{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Left a job in government (prosecution), currently at a mid-size firm. I’m really starting to not only hate law firm life, but the practice of law generally. Is this part of the transition? I left my last job because I was on-call 24/7. Now I’m 24/7 again but due to billable requirements. I have no hobbies, no free time, and only spend about an hour/day with my kids. Not sure I want this life. At least I had insane PTO for govt work.", "post_id": "5f578ec3e0f59a0020364da5", "reply_count": 9, "vote_count": 11, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

Left a job in government (prosecution), currently at a mid-size firm. I’m really starting to not only hate law firm life, but the practice of law generally. Is this part of the transition? I left my last job because I was on-call 24/7. Now I’m 24/7 again but due to billable requirements. I have no hobbies, no free time, and only spend about an hour/day with my kids. Not sure I want this life. At least I had insane PTO for govt work.

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

Can you clarify the “billable requirements” that keep you on call 24/7? I was at a firm where I felt like I was on call 24/7 but that was because all the attorneys and their clients had signed a secret Treaty of Endless Suffering where they resolved to do away with popular concepts such as “weekends” and “personal time”. Your firm may have one too - doc#666666

likefunny

Ahh I see. I think in some firms it’s just baked into the culture that exchanging drafts at 9pm for something that doesn’t need to be ready until the following week is OK. Maybe other partners at your firm approach work differently? There’s some partners at my firm whom you won’t hear a peep out of all weekend even if a deal is happening on Monday, and others who will pester you all weekend even if a deal is not happening for weeks. I was kidding about the treaty lol but I think working (or not working) at ungodly hours does require a degree of coordination among all attorneys and clients involved in the deal. For example, if a deal is happening on Monday, everyone can tacitly agree that everything needs to be buttoned up by Friday and work on finalizing all docs with that deadline in mind. At firms that understand “deal happening on Monday” to mean you also have Saturday and Sunday to work on stuff well...you’ll probably spend Saturday and Sunday working on stuff.

like

This is a common issue with the billable hours concept, in my experience. There is rarely a "comfortable" workflow. You're either overwhelmed during busy times or stressing about hours/lack of work during slow times. It sounds like you've only experienced the first scenario thus far. Aside from compensation, the benefit of the law firm structure is really flexibility, which tends to increase with seniority. If I want to go watch my kid's soccer practice at 5:30 and catch up later that night, I can do that. If I don't have a pressing deadline and want to take a client out for a round of golf on a Friday afternoon, I can do that as well. You have to determine whether the billable hour "grind" is worth that trade off, and nobody should judge you harshly for that decision, at least not anybody whose opinion you should value. I doubt you would find one lawyer at any firm who hasn't thought about moving in another direction at some point.

I completely agree with that caveat and your advice. There are attorneys who practice that way, unfortunately.

I think it is harder to set boundaries at a firm than in government work. The private firm will eat you alive if you let them and no one will care that you feel overworked unless you find a way to set a boundary. Some associates love it because they want that bonus $$$. Some associates don't give AF about bonuses. I think you can clarify with the assigning partner on due dates so you better know how to prioritize assignments. Solution? Find a junior who needs billables OR (if you are the junior who is getting assignments) find a way to stop saying yes to assignments. I'd never tell the partner "no" to an assignment but I'll tell senior associates to go away if necessary.

I found saying something like “I’m juggling a few assignments at the moment, was there a certain time you needed this by?” worked pretty well, particularly with people who annoyingly wanted every single assignment to be handled ASAP, not matter when they actually needed the info. I would either get an actual deadline (eg if the partner promised to call the client back by a certain moment), or if it was actually urgent they would thank me for letting them know and go find someone else. It seemed to come across more positive than just “I can’t help you right now.”

Related Posts

What do you do when you legitimately have run out of PTO because you’re sick a lot? I take prescribed medication that weakens my immune system but don’t want to explain that if I can avoid it.

like

To all you lovely 🏳️‍🌈 fish, wishing you a happy, healthy and restful holiday season filled with love❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

likeuplifting

How are the benefits at Havas? Maternity leave, vacation etc?

likehelpful

How much nonbillable time is too much? I’m a second associate at a midsized firm and I have 30-50 non billable hours each month. An associate at another firm told me this was really high. Thoughts?

likehelpful

Do holiday weekends like Labor Day make job posters / recruiters want to close on a job posting and make a decision beforehand or does that usually have no weight in decision timelines?

helpfullike

Landed a new job!! Couldn’t be more excited! I have two questions though— 1) how would you go about quitting your current job when in the middle of a two week holiday break? 2) I would like to negotiate for $5k-$10k more. Any tips from anyone who has done so successfully

like

How much money do you need to make a year to afford a $3 million dollar home, pay for 2.5 future children’s private school education, vacation well, and live and retire comfortably? (I have no students loans or debt and $650k in stocks + a modest amount in 401k. I’m 26.)

likefunny

Ready for Cuba! Best pto as my phone or email will not work!! Holiday mode on!! 🇨🇺🇨🇺🤗🤗

like

What are legitimate options in careers for a tax manager coming from a midsize PA firm and 7 years of experience? I am feeling totally burned out of PA going to have 2,000 billable hours by EOY. Would really appreciate all suggestions!

like

I see a very faint second line testing on the day of my period.. low key freaking out because in the last week on vacation I have dyed my hair with balayage, eaten sushi, drank a beer or cocktail with dinner every night and had two cups of coffee every morning. Obviously ceasing all of this but have I already caused damage?

