Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

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burritotaco

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by burritotaco » Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:43 am

Government attorney. I recently left big law (about 3 years) to take a 9-5.

6am - walk my dog.
615ish to 7ish - coffee and interneting.
730 - drive to work. Takes 40 mins to an hour depending on traffic.

830 - check the very few emails I ever get.

9-5 or 6, sometimes til 7 if I’m in a groove - research, write, review stuff. I have a very writing-heavy position so that’s all I do most days. I go to court every now and then but rarely.

I absolutely love my job. I took a dramatic pay cut, but I paid off my loans last year so I could GTFO of private practice.

sleeplessindc

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by sleeplessindc » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:58 am

burritotaco wrote:Government attorney. I recently left big law (about 3 years) to take a 9-5.

6am - walk my dog.
615ish to 7ish - coffee and interneting.
730 - drive to work. Takes 40 mins to an hour depending on traffic.

830 - check the very few emails I ever get.

9-5 or 6, sometimes til 7 if I’m in a groove - research, write, review stuff. I have a very writing-heavy position so that’s all I do most days. I go to court every now and then but rarely.

I absolutely love my job. I took a dramatic pay cut, but I paid off my loans last year so I could GTFO of private practice.
Out of curiosity, how are you ensuring that your dog gets potty breaks during the day? I'm curious how others with dogs are juggling their full time jobs and caregiver responsibilities, since there isn't a standard strategy for us (like there is for human children, i.e., child care).

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:22 am

Former anti-trust lit/compliance/deal support. I think most people would call it compliance but my partners said they were lit so whatever and we did occasionally prepare to go to litigation (although I can't remember actually going to litigation ever.) I quit about 2.5 years in.

Most (>60%) of the work revolved around dealing with FTC info requests, negotiating terms of mergers to address antitrust concerns, and occasional deal support. Hours were surprisingly predictable since almost nothing was a fire drill because the bottleneck was almost always waiting for FTC/DOJ to respond to a 2/3 page email/memo.

5:50am: wake up. and do morning rituals
6:30am: catch apartment's shuttle to subway
6:45am: subway and check overnight emails for urgent matters
~7:15am: gym unless there are urgent matters
9:00am: respond to emails
~9:30am: there is usually free breakfast around somewhere in the building. I made it a hobby to find it. Failure meant only coffee and banana for breakfast.
10:00am: typically first calls/meetings prep around this time. Usually, there is nothing that urgent and it's usually small matters that could be dispatched with an email or two. These will drag on typically for a while anyway.
~11:30 After clearing early meetings, I start looking at my to-do list to see if I have memos (didn't write a lot of full memos, but there were some) to review/write. A sticky note on monitor if something needs to be done within a day or two.
~11:45 lunch. I typically left early for lunch because I am antisocial and don't like long lunches.
~12:00 gym and shower. Yeah, gym again, and the real reason I want short lunches. I am also really cheap and don't want to buy body wash/shampoo (not even trolling on this point) when I feel like I paid for it with my overpriced gym membership.
~1:15pm respond to more emails and questions. The afternoon was also when I usually met the deal teams for updates. Sometimes I was also a de facto corporate associate doing what a regular M&A associate would do.
~1:15pm to 5:00pm typically populated by various meetings. I'd say about 2 or 3 days a week it involved leaving the office for meetings. I also tried to turn around review comments at this time and ask whatever questions I had.
5:00pm to 6:00 trying to clarify what needed to be done the night of. Usually there is nothing that required staying up.
6:30 - shower at the gym if I was busy during lunch and didn't get to it.
6:30 - go home
~7:15 - get home. eat dinner with wife. Almost always take out but if I got nothing on my plate I'd usually make dinner.
(half of the nights) 8pm to 11pm - do memos and research. I was just much more effective at night time with nobody interrupting if I needed to actually write a memo and/or do research.

I didn't do much for work usually during weekends but I still always carried my phone/laptop with me (yes, even laptop) because although I didn't get a lot of work on weekends, when I did, they usually were super fire drills (like the deal team literally trying to close over weekend to announce for Monday open and remembered last minute there were antitrust issues.) They were free enough I was able to commit to teaching LSAT on Saturdays. I averaged ~2 billable hours per weekend I think.

I am no longer in biglaw. I found the work mind-numbingly boring and ended up with a tax LLM doing int tax at big 4 before bailing on that too in less than a year (it was even more boring) and back in what amounts to middle-market ibanking. I make less (not much less to be sure including bonuses on good years) money, have less job security, work more (and more unpredictable) hours now but I like my job a lot more. I just like being in the driver's seat for deals and not having to juggle 12 projects/deadlines and being able to focus on just 2 or 3 live deals at a time. And I realized I like Excel way more than Word.

