Community Perspectives: If you have great work/life balance, share the details of your day to day

In-house legal professionals discuss their work/life balance.

Community Perspectives: If you have great work/life balance, share the details of your day to day


(Author) Attorney

WLB In-House Edition: Who has the best WLB with the chillest lifestyle? Max hours worked per week? Any evening or weekend work?

I'll start: I work 20-30 hrs per week of actual work. I go into the office 1-2 times a week, leave by 3 or 4pm, remote for the rest of the day. No evenings or weekends. Anyone have a similar schedule? Another data point: $225k TC, living in bumfuk nowhere but low cost of living (no mortgage), 5yoe, IP. My pay is not as sexy as the other juicy comp packages I've read about here on FB, but I can't really complain so I'm relatively content atm

P. S. This thread is not for overachievers working over 40 hours a week.


General Counsel Responses:

  • Fully remote in low cost of living area and also in the 20-30 hour/week bucket but I make sure to be available whenever I’m needed. I don't have any evening or weekend work except maybe once or twice and I had only myself to blame. My background is patent prosecution.

  • I’m available and checking emails for the 40 hours per week and probably work about half the time. Evenings and weekends are almost non-existent (maybe like one hour or two a month), although I keep an eye on my emails just in case.

  • My first in-house gig in a high cost of living area was great for WLB. The compensation was worse than a 1st year associate (all in at 190k), but I put in maybe 2-3 hours a day of actual work. This was before WFH or videoconferencing became the norm. I would usually come in around 9:30am and then leave around 4pm, which was inclusive of going to the gym with other colleagues in the early afternoon. Work was easy, it was a great industry and I had great colleagues. There was no upward mobility or career development since nobody left. I worked 10-15 hours per week for that money, and caught a lot of folks who wanted something like a government job. I got bored after a few years and headhunted away since it was hard to make the economics work long-term.

Counsel Responses:

  • Yes! I’ll occasionally do stuff in the evenings, but only if I took a couple of hours to run errands or go to yoga in the morning. Basically I flex my time as I need to but I would say it’s no more than 30 hours a week of actual work. Oh and I have specifically been told by my GC not to check my email on the weekends.

  • I work 30-40 hrs per week. Fully remote. Low cost of living area. $250k in total compensation. I have 4 years of experience and work in privacy.

  • My total compensation is $325,000 in a high cost of living area, but things can and do ramp up to 50-55hrs a week.

  • $195k+ in total compensation (plus a very generous 401k employer contribution). My cost of living is not low but not super high either. I have 12+ years of experience, but I'm new to this practice area. I’m happy with my job and my WLB and the least stressed I’ve been in almost a decade.

  • My pay sucks but generally I'm am available 35-40 hours a week, with no nights or weekends. I would say half of those hours are work? Six weeks of PTO and holidays off. I work in the office Tues and Thursday, but don’t really mind (other than the fact it was nice being able to work from anywhere on telework days).

  • I have the easiest job now than I think I’ve ever had - law or otherwise. I get paid below market, though I'm thinking of moving. I really don’t like working and am not sure I want to risk moving to a job that has me running around five days a week being busy. I'm paying bills and have enough money to do most things I like to do. A second car would be nice, and I'd like to be saving more for retirement, and rainy day fund, but it is hard to complain with the low expectations. There are law jobs people work 60 hours a week like prosecutors or public defenders, or associates at small/mid law that make less than me so I do feel blessed to have what I have. When I’m not actively working I’m reading articles, reading case law updates, appeals court decisions, etc. I'm busy with state bar stuff, EEO group stuff (which I guess is work, but not substantive work). I am Employment/HR Counsel.

  • For me the pay isn’t great. I have two years of experience and live in a medium cost of living area, but I probably work 30 hours/week of actual work and no nights or weekends (maybe a few hours on a weekend or two, but just to catch up during busy season). I am remote 95% of the time, and we really only come in when the GC wants some FaceTime (which is rare). I also get around three weeks PTO.

Attorney and Associate Responses:

  • I live ing a secondary city and (so far), I work 9-5. I sometimes work out anywhere between 11-1. There's no evening or weekend work. My total compensation is $240k, which is pretty good considering my cost of living.

  • I live in a high cost of living city. I have three years of experience, and my total compensation is $180k base + 20% bonus + 100k stock over four years. I am fully remote with a four-day work week at a late stage startup. I work about 5-7 hours each day with no weekends or nights. I have unlimited vacation and am planning on six weeks this year, with fully paid medical benefits and a food stipend.

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