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LSATGRIND69

Debate re job difficulty (spliced)

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4 hours ago, Starling said:

I have to disagree with others a bit (except Hegdis) - I do think lawyers who make $100k+ work more than all the people I've worked with in other industries who made comparable salaries. Those people worked a lot too, but it really wasn't on the same level, with the exception of Big 4 accountants, who also work insane hours. 

Lawyers also don't have a "busy season" that you can plan for the way accountants or some other industries might.  

Lack of control of foresight of when you'll be busy could be a big issue. For example, if you're a securities lawyer, you really do have to cater to your clients - they often won't give you a ton of notice when they decide to do something, and if they tell you on the 18th that they want to close a flow-through placement by year-end, your holiday plans are pretty much shot.

I have heard from people who were asked to skip weddings they were part of the bridal party for, come back early from their honeymoon, pull all-nighters on New Years Eve.  I'm just articling so I have only had a couple 80-hour weeks, which I was fine with, but I had no idea they were coming before they happened. It was no big deal for me to make it work but I imagine that would be really rough for someone with children. Or read Uriel's comments about how much he worked during articling, although I think he's on the more extreme end.

I think another issue is that lawyers really have the ability to fuck up your client's life if you make a mistake, regardless of the area of law you're in. Deadlines are a lot more stressful when the consequences are that your client loses by default or has their stock halted, rather than the consequence just being that your boss is mad at you. 

Not to mention the emotional toll that family law, poverty law, or criminal law can have on a person. I have done a decent amount of pro bono and I love it but it's draining for sure. And I have so much respect for people who do family law or criminal law - I honestly could not do it. 

I'll give you three examples of people I know who make over $100k a year who bust their ass.

A friend of mine is a Director of a long term care facility busting her ass 60+hrs a week and on call at anytime. Often taking calls at 3 in the morning and consoling families who just lost their love ones. Not to mention, all the health care workers who are working during COVID, the health care aids, nurses, and cleaning staff who make significantly less than $100k a year who are busting their ass 60+hrs a week.

Another one is a Sales Manager of a car dealership. He's doing 6 days a week and also on call. We are having lunch on a Sunday and he has call after call coming in. He rarely takes holidays and is at the whim of quarterly sales targets. Also doing shit like looking after the GM's mansion while the GM is away for vacation.

Another one is in construction, doing 50 hours a week, but busting his ass lifting heavy objects daily. He's physically done on the weekends cause his body is aching from a week of hard labor.

Note none of the above make over $150k a year and are likely close to their maximum pay ceiling. Everyone that I have ever met or suspect of making 6 figures does not have it easy. The law profession I suspect is not easy, but I'd prefer it to any of the above.

Edited by LSATGRIND69
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18 minutes ago, LSATGRIND69 said:

I'll give you three examples of people I know who make over $100k a year who bust their ass.

A friend of mine is a Director of a long term care facility busting her ass 60+hrs a week and on call at anytime. Often taking calls at 3 in the morning and consoling families who just lost their love ones. Not to mention, all the health care workers who are working during COVID, the health care aids, nurses, and cleaning staff who make significantly less than $100k a year who are busting their ass 60+hrs a week.

Another one is a Sales Manager of a car dealership. He's doing 6 days a week and also on call. We are having lunch on a Sunday and he has call after call coming in. He rarely takes holidays and is at the whim of quarterly sales targets. Also doing shit like looking after the GM's mansion while the GM is away for vacation.

Another one is in construction, doing 50 hours a week, but busting his ass lifting heavy objects daily. He's physically done on the weekends cause his body is aching from a week of hard labor.

Note none of the above make over $150k a year and are likely close to their maximum pay ceiling. Everyone that I have ever met or suspect of making over 6 figures does not have it easy. The law profession I suspect is not easy, but I'd prefer to any of the above.

You seem to have misunderstood my response to the OP. 

Firstly, I never claimed that other people who make over $100k a year "had it easy", just that in my experience of dealing with hundreds of people in different industries who make $100k+, lawyers work more. Secondly, I never claimed that law is the most difficult profession, I was responding to the question of why many lawyers are so miserable. 

