{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Midwest associates, how much do you feel the classic big law tropes (e.g. hours, partner demands, culture, etc.) apply to you? Do you find the job to be less demanding than it is for our coastal colleagues? I do, but I’m wondering if that is true for others. Feel free to reply if you’re from Chicago, but I’m mainly interested in cities like Indy, Mpls, Detroit, Milwaukee, KC, Cleveland, etc.", "post_id": "605a74e105a30d002e6e5b9c", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Midwest associates, how much do you feel the classic big law tropes (e.g. hours, partner demands, culture, etc.) apply to you? Do you find the job to be less demanding than it is for our coastal colleagues? I do, but I’m wondering if that is true for others. Feel free to reply if you’re from Chicago, but I’m mainly interested in cities like Indy, Mpls, Detroit, Milwaukee, KC, Cleveland, etc.

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I’m in a big law job in Indy. My billable hour requirement is 1800. Bonuses are discretionary. I have pretty consistently billed 150-170 hours a month over my career. In 13 years I’ve billed more than 2000 maybe four times and 2100 or more twice. I like my job, i’m passionate about work and my enjoyment generally shows through. I’ve never felt pressured to bill more than my minimum whatever it was. Usually I exceeded it because there was fun work to be done. I’ve never really hated my job except for perhaps a few months here or there. The coastal big law people who post here about the requirements of their jobs are so foreign to me - I can’t relate. Client development opportunities are definitely fewer, and the path to equity feels harder than for some of my better positioned colleagues, but I don’t really care. I’m not interested in sales. Perhaps that’s a long term flaw, but the time i might spend developing business, I spend with my kids. I can be a decent dad, work hard, or focus on client development. I feel like I can effectively do two of those things. One of them is non-negotiable.


Following, as a fellow Midwestern (though not in big law)!


I’m in Wisconsin mid-size. I find it to be a mix compared to what I see on here. My billable requirement is 1800 for bonus eligibility. I usually work later in the evening and am often at the office until 8 or so. But I like the quiet after everyone leaves. I usually work some on the weekend, but normally from home. My worst month has been 200 or so hours but I know associates who have topped 300 in a month. Though that’s not usually consistently. I really like the culture at my firm. The partners I work for take a strong developmental approach. The only partner I knew that yelled at associates left. There’s not a huge expectation by partners to work late into the evening unless on a deadline. Most of my coworkers are out of the office by 6.


I think the big law tropes you listed are the exception not the norm, and are totally partner dependent. My group, a partner said 200+ months are the road to burnout and even 160-170+ months are on the high side (as in consistently, nor just q4 or a closing). Other groups it could be the norm that everything is a fire drill and you're consistently working nights and weekends, not just "because of a closing". Less pay than true big law means less expectations that this is all you do 200+ hrs a month, or at least it should

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