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Aspiring/Active/Retiring/Recovering LAWYER MOMS! - Page 5

post #81 of 369
That's one of our big problems - I want nothing more than to be home with my kids, and my husband really wants nothing more than to be the breadwinner - but despite his two Ivy League degrees, he just doesn't have anything close to my earning power. Especially after spending the past eight years working on a degree. And I don't want him to be constantly traveling. It's so frustrating! I wish we could just switch places and have normal gender roles sometimes! I also wish there were counselors who really told you how the world works before you decide to spend a decade getting a PhD in English, but that's another story....

I look at our friends, who are a SAHM and a high school art teacher, and they seem so happy. I'm sure they struggle, but they have a cute house, wonderful children, and summers together. That can't be all bad!

As for my motivation... I think I need some kind of reward system, LOL. You'd think not having to work on the weekends would be reward enough...
post #82 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahz5 View Post

As for my motivation... I think I need some kind of reward system, LOL. You'd think not having to work on the weekends would be reward enough...
I know what you mean! Last summer I was pregnant while doing a summer associateship at a firm that really believed it's summers should have a normal firm experience (as in, email 10 pm on Friday with an assignment due around noon on Saturday). Still, I would sit at my desk with my hand on my belly daydreaming about baby. I pray I can do better when I start working for real this fall!
post #83 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dov'sMom View Post
I know what you mean! Last summer I was pregnant while doing a summer associateship at a firm that really believed it's summers should have a normal firm experience (as in, email 10 pm on Friday with an assignment due around noon on Saturday). Still, I would sit at my desk with my hand on my belly daydreaming about baby. I pray I can do better when I start working for real this fall!

One thing I like about my large firm is that you can really find a niche with folks you like to work with - certainly there are some partners who pull that type of thing, but I tend to work with mellower types who check whether you're available before giving you work, short of an emergency...
post #84 of 369
Yep, my firm is really good that way too. I never get Friday e-mails, and I rarely HAVE to work on the weekends... I personally do because I don't get anything done during the week, but that's just me and my horrible ability to bill.
post #85 of 369
[QUOTE=sarahz5;8659258] I also wish there were counselors who really told you how the world works before you decide to spend a decade getting a PhD in English, but that's another story....QUOTE]

DH spent eight years getting his PhD. It was HORRIBLE. But he teaches college now - he makes a decent salary and has four months off each summer with no publishing pressure. If we could learn to live on his income our life would be pretty low-stress. But we're both bad with money. So I work too.

We have the same due date Sarah. Congratulations! We have the same motivation issues too - I am billing less than four hours a day!
post #86 of 369
I'm so glad I'm not alone!!! Funny how much we have in common. Once my DH has a job (IF he's able to find one) I'm sure life will be wonderful, but these past four years have been so stressful. And now we're entering the wonderful world of the job market....
post #87 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004 View Post
Criminal trial work is like junk food. So bad for you, but it tastes so good.
Thats so true!
post #88 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahz5 View Post
I'm so glad I'm not alone!!! Funny how much we have in common. Once my DH has a job (IF he's able to find one) I'm sure life will be wonderful, but these past four years have been so stressful. And now we're entering the wonderful world of the job market....
Luckily, DH never had a lot of ambition to be tenure track....we knew with a family that was going to be too much time at work. We have both managed to find jobs that are nine to five. He loves teaching and that is his job - spending weekends and evenings in his study writing articles is not his thing. But if your DH wants university tenure, I sympathize. It can be a great job once tenure comes through, but those first few years are tough. And from my understanding, you really have to willing to relocate anywhere you get a job offer.
post #89 of 369
What other option is there? Your DH doesn't work as an adjunct, does he?
post #90 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahz5 View Post
What other option is there? Your DH doesn't work as an adjunct, does he?
No, he teaches in a college. In BC, we have a college system where students can take university transfer courses (the equivalent of the first two years of a Bachelor's) before going to university to complete third and fourth year and get their degrees. The draw for them is smaller class size and lower tuition. DH teaches 1st and 2nd year courses in his field, but he does miss teaching senior courses and dealing with graduate students. It's a good job - but if DH was involved in research and couldn't give that up, it wouldn't be for him.
post #91 of 369
Ahhh, like teaching in a community college here. My DH is considering that, as well as teaching at a good prep school (high school level).... but he is going to try for the tenure-track level first. It's nearly impossible to get a job... and then with his desire to the breadwinner, I'm afraid he's going to run off and sell his soul to corporate America.
post #92 of 369
Would you all indulge me for a sec?


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHH HHHHHHHHH!











