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SpecterH

Balancing Firm Life with Life

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You say you are 15 minutes from your office in downtown Toronto. On foot. This is great. Not only because it means a gym will doubtlessly be close by.... but also because every minute counts when you are trying to juggle working long hours and maintaining a healthy lifestyle (in fact, consider getting a bike, so that you can get to the gym and work in even less time)

 

I find the best solution is to go to the gym before work. Start getting into a routine of going to bed early and getting up early. If you wait until after work to go, you might well be too tired (I know I am!).

 

Your morning routine on days you workout can look something like this (obviously, you don't need to workout everyday!).

 

6:00 am -> get up

6:30 am to 7:30 am -> arrive at gym, work out for 30 minutes to 1 hour (let's say one hour, for the sake of this hypothetical schedule), head back home

8:30 am -> by this time you should be able to get home, shower, change, etc and be ready head to the office

8:45 am to 9:00 am -> you are now at work

 

There are ways you could save even more time. Buy a bike. Make your workouts less than an hour. Shower and change at the gym then go directly to work from there (but I hate doing that).

 

Some days you are going to need to be in the office really early and will not be able to get to the gym using this schedule. That is life. But in the vast majority of workplaces, nobody will have a problem if you regularly arrive between 8:30 - 9:00 am.

 

This is exactly what I did last summer, and what I plan to keep doing in August when I start articling. Enough of my coworkers went for the midday or evening workout, but I just feel better going in the morning.

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I find the best solution is to go to the gym before work. Start getting into a routine of going to bed early and getting up early. If you wait until after work to go, you might well be too tired (I know I am!).

 

This is exactly what I did last summer, and what I plan to keep doing in August when I start articling. Enough of my coworkers went for the midday or evening workout, but I just feel better going in the morning.

 

I definitely agree that, in making concessions, an earlybird workout is a perfectly fine option. But, I've noticed something recently (and I had been an early riser/workout before work person) which caused me to switch: I don't think I work out as well first thing in the morning, compared to later in the day. Perhaps some combination of nutrients/diet, foggy haze of sleep, but I seem to be capable of lifting more and doing longer bouts of cardio in the afternoon than in the morning. 

 

That said, I also found that when I worked out in the morning I generally felt as though I had unlimited energy and focus during the day. Kind of a pretty solid benefit. But not always worth the snooze button or the 5-10 minutes of having to psych myself up just to get my feet in running shoes.

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I definitely agree that, in making concessions, an earlybird workout is a perfectly fine option. But, I've noticed something recently (and I had been an early riser/workout before work person) which caused me to switch: I don't think I work out as well first thing in the morning, compared to later in the day. Perhaps some combination of nutrients/diet, foggy haze of sleep, but I seem to be capable of lifting more and doing longer bouts of cardio in the afternoon than in the morning. 

 

That said, I also found that when I worked out in the morning I generally felt as though I had unlimited energy and focus during the day. Kind of a pretty solid benefit. But not always worth the snooze button or the 5-10 minutes of having to psych myself up just to get my feet in running shoes.

 

I think it just comes down to doing what works. I actually feel worse working out later on, so I go first thing in the morning even on days off.

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You guys are all making me feel bad about myself.

 

My life right now: too much work, too many cookies, no gym time.

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just out of curiosity: does any firm offer rooms for people to stay overnight and showers?

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I've shifted my workouts to the evenings ~9 pm. I make a promise to myself to go no matter what. It's worked well so far because it discourages me from getting to many after-work beverages and I find I sleep well when I go to bed exhausted after a workout and a quick shower.

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I've shifted my workouts to the evenings ~9 pm. I make a promise to myself to go no matter what. It's worked well so far because it discourages me from getting to many after-work beverages and I find I sleep well when I go to bed exhausted after a workout and a quick shower.

 

I started running a couple months ago, and I'll go ~8:30 after the kids are in bed.  Problem is there's no way I can got right to bed after a good run.

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just out of curiosity: does any firm offer rooms for people to stay overnight and showers?

 

I think overnight rooms might send the wrong message (my firm certainly has none), but many firms have a shower room, often used by people cycling in.

