Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

How do they manage it?

I thought about this today. So, I work in a smallish plaint ambulancechaser201301/26/17
If you like to do it for 70 - 80 hours a week, then, it's no jeffm01/26/17
It sounds as challenging and mentally taxing as taking the b ambulancechaser201301/26/17
This was a brutal week for me. I just finished a 4 day divor hankstamper01/27/17
Some people are meant for it, most people are not. The ones thirdtierlaw01/27/17
I really don't believe humans are meant for commuting to a j mtbislife01/27/17
There is no glory in fixing other people's problems for a fe triplesix01/27/17
Not sure most successful business owners are out of the grin loblawyer01/27/17
it depends on your definition of successful, and your defini dingbat01/27/17
Being in control of your schedule or life. If you want to go mtbislife01/27/17
I'm not sure "humans are meant" for anything in particular. thirdtierlaw01/27/17
I'm not denying that some people enjoy that type of lifestyl mtbislife01/27/17
Let's see her attitude change when she craps out a kid retard01/27/17
Kids really do change everything. I think prior to having ki thirdtierlaw01/28/17
Also, lot of blow, amphetamines, and other ADHD drugs abound mtobeinf01/27/17
welp, I don't know much about litigation, but a lot of trans dingbat01/27/17
The short answer is that 99% of people who do it pay the pri ruralattorney01/30/17
This. I work between 60-80 hours a week, and the only way I bucwild01/30/17
What is the point of such an existence? (Not trolling) mtbislife01/30/17
Believe it or not, I think I have a good work/life balance. bucwild01/30/17
As long as you're happy then thats good. I just don't see my mtbislife01/30/17
There is no set vacation policy for the attorneys. They real bucwild01/30/17
I have rats. Get two; they are very easy to take care of. junkwired01/31/17
I have posed about this before. I have worked mainly for so orange901/30/17
America never really got away from the sweatshop labor model mtbislife01/30/17
Work to live don't live to work. clocker101/31/17

ambulancechaser2013 (Jan 26, 2017 - 5:34 pm)

I thought about this today. So, I work in a smallish plaintiffs' personal injury law firm. I am in the office 45 hours a week, and I work maybe another 5-7 hours max 10 from home during the week (meaning I'll take a file home because the office closes at 5 sharp). My question is this, how can a person work in big law and stay relatively emotionally sane and even physically healthy. I mean, the law in big law (which I take it is mostly complex commercial litigation/ or corporate transactions) is at least 2-3 times harder than tort law. On top of that the hours are so much more brutal, somewhere in the area of 80-90 hours a week. How is that possible to endure for 5, 10, or 20 years. I could see doing ID work, but serious business litigation for 20 years?

What are your thoughts?

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jeffm (Jan 26, 2017 - 5:38 pm)

If you like to do it for 70 - 80 hours a week, then, it's not a problem. For some people, it's not a problem. It's a personality choice.

But yes, it's hard to have it all (great fitness, hobbies, a great career, kids, a beautiful home and a perfect spouse). For most of us, something's gotta give.

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ambulancechaser2013 (Jan 26, 2017 - 5:41 pm)

It sounds as challenging and mentally taxing as taking the bar exam everyday. Or at least once a week. Not to say I'm an intellectual lightweight, but business litigation for 70-80 hours a week...

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hankstamper (Jan 27, 2017 - 1:41 am)

This was a brutal week for me. I just finished a 4 day divorce trial, and then came home and wrote 2 sets of responsive documents for show cause hearings next week. This is about the hardest week of my practice in the last 5 years or so - it reminds me of the bar exam. I had the same thought awhile ago - imagine, this is just a normal week for some crazy lawyers out there.

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:07 am)

Some people are meant for it, most people are not. The ones who are meant for it seem to love it. They are okay with their whole life being work. So doing it for 5, 10, 20 years doesn't really phase them.

The law and investment industry seems to attract these types of individuals. Sure the money is part of the pull, but I'd suspect many of these people would be working 60+ hour weeks no matter what profession they ended up in.

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mtbislife (Jan 27, 2017 - 10:02 am)

I really don't believe humans are meant for commuting to a job where they sit in an office for 40 hours a week, let alone 80 or 90. Most people do it because they don't know anything else or have convinced themselves that this is just the way life is. If they really were as smart as they themselves or others claim, then they would be successful business owners and out of the grind.

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triplesix (Jan 27, 2017 - 10:05 am)

There is no glory in fixing other people's problems for a fee, in court or otherwise, esp if you are going to ruin your health, family, social life doing it.

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loblawyer (Jan 27, 2017 - 12:05 pm)

Not sure most successful business owners are out of the grind. I think the main thing is successful people who work hard do not mind working hard, or even consider it working hard. It's a "live to work" vs. "work to live" mindset.

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dingbat (Jan 27, 2017 - 1:02 pm)

it depends on your definition of successful, and your definition of business owner.
It's entirely possible to work for someone else and still own your own business - think of a partner in a law firm, a managing director at a bank, or an insurance agent. They own their book of business, and will take it with them if they leave.

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mtbislife (Jan 27, 2017 - 2:34 pm)

Being in control of your schedule or life. If you want to go golfing at 10am on a Tuesday then thats what you do. Making 500k+ doesnt mean much to me when you have to be up at 6am everyday and don't get home until 7pm or later and work weekends because your boss expects you to.