I absolutely cannot stand summer: somehow I end up with triple the workload because every single partner I do work with has a 2-3 week vacation booked and needs stuff taken care of before, during and after. This happened last summer, and I vowed I'd somehow safeguard the next summer, but it's like a total repeat of last year - I have one week booked off (during which we're moving into a new house), and I have no idea how I will possibly get everything done before and after to accommodate everyone else's VACATION time (because they're all actually going to beaches and cottages, not packing and unpacking and trying not to neglect their kid). It's Monday morning, and I just got in to two voicemails from a partner who's leaving on holiday today, stressing how important it is that I get a huge whack of work done for her for when she gets back - two days after I return from my week of moving hell, and one day after I have to have a whole whack of work done for another partner who has to review it before HE goes on holiday.

And I'm just feeling sick to my stomach because I bought a house. When I was renting I could still fantasize about running far, far away when things like this happened....
post #93 of 369
That definitely deserves a great big ARGH! I'll just remind you that you can always sell your house in preparation for running far, far away like I just did... the fantasy doesn't have to end!
post #94 of 369
Aren't there any other associates at your office? Can't you point out to these people that you are overloaded - and moving??? Or am I not understanding life in a bigger firm (there are advantages to situations like mine, where there's only one partner).

Seriously, though, this sounds like a time for offloading work. I bought a house and moved in Feb/Mar - it's terrible, I know. You will pay the price down the road if you don't ask for a break.

I think associates are often too slow to speak up when they're overloaded. But maybe your partners are not the understanding types?

And it's true you can sell the house. But maybe don't focus on that right now!
post #95 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahz5 View Post
Ahhh, like teaching in a community college here. My DH is considering that, as well as teaching at a good prep school (high school level).... but he is going to try for the tenure-track level first. It's nearly impossible to get a job... and then with his desire to the breadwinner, I'm afraid he's going to run off and sell his soul to corporate America.
I have often wished DH COULD sell his soul...but there's not a lot of call for people in his field in the private sector!!!

I think once you do a PhD it's pretty rare to not want to at least try for tenure track. And if he gets it, it is a good job. If he doesn't try, he may always wonder.
post #96 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyermom View Post
Aren't there any other associates at your office? Can't you point out to these people that you are overloaded - and moving??? Or am I not understanding life in a bigger firm (there are advantages to situations like mine, where there's only one partner).

Seriously, though, this sounds like a time for offloading work. I bought a house and moved in Feb/Mar - it's terrible, I know. You will pay the price down the road if you don't ask for a break.

I think associates are often too slow to speak up when they're overloaded. But maybe your partners are not the understanding types?

And it's true you can sell the house. But maybe don't focus on that right now!
Well, they're understanding in a broad strokes kind of way, as in always reminding of how important it is to book and safeguard vacations, encouraging me to spend time with my family, etc....but I think each of them means to safeguard my time from the OTHER partners, not themselves personally !

I do sometimes turn work down because I'm overloaded, but I can't on files I already am working on, obviously, and I've had a couple of straight top-down new files, no choice given, lately, partly because I've done good work and so I get given more and partly because we are actually rather short-staffed for associates in my group lately. We need more of us, but it's harder to turn down work if there's no one else available either.

I'm feeling a little calmer now, but I'm going to have to work while moving or come back early. Blech, blech, blech.
post #97 of 369
Thread Starter 
I have a question for those of you that have to bill. Practically, what is a 2000 billable hour / year schedule like? I'm thinking it must entail 10 hour work days. ?
Thanks...
post #98 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selesai View Post
I have a question for those of you that have to bill. Practically, what is a 2000 billable hour / year schedule like? I'm thinking it must entail 10 hour work days. ?
Thanks...
It would depend some on the type of work you do a lot of. If you're doing lots of straight research and drafting you may be able to work straight through the day with little 'lost time.' Ditto for working on a single big file. If you're working on a bunch of smaller things, taking calls, responding to emails, I find that time disappears, I've been run off my feet, but I'm docketing lots of .1s and .2s that don't add up to much...

Then there's also building in a margin for vacation time, which tacks on time to one's day.

Would you have a non-billable target too? I'm expected to put in time with marketing, continuing education, mentoring, firm activities, and just general file management.

...I'm not sure in practice what 2000 would look like, never having experienced it, but I don't think I could handle it, at least as a target. Maybe I could hit it in a busy year but I wouldn't want to have to strive for it.
post #99 of 369
2000 hours billed? That's a LOT.

If you work 50 weeks a year, that means you have to bill 40 hours a week every single day (no sick days, no stat days included). On a five day week, that's billing 8 hours per day. There's no way I could do that. Ten hours would be the minimum. Even if none of your time is written off (and that's a BIG if), then you are still going to miss hours for admin, education, breaks, etc.

I just think that's too much.
post #100 of 369
Well, and typically, you theoretically get at least 4 weeks' vacation. Either you'd never be able to take it or the rest of your year would be INSANE. My billable target is less than that and 10 hour days are typical. My guess would be 10-12 hour days and Sundays.

If my time is written off it still counts towards my targets, though.
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