I moved across the country in the fall to join a V5 firm and I absolutely hate it. I’ve decided to leave after bonuses in January to seek out a job where I may have some semblance of a weekend and perhaps some mental stability. I’m finding it extremely difficult to deal with the mental burden of just “hanging in there” and selling yet another year of my life to the biglaw machine. I know this is a choice I’ve made, but the toll it has taken on my mental health has been shocking. Any advice?

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No real advice other than to say I’m in the exact same boat. Started in a V50 in the fall and have also decided I’m leaving ASAP. Even with my loans the money can’t be worth how terrible I feel and how little WLB I have.

All that to say just know you’re not alone! I’ve been dealing with mental health issues my whole life so if you ever want to PM me to talk feel free. Maybe we can take some solace in the fact that we know this isn’t long term and use this time to really figure out what it is we want to do.

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Will PM you know. It actually really does help to know that others feel this way.

In the same boat. Why need to wait? Just find a better job. Also can we form a smaller bowl to commiserate and support each other?

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As of now I’m expecting about $140k in bonuses between now and january so I feel like I need to stick around for that lol

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Are you working remotely? Could that be part of it if so? I like WFH and intend to do so when this is over but full time WFH + pandemic is leading me to hate my job.

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I think that’s very good advice.

Where did you come from and what did you expect? I know those sound like loaded questions, but V5 firms aren’t lifestyle shops.

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It was billed to me as a likely improvement over my practice in NYC at a lower ranked AmLaw 100 firm. In many ways it’s an improvement, but you’re right that I should never have thought that a move to a V5 firm would be a lifestyle improvement move. It’s certainly not the firm’s fault that things are like this- it’s just the departure from what I was hoping for that is getting to me.

What are your hours like? I’m an M&A sixth year at an AmLaw 100 firm (non-V though) and have been contemplating a similar move (across the country to a V50 or better) - interested to know whether I should be counting my blessings for my current 2100-2200 billables/year (but with comp well below Cravath scale, no COVID/fall bonuses, etc.), or if I should lateral.

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I greatly appreciate the insight. I haven’t even started the process of formally applying anywhere, but have just been mulling it over for a year+... certainly a lot more to think about now though. Keep your chin up and best of luck to you✌🏼

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Which practice area?

It just depends on the type of tax work. I have better WLB than an M&A associate, but I’m still working on M&A deals on the same timelines so my hours are still very long and very unpredictable. I think it’s really just biglaw that I’m not into- this is my second firm and I’m about 4 years out.

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