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Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:40 pm
by NCBartender15
It's common to see that one of the downsides to BigLaw is the hours. But, what is considered to be long hours? Personally, I have always worked 10-12 hour days 5-6 days. Is this the type of long hours that are being talked about or is it something more?

And I understand that this very between market, practice group, and amount of work to be completed so I suppose I am just looking for a general idea.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:40 pm
by ffffffffff
anything over 70 minutes

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:47 pm
by BlendedUnicorn
It’s less the hours and more the constantly being on call (except for busy months when it’s both). It’s tough to say more than that with any precision.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:50 pm
by icechicken
BlendedUnicorn wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:47 pm
It’s less the hours and more the constantly being on call (except for busy months when it’s both). It’s tough to say more than that with any precision.
This. Working 8AM-6PM, Monday through Saturday, would be 60 hours but much, much more manageable than a biglaw job where you average 60 hours a week.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:16 pm
by pancakes3
being on call sucks.
the fact that you're billing your time makes it ~1.5-2x worse than the nominal hours spent sitting in the office.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:49 pm
by ymmv
Yup, as everyone's already said it's the combination of potentially brutal hours and the fact that you might be called upon to complete more of them at any time with little or no notice. Or, alternatively, you might sit there not billing and devouring yourself with anxiety over how you're going to meet the annual minimum, or how miserable you're going to be making it up in the last 3 months of the fiscal year, if you work at that sort of firm.

Or you might even have a nice steady flow of 6-8 hour billable days yet find yourself sitting in the office 12-14 hours a day to complete them (because humans are not machines who can sustain creative energy and productivity on a consistent on-demand basis).

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:52 pm
by waldorf
Yeah, the unpredictability is what makes the job hard. You can't really say to yourself "I'm going to do all of this work by 4 pm tomorrow so I have my evening free to do X and Y." For example, I finished up a bunch of stuff at 4:30ish yesterday, but I got asked to do something again at 6:30 that ate up some of my evening. WFH helps a bit with the unpredictability for me because I can better take advantage of the downtime, and it's not like I'm doing anything else with my evenings right now due to COVID, but yeah. It's hard to plan for anything.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:53 pm
by BlendedUnicorn
ymmv wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:49 pm
Yup, as everyone's already said it's the combination of potentially brutal hours and the fact that you might be called upon to complete more of them at any time with little or no notice. Or, alternatively, you might sit there not billing and devouring yourself with anxiety over how you're going to meet the annual minimum, or how miserable you're going to be making it up in the last 3 months of the fiscal year, if you work at that sort of firm.

Or you might even have a nice steady flow of 6-8 hour billable days all yet find yourself sitting in the office 12-14 hours a day to complete them (because humans are not machines who can sustain creative energy and productivity on a consistent on-demand basis).
On that last point my billable % to work % has been atrocious during Covid

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:54 pm
by ffffffffff
i'm gonna ask for a professional development code for lichess

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:11 pm
by pancakes3
i'm trying to count raw hours and it's impossible.

for non-covid times, it's 9-6 facetime in the office M-F, 1-2 hrs at home 2-4x week nights, getting in 3-4 hrs most weekends to catch up or answer emails, working through most holidays unless you specifically schedule off (and good luck saying i'm going dark bc of President's Day), firedrill week(s) multiple times a year where you're pulling 12-16 hr days to meet a deadline, doing CLE's, writing articles, pro bono, networking events, and other nonbillable timesucks sprinkled throughout.

there's no way to take all that and distill it down to say "yeah it averages out to be 65 hrs a week"

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:16 pm
by jingosaur
Yeah the shittiest part is having nothing to do at your desk at 6pm and still not being sure whether you can make an 8pm dinner reservation.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:20 pm
by BlendedUnicorn
waldorf wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:52 pm
Yeah, the unpredictability is what makes the job hard. You can't really say to yourself "I'm going to do all of this work by 4 pm tomorrow so I have my evening free to do X and Y." For example, I finished up a bunch of stuff at 4:30ish yesterday, but I got asked to do something again at 6:30 that ate up some of my evening. WFH helps a bit with the unpredictability for me because I can better take advantage of the downtime, and it's not like I'm doing anything else with my evenings right now due to COVID, but yeah. It's hard to plan for anything.
QoL has definitely gone way up during Covid even though the work life barriers, to the extent that they ever existed, have gone down.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:29 pm
by waldorf
Being able to squeeze in a nap or peloton ride during a slow hour definitely makes getting a random email late in the evening more bearable.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:40 am
by ezrafitz
waldorf wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:29 pm
Being able to squeeze in a nap or peloton ride during a slow hour definitely makes getting a random email late in the evening more bearable.
Working out in free hours during the day as opposed to at 6:30 in the am is game changer for me.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:44 pm
by NCBartender15
Wow, all of this feedback is amazing everyone. Thank you. I did not expect this amount of responses with all of this great insight.

Thank you all so much.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:06 pm
by ezrafitz
NCBartender15 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:44 pm
Wow, all of this feedback is amazing everyone. Thank you. I did not expect this amount of responses with all of this great insight.

Thank you all so much.
Do I sense a shade of sarcasm?

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:16 pm
by ymmv
ezrafitz wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:06 pm
NCBartender15 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:44 pm
Wow, all of this feedback is amazing everyone. Thank you. I did not expect this amount of responses with all of this great insight.

Thank you all so much.
Do I sense a shade of sarcasm?
I think the internet has just warped our capacity to process earnestness in plain text.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:47 pm
by ezrafitz
ymmv wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:16 pm
ezrafitz wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:06 pm
NCBartender15 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:44 pm
Wow, all of this feedback is amazing everyone. Thank you. I did not expect this amount of responses with all of this great insight.

Thank you all so much.
Do I sense a shade of sarcasm?
I think the internet has just warped our capacity to process earnestness in plain text.
I honestly am only 50/50 on it...

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:16 pm
by NCBartender15
It was genuine. Usually when I ask someone I any forum I rarely get an answer let alone, many.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:55 pm
by ezrafitz
NCBartender15 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:16 pm
It was genuine. Usually when I ask someone I any forum I rarely get an answer let alone, many.
Apologies for my skepticism then! Glad you were able to get useful information. :)

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:25 pm
by Borhas
is 1500 billable hours requirement a lot or not a lot? (NOT biglaw)

I'm switching to private practice and that's my firm's requirement.

It seems... manageable?

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:28 pm
by pancakes3
It's super doable.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:29 pm
by ymmv
Borhas wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:25 pm
is 1500 billable hours requirement a lot or not a lot? (NOT biglaw)

I'm switching to private practice and that's my firm's requirement.

It seems... manageable?
Unthinkably low for biglaw. No idea elsewhere. Sounds manageable to me.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:33 pm
by ezrafitz
Borhas wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:25 pm
is 1500 billable hours requirement a lot or not a lot? (NOT biglaw)

I'm switching to private practice and that's my firm's requirement.

It seems... manageable?
Ymmv, but I switched to a place with no real requirement, with most in the group hitting around 1800. It is exceedingly manageable to be even close to that. I can imagine 1500 will feel like a cool breeze.

Re: Long Hours

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:38 pm
by Borhas
wooooord

it's small law, criminal defense, family law, PI etc