Many students graduating from law school imagine working at a large, professional law firm. They want a law career that is fast-paced and looks like it came straight out of a Hollywood movie. They often overlook the small to mid-sized firms that could offer them a career just a fulfilling. They also don’t consider some of the major disadvantages of working at a large law firm. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest disadvantages of working for a large law firm.
In a large firm environment, there is no standard 40 hour work week. However long it takes to accomplish a task, gather information, write up documents, is how long it takes. It is not uncommon for lawyers working for large firms to work 50 – 80 hours a week. Working those kind of hours wears a person down quickly, especially if they have a family that they are not getting to spend time with.
You might think that working your way up the corporate ladder sounds like an exciting challenge but it becomes even more difficult to achieve in a large law firm. Large firms attract a wide range of high profile talent with impressive skill sets. This creates a massive amount of competition for the best projects, promotions, partnership spots, and profits.
The hiring process for large law firms is selective and competitive. Due to a competitive environment and higher salaries, professionals in large law firms are held to a higher standard of competence.
High Billing Quotas
Billable hours are standard in law practice. Larger firms have the tendency to set higher billable hour quotas. Typical billable hour quotas range from 2,000 to 2,200 hours a year which equals around 42 hours of billed time per week. Administrative tasks and non-billable tasks are an inevitable part of working in law so to get those 42 billable hours, you end up working around 60 actual hours.
Limited Client Contact
Newer associates tend to have very little contact with their clients. Until they have put in a significant amount of time they may be routinely assigned to tasks like document review and research.
While working with a large firm may look glamorous from the outside, be prepared to put in a lot of hard work to find a place in the firm. If that doesn’t sound like what you are looking for, ESQ.suites works with many small to mid-sized law firms. Perhaps one of those might be a better fit. If you are a solo practitioner, small or mid-sized law firm, looking for a space to set up your own practice, contact ESQ.suites today and let us put our expertise to work for you.