I have a close friend of mine that works as a 5th year associate at a midlaw firm. For those that don't know, midlaw is the world between biglaw (massive firms) and small law aka shitlaw (firms with only a few lawyers. Midlaw firms have anywhere between 1 to 4 offices, give or take. These firms typically average 12-30 attorneys per office.
So this buddy of mine does business litigation (mostly defense) but also plaintiffs work. I get a call from him roughly every week that goes something like this;
"FUCK THIS SHIT! FUCK THESE MOTHERFUCKERS! FUCK'EM!I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I'M GOING TO LOSE MY MIND!"
I respond with, "whoa whoa calm down man what happened?"
The usual response is that some scum bag lawyer pulled some super shady move saying he would do something and then pulled a bait and switch at the hearing. Or his supervising partner is in a bad mood and is abusing him verbally because his wife is a cheating hooker that is taking him to the cleaners in the divorce. This buddy of mine makes a good 100k, but works ungodly hours. Not that I have a problem with hard work, but legal work while holed up in an office will drive you crazy. Sometimes he bills 2400 hours in a month, working until 11pm. Lately he seems worn out and is hating his life more and more. The other day he told me that he enjoys his work "maybe 10 percent of the time." I've told him and I will tell you all the same thing that there is no way in hell I would last as long as he has. Problem is that the economy and the legal job market in particular is so fucked up that he is too scared to leave. I'm confident that thousands of other attorneys are in a similar position as they absolutely hate their jobs but have no choice as options are extremely limited. So much for a law degree being so versatile and opening so many doors.
This is the first tier reality for many grads out there. You may attend a tier 1 school but don't be surprised if you end up doing insurance defense work which absolutely sucks. Partners want you to bill bill bill while the insurance carrier wants to pay nothing nothing nothing.
While many will say that "he should shut the fuck up and be thankful he even has a job making 100k" the reality is that there is only so much of a beating the soul can take in exchange for currency units. Hearing him so miserable on a near weekly basis only makes me think about all the other poor saps stuck in these midlaw jobs where they work like machines with incredibly high levels of stress.
The bottom line is that there are other ways to make 100k without all the attendant bullshit and stress that midlaw lawyers have to deal with.