like

What’s the best holiday present you received from your agency/company?

like

Excluding doctors and lawyers, do you think that it is fair to say that working as a consultant is a lot more demanding that many other business jobs? (Billable hours, 24/7 availability, etc..)

like

I’ve never worked at a firm, only public interest and have no idea how to do billable hours.

like

What is the typical turn around time for submitting proposals? I have a lot of billable work I need to do but prospective clients seem to put deadlines within a couple days of the request...

like

How long does it take you to bill 8 hours a day? I’m a first year and feel like I’m not as efficient as I could be or am under billing. It takes me 10-12 hours to bill 8. This includes the hour I take for lunch and dinner, some breaks for bathroom, and non billable time like entering time etc. how are people billing 200 hours a month? What am I doing wrong?

like

Taking some time off. Need some book recommendations. Some light interesting non-fiction. No self help or management books. Just interesting topics that won’t make me think about work.

like

Is it a good idea to tell my lead that I am about to have a mental breakdown? I am going through something personal, and this busy season hasn’t been easy for me. I requested pto, but basically was told that it is not appropriate to use pto in busy season. I am on the edge of quitting , but I think I should at least try to talk to someone before I give my notice. Any advice for this situation?

like

First year, 5 months in. My supervising attorney said he’d talk to the managing partner about giving me more flexibility on my billable hours 3 weeks ago, so I started to allow some flexibility. (I didn’t ask him to, he decided it was necessary on his own). Yesterday I get yelled at by the partner and my supervising atty tells me that not hitting my hours is the reason he gets screamed at everyday and why they’re forcing me to go into the office now. How do I know what the real expectations are?

like

Is it possible to designate your last day of employment over a holiday? Say Thanksgiving this year (11/26/2021) to take advantage of the holiday benefit and get that paycheck?

like

How do you respond to getting called out for low billable hours? Had a come to Jesus call and I mean I get it, my hours are low, but now I'm getting follow up emails. I don't know how many times I can say I understand. Is there something else they're looking for me to say or are they just hounding me to hound me?

like

Additional Posts

Took a later flight and got some delta credit. What should I redeem? 1) delta credit 2) amazon gift card 3) visa gift card 4) other

like

I have worked in the HR space for the past 9 years, however most of my experience has been in Talent Acquisition. I do want to move into a People Operations/Generalist role. I’m planning to go for a HR certificate but unsure if I should go for a PHR or SHRM. Please advise!

like

Hi! I'm currently in a dilemma. I recently got an offer from a company that wants me to give a final answer by Friday AM but I am simultaneously interviewing with KPMG and in the final round waiting for my call with the partner. KPMG is my top choice, but if I don't get hired by KPMG, I don't want to lose this offer. Have any of you accepted an offer and then got an offer from another company that you wanted to work at and left the job that you just started? What other advice do you guys have?

likehelpful

Any of you have side hustles - and how do u manage it? I’m PT running a not so demanding business & also trying to become a DJ Obv not gonna do consulting in the LT but dun wanna get fired now either

likefunny

I trust the cracked out hobo outside my apartment more than the mute button on Skype/Lync.

like

20 weeks pregnant...it gets harder and harder each week to leave my husband. Pre-baby, no prob, now crying. Imagine it’ll be too hard post baby. Am I lying to myself that I can make consulting work?

I don't understand why the receptionist at the Westin was confused when I asked for Pokécoins for my Platinum gift

like

ACN: Can charge to central training instead of pto if I'm going to take classroom training and certification?

like

Any former Slalom 🐠 know whether unused PTO is paid out when you leave? I assume yes but don’t wanna ask and reveal myself as on the way out lol. Thx

like

Software Sales question: I just got a job offer to join a post-Series A with under 20 employees. On the equity piece, I was offered .1% equity at a $142m valuation. This is a Senior / Director Sales role where I'll be blending IC duties + managing a team as we grow. I felt this offer was a bit low from the equity side. Anyone know how to evaluate this?

like

Do you feel like the COVID19 and the 2020 recession hurts a lot more than it did in 2008 (especially since we haven't reached the worst yet)?

like

Has anyone went through the Consultant Development Program for Financial Services at EY? I’m interested to know the salary range. (2YOE)

like

Is it a bad idea to tell my coach I’m interviewing for industry roles? He has a lot of connections since he’s a partner, so I was thinking maybe he could help place me somewhere.

like

Anyone able to refer to Salesforce? I have the position ready, just need a referral. Will give half of starting bonus

like

Until the salary bowl has a search function...anyone care to share Salary/Sex/Location, and title if it’s what you’re using to post.

Has anyone interviewed for a data specialist or product development position at YipitData? Looked over Glassdoor and saw there is a substantial take home assessment. I wanted to see if anyone could verify and share their experience. Thank you!

like

San Francisco New Year’s Eve ideas that aren’t super $$$?

like

Have a Facebook Data Science interview in a week. Any of you gone through the process - please share. They say it will be online SQL coding first.

like

How do you guys construct your cover letters? I’ve been applying to a bunch of places with no response, so I really don’t know what works. Been trying to find ways to make it stand out. Go into how I love their work (even when I think it’s meh) and speak to more than what’s on my resume. In your opinion, is this more of the time to just talk business - my accomplishments, experience, and why that helps?

like

Has anyone managed to get a Dropbox appointment in Bangalore? Any insight into wait times to get an appointment? Planning to go to India for a few months in early 2021 and wanted to get my visa stamped.

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal