does lifestyle as a big law attorney ever get better once you make partner or is it definitely only going to be worse forever?

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Not from what I’ve seen.

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.k

Better as a partner. You work as much as you want and get paid in accordance with your effort. And you get to work for whoever you want doing whatever you want. It’s a much more demanding job than being an associate but once you get the hang of it it’s a way better life than being an associate.

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As a junior partner, no your life will be so much worse from what I've seen because now you have to juggle partner work but you're still deeply involved in the minutiae of deals.

After that, I think it partially depends on your ability to cultivate talent. If you have a good set of senior or midlevel associates that you can trust, then they'll run things for you and you can probably relax a bit. Still don't wish to make partner though. You're still working VERY biglaw hours even if you're raking in a million or more.

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You’re right about The importance of cultivating talent. The other, related aspect of gaining control of your life is effective delegation. Many junior partners suck at it because they can’t get themselves to give up control of the minutia. Once you figure out that you not only can but must do so, everything falls into place.

Depends on what you mean by worse and better. It is Sunday morning and I am drinking coffee and reading the papers, but at 9 I will be going into the office to work. You may consider this ‘worse’ but I continue a trial tomorrow morning and I want to be prepared for cross examination. I love what I do and you might think this worse. I consider it an opportunity to do what I enjoy at my own pace, without interruption

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