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 27, 2017 - 1:25 pm)

I'm not sure "humans are meant" for anything in particular. I disagree with you that people convince themselves that "this is just the way life is." Maybe that is the case for some people, but my good friend is on the partnership track at a top law firm and she loves what she does. She doesn't care about missing weddings, vacations, etc. Her husband also works crazy hours in a different field. He seems just as happy about it.

I at least know my friend was offered in-house jobs that'd afford her a much more relaxed work schedule and she pretty much laughed at the recruiters.

Her father is a small business owner, who is well off, and he and his wife live a very laid back life. So she clearly knows that there are alternatives. It'll be interesting to talk to her 40 years from now and see if she regrets anything. But as for now, she is happy as can be.

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mtbislife (Jan 27, 2017 - 2:32 pm)

I'm not denying that some people enjoy that type of lifestyle, I for one know I do not. I'd rather spend my time with friends/family and enjoy hobbies. Yeah, it definitely would be interesting to see what she says 40 years time. Most people on their death beds wished they spent less time working, not more.

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retard (Jan 27, 2017 - 7:26 pm)

Let's see her attitude change when she craps out a kid

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 28, 2017 - 6:48 am)

Kids really do change everything. I think prior to having kids I'd have done it for 1-3 years just to learn as much as I could. Now I don't think they could pay me enough to essentially miss years of my kids' lives.

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mtobeinf (Jan 27, 2017 - 2:46 pm)

Also, lot of blow, amphetamines, and other ADHD drugs abound in these fields. High high high energy.

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dingbat (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:40 am)

welp, I don't know much about litigation, but a lot of transactional work becomes fairly routine and repetitious, and is more about (A) organization, and (B) "spot the difference"

It's making sure you have all the documents you need, and adapting templates from previous deals, or checking what's different about the current documents.
There's a lot of back-and-forth between opposing counsel, so you could send them your draft financing agreement, and they send it back red-lined, so you need to review their changes. repeat ad nauseum

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ruralattorney (Jan 30, 2017 - 3:23 pm)

The short answer is that 99% of people who do it pay the price in another area of their life. Ruined marriages, minimal relationships with children, etc.

When you work those sorts of hours something has to give.

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bucwild (Jan 30, 2017 - 3:52 pm)

This. I work between 60-80 hours a week, and the only way I can keep this up, a healthy lifestyle, and a stable relationship was to date a woman with an equally demanding job. We are both ok with missed date nights for last minute meetings. We acknowledge that we're too busy to even have a dog, much less a child, in the foreseeable future. We also only sleep 4-6 hours a day.

We're at least pretty happy. The people I know who are trying to have it all (job, wild social life, working out every day, family, etc.) are miserable, and definitely strained in one or more areas of life. Family seems to be the one that gets hit hardest, given the number of divorces I see among the partners in my firm.

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mtbislife (Jan 30, 2017 - 4:21 pm)

What is the point of such an existence? (Not trolling)

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bucwild (Jan 30, 2017 - 4:37 pm)

Believe it or not, I think I have a good work/life balance. Admittedly, 60 hours a week is a lot more common than 80, and there's no way I could keep this up working 80 hours every week, but I don't feel as if there's much I'm missing out on. I have good friendships, the love of my life, I get to go out at least 3 times a week, I volunteer, I travel all over the world, and I have the time to pursue my hobbies. And, I'll never have to worry about money.

Would I like more free time? Sure, who wouldn't? But am I willing to take a 50% pay cut to get an 20-30 hours less per week at a job likely just as boring as law? Hell no, especially not when I'm on partnership track.

I think of work as a means to an end. My job allows me the freedom and money to do the things I never thought I'd be able to as a child. Within six months of graduation, I took a three day weekend, dropped $2,000.00, and got a skydiving license. I love it, and continue to do it regularly. I wouldn't be able to afford something like that on a regular salary. So yes, I'm happy to work hard because it gives me opportunities to do fun things.

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mtbislife (Jan 30, 2017 - 4:53 pm)

As long as you're happy then thats good. I just don't see myself getting home at 7pm or later everyday for the rest of my life. How much vacation time do you get?

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bucwild (Jan 30, 2017 - 4:58 pm)

There is no set vacation policy for the attorneys. They really just expect us to bill at least 1850, and I billed just over 2050 last year.

I also would not want to get home at 7pm every day. Absent pending litigation, I'm out the door at 5pm every day. However, I get to the office between 6:30 and 7am every day, and I don't waste a lot of time goofing off with the other associates.

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junkwired (Jan 31, 2017 - 10:11 am)

I have rats. Get two; they are very easy to take care of. Let them play in a pen a few times a week. Just need to change the cage once a week. ezpz. They're cute, intelligent and fuzzy.

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orange9 (Jan 30, 2017 - 5:58 pm)

I have posed about this before. I have worked mainly for solos in the past, and all but 1 were miserable people who had no family and had lives that revolved around work. It was honestly a greedy way of life, and they expected everyone to adopt the same mindset, meanwhile I am a young newlywed and want to enjoy the time I have with my wife before we have kids.

We had just bought a house and I was working on our moving day, and my wife sent me a text and my boss heard my phone vibrate while we were talking and he said something along the lines of tell her to knock it off. No wonder he was single.

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mtbislife (Jan 30, 2017 - 6:39 pm)

America never really got away from the sweatshop labor model.

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clocker1 (Jan 31, 2017 - 10:12 am)

Work to live don't live to work.

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