazy joke. It’s a single firsthand contrast to add to a data pool. I only personally work with three legal PI orgs and attorneys in their 15 offices. This in no way represents all PI.

My point was only that you can't say people in legal services don't work 40 hour weeks when you're complaining about people who do. Also I'm pretty sure shirking work and working less than your colleagues is unpopular in every workplace.

I get the idea that legal services is a tough job with low pay, and that for many people it's not going to be 9-5, but I don't think anyone really thought differently.

Re: Legal Services Is No Picnic

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:51 am
by albanach
pricon wrote:It’s a relatively toxic environment to the one I work at. ... This in no way represents all PI.


I'm glad you realize this is a toxic environment and that it's not representative.

I know many PI lawyers, including some who have landed in difficult environments, generally the experience seems to be a lot more positive.

The biggest complains tend to be the limited resources and self-imposed pressure to succeed for all your clients, no matter the odds. I hear those even more so than money.