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myh8

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  1. uh huh. Well everyone OUTSIDE of law is SHOCKED to hear what hours are considered normal in law. Because it is crazy to expect people to work 70-80 hours a week. Period. It is the firm's profit model. Great. Maybe all private sector businesses should be able to drop legislated labour protections to increase their profit margins. Would work well for those corporations and their shareholders. And I'm sure there's lots of desperate people who would be willing to work all the time. Maybe companies could start providing beds and showers so people can just stay at work all the time. More profit! Legislated labour protections for workers are in place to stop rich people from exploiting everyone else. The legal profession has no legislated standard work week. I think it should have legislated protections. It doesn't. Doesn't mean it's right or healthy or ok. The fact that so many people in law think this is ok, because it's "just the way it is" is crazy. Talented people shouldn't have to leave the law because they can't work an 80 hour week. It is ableist to think that time worked and ability to work all the time means you are a better lawyer. Perhaps you are just a better slave. I don't want to be a slave, thanks.
  2. I know some people, or most people, in law get a big thrill from working like dogs and barely sleeping. I don't. It's just that simple. I tried to pick articles that I thought would be good. But the culture is extremely screwed up. I am not asking for people to be something different, or feel sorry for me because I'm not a workaholic, but please don't act like the competition over who works the most is healthy. It's not for everyone that's for sure, but it also shouldn't be for anyone, as far as I'm concerned.
  3. Like I said in previous posts, I have known people who articled at other firms in other cities who worked 45 hour weeks most of the time. So when the firm I'm at told me 45, yes, I believed them. I don't think it's a strange thing to believe what you are told. I based it on what I knew of other people's experiences. I didn't do toronto big law for that reason. I wanted life outside work. I obviously made the wrong choice with where I went, but I don't think that's my fault for "not knowing what the career looked like". I tried to avoid what I didn't want (the large firm culture). It hasn't worked out. People have posted that MAG jobs are 60 hours or more. Everyone says government is 9-5. I guess they should have also known that gov't would expect 70 hour weeks? Come on.
  4. Perhaps my reading comp isn't the issue, perhaps it's your writing. Anyway, if the intent of your post was "find a 9-5 legal job after articles" like others have said, that's good advice. I'll def try if I get through articles. But there aren't many jobs that are 9-5 out there because apparently lawyers are a crazy bunch.
  5. Yeah I know it's about profit. Why hire 10 students when 5 will work 80 hour weeks? I get it. But it's shitty. The point is, it was unexpected. I was told it was a 45 hour week. No weekends. Leave at 6pm. Then I show up and it's 60 minimum with pressure for more.
  6. Well this is an extremely ableist comment. So if you're not 22 years old and can stay up all hours and work the equivalent of 2 full time jobs you're not cut out to be a lawyer? So I guess no one with a disability or health issues or family responsibilities or over 35 is cut out for law then? This is ridiculous. Just because most articling students are young physically healthy people who can work all the time doesn't mean it needs to be a requirement. I don't resent people who want to work 70-80 hours a week. Whatever floats your boat. I am saying it should not be the expectation, and that if you cannot work 70-80 hour weeks you shouldn't be told you are not cut out for law. It is just ableist.
  7. Yes, I am definitely burning out. That's exactly it. This schedule is just overwhelming, and I feel like I have to be thinking at "exam level" or "paper writing level" the entire time I am working. It is brutal. I never spent 60 hours working on anything in law school. And it felt difficult. Now I feel like it was a joke! In law school they gave you an outline, with all the expectations, and you gradually learned the subject. At work they just shove files at you and you're expected to just know how to write a factum in an area you aren't familiar with, etc, in a very short time. At school I wrote only 2 or 3 factums in the entire 3 years! and they took me forever! Now I'm told I should be able to come up with a complex factum in a day. It's insanity! Maybe I will get better at it, but right now it feels like being in an alternate reality of torture. I thought I'd be going to court, taking notes, meeting clients, etc sometimes, but all I am doing is writing, research, and more writing. I don't even think I'll learn how to be a lawyer this way! I just feel like the lawyers' slave. I am trying to do some self-care but it is difficult with barely any time off. My self care is basically saying no to working past the 60 hour mark. To hell with what anyone else wants. 60 hours should be sufficient. And if it isn't they need to hire more people. With all the talk of accommodating disability, it is very strange that firms (and gov't from the other comments!) don't even support basic health needs. How can anyone be healthy working 70-80 hour weeks? There may be people who want to work all the time, but for those who don't it is very very stressful. I just don't understand why it has to be like this.
  8. thanks for the replies. I should say that I am not currently actually suicidal, but I feel like it could end up there, as I'm feeling angry all the time and have a horrible feeling each morning. Something I haven't experienced before. Getting help is complicated in some ways, but yes, I see there are some resources to use. I'm basically faking it for the world right now. People close to me know, but everyone else thinks I like it, the firm, my colleagues, etc. Maybe I can just keep faking it, but the anger is bound to come out somewhere. I have a life outside of law, family responsibilities, and don't want to work 2 full time jobs. I accept that some people do. But law does not have to be like this. People want jobs. There are people doing articling for free. Big firms basically use students as slaves as far as I can see. And I thought I picked a firm with decent work life balance. Apparently not. I have known people who articled last year and year prior (at other firms in other cities), and they went in around 9 (maybe even 930) and left by 5 or 6. And while they did sometimes take work home, it wasn't common. So I didn't expect the 60 hours plus demands for more. And I just have this overwhelming sense of it being exploitative. Maybe if I was being paid more I wouldn't be as angry, but there is no incentive to work 80 hours for the same pay as what was sold to me as a 45 hour week (I asked at the interview). I could make $15 hour doing many many things, and not be so stressed out and angry all the time! Plus, I just don't want to work 80 hour weeks. Sorry, but I don't think practising law needs to entail 80 hour weeks. Fine if you want to, but it shouldn't be what's expected. Can I not help clients and go to court while only working 40? Stupid. Maybe a small firm or clinic would suit me. I do like social justice areas but wanted to get broad experience and be paid well for articles. I thought I was careful who I picked. However, gov't and legal aid are not hiring much if at all, so while I'd happily do legal aid (as a salaried legal aid lawyer), I don't hold out much hope of landing something like that unfortunately. This is just such a HUGE disappointment. I loved the idea of helping people through the law, and I feel I'm really good at working with clients and finding solutions for them. I wanted to find a job where I could feel happy sometimes about helping people. Instead, I look at contracts all day and work on rich people suing other rich people files!
  9. I'm currently articling in a mid size ontario city at a firm that is considered large for the area. I hate it. Every day I wake up feeling almost suicidal. I really liked law school. And I did well. And I like the law and helping people. But I don't like articling. At all. It is too much stress and too much work. It is insane. But I feel like I've entered an alternate reality where everyone around me thinks it's great, except me. I am currently working 60 hours a week. Everyone else I'm articling with is putting in more hours. I just physically cannot do more, and even the 60 I am doing is affecting my health. I did not expect this at all. I feel like I am having a mid-life crisis. I thought I would enjoy aspects of the job, and was willing to deal with stuff I didn't like. But I don't want to work all the time. I have a life outside of law. Now I have only work. And work I hate. Before law school I had a job that didn't pay very well, which I could go back to, but making $35,000 a year is not going to pay off my 120K of student debt. I feel like I've made an expensive giant mistake. Not sure what to do. I've been just trying to struggle though it, thinking I will just get through articles and figure out life later, but I feel so ruined every morning I'm not sure I can go on like this. Do I have any options? Has anyone here felt they hated articling after enjoying law school? Everyone I talk to says just stick it out, but it just feels like I've been sucked into a vortex in hell. I wouldn't hate it as much if the hours were more manageable. But they're just bad. Maybe I coasted in law school, but I felt it was very challenging and put in tons of work, but I certainly didn't work 10 hour days 6 days a week. I had a life. Now I have nothing but work and the one day I take off I just feel angry all day. With students not being able to land articles, why do firms ask students to work 80 hour weeks? They could split each job in 2 and have 2 manageable places instead of one job that leads to emotional and physical ruin. I know it's a money thing but it is just not right. Some people (with disabilities or health issues for example, etc) just cannot physically work 80 hours. And that shouldn't mean you can't do law because you can't work the equivalent of 2 regular full time jobs. The expectations are crazy, and I feel like I can't keep this up.
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