{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I feel like many in big law have an unhealthy penchant for victimizing themselves. I’m talking about people who never say “no” to new matters, keep working late nights and talking about sleep deprived they are, are always vocally miserable but never quite miserable enough to do something about it. Many of them get promoted and this culture of victim-flexing continues in perpetuity. Does big law attract these types or do we (yes, sadly I’m like that too sometimes) become like this over time?", "post_id": "60b5437a9fa76e0024e19863", "reply_count": 16, "vote_count": 22, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

I feel like many in big law have an unhealthy penchant for victimizing themselves. I’m talking about people who never say “no” to new matters, keep working late nights and talking about sleep deprived they are, are always vocally miserable but never quite miserable enough to do something about it. Many of them get promoted and this culture of victim-flexing continues in perpetuity. Does big law attract these types or do we (yes, sadly I’m like that too sometimes) become like this over time?

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I think the lack of meaningful workflow management is more to blame. Yes, there is a level of individual responsibility to speak up when you're overstaffed and overwhelmed, but the top-down pressure to work all the time, combined with a lack of real assignment coordination at many firms, creates an environment that happily turns a blind eye to taking advantage of associates and paralegals.

likesmart

There are definitely people who are in big law who coast. It is a job in which you can literally say no to new work. If you’re gunning for partner and want to take on everything humanly possible, then good for you. Own it and stop complaining about it because that’s ultimately your decision. If you feel personally persecuted by the hours think about your reasons for staying, and make plans to leave when you can.

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There’s some victimization, but it’s more just a race to the bottom.

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I feel personally attacked here. Yes I'm working on memorial day and I worked all weekend. No I will not say no to new work unless I absolutely cannot get it done. Do I sleep more than 5 hours a night, absolutely not.

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Seems to me that CS1 needs to grow a spine …

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Biglaw is not a monolith. There absolutely are groups/partners who will ream you in reviews for saying no, no matter how justified. The lesson: you learn not to say no, as it's a career-limiting move. Some practices never stop (transactional holler!, especially if you are on multiple deals at once). So yes, it's sanctimonious to say, " I did this! The rest of you are workaholic chumps." Good on you if your group/partners/firm/clients/deadlines are humane. This is simply not all places.

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Nope. Never worked at Cravath or Latham. But if you go to one of those firms you have the credentials to work wherever you want. You also go in knowing exactly what you’re getting. To me that means you made a choice to work all the time in exchange for whatever made you choose that firm and should not complain about the demands of the job. But “you can’t say no” applies to maybe 10 firms in the US. I strongly suspect that few if any of the people in this bowl who complain that they can’t turn down work work at one of those 10 firms. Which means they can say no and choose not to.

Something to what you are saying. There isn’t always as much that can be done about it as one might say or expect, though. Sure, one always has a choice. There are major costs, though, to my family, my colleagues, clients, and yes, even myself, to exercising many of them. Right now it mainly is my associates. I could be less available and harder to work for, or not build a practice they can benefit in. People sometimes don’t realize how many of these things relate to each other and how many competing interests are out there.

Yeah, you are in a simpler situation.

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