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You guys are all making me feel bad about myself.

 

My life right now: too much work, too many cookies, no gym time.

 

 

Unless you're basically working 19-20 hours/day - then there's time for the gym. I guarantee you that a little gym time even on those brutal days goes a long way for your mental health.  ;)

 

(And lay off the cookies...)

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Unless you're basically working 19-20 hours/day - then there's time for the gym. I guarantee you that a little gym time even on those brutal days goes a long way for your mental health.  ;)

 

(And lay off the cookies...)

 

I went to the gym today!

 

Be proud.

 

He gets it:

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCbWyYr82BM[/media]

Edited by SpecterH
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I started running a couple months ago, and I'll go ~8:30 after the kids are in bed.  Problem is there's no way I can got right to bed after a good run.

 

That, and in the long term, it's terrible for your knees (assuming you are running on pavement or hard ground.)

 

My left knee basically constantly aches. Especially after squats.

 

Granted, the ill effects of not running are worse than sore knees, but cycling, swimming, and rowing are now preferable in my world.

Edited by conge
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You guys are all making me feel bad about myself.

 

My life right now: too much work, too many cookies, no gym time.

 

I know I have said some igorant things about Bay Street in general, but, hear me out.  There are many strong arguments to be made about beginning your career trajectory from a mid sized firm. I won't go in to some long winded description of any of them. But, here they are.

  • Large corporate clients are less and less willing to pay top dollar for most services provided by large firms. I.e. discovery, due diligence, etc...
  • Large corporations are relying more and more on in-house counsel.  I have a personal example.  A close family friend recently hired in house and decreased their yearly legal expenses by over 50%.  They do still farm out certain work that requires specialists.  This saved them millions of dollars in legal fees. This means, in their market, the amount of money going into lawyers pockets decreased by nearly 2 million dollars.  This wasn't even a corporation you've ever heard.  This type of event effects, almost exclusively, large firms with over 100 lawyers.
  • What this means is that the pyramid scheme of BigLaw is becoming more and more difficult to maintain. It is used to take 3-5 years to make partner, that number has doubled and is coming close to trippling.
  • Many mid sized firms, including the firm I am at, will kick people out around 7 pm.  Yes we work a small amount from home and on weekends.  My firm makes work/life balance almost a part of the job description.  We are always fresh, always energetic, and always do top-notch work.

Look, the future of BigLaw is entirely speculative. But, today, the speculation is that there is a new normal and that smaller firms are better placed to handle the uncertainty of what lies ahead.  There is still a future for BigLaw, you can still earn your 1-2 million dollar salary when your career peaks.  It is more difficult than it ever was before, and maybe thats a good thing.  Your colleagues might take my advice and jump ship when the going gets tough and they are denied partnership at their first, second, and third reviews.  Maybe you can take advantage of the weak dropping out around you.  Or, maybe you're ready to say that your sanity and your life is worth more than money.  Personally, I made the decision when I went to law school.  I wanted a decent income AND I wanted to be able to enjoy it.

 

I still believe finishing your articling at a large firm is the best course of action.  It's not forever and you will be highly marketable upon completion. Just ask yourself what you really want.  Do you want the image of BigLaw or do you really want to DO BigLaw.  Those are different things.

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I know I have said some igorant things about Bay Street in general, but, hear me out.  There are many strong arguments to be made about beginning your career trajectory from a mid sized firm. I won't go in to some long winded description of any of them. But, here they are.

  • Large corporate clients are less and less willing to pay top dollar for most services provided by large firms. I.e. discovery, due diligence, etc...
  • Large corporations are relying more and more on in-house counsel.  I have a personal example.  A close family friend recently hired in house and decreased their yearly legal expenses by over 50%.  They do still farm out certain work that requires specialists.  This saved them millions of dollars in legal fees. This means, in their market, the amount of money going into lawyers pockets decreased by nearly 2 million dollars.  This wasn't even a corporation you've ever heard.  This type of event effects, almost exclusively, large firms with over 100 lawyers.
  • What this means is that the pyramid scheme of BigLaw is becoming more and more difficult to maintain. It is used to take 3-5 years to make partner, that number has doubled and is coming close to trippling.
  • Many mid sized firms, including the firm I am at, will kick people out around 7 pm.  Yes we work a small amount from home and on weekends.  My firm makes work/life balance almost a part of the job description.  We are always fresh, always energetic, and always do top-notch work.

