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Author Topic: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?  (Read 13097 times)

limonjello

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2005, 10:16:37 PM »

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.


Quote

This explains alot about it, though I think it significantly overstates the case.  E.G., if you take 3 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks of holidays, that is a hell of a lot of time off, and most people I know don't really take "pure" coffee breaks (that aren't billable, anyhow).  Also, you will learn to eat lunch at your desk often - not all the time, but certainly on occasion.  http://www.law.yale.edu/outside/html/Career_Development/cdo-billable.htm  

We have usually shot for 70-80% billing %, and in consulting you don't get to charge travel usually, whereas you can in law (and often get to double bill, btw).


Snuvy

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2005, 10:23:02 PM »

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?
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limonjello

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2005, 10:37:14 PM »

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?

You don't.  The non-billable time is basically a fixed number (though you can argue add another hour for dinner if you work that late).  If you were to work even *just* 50 hours a week and your billing % is around 70% then you should probably be fired.  The more you work, the greater the billing percentage goes up relatively.

taterstol

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2005, 10:38:24 PM »

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!

ryanjm

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2005, 11:28:17 PM »
I don't want to sh1t on anyone's parade, but where in this timeframe do you have time to be a well-adjusted person with friends and a family?

M-F: 8am-8pm. Home by 8:30, eat till 9pm. Take a shower. Assuming you'd like 8 hours of sleep, you have a whole one hour of free time per day assuming you wake up at 7am.

Saturday: 8am-6pm. Hopefully you won't be too drained from a 10 hour day to go out at night.

So you've basically got one day a week to sleep in, and 1 day off. And that's a 70 hour week. I've never heard of a 40 hour week, but I've heard of a 90 hour week, so I'd say 70 is about average at those places. Good luck with that :)

Ragnar Danneskjold

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2005, 12:20:43 AM »
I'm up for a BIGLAW job after law school, and i'm more than ready to work for it. I'm from the biggest of the "big cities", and i can't see myself not in a big city setting. I think that in order to  have a decent standard of living in (most of) the big 'ol cities, you have to get the moolah shmoolah. My favorite song for a few weeks now has been "Money" by Pink Floyd.

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and youíre okay.
Money, itís a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think Iíll buy me a football team.

Money, get back.
Iím all right jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, itís a hit.
Donít give me that do good good bull.
Iím in the high-fidelity first class traveling section
And I think I need a lear jet.

Money, itís a crime.
Sure it's fair if it donít take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a rise itís no surprise that theyíre
Giving none away.

Geez Pink Floyd is a great band...
I'm an NYC boy, 153/3.3

ATTENDING: Santa Clara w/$$$
Accepted: Marquette($), Villanova, Howard, Univ. San Francisco($) 
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V00Jeff

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2005, 12:44:11 AM »
I agree with tatersol (and others)...a 70 hour week is definitely hard, but it's not some kind of death sentance.  12 hours a day M-F, with 10 on S?  That still leaves about 4 hours of free time each day during the week, time to go out Sat., and Sunday to relax.  While you won't have a huge social circle or have time to do many of the things that you want to do, you can still have the ability to do SOMETHING outside of work.  For example, I have a great relationship with my fiancee...and during school (we went to colleges that were 15 mins or so away) we saw each other about one night a week during the week, with a lot more time spent together on the weekends.  I'm sure we'll be able to find that kind of time to spend together even if I'm doing a 70-hour schedule.

I think the key to making a 70-hour week bearable is having an OK work environment.  If you are getting yelled at, and are under enormous pressure, those 70 hour weeks are going to be tiring.  If your workplace is civil -- or even friendly -- and the stress is manageable, things will be much easier.  Having an office with a window would go a long way for me too, personally.

I'm not sure if I'm gonna do biglaw.  I really want to work in international public interest or government stuff, but if I don't get a really great job such as the State Department's OLA, I will consider biglaw.  I think I could do 70 hour weeks for a few years, and use that time to really build my skills, amass $$$ for a down payment on a house, and pad my resume.  I'm not sure if I'd really want to stay on after a few years; I'd probably want to take a look around at the government, academic, PI, general counsel, and medium law jobs that are available to me.  I guess I just figure that most lawyers end up working in several different settings.  I know that I would feel unfulfilled if I slaved away my entire life in a biglaw firm...but I wouldn't mind doing it for part or even most of my career.  I guess you just have to cross that bridge when you come to it.
Attending: Columbia

ziti

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2005, 10:00:28 AM »
I'm enjoying this conversation about biglaw, but I'd like to add something.

It seems like a lot of people are considering biglaw just because it offers the most money right out of law school.  After all, you won't make $125,000 in a government or public interest job.  But I don't understand why no one ever talks about using their legal education for entrepreneurship.  I used to work for a guy that graduated from BU law.  He used his legal skills as an entrepreneur in real estate.  He bought a run down hotel in Hawaii, fixed it up then and sold it. Going that route he made his first million at the age of 29.  Since then he started many small businesses, built them up and sold them, and is now a multi millionaire.  I know that this isn't a traditional legal career, but certainly his legal skills were pivotal to many parts of the process.

Also, why does no one consider starting their own practice.  It's really tough, but it can be more rewarding than biglaw too.  John Edwards made around $26 million in 6 years as an ambulance chaser.  If he spent that time in biglaw he would have made about $1 million.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that biglaw isn't the only way to make a fortune.

tracigu3

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2005, 10:50:01 AM »
My 50% number is an average for a one year time frame for the average associate (new associate) at my biglaw firm.  Sure some days you may be in the office 15 hours and bill every second of it, but others you'll be sitting around waiting on the client to get back to you or waiting for comments from a partner and although you're at work, you're not really doing anything billable.  I'm a clerk, expected to bill to atleast 2500 hours per 12 months.  Last month I billed 218 hours, plus about 100 non-billable that I kept track of and who knows how much non-billable that I didn't keep track of.  (we're not required to keep track of what isn't billed, so it could be a lot or a little and probably no one would ever notice b/c no one cares!) 

I assume I average atleast, the very least, 1 hour average of non-billable per day; i.e., restroom, coffee, starbucks, chit chat, walking to another associate's office, etc.; everyone is different on this though, I have small-bladder-syndrome so I pee a lot more than most :)

HippieLawChick

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2005, 11:31:59 AM »
Interesting posts.  Keep them coming...especially those who have clerked in these firms or have parents/friends who have.  Pretty interesting stuff. 

I don't care about working a lot of hours as long as I am doing stuff that is stimulating.