Real talk: does anyone else find all the bragging about super high billable hours kind of sad? There is more to life and it just reads like life not being lived. 😔

likeuplifting
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Agreed. There’s a very toxic culture around it, like “you’re not entitled to feel stressed/tired/overwhelmed because this one time this other person billed more numbers.” Also feel like it compromises actual efficiency imo, there’s no way those crazy numbers reflect actual productive useful work.

For what it’s worth the working parents in my group are absolute machines and some of the most efficient people I’ve ever worked with. Their ability to set and stick to firm boundaries during certain hours/days makes me feel empowered to get the hell out once I’ve gotten my work done for the day and not drag out the timer. We should all be “bragging” (level setting?) more about the ability to have a life sometimes...

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It’s very sad! It’s definitely hard not to get sucked into the pressure but I just remind myself that I have little ones that need me far more. There are a lot of associates (less vocal) that do not even meet billable hour requirements so if you are meeting the requirement and have an outside life, I think that is pretty much being a superhero!

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It is sad but it is also very easy to get sucked into that pressure and perpetuate the cycle...over the years it’s been harder and harder for me to not let that mentality take over, even though I know it’s harmful and not a reflection of one’s quality work, productivity, or worth. Especially when it’s so tied to bonuses etc.

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I don’t know if I can stay on this hamster wheel through having kids.

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Associate 4, does your firm have a reduced target option? I went that route and it was pretty great. You know you can get to the target and you can have that flexibility to be more available to your kids. Yes, pay cut, but I found it to be the best option and you can keep your job and client relationships that you've built.

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Yes! I reduced my hours a couple years ago and am so glad I did. I think there’s a certain amount of brainwashing that goes on in law school and law firms about long hours that’s not necessarily tied to productivity (much less health). Think about your worth and priorities and what you really want out of life, and see if you can find ways to structure your career accordingly.

So, I’ve heard pros and cons for going reduced hours. Those who have/have not, can you explain why/why not?

Never experienced that.

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