In response to your examples: 

  1. Crim lawyers are taking 3am calls from people in custody. My friend is doing her articles at a Crim boutique and has had to deal with a client whose house was surrounded by cops at 2am. 
  2. Yes, most lawyers who are making $100k+ also work 6 days a week, are on call, and have a hard time taking vacations. 
  3. Not a super relevant example, in my opinion. Trades/manual labour is obviously quite physically hard and not something I would want to do, but it's also totally different. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

But honestly, it's not a competition of whose job is the hardest, so I am not sure what point you were trying to make with your examples. Again, I was responding to the OP's question of "why are lawyers so miserable" with my theories; I was not making an argument for how law is the hardest profession of all which seems to be what you think I was trying to say with my post. I have said in other posts recently that I am happy, and I am. I am certainly not complaining about my job, just explaining the difficulties.  

Look, I don't want to be rude, but you're a 0L. I'm an articling student who summered and I barely feel qualified be sharing my opinion in this thread. It comes across as pretty hubristic for you to be commenting on how the profession does not seem super difficult when you're not even in law school yet. 

Edited by Starling
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4 hours ago, Starling said:

I have to disagree with others a bit (except Hegdis) - I do think lawyers who make $100k+ work more than all the people I've worked with in other industries who made comparable salaries. Those people worked a lot too, but it really wasn't on the same level, with the exception of Big 4 accountants, who also work insane hours. 

When you say "those people worked a lot too, but it really wasn't on the same level...", I think a reasonable person would interpret this as the law profession being more difficult/hard than most other professions.

8 minutes ago, Starling said:

Look, I don't want to be rude, but you're a 0L. I'm an articling student who summered and I barely feel qualified be sharing my opinion in this thread. It comes across as pretty hubristic for you to be commenting on how the profession does not seem super difficult when you're not even in law school yet. 

I never once said the law profession wasn't difficult. Also it's kind of ironic to say I am being hubristic when you know nothing about me aside from the fact that you felt the need to look at my post history to find out I am an 0L. How do you know I haven't shadowed someone in the law profession, have family members in law, and/or worked in a law firm? 

It seems there's a common theme here on Lawstudents.ca, a lot of old heads backing each other up. I'm sure some of your other friends will come in here and dissect my comments and find a rebuttal backing you up.

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19 minutes ago, Starling said:

 

I think you are underestimating (to a great extent) the prevalence of this sort of expectation in other professions. Especially in ones that make $$$. For all your examples of exceptional circumstances I can name a matching non-law scenario. 

Like you said, it's not a competition as to who has it worse (though sometimes it sure seems like that's the argument being made, but I digress). I think the broader point to focus on is that, regardless of profession, the cumulation of working 7 days a week, being on call basically 24 hours, the expectation of working until the job is done, no one caring what's going on in your personal life (hi, having to be on a conference call while your partner is in labour on a Sunday evening off the top of my head) is draining and exhausting and a cause of burn out in some people. It's a problem in law, same as it is in finance or healthcare or any other profession it happens in

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27 minutes ago, LSATGRIND69 said:

How do you know I haven't shadowed someone in the law profession, have family members in law, and/or worked in a law firm? 

One would raise potential confidentiality issues, and the other two don't have much, if any bearing on your understanding of the practice of law. 

Edited by Tagger
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26 minutes ago, LSATGRIND69 said:

When you say "those people worked a lot too, but it really wasn't on the same level...", I think a reasonable person would interpret this as the law profession being more difficult/hard than most other professions.

I never once said the law profession wasn't difficult. Also it's kind of ironic to say I am being hubristic when you know nothing about me aside from the fact that you felt the need to look at my post history to find out I am an 0L. How do you know I haven't shadowed someone in the law profession, have family members in law, and/or worked in a law firm? 

It seems there's a common theme here on Lawstudents.ca, a lot of old heads backing each other up. I'm sure some of your other friends will come in here and dissect my comments and find a rebuttal backing you up.

