Lawyer Hours

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uvalaw4l
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby uvalaw4l » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:14 pm

mormondem32 wrote:Well that sucks


Shit - I answered wrong. I meant absolutey NOT.

I mean these firms (and most) are full of men - all the women leave to have families. So they are trying to become more family-friendly.

SORRY about the mistake! :lol:

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mormondem32
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby mormondem32 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:16 pm

Wait, so men have good chances of landing jobs at family friendly law firms?

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uvalaw4l
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby uvalaw4l » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:24 pm

Of course. These are just regular BIGLAW firms that have extremely family friendly policies. Men aren't at any disadvantage in firm hiring.

Men sometimes are more hesitant to take advantage of those policies, like the 12 week leave after birth, but some do.

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mormondem32
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby mormondem32 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:37 pm

I seems as though there are more 'lifestyle' firms as time goes by. That's good.

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uvalaw4l
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby uvalaw4l » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:44 pm

mormondem32 wrote:I seems as though there are more 'lifestyle' firms as time goes by. That's good.


It's a generational thing. Our generation is just not willing to sacrifice as much as our parents' and grandparents' generation. Plus salaries are ridiculously high - I mean, you can do fine on a midlaw salary.

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mormondem32
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby mormondem32 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:50 pm

I actually think that although we may not do the hard manual work earlier generations did, we as Americans work a lot longer than a lot of our parents/ grandparents did. Neither my father or either of my grandfathers ever worked a 60+ hour a week job.

Many industrialized nations are working less hours each week over time as we say stagnant.

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dailygrind
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby dailygrind » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:13 pm

This is sort of a thread hijack so I'll keep it short and simple. We, as a whole, work far fewer hours than our parents did, and they worked far fewer than their parents in turn. I don't have the article or data handy, but if you look at US Census data for hours of work in each year, it has drastically reduced, and hours of leisure has increased, relative to our ancestors. I believe, and you may feel free to question my memory (balancing coursework and applying for law school is making me sacrifice some of my academics) that the average working hours for men around the early 1900's was something like 100 hours a week, and a pathetic 12 hours of leisure. Nowadays leisure might actually outweigh work. A good source of info for this is bls.gov.

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mormondem32
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby mormondem32 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:41 pm

dailygrind wrote:This is sort of a thread hijack so I'll keep it short and simple. We, as a whole, work far fewer hours than our parents did, and they worked far fewer than their parents in turn. I don't have the article or data handy, but if you look at US Census data for hours of work in each year, it has drastically reduced, and hours of leisure has increased, relative to our ancestors. I believe, and you may feel free to question my memory (balancing coursework and applying for law school is making me sacrifice some of my academics) that the average working hours for men around the early 1900's was something like 100 hours a week, and a pathetic 12 hours of leisure. Nowadays leisure might actually outweigh work. A good source of info for this is bls.gov.
I would like to see the source you brought up if you can find it. That would be interesting to look over.

Regardless, I find it disappointing that as Americans work more, earn less, and sleep less, other industrialized nations work less over time.

bigben
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby bigben » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:39 pm

mormondem32 wrote:
dailygrind wrote:This is sort of a thread hijack so I'll keep it short and simple. We, as a whole, work far fewer hours than our parents did, and they worked far fewer than their parents in turn. I don't have the article or data handy, but if you look at US Census data for hours of work in each year, it has drastically reduced, and hours of leisure has increased, relative to our ancestors. I believe, and you may feel free to question my memory (balancing coursework and applying for law school is making me sacrifice some of my academics) that the average working hours for men around the early 1900's was something like 100 hours a week, and a pathetic 12 hours of leisure. Nowadays leisure might actually outweigh work. A good source of info for this is bls.gov.
I would like to see the source you brought up if you can find it. That would be interesting to look over.

Regardless, I find it disappointing that as Americans work more, earn less, and sleep less, other industrialized nations work less over time.




It should be very unsurprising that we work far less than the generations before us. Their extraordinary prolificacy enables our relative lethargy.

This is a bad thing overall. Technological advancement slows to a fraction of its potential, as does knowledge, art, science. Also, individuals are happier and more fulfilled when they can spend the majority of their time occupied on tasks that make use of their potential. If you think that the ideal human experience is comfortable mental sedation, then you probably wouldn't agree with this. We already only use what, 1/10 of our brain power?