FND

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by FND » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:17 pm

patent_guy wrote:
FND wrote:Currently I have my own firm doing transactional work:

7am - wake up, check emails
8:30 - drop kids off at school
8:45 - back to bed
10:00 - Client meeting if I have one, otherwise draft documents
12:00 - lunch (preferably with a referral source)
1:00 - client meeeting if I have one, otherwise draft documents
3:00 - pick up my kids from school
The rest of the day: either continue working on documents, or pray that one of my referral sources sends me a client

Back when I worked in-house at a structured lending boutique:

7am - check emails, respond to them
8am - arrive at work, find out what sh*t is about to hit the fan
8:30 - firedrills, lots of busywork that's probably meaningless; chasing or due diligence on open transactions
* far too often, be given an ad-hoc project that needs far more time than given
9:00 - emails from various companies we do business with start coming in. Even a quick "busy now, will respond later" eats into my response time to the firedrills
11:00-12:00 try to find an opportunity to eat a bite between calls
12:00 - emails from west coast start coming in. see 9:00.
Chase any outstanding documents, due diligence on open transactions, pray there isn't a firedrill
* get yelled at that the ad-hoc assignment I was given that morning, and needs about 10-15 hours, isn't ready yet
2:00 panic to close deals with a deadline that day
4:00 last minute rush to get deals done before the wire deadline
4:30 lots of emails and calls from anyone we do business with on the east coast, as they're looking to finish matters before going home at the end of the day
6:00-7:00 Finish any urgent matters and get out before it's too late
7:00-9:00 dinner and try to have a semblance of a life
9:00-11PM respond to all the emails that came from the west coast after I left the office (or that I ignored so I could leave the office)
-- does not include ad-hoc assignments that I somehow had to squeeze in on top of everything else, and would typically need far longer than management had patience for. Like, a 10-hour project that had to be done before lunch
Has it been worth going out on your own? Based on the contrast in schedules I can see why you wanted to do something else, but I imagine some of the financial stability is gone too.
Sorry, been a while since I logged in.
Whether it's worth going out is a matter of perspective. Trading the horrible schedule for horrible pay is... scary. going a month or two without a paycheck is nerve wracking. But the lifestyle is awesome

HarrisonK

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by HarrisonK » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:15 am

This is a great thread. Thanks for the sticky!

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 am

in-house in a corporate/commercial counsel role at a private tech company in SF. DINK. did 3 years in big law mostly doing securities/cap markets work before making the switch a little less than a year ago.

6:30 AM: wake up
7:00 AM: run
7:45 AM: shower, get ready, etc.
8:45 AM: catch the bus, review emails and plan out my day during commute
9:15-9:30 AM: arrive at office, get coffee, eat some breakfast, make the rounds on my floor, etc.
10 - 12: respond to all overnight/morning emails, maybe have a short meeting, try to at least get one thing on my to-do list done before lunch (contract/term sheet/deck review, drafting, form creation, etc.)
12: catered lunch. i usually just eat at my desk and browse the internet. if i want to eat with friends, i opt to just go out.
12:30-5: my major work block. usually a couple of short meetings (or, if none, i try to get out of the office for coffee or something to break up the day).
5: start tying up loose ends, usually a lot of shooting the shit with my team at this point of the day, audit my to-do list and make my plan for tomorrow, get out any last emails.
5:30-6: leave office.
6:15-6:45: arrive home.

i will check my email a few times in the evenings but i pretty much only respond if i can answer it quickly/easily or if it is coming from someone in the c-suite. otherwise i just like to keep apprised of what is coming in. i think i've had to work past 8 pm two or three times (?) since starting, and on those rare occasions i was showered with praise/gratitude/goodwill for my efforts. never had to work a single weekend. it's such a dramatic departure from big law where working until 9 PM was a good day, working weekends was a given, and your clients didn't give a fuck about you personally.

BigLawer

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by BigLawer » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:in-house in a corporate/commercial counsel role at a private tech company in SF. DINK. did 3 years in big law mostly doing securities/cap markets work before making the switch a little less than a year ago.

6:30 AM: wake up
7:00 AM: run
7:45 AM: shower, get ready, etc.
8:45 AM: catch the bus, review emails and plan out my day during commute
9:15-9:30 AM: arrive at office, get coffee, eat some breakfast, make the rounds on my floor, etc.
10 - 12: respond to all overnight/morning emails, maybe have a short meeting, try to at least get one thing on my to-do list done before lunch (contract/term sheet/deck review, drafting, form creation, etc.)
12: catered lunch. i usually just eat at my desk and browse the internet. if i want to eat with friends, i opt to just go out.
12:30-5: my major work block. usually a couple of short meetings (or, if none, i try to get out of the office for coffee or something to break up the day).
5: start tying up loose ends, usually a lot of shooting the shit with my team at this point of the day, audit my to-do list and make my plan for tomorrow, get out any last emails.
5:30-6: leave office.
6:15-6:45: arrive home.

i will check my email a few times in the evenings but i pretty much only respond if i can answer it quickly/easily or if it is coming from someone in the c-suite. otherwise i just like to keep apprised of what is coming in. i think i've had to work past 8 pm two or three times (?) since starting, and on those rare occasions i was showered with praise/gratitude/goodwill for my efforts. never had to work a single weekend. it's such a dramatic departure from big law where working until 9 PM was a good day, working weekends was a given, and your clients didn't give a fuck about you personally.
Do not want to throw this thread off, but have you posted about comp here (sounds like you hit the jackpot if you have a decent comp package):

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... #p10414276

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FullRamboLSGrad

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by FullRamboLSGrad » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:41 am

Litigation in a large market but definitely regional (western US). Small firm (5 lawyers). My days are all over the place but a typical day I’m in the office instead of court or depositions goes like

530 wake up
630 leave
700 arrive
700-930 going through my email and routed documents (my office tracks things by running physical copies starting at the partner and ending at the paralegal with each of us adding/completing a task on it way through)
930-1130 work on what I got going on (motions, teleconferences, discovery, or especially report writing as I have some needy insurance clients that require constant report writing)
1130-1215 lunch
1215-330 same as before lunch
330-400 leave
415-445arrive at home
445-625 clear email respond to email and bill my time for the day

I have emails sent to my phone so keep an eye on them

Bed at 1030

I haven’t usually been working weekends but lately I’ve been swamped

Fortunately we have remote login

person237

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by person237 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:56 am

burritotaco wrote:Government attorney. I recently left big law (about 3 years) to take a 9-5.

6am - walk my dog.
615ish to 7ish - coffee and interneting.
730 - drive to work. Takes 40 mins to an hour depending on traffic.

830 - check the very few emails I ever get.

9-5 or 6, sometimes til 7 if I’m in a groove - research, write, review stuff. I have a very writing-heavy position so that’s all I do most days. I go to court every now and then but rarely.

I absolutely love my job. I took a dramatic pay cut, but I paid off my loans last year so I could GTFO of private practice.
If you don’t mind, could you reveal a bit more about what gov job you have? And how you made the switch from big law to gov? Any advice? I’m in a regional but sort of big market. What you describe is the dream. I’m very into writing/research and occasional court. Thank you!

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Re: Lawyers: What's Your Typical Day?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:50 pm

Public interest attorney in niche area of law (think immigration, human trafficking, disability rights, etc.) This schedules reflects my pre-COVID-19 schedule and does not accurately reflect my schedule working from home. Organization is funded primarily through government grants, but the organization is an independent 501(c)(3).

8:30-9:30 am: Arrive at office and check my voice messages and emails. Respond to the ones that seem most urgent. I work with a lot of vulnerable populations that require fast response times on occasion.

- 9:30-12:00/30 pm: Respond to client e-mails and phone calls, conduct legal research, possibly draft responses to opposing counsel or parties that I am trying to negotiate resolutions with, provide legal advice to clients, and work on any outstanding projects funded by government grants.

- 12:00/30-1:00 pm: Lunch and checking websites.

- 1:00 pm-5/6:00 pm: Do same activities as before and possibly also draft publications for organization's website for client consumption/education, read/watch trainings and other updates to my practice area, have meetings with colleagues and supervisors to discuss current cases and projects.

- 6:00 pm go home and do home stuff, and hit sack around 10:00-11:00 pm.

Other activities that I do on occasion is visit clients at their homes or institutions. I also attend regional and national conferences touching on my practice area. Attend meetings with government agencies and occasionally represent clients in front of administrative bodies.

The pay and benefits could be better, but I get to feel fulfilled and happy while practicing law. I came from small law private practice where I made more money, but I was not terribly happy given all the conflict and toxic personalities. For me at least, going public interest has definitely been worth it.

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