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Thoughts about working at Davies?

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43 minutes ago, TKNumber3 said:

Would you rather they hid it from you? Have them say we place an emphasis on work life balance and value everyone's free time, only to show up and realize it's a lie?

Recruiting is an expensive, time consuming and stressful endeavour. Best to be as transparent about what you expect as you can. 

 

12 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

My point was that they're being open about the workload and so you can't have any complaints if you end up working for them because you would know what you signed up for.

Ah, not so much.

I mean, Davies may well be better at disclosing something than most firms, but still, "long hours and personal sacrifices are sometimes inevitable" strikes me as misleadingly optimistic. Always or frequently inevitable, especially for articling students. Not 9 to 5 doesn't capture the actual reality, it's understated. Say what the hours are would be more informative.

To be clear, I don't fault Davies in comparison to how other firms sell themselves, I say that none of them really advertise what it's like. So I do have some capacity for sympathy if someone who ends up working for them is surprised, because they made the mistake of accepting advertisements by firms at face value. Which is, in itself, part of the learning experience... 

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I may be naive but honestly, in any firm - big medium or small - 9-5 seems wildly out of sync with reality. Especially as a junior level call. 

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Just now, pzabbythesecond said:

I may be naive but honestly, in any firm - big medium or small - 9-5 seems wildly out of sync with reality. Especially as a junior level call. 

Agreed. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but even mentioning 9 to 5 to disclaim it, still suggests that the reality is within spitting distance of 9 to 5, which is the misleading aspect.

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I'm sure you could get within spitting distance of 9 to 5 at a big law firm.  

You know, if you worked 8 days a week :rolling:

Edited by BlockedQuebecois

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1 minute ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I'm sure you could get within spitting distance of 9 to 5 at a big law firm.  

You know, if you worked 8 days a week :rolling:

Are there 'typical' hours for an articling student/junior associate at a big law firm on Bay St (or too much variance?)? If so, what do they tend to be? 12 hour days? 

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There's too much variance. It depends on practice group, time of year, year of call, who you're working with, who you're working for, what files you're working on right at that moment, etc.

I worked less than 9-5 for most of September. I regularly work more than that however.

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I don't work at Davies, but I always found their recruiting to be very effective. They always got the type of students who wanted to work there to self-select their way into the firm. I can't say that for every firm, where some students just end up there because that's where they had an offer. That's really what good recruiting is - not just casting the widest net. 

I don't think you'll work significantly more hours at Davies. However, I do think they are known for being particularly responsive (even by Big Law standards). Also, the type of work the firm does is mainly high-stakes transactional work that demand a strict timeline, and it's a relatively small-firm actually in terms of headcount. All these factors could mean a slightly more intense experience, thus the reputation. 

The surest way to vet the firm is to speak to a critical mass of students there. If you are already questioning whether or not you would happy to work there at this stage of the game, I would give it careful thought. 

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On 10/20/2018 at 8:55 AM, TheScientist101 said:

I only realized how atrocious that nick-name was for the firm when, years ago, I was having a conversation with a non-law, African-descent friend about articles. I quipped "yeah, artlcling is basically being a slave for a year". My friend didn't say anything - but immediately I realized how terrible it is to refer to my work as "slavery".  It is equally atrocious to refer to a firm as "Slavies". 
 

Maybe it's pronounced Slav-ies. Maybe they have a lot of hard-working Eastern Europeans over there. WHO ARE WE TO JUDGE??

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On 10/20/2018 at 6:28 PM, BlockedQuebecois said:

I'm sure you could get within spitting distance of 9 to 5 at a big law firm.  

You know, if you worked 8 days a week :rolling:

Or 9 am to 5 am.

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On 10/20/2018 at 6:32 PM, DeluxeVegan said:

Are there 'typical' hours for an articling student/junior associate at a big law firm on Bay St (or too much variance?)? If so, what do they tend to be? 12 hour days? 

When I was an associate on Bay, I typically worked about 9-6:30 daily. I was almost invariably home by 7, unless I was involved in something big, which happened once or twice a year.

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On 10/20/2018 at 6:32 PM, DeluxeVegan said:

Are there 'typical' hours for an articling student/junior associate at a big law firm on Bay St (or too much variance?)? If so, what do they tend to be? 12 hour days? 

I did my 2L summer at Davies this year. On a normal week I would do about 8:00am - 7:30/8:00pm, plus another ~10 hours over the weekend. On busy weeks this could go up significantly. Most of the associates I worked with were pulling longer hours than that. Not sure how this compares to other firms on Bay, but that's my 2 cents on Davies specifically. 

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7 minutes ago, Grey said:

I did my 2L summer at Davies this year. On a normal week I would do about 8:00am - 7:30/8:00pm, plus another ~10 hours over the weekend. On busy weeks this could go up significantly. Most of the associates I worked with were pulling longer hours than that. Not sure how this compares to other firms on Bay, but that's my 2 cents on Davies specifically. 

So Davies has their summer associates work 70 hours a week on average? More during busy weeks?

 

Crazy. And I'm a workaholic saying that.

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12 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

So Davies has their summer associates work 70 hours a week on average? More during busy weeks?

 

Crazy. And I'm a workaholic saying that.

Yeah, there were some students working a bit more and others a little less, but I think around 70 is generally accurate. 

Someone else earlier in this thread mentioned that a lot of students tend to self-select into (and out of) Davies because of its reputation. I think that's a fair statement - the firm is not for everyone, both in terms of hours, how you go about getting work, types of personalities, etc. Those who are attracted to what Davies markets itself as offering, however, all seemed to really enjoy it, myself included. 

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23 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

So Davies has their summer associates work 70 hours a week on average? More during busy weeks?

 

Crazy. And I'm a workaholic saying that.

While everyone may like to wear this as a badge of honour, at some point there is a law of diminishing returns. 

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21 minutes ago, OWH said:

While everyone may like to wear this as a badge of honour, at some point there is a law of diminishing returns. 

What do you mean?

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The quality/productivity of work you put out in hours 50-70 is probably pretty bad relative to the quality/productivity of work you put out in hours 0-30.

If I saw a lawyer working on my files at midnight, I would look for another lawyer for the next file. Who is doing good work at an efficient pace at midnight?

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12 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

The quality/productivity of work you put out in hours 50-70 is probably pretty bad relative to the quality/productivity of work you put out in hours 0-30.

If I saw a lawyer working on my files at midnight, I would look for another lawyer for the next file. Who is doing good work at an efficient pace at midnight?

100% agree. Everyone knows law is not a 9 - 5 job, and it's one thing to be working 70+ hours a week occasionally because something unexpected came up, but I refuse to believe that anyone working 70+ hours a week on average is doing quality, efficient work that entire time. 

Edited by QuixoticLawyer
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1 minute ago, QuixoticLawyer said:

100% agree. Everyone knows law is not a 9 - 5 job, and it's one thing to be working 70+ hours a week occasionally because something unexpected came up, but I refuse to believe that anyone working 70+ hours a week on average is doing quality, efficient work that entire time. 

Isn’t that kinda the idea when we’re talking hours in the office, though? It’s not like you’re actually working 70 hours. You’re maybe working 60 of those, and you’re maybe billing 40-50 of those?

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So what does that mean then when we say parenting is a 24-7 job and harder than any work in the office? Are we all doing a bad job parenting? 😀

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Every parent I know admits that they are constantly messing things up and letting things slip between the cracks, either intentionally or accidentally.

Obviously there are things that come up that necessitate long hours at times and work on evenings/weekends. But if that's a habit, it means a lot of your work is going to be consistently sub-par, either in terms of quality or productivity. 

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