When you’re slammed, but all the associates in your area/practice group are slammed as well, how does your firm/partners handle additional work coming in? Is the expectation that you literally bill 70 hours a week or 14/15 hours a day or do they shift work to other offices and associates in maybe slower practice groups? I’m already on track for about 215 this month and keep getting buried. More work keeps coming in and I’m on the verge of a breakdown.

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OP don't take seriously the people in this thread insisting your hours aren't that bad.

There is a nasty culture in biglaw around working long hours and you shouldn't feel any shame for seeing that you're reaching your limit here.

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You don’t seem to understand how this business works.

What practice group? It’s hard because partners won’t turn down work even if everyone is slammed. Sometimes you think everyone is equally busy but they’re not. Maybe there needs to be better allocation? Hang in there!

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Lol seems like I’m just not cut out for big law. Probably also why my firm can’t keep juniors or mid levels. To say billing 70 hours “is a lot but you will still have downtime” is INSANE. That means working approx 80 hours. That’s not sustainable for anyone.

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You won’t have downtime, but unless this level of activity continues for 3+ months, I wouldn’t say the firm is making unreasonable requests. Busy periods are typical, you should have been well aware that there were weeks when you would bill 70+ hours, no one hides the ball there. One of the most unpleasant things about biglaw is the unpredictability of hours, but that’s part of you make the salary you do. I didn’t like it either so I found a different job.

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Levfin. Apparently this is a very busy time for the practice in generally (across the market) I’m just not willing to kill myself for weeks on end and the firm is doing a poor job of allocating work and bringing in new talent to help with the workload. I’m well over track for hours req.

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Just say no? If they're that busy, they can't afford to get rid of you anyway. No point in killing yourself due to their poor management

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Lol. 215 is busy but not insane. Yes, when everyone is slammed you bill 15h+. That was literally last spring, when you billed half of your bonus in spring. And when market slows down you coast. I’m in m&a and if I was freaking out on 215 that would be laughable. I did cry at 280 to the partner and felt 0 shame. He added a person that had a bit of a capacity to help (and was useless, hence the capacity). And no, this is not glorified hussle post but when everyone is slammed, you have to pull your weight, it’s part of the job.

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A4- that makes sense and I’m not including those (because I know it happens). Partners in my group are actively seeking new clients, new work, travelling for pitches, etc which only adds to the short staffing. The issues my firm is having is not with current clients.

Yes, things get busy in biglaw, sometimes for months at a time. A sustained period of heavy work is part of why we get paid so much.

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215 when the 140 of it is in the last 2 weeks is bad. And the hours themselves aren’t the real issue- it’s the constant fire drills and working on 10 deals at one time. My understanding from my M&A colleague is that you are more so set on one or two large deals at a time. A lot easier to bill when you’re on the same deal all day. Not the same when you’re switching back and forth every 10 min. A2 sucks to be in M&A. I get paid for 1950. I should not have to kill myself if I will be over it. If my firm has a “50 hour max” per week, I should not have to do 70 hours a week to not feel guilty for saying no.

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A2 - totally agree. Not saying the work isnt difficult/ you don’t have fire drills. Just meant the actual physical billing so a bit easier to capture than when you’re on 10 different client matters at one time.

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I’ve found that these insane pushes are only feasible for a few months tops. Any longer than that and it starts to cause people to leave because it’s miserable. Partners usually find staffing from other groups or laterals. I’ve also occasionally seen contract attorneys brought in.

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