I think the fact that Americans work more than other nations is a fading testament to what this country was founded on: the entrepreneurial spirit that enterprises not in the name of moneymaking or consumerism (which is an unfortunate incidental circumstance), but in the name of a better human experience.

bloomlaw
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby bloomlaw » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:23 pm

I highly doubt that people historically have worked hard in the name of "better human experience". They worked, primarily, to get basic human needs, and then, especially in the United States, because of the influence of the puritan work ethic that has permeated through our society. People worked hard not because of an entrepreneurial human spirit, but because they thought it was god's will to work hard.

In modern times, we have moved away from this. But you have created a spectrum on which one side is sloth and on the other side is long hours at work. I think the correct spectrum would be sloth at one side and being useful with your time at the other. Spending long hours at work only signifies that you work long hours, and nothing more. For the most part, free time from meeting your basic needs opens up time for technology, art, knowledge to expand because people who are truly passionate about these things have the time to become enveloped in them.

The idea of potential is arbitrary, in my opinion.

bigben
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby bigben » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:25 pm

bloomlaw wrote:I highly doubt that people historically have worked hard in the name of "better human experience". They worked, primarily, to get basic human needs, and then, especially in the United States, because of the influence of the puritan work ethic that has permeated through our society. People worked hard not because of an entrepreneurial human spirit, but because they thought it was god's will to work hard.

In modern times, we have moved away from this. But you have created a spectrum on which one side is sloth and on the other side is long hours at work. I think the correct spectrum would be sloth at one side and being useful with your time at the other. Spending long hours at work only signifies that you work long hours, and nothing more. For the most part, free time from meeting your basic needs opens up time for technology, art, knowledge to expand because people who are truly passionate about these things have the time to become enveloped in them.

The idea of potential is arbitrary, in my opinion.


Good points. You're right that in reality "work" and generally useful endeavors are often divergent. I also agree that people generally only work to get basic needs. Technology and preexisting wealth/value allow us to meet our basic needs while working less, which is why people are working less now. I don't think that contradicts what I said, though. America was founded, and subsequently immigrated to, by restless and ambitious people in search of something better. This has been reflected in our general drive as a country throughout history. There has been something more than just wanting to get by on the basics. I don't think you can simply attribute this to a belief in God's will for us to "work hard." Or maybe you can, but if that is the case then maybe we need a little more belief in God's will or something similar, considering all the good effects we have seen from that extra drive.

As a side point, your spectrum with sloth at one end and usefulness on the other seems to be at odds with your statement that potential is arbitrary.

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DelDad
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby DelDad » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:18 am

Historically, some were driven by the Entrepreneurial Spirit, some by the Holy Spirit - but the vast majority were primarily driven by wanting to feed their families (and this is not incompatible with the idea that immigrants were/are driven to seek something better).

A big factor in reducing the hours worked by the average American worker is the move to a better-paid service economy in which both men and women are employed. It simply takes a lot more hours worked to keep a family fed if you are the only wage earner in the family and are working for coal-miner or steel-worker hourly wages. Likewise, it takes an incredible number of hours-worked to make a small farm function; small farming was still the most common American profession into the early 20th century. The US economy has both moved away from those jobs and gone from employing 20% of women to nearly 70% of women.

The overall strength of the economy (present conditions excepted) and the move to two-earner families makes it easier to feed a family on fewer hours worked (by any given individual; not measured by the aggregate of the two earners) relative to earlier generations of Americans.

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dailygrind
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby dailygrind » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:41 am

I'm a little too preoccupied to find the 1900's data, although I stand by what I said about the people of that time period working a ridiculous amount. Here is a link to a paper on work changes from 1950-2000, based on the decennial US Census, http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/QR/QR2812.pdf . The gist of it is that not a huge amount has changed for the aggregate, however the pieces have moved positions. The average person works roughly the same amount as they did in the 50s (maybe like a 10% diff) but men work less and women work more. There's probably a good deal more than that, if anyone actually wants to read it, be sure to let us know the relevant points.

I'd have to agree on the broad theory given by deldad, adding also that household production is significantly easier now than it was previously, microwave, washers/driers, etc. freeing up a lot of time for leisure. Where once our parents were spending a lot of time keeping the house together, many of those tasks have been assumed by machines, freeing up our time for leisure. You're not an economist of sorts are you? Or are you just an average joe with an above average interest in economics?

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Summer Saint
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby Summer Saint » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:21 pm

bigben wrote:We already only use what, 1/10 of our brain power?

This is a pet peeve of mine. We don't use just 1/10 of our brain power. We use 100%, or close enough that the difference doesn't matter. That 10% number that people throw around is based on the idea that, at any one point in time, neurons are only firing in 10% of our brain. Over longer periods (say, a day) every part of our brains are being used.

Pet peeves aside, it's extremely comforting to hear about the family-friendly BigLaw firms. Until now, due to the institutionalized terror inherent to being a 1L, I'd been feeling like I had to make a choice between working 80+ hour weeks and earning a bunch of money that I'd have no time to spend, or working 40 hours a week and having no money to spend in all the free time I would have.

bigben
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby bigben » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:32 pm

Pet peeves aside, it's extremely comforting to hear about the family-friendly BigLaw firms. Until now, due to the institutionalized terror inherent to being a 1L, I'd been feeling like I had to make a choice between working 80+ hour weeks and earning a bunch of money that I'd have no time to spend, or working 40 hours a week and having no money to spend in all the free time I would have.


I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade here but you are still faced with a choice something like that. The family-friendly thing is first and foremost a PR stunt. I'm not saying it's nothing, yes you may be able take off when you have a kid, but guys aren't really expected to do that. Of course some firms will require fewer hours than others but if you look at the money you will be making over time, it often is a situation of 9/10ths of the hours for 1/2 the pay. I guess my point is that choices aren't easy and any BIGLAW firm is going to have you working 70 or 80 hour weeks more often than not. How else could they pay such an astronomical salary to an entry-level employee? The answer is they could not, not without collapsing. Almost everyone hopes for a happy medium, but such a medium is hard to find, and a rare exception to the rule.

Here's a quote from the blog I linked earlier:

In case I want to have babies soon, I'd like to make sure that there actually are some jobs for lawyers that do not involve extremely demanding hours. 50 hours would be a max. 35 would be ideal when the kiddos are small.


Public interest and government are pretty much your only reliable options for this. An internship mentor once told me that this is the reason that almost all of the lawyers who wind up in non-profit public interest agencies are women and guys who want to actually know their kids. Start thinking early (like now) about your job search if you want this as a serious option, because it takes a bit of work.



viewtopic.php?f=11&t=18621&p=328107#p328107

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mormondem32
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby mormondem32 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:29 pm

This is all interesting to me. There are people in this forum, such as Bigben above, who claim that a good lawyer job for good pay is very rare, yet most lawyers I am related to, or have met growing up in the west (Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon) have made salaries around $100,000- $175,000, and haven't ever worked more than 50-60 hours in a week. Is it a regional thing?

bigben
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby bigben » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:33 pm

mormondem32 wrote:This is all interesting to me. There are people in this forum, such as Bigben above, who claim that a good lawyer job for good pay is very rare, yet most lawyers I am related to, or have met growing up in the west (Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon) have made salaries around $100,000- $175,000, and haven't ever worked more than 50-60 hours in a week. Is it a regional thing?



I didn't mean to say that a good job in general is very rare. I'm just saying that, taking into account what you consider "good," in terms of work, hours, pay, etc., finding your ideal balance is a considerable challenge that should not be taken lightly. An astonishingly huge number of people go to law school and end up in jobs that they don't like and/or debt they can't handle.

It seems likely that the people you are talking about earned that kind of salary in a small firm or something toward the end of their career. They probably started off with something around 30-40k and worked their way up. That would be a great career path as long as you keep your costs low by getting scholarships and low state school tuition. OTOH, it would be horrendous if you graduated with 100k, 150k, or more in debt as many people do.

In general, students from schools outside the top 25 or so do not make salaries right after graduation that are compatible with huge debt loads, yet many of these schools expect at least some of their students to pay a sticker price of 25k, 35k, or more, while simultaneously publishing false employment statistics, such as the median salary upon graduation.

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mormondem32
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Re: Lawyer Hours

Postby mormondem32 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:53 pm

bigben wrote:It seems likely that the people you are talking about earned that kind of salary in a small firm or something toward the end of their career. They probably started off with something around 30-40k and worked their way up. That would be a great career path as long as you keep your costs low by getting scholarships and low state school tuition. OTOH, it would be horrendous if you graduated with 100k, 150k, or more in debt as many people do.
Well the first guy who has been a lifelong family friend has been a private practice lawyer in northern Idaho 11 years now, and has never worked a 60+ hour week, according to him.

The second and third guys i know have been lawyers 30+ years mostly private practice in northern Utah. They work 40 hours a week.

Fourth guy I know has been in law 20 years and works 50 hours a week in the Boise area.

My cousins have been in law for 3 and 7 years, the one who has only been a lawyer for 3 years lives in Oregon and works right around 50-60 hours a week, and the one who has been a lawyer for 7 years works 40-45 hours a week private practice in the Salt Lake Area.




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