Look, the future of BigLaw is entirely speculative. But, today, the speculation is that there is a new normal and that smaller firms are better placed to handle the uncertainty of what lies ahead.  There is still a future for BigLaw, you can still earn your 1-2 million dollar salary when your career peaks.  It is more difficult than it ever was before, and maybe thats a good thing.  Your colleagues might take my advice and jump ship when the going gets tough and they are denied partnership at their first, second, and third reviews.  Maybe you can take advantage of the weak dropping out around you.  Or, maybe you're ready to say that your sanity and your life is worth more than money.  Personally, I made the decision when I went to law school.  I wanted a decent income AND I wanted to be able to enjoy it.

 

I still believe finishing your articling at a large firm is the best course of action.  It's not forever and you will be highly marketable upon completion. Just ask yourself what you really want.  Do you want the image of BigLaw or do you really want to DO BigLaw.  Those are different things.

 

Do you mean to post this in the thread about fitness routines?

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I started running a couple months ago, and I'll go ~8:30 after the kids are in bed.  Problem is there's no way I can got right to bed after a good run.

 

Agreed. I finish most of my workouts with some form of conditioning and I'm buzzing afterwards. I find a shower afterwards (and maybe a glass of wine) really help me come down.

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I know I have said some igorant things about Bay Street in general, but, hear me out. There are many strong arguments to be made about beginning your career trajectory from a mid sized firm. I won't go in to some long winded description of any of them. But, here they are.

  • Large corporate clients are less and less willing to pay top dollar for most services provided by large firms. I.e. discovery, due diligence, etc...
  • Large corporations are relying more and more on in-house counsel. I have a personal example. A close family friend recently hired in house and decreased their yearly legal expenses by over 50%. They do still farm out certain work that requires specialists. This saved them millions of dollars in legal fees. This means, in their market, the amount of money going into lawyers pockets decreased by nearly 2 million dollars. This wasn't even a corporation you've ever heard. This type of event effects, almost exclusively, large firms with over 100 lawyers.
  • What this means is that the pyramid scheme of BigLaw is becoming more and more difficult to maintain. It is used to take 3-5 years to make partner, that number has doubled and is coming close to trippling.
  • Many mid sized firms, including the firm I am at, will kick people out around 7 pm. Yes we work a small amount from home and on weekends. My firm makes work/life balance almost a part of the job description. We are always fresh, always energetic, and always do top-notch work.
Look, the future of BigLaw is entirely speculative. But, today, the speculation is that there is a new normal and that smaller firms are better placed to handle the uncertainty of what lies ahead. There is still a future for BigLaw, you can still earn your 1-2 million dollar salary when your career peaks. It is more difficult than it ever was before, and maybe thats a good thing. Your colleagues might take my advice and jump ship when the going gets tough and they are denied partnership at their first, second, and third reviews. Maybe you can take advantage of the weak dropping out around you. Or, maybe you're ready to say that your sanity and your life is worth more than money. Personally, I made the decision when I went to law school. I wanted a decent income AND I wanted to be able to enjoy it.

 

I still believe finishing your articling at a large firm is the best course of action. It's not forever and you will be highly marketable upon completion. Just ask yourself what you really want. Do you want the image of BigLaw or do you really want to DO BigLaw. Those are different things.

Why is this in a thread about fitness? Sure I get the OP might be making a point about the difficulty of balancing Biglaw with other things in life, but a lengthy post of the advantages of mid-law over Biglaw isn't exactly the solution to the OP.

 

And don't kid yourself - many mid-sized firms have crushing hours too and many of the same problems you're espousing as the virtues of them. What's more important is the individual firm culture and practice areas...

