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Author Topic: Defining biglaw and a day in the life  (Read 6189 times)

marsilni

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Defining biglaw and a day in the life
« on: May 22, 2009, 06:36:23 PM »
How big does a firm have to be in order to be considered biglaw?  If a firm has only one office, <= 200 lawyers (Carter Ledyard & Milburn, PBWT), what kind of firm is it?  What kind of shift do laywers in NYC work?  8-8? 8-10?

nealric

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Re: Defining biglaw and a day in the life
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 10:51:59 PM »
It's hard to say what "shift" because the hours can vary.

People at my firm sometimes work 9-5, sometimes 9-12+ depending on what's going on with their workload.

As far as size, Biglaw is in the eyes of the eye of the beholder. Most expansive would be any firm with 100+ lawyers. Least expansive would be firms that are both V100 and Amlaw 100 firms.
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huhwhat

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Re: Defining biglaw and a day in the life
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 11:37:33 PM »
Your firm is not Biglaw.  Maybe mid-law, but definitely not Biglaw. 

No lawyer in New York is working at 8:00 a.m. unless he was there all night.  9:30 or 10:00 is more common.

T. Durden

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Re: Defining biglaw and a day in the life
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 08:24:07 PM »
NYC biglaw first year associate here. i typically work 9:30AM - 8PM, with a very short lunch break. of course, when deadlines approach that schedule flies out the window, but such is litigation.


atomic40

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Re: Defining biglaw and a day in the life
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 03:10:28 PM »
900 attorneys at my firm, 24 hour copy/fax center, catering dept., emails at all hours and on any day --> BigLaw

Miche

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Re: Defining biglaw and a day in the life
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2009, 12:57:46 PM »
I think of it as more of an attitude. At 500+ lawyers, the biglaw attitude is definitely there. However, and perhaps unfortunately, that same attitude can thrive and flourish at a firm with 150 lawyers. (Hell, the biglaw expectations can even exist in a 30 person firm, though those firms are obviously called boutiques.)

Atomic40's definition is the most practical, I think. Does the firm run around the clock? Are there expectations that people will step out of dinner to take a call, and leave dinner if necessary to return to the office....even when it's NOT two months before trial or before a deal closing? Are support staff around to assist with weekend projects? Are there little amenities to make the long days livable, like dinner or taxi service?

A quick litmus test is to determine people's relationships with their Blackberries. If it has to stay on, 24/7, there's a biglaw sensibility lurking there. If it can be turned off or left uncharged without huge guilt, it's probably not biglaw.
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