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Messages - taterstol

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41

hey taterstol:

i'm a boy. i don't know why everyone here thinks i'm a girl. i think it has something to do w/ my avatar--but even that is a boy!

and taterstol: how do you plan on acquiring a child?

wait, so why would someone be at work for 70 odd hours a week but only work 70% of the time? what are you doing for the rest of that 21 ish hours? why even bother to be at work for that?

oh i know you're a boy. i was speaking generally about women in law firms and how they might have unique challenges. (nice save, huh!)

There's all kinds of things you could be doing at work that you can't bill a client for. Only the time that you can bill a client counts. Checking your email, getting coffee, getting lunch, staying current on legal developments in your field, hiring committee, firm outings, etc--none of that is billed time. Also, everyone has some time where they sorta just stare at the screen and drool for half an hour or so. can't bill that either. Some people are just more diligent than others in constantly billing while they're at work.

here's an article that explains it in more detail. don't let it freak you out though. I think it's exaggerated.

EDIT: didn't even paste the article. sheesh.
http://www.law.yale.edu/outside/html/Career_Development/cdo-billable.htm

EDIT #2: somebody beat me to this article! sheesh!

42

sorry, i'm new, but why are only a % of your hours billable? what happens to the rest of them? so typical, if i want to be making the big bucks, how many hours of my life are spent working?  how does having a family come into the equation of all of this? do people even have families anymore? i'm 22, i want a family by the time i'm 30. has this become an unreasonable dream now?

thanks.


Breathe. :)

"billable hours" are hours that you spend actually working on a client matter. Those hours are kept track of and billed to the client (usually in six minute intervals). Since everyone dicks around for at least some portion of the day, not all of the time they spend at work is billable. (Also, things like firm committees usually aren't billable because no client will pay for that).

I think it's plenty possible to have a family. I think it's harder if you're a mother and are fighting gender roles at the same time. But for me I hope for an equal partnership (and a nanny! j/k) :)

43
Studying for the LSAT / Re: My problem...suggestions?
« on: May 11, 2005, 07:47:01 PM »
And also keep in mind that if you've got the high accuracy, you're already in a good spot. Most people are struggling with time + accuracy problems. You obviously know what you're doing, and now all you need to do is build up your speed. Just keep doing sections, giving yourself a minute or two less to finish it each time. No reason to go cold turkey all at once.

44
Acceptances / Re: Northwestern Two-Year J.D. Program
« on: May 11, 2005, 07:40:14 PM »
(which, of course, means they didn't read your post very well

which is disconcerting considering these are future lawyers--how about a third year devoted to more reading comprehension?  :D

Ha Ha. I actually know nothing about Northwestern's program--I was just excited at the prospect of a 2 year JD. Point taken, though.

45
Law School Applications / Re: Most competitive student bodies?
« on: May 11, 2005, 06:59:07 PM »
Damn.. i just checked out uga's:

Law School is on a pure curve. Median is 2.7 GPA; Top 1/3 of class is set at 3.0; 3.3 for top 10%;

Sweet.. I can bust my ass and get a 3.3.. Similar to my experience in engineering.. What a joke!

Ouch. That is a pretty brutal curve. Maybe you can get a boost with your good looks, though?  ;)

46
LSAC and LSDAS / Re: Need a straight answer
« on: May 11, 2005, 06:56:18 PM »
Wow, that really stinks.. I was hoping that was not going to be the case...so basically what you are saying is that if a grade was changed and I was given a new one....even if by professor's fault and a new grade was entered so it looks A-/A its going to be calculated the same as a replaced grade c-/A (no credit)....meaning that both are averaged by the LSAC?

hmm... I don't understand what you mean. Did you get an A- and have it changed to an A? Or a C- that was changed to an A? Are there two grades on your transcript or did the school just go back and edit the grade that was reported? What's A-/A mean?

It all depends on what's on your transcript. Any grade that's there is going to be calculated. The only way it will not be calculated is if the school goes back and erases the old grade from the transcript, or if it replaces it with something that doesn't translate (like an "R"). Otherwise, yes your two grades are included in your overall gpa (and the weight is twice as much since you've got two classes now instead of that one).

I'm confused because if the professor made a mistake with your grade, why didn't they just go and edit the grade you were assigned? If the professor really made a mistake and they're reporting two grades, you should talk to the dean and explain why the mistaken grade needs to be erased.

47
Acceptances / Re: Northwestern Two-Year J.D. Program
« on: May 11, 2005, 06:07:44 PM »
I'm all for the switch to a two year JD program. Nobody in law school really thinks that that third year is essential. Not even the professors. Once you've learned how to "think like a lawyer" (one year, maybe two), the school's done its job. The rest is bar review courses and job training.

48
Except in reality you bill an average of 50% of the time you spend at work.

Did you just make that number up?

49
Also, I think 70 hours is a bit much. Sure there will be some weeks where you pull 70 (there will be weeks where you pull much more), but you will also have 35-40 hour weeks and the whole range in between. It just depends on what's going on at any particular time with the firm.

Some math:
assume a 1950 billable hours requirement. Let's say for your first year while you're still learning, you bill 75% of the time you spend at work (6 hours in an 8 hour day). That's 2600 hours worked in a year. With 4 weeks vacation that's 54 hours per week average. No picnic, but not exactly death served up on a platter either. LOTS of professionals work those kinds of hours for substantially less money.

As you get more efficient you can rack up a lot more hours a lot faster. Let's say your second year you manage to bill 80% of the time you spend at work. If you work the same # of total hours (2600) as before, you've billed 2,080 hours (130 over the minimum)--and you'll get a bonus at the end of the year.

It's a good way to make money, and you do it for as long as you can stand it. If you like it, you just keep doing it cuz it's working for you.

50
Hehe. No, I wasn't exaggerating. I'm sure I will enjoy being a lawyer, but work is not what the purpose of life is in my opinion. It should be something that you enjoy and which can support your needs/wants. If your goals do not include being a good parent, having a good relationship with your significant other and/or friends, and enjoying hobbies/other interests, then I guess working 70 hours a week is fine with you. Because when you work that much you can't possibly be good at anything other than work, you can't possibly have a decent relationship with anyone outside of work, and you probably don't have time for friends outside of work either. That can lead to a very sad, lonely life with little meaning in my opinion and unless someone can refute that I still stand by the belief that anyone that aspires to work there doesn't understand the reality of it, or they really don't mind not having a life.

I'm sure this is true for many people. However, I also know many biglaw associates that are fully functioning human beings. If you look around your own college or law school, there are people putting in those many hours between school/job/extracurriculars/friends; yeah it's more stressful than working 9-5, but it's by no means unmanageable. And if/when it becomes unmanageable, people find other work. It's not like you go to a law firm and have just committed yourself to stay there for the next 40 years.

And even biglaw lawyers don't have it as bad as, say, medical residents do. There are reasons why people subject themselves to long hours, and it's usually not because they didn't know what they were getting into.

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