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I know I have said some igorant things about Bay Street in general, but, hear me out.  There are many strong arguments to be made about beginning your career trajectory from a mid sized firm. I won't go in to some long winded description of any of them. But, here they are.

  • Large corporate clients are less and less willing to pay top dollar for most services provided by large firms. I.e. discovery, due diligence, etc...
  • Large corporations are relying more and more on in-house counsel.  I have a personal example.  A close family friend recently hired in house and decreased their yearly legal expenses by over 50%.  They do still farm out certain work that requires specialists.  This saved them millions of dollars in legal fees. This means, in their market, the amount of money going into lawyers pockets decreased by nearly 2 million dollars.  This wasn't even a corporation you've ever heard.  This type of event effects, almost exclusively, large firms with over 100 lawyers.
  • What this means is that the pyramid scheme of BigLaw is becoming more and more difficult to maintain. It is used to take 3-5 years to make partner, that number has doubled and is coming close to trippling.
  • Many mid sized firms, including the firm I am at, will kick people out around 7 pm.  Yes we work a small amount from home and on weekends.  My firm makes work/life balance almost a part of the job description.  We are always fresh, always energetic, and always do top-notch work.

Look, the future of BigLaw is entirely speculative. But, today, the speculation is that there is a new normal and that smaller firms are better placed to handle the uncertainty of what lies ahead.  There is still a future for BigLaw, you can still earn your 1-2 million dollar salary when your career peaks.  It is more difficult than it ever was before, and maybe thats a good thing.  Your colleagues might take my advice and jump ship when the going gets tough and they are denied partnership at their first, second, and third reviews.  Maybe you can take advantage of the weak dropping out around you.  Or, maybe you're ready to say that your sanity and your life is worth more than money.  Personally, I made the decision when I went to law school.  I wanted a decent income AND I wanted to be able to enjoy it.

 

I still believe finishing your articling at a large firm is the best course of action.  It's not forever and you will be highly marketable upon completion. Just ask yourself what you really want.  Do you want the image of BigLaw or do you really want to DO BigLaw.  Those are different things.

This is what happens when you read the thread title but not the first post...

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This is what happens when you read the thread title but not the first post...

 

 

Why is this in a thread about fitness? Sure I get the OP might be making a point about the difficulty of balancing Biglaw with other things in life, but a lengthy post of the advantages of mid-law over Biglaw isn't exactly the solution to the OP.

 

And don't kid yourself - many mid-sized firms have crushing hours too and many of the same problems you're espousing as the virtues of them. What's more important is the individual firm culture and practice areas...

 

 

Do you mean to post this in the thread about fitness routines?

 

In my view, this was a person who was a few months into the large firm experience, as a summer student, and was already having problems.  The post was more about work life balance than about "can somebody link me a local jazzercise class that fits my schedule?"

 

My point was that 1) Large firms tend to be more hard on their younger employees for specific reasons 2) Smaller firms tend to offer more balance and might actually provide a more profitable, stable career path long-term. 3) that they should tough it out until articling was done and move somewhere more comfortable.

 

Not sure how that is wildly irrelevant.  Maybe I read too much into her post.

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In my view, this was a person who was a few months into the large firm experience, as a summer student, and was already having problems.  The post was more about work life balance than about "can somebody link me a local jazzercise class that fits my schedule?"

 

My point was that 1) Large firms tend to be more hard on their younger employees for specific reasons 2) Smaller firms tend to offer more balance and might actually provide a more profitable, stable career path long-term. 3) that they should tough it out until articling was done and move somewhere more comfortable.

 

Not sure how that is wildly irrelevant.  Maybe I read too much into her post.

 

Question was: So I guess my question is to those who have somehow figured out how to not become obese and still have a life while working at a busy firm -- how can I ensure I still maintain a regular workout schedule, eat healthy, and still excel at work?

 

I mean, you make some valid points, I agree with some of what you say, but perhaps it could have it's own topic.

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For what it's worth, many of my friends even at small firms are working similar hours and are getting paid less.

Edited by SpecterH
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For what it's worth, many of my friends even at small firms are working similar hours and are getting paid less.

 

I articled at a small firm and had pretty brutal hours.  

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