Jump to content
Columbo

Do most Canadian lawyers work 50 + a week?

Recommended Posts

Just now, Gandhi said:

37.5 per week. In house for insurance co

Nice! Those are sweet and lax hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gandhi said:

37.5 per week. In house for insurance co

What am I doing wrong with my life...

Pay/location?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Articling in government, my colleagues and I consider ourselves lucky if we work less than 60-65 hours a week and get the weekend off. Unsure whether this is similar to last year's students, or whether it's solely because of COVID and remote work. 

Edited by DJD2020
Correction
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably work 35-40, am semi-on call another 10 or 15, and preoccupied thinking about work another 5 or 10. It's seldom only client work for 35 or 40, but the non-billable/administrative stuff takes up a chunk of time. I anticipate as I get more senior/better at client management/quicker at some tasks, this will all probably drop to be less, but I could also see it just ramping up as I get more senior/have more responsibility, etc. 

Edited by whoknows
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the practice area wasn't dying I would be accepting that in-house position earning six-figures, only scheduled a 40 hour work week (but when in trial you'll work as much as necessary).

But since I don't think there's a future there, I'm changing practice areas and will probably end up working more hours for less money, at least for the next 6 to 9 months. 

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would turn down a cushy six figure job but here we are. 😣

  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the long weekend mostly off (minus a couple hours of work each day) after 3 weekends of having to work nearly a full day each time. 

People always said weekends are so nice once you're out of school. I really miss school, because I had most weekends off and even some weekdays!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to be a professional writer. The joy of being your own boss, particularly in a creative field, is that you're never not working. Compared to that my current role is a breeze and I'm consistently working 50 hour weeks and am on call for client emergencies 24/7 (thankfully I decide what constitutes an emergency). 

Others have touched on it OP, but it sounds like you have a bit of a skewed sense of what a lot of professional, white collar work entails. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya’ll really have me questioning if my kids will ever see my face again after I graduate 🥲

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, PlayALawyerOnTV said:

I used to be a professional writer. The joy of being your own boss, particularly in a creative field, is that you're never not working. Compared to that my current role is a breeze and I'm consistently working 50 hour weeks and am on call for client emergencies 24/7 (thankfully I decide what constitutes an emergency). 

Others have touched on it OP, but it sounds like you have a bit of a skewed sense of what a lot of professional, white collar work entails. 

Yes, I was not entirely sure how many hours a typical lawyer worked every week - did not know if it varied from practice (just an undergrad here).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a sense, I work 40-ish hours a week but I often find myself thinking about work and strategizing when I am not "working" in a formal sense.

Before COVID, my work day was relatively condensed as I would do most of my work at the office (with occasional calls from home in the evening). Now that I work from home, it's not uncommon for me to have my first appointment at 8 am and to have my last at 11pm or so. Still, I think it works well for me at my particular life stage (limited familial responsibilities, relatively young, etc.).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably average about 50-60 hours each week, of which approx. 35-40 are billable. There is a decent amount of time spent that is not-billable, like consultations and other administrative tasks that come with running the shop. I also have a toddler, so I do a lot of 9-4pm, 8-11pm days, since working from home now means there is no separation between work and not-work, or things are just really busy and I'm suddenly quite popular with my clients.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2021 at 4:27 PM, utmguy said:

What am I doing wrong with my life...

Pay/location?

Downtown Toronto. Under 100k. New call.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2021 at 6:59 PM, Another Hutz said:

If the practice area wasn't dying I would be accepting that in-house position earning six-figures, only scheduled a 40 hour work week (but when in trial you'll work as much as necessary).

But since I don't think there's a future there, I'm changing practice areas and will probably end up working more hours for less money, at least for the next 6 to 9 months. 

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would turn down a cushy six figure job but here we are. 😣

What pratice area is dying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Gandhi said:

What pratice area is dying?

I believe he's referring to personal injury in B.C. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work ~45 hours/week during my articles. In 5 months I've had every weekend off except 3. I'm at a full-service firm with 30+ lawyers, but we're in the suburbs and most of the lawyers are out of here by 6PM each day.

Judging by my classmates' experiences, I really lucked out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2021 at 4:47 PM, DJD2020 said:

Articling in government, my colleagues and I consider ourselves lucky if we work less than 60-65 hours a week and get the weekend off. Unsure whether this is similar to last year's students, or whether it's solely because of COVID and remote work. 

which government was this? do you feel like it was just because you were an article or do other government law professionals have similar hours?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Gandhi said:

Downtown Toronto. Under 100k. New call.

thats a fantastic job! is it your first year out of articling? where did you article?

also is this kind of job typical for other in house lawyers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/15/2021 at 1:21 PM, almostnot said:

I think this really depends.  In the admin law/policy world there are lots of areas where folks are non-practicing, but really wouldn't have been hired for the position if they hadn't had legal training/practiced at some point or instead of getting there in 5 years it would have taken 10-15.  I think this is increasingly the case where there has been degree inflation and credentials that aren't truly necessary are now required as a short hand for sorting through stacks of applicants.  

And to the OP, those non-practicing positions can still involve unfun work hours during specific times.  Definitely not as many or as regularly as private practice, but it does exist.  

 

what kind of roles would these admin law/policy be called exactly? im interested in knowing what other government roles JDs can work in

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2021 at 10:31 AM, azure said:

This is from my own experience working as a government lawyer and what I see from my colleagues, but it is increasingly not a 9-5 job either. I don't think we work as many hours as our private practice colleagues but a number of factors such as government hiring freezes has meant that we are understaffed for the amount of client requests we get. I regularly work 10-12 hour days though I try to avoid working weekends. Especially those in the litigation branches regularly work long hours. 

Yes- there are probably those government lawyers who do the minimum and work 9-5 and collect their pension- it's hard to get fired once you're in, and as long as you get your minimum hours, there's no real incentive to work extra hours (e.g. no bonuses, etc.). But especially for juniors starting out, the work can pile on. 

what kind of government lawyer are you? federal, provincial, municipal? may i ask how you got into government work, i heard it can be quite competitive

 

the thing that interests me about government law positions is that i have read it is a good way to transition into other government positions that are still well paid and have good hours. personally i find government work quite interesting and feel like theres a lot of learning involved in that role

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2021 at 12:07 PM, Tamago said:

Wait until you have a family. You'll never have enough time for yourself even if you work only 40 hours a week. The pandemic lock-down actually helps me because I don't have to set aside more time to see my friends, physically at least.

Back to your original question: yes, there are law jobs in the private sector that require you to work only weekdays 9-5 (I have one), but they are rare and hard to come by. My job wasn't posted and I pretty much created it out of sheer luck, and I don't touch litigation at all. I'm sharing this not to brag but to give you a sense of the odds against you if a 40-hour work week is non-negotiable.

Digressing a bit: I'm not sure if the hours would be the main cause of stress... most lawyers I know are workaholics anyway. I feel it's the competitive nature of law, the constant self-doubt, plus the crazy clients you'll need to watch out for.

what is your job? also can i ask what your location is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...