 

22 minutes ago, Veggie77 said:

I think you are underestimating (to a great extent) the prevalence of this sort of expectation in other professions. Especially in ones that make $$$. For all your examples of exceptional circumstances I can name a matching non-law scenario. 

Like you said, it's not a competition as to who has it worse (though sometimes it sure seems like that's the argument being made, but I digress). I think the broader point to focus on is that, regardless of profession, the cumulation of working 7 days a week, being on call basically 24 hours, the expectation of working until the job is done, no one caring what's going on in your personal life (hi, having to be on a conference call while your partner is in labour on a Sunday evening off the top of my head) is draining and exhausting and a cause of burn out in some people. It's a problem in law, same as it is in finance or healthcare or any other profession it happens in

 

@Veggie77 - I agree, the hours and expectations are a huge part of it. I would argue that I am not underestimating what expectations in other professions are - like I said, I worked in other industries and have worked with a ton of people in those salary brackets. Trying not to get too specific so I can maintain some degree of anonymity but I'm not a K-JD who thinks law is hard just cause I haven't ever had to work 60+ hours before. I have. 

@LSATGRIND69 - You've missed the forest for the trees.  

Edited by Starling

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2 minutes ago, Starling said:

 

@Veggie77 - I agree, the hours and expectations are a huge part of it. I would argue that I am not underestimating what expectations in other professions are - like I said, I worked in other industries and have worked with a ton of people in those salary brackets. Trying not to get too specific so I can maintain some degree of anonymity but I'm not a K-JD who thinks law is hard just cause I haven't ever had to work 60+ hours before. 

 

And I'm not a new undergrad either. I've got 20 years of experience in a variety of industries from a global perspective. It may be more possible to direct your career in a way so as to avoid this type of expectation in other industries than it is in law, I couldn't really say. But I am pretty confident that it's not uncommon practice. And that it doesn't really matter the industry that particular set of circumstances leads to burnout.  Partly to say "don't be surprised if you become a lawyer and find that the non-stop grind of that level of work is draining" and partly to say "don't be surprised if you don't become a lawyer, you reach a comparable salary elsewhere and you still find that level of expectation placed upon you"

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Just now, Veggie77 said:

And I'm not a new undergrad either. I've got 20 years of experience in a variety of industries from a global perspective. It may be more possible to direct your career in a way so as to avoid this type of expectation in other industries than it is in law, I couldn't really say. But I am pretty confident that it's not uncommon practice. And that it doesn't really matter the industry that particular set of circumstances leads to burnout.  Partly to say "don't be surprised if you become a lawyer and find that the non-stop grind of that level of work is draining" and partly to say "don't be surprised if you don't become a lawyer, you reach a comparable salary elsewhere and you still find that level of expectation placed upon you"

I am certainly not trying to question your experience, just explaining the basis of my own answer. :) My apologies, I meant to edit my post to reflect that but I was a bit too slow.  

I do completely agree that it's going to be very difficult to make $100K plus and not worry about burnout/long hours. Would be nice to find a job like that though!

I do think we're saying similar things. I think me and the other posters are just trying to answer OP's question, which is a bit tough without making it seem like we're decrying law as the hardest profession given that the question is "why are lawyers to miserable" haha. 

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6 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

Note that I spliced this one :)

Lol sorry @Hegdis❤️

I definitely do not want to start a thread about job difficulty so I'll leave it here. I absolutely do not think being a lawyer is the hardest job; I can think of about another hundred that would be more difficult. 

Edited by Starling
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On 2/17/2021 at 7:44 PM, Starling said:

I do completely agree that it's going to be very difficult to make $100K plus and not worry about burnout/long hours. Would be nice to find a job like that though!

I recommend anything relating to the administration of our communist system. Preferably unionized. 

School teachers (particularly gym and music) and administrative jobs in colleges and universities are some of the best examples.

If you ever want to feel bad about how hard you work for your money, just look up your favourite incompetent civil servant on the sunshine list. You will realize that you have made a serious error in actually performing work for your wages.

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