according to a post from xoxohth (which references a website to which i have no access), the average weekly hours at biglaw are more like 60. i take no responsibility for the correctness of the source, but it is in line with what people seem to say around that site, and they're all obsessed with biglaw.so, 60 hours/week for $125K to start, with probably a $15K bonus a year (am i wrong about this bonus??). so it's 60 hours/week for $140K. that seems pretty decent to me. i can't think of many other fields in which you can get a job for that much, even if you worked that many hours.even if you were only to work 40 hours, in biglaw pay, it would stil be about $95K.even if you figured the extra 20 hours as over-time (time and a half), it's still about $80K.at the least, it's twice as much as my friends coming out of undergrad are making, and even for many with MAs.
i think that most of us who are in law school realize this - it's hard at this poitn to remain optimistic regarding big law when your professors are routinely reminding you of the "rigors" of big law. i think the draw still remains however, because 1) most of us will be in suffocating debt when we finish LS and we will require the big salaries (at least for a couple of years) to deal with the problem 2) biglaw is a gateway - it opens doors the things that we actually want to do (like work in-house for pfzier at 40 hours a week [those with firm experience need only apply] and 3) maybe we see it something akin to residency in medicine where you actually learn what the profession is all about. i've heard it from enough to people to know (in a general sense) that you somehow know nothing about the law by the time you finish law school - you learn the vast majority of what builds your career in your first couple years as a lawyer.but other than that it appears to me as a dismal light at the end of a strenously dark tunnel. my neighbor, a 3L, who next year starts work for some NY big law firm, told me that he is starting to get the impression that law school is by far the best part of one's legal career (the pinnacle being the 2L summer associate summer for obvious reasons).
the reason i don't see why a "big law" job is so sought after is simply this: you get paid twice as much but you work twice the hours (70-80 hours). so is it not the case that your "wage" (i.e. hourly pay) is the same at a non-biglaw firm? i understand the potential to make partner, but there's a slim chance doing so in most firms, from what i've heard. am i missing something?