Can Biglaw be a "livable" long-term career?

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pearson_specter_litt

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Can Biglaw be a "livable" long-term career?

Postby pearson_specter_litt » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:00 pm

Hey everyone, I'm currently in a top-tier business undergrad trying to figure out what I want to do. I'm interested in both business (more specifically consulting) and law.

I value:

1 -Long-term aspects of a job

2 -Decent job security (I don't have to worry about my job every day)

3 -The pay to an extent (I live in Chicago so COL is a bit high)

4 -Work-life balance to an extent (I don't want to work 7 days a week and 100 hour work weeks like bankers)



Since you guys are the experts, do you think a career in Biglaw would satisfy these points?

How many people are in Biglaw for the long-term? If not Biglaw where do most other lawyers go and is the pay comparable? Is aiming for partner generally the goal of law students at T14 schools?

How long do Biglaw attorneys generally work? I hear 9 AM-8 PM is this accurate? Do they generally get weekends off? Consulting is generally Mon-Thurs work, Fri leave at 5-6 and then weekends off which I think is a fair trade-off for the compensation you get, would you say law or consulting has better work-life-balance? Also, when you reach senior levels such as non-equity partner to the hours get better or is it more when you're bringing in clients as an equity partner as I've heard they may get slightly better once you


Any and all answers are greatly appreciated!

Thanks everyone.

lawposeidon

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Re: Can Biglaw be a "livable" long-term career?

Postby lawposeidon » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:04 pm

Honestly if you're moving into biglaw for a more livable career probably making a mistake, from what I hear. My friends do biglaw for money and are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes.

JimmyLee2010

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Re: Can Biglaw be a "livable" long-term career?

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:36 pm

I'd say you're barking up the wrong tree. Big law can be all encompassing virtually 24/7 work for significant stretches. Your work schedule will be highly unpredictable and there is an expectation that you are available to work on weekends, holidays, and on vacation. Job security is relatively low if your goal is to become a partner. At top firms, less than 1 percent of associates become partners and even fewer become equity partners. Those large Profits Per Partner numbers you see in publications only apply to equity partners. It's a long, hard, and risky road to an equity partnership at a large firm. Based on your stated priorities I don't think it would be a good fit for you.

That's not to say that there aren't law jobs that have good hours, but they don't pay big law money.

pearson_specter_litt

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Re: Can Biglaw be a "livable" long-term career?

Postby pearson_specter_litt » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:33 pm

JimmyLee2010 wrote: That's not to say that there aren't law jobs that have good hours, but they don't pay big law money.


I asssume you're talking about in-house work correct? If so, do you know what the pay is like for jobs like this?

JimmyLee2010

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Re: Can Biglaw be a "livable" long-term career?

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:52 am

I honestly don't know much about working in-house. Robert Half publishes an annual salary guide that's available free online that provides good information about in-house salaries.

I was mostly referring to government work, which has very regular hours. From talking to people that work in-house it is fewer hours than big law, but it can vary widely depending on where you work. With that said, the path to a good in-house job usually involves at least a few years in a big law job.



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