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Less stressful work

what fields of law are the least stressful? most flexible? I legalbeagle04/12/18
I found that a well-run residential real estate practice is 3lol04/12/18
If you lived in my state, I'd say to be a prosecutor. Great orange904/12/18
State or local (city/county) government seems like the way t sillydood04/12/18
Generally transactional work - real estate, estate planning, flharfh04/12/18
Low intensity transactional work (think small firm, wills an tdkerabatsos04/13/18
Depends on what stresses you out. Sometimes people will stre pisces21304/13/18
I've done construction litigation for the past two years. I hous04/14/18
A friend of mine did construction law right out of law schoo isthisit04/14/18
Petition based immigration is low stress assuming you don't isthisit04/14/18
legalbeagle (Apr 12, 2018 - 4:54 pm)

what fields of law are the least stressful? most flexible? I am doing PI and it's not for me. I don't have a passion for it, I'm ok at it, but it's just not fulfilling. I always thought about immigration law, being a child of immigrants myself. But I don't want to find myself in a more stressful position than I am now.

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3lol (Apr 12, 2018 - 5:09 pm)

I found that a well-run residential real estate practice is not that stressful. Emphasis on well-run.

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orange9 (Apr 12, 2018 - 5:20 pm)

If you lived in my state, I'd say to be a prosecutor. Great hours and benefits. And if you are lazy or just not very good, odds are you will have a judge to make sure you never lose.

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sillydood (Apr 12, 2018 - 5:32 pm)

State or local (city/county) government seems like the way to go, especially in a non-trial lawyer capacity, but I have no direct experience. All those guys seem to work 9-4:30 type schedules.

Private practice seems universally stressful, given the nature of billable hours.

In-house can be okay if you can get it. Depends on industry, company culture, and size of legal department, among many other factors.

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flharfh (Apr 12, 2018 - 10:36 pm)

Generally transactional work - real estate, estate planning, business/contracts (not litigation), tax.

Not really "low stress" but less stress because you don't have the deadline pressures and demands of litigation.

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tdkerabatsos (Apr 13, 2018 - 3:02 pm)

Low intensity transactional work (think small firm, wills and simple business transactions) is likely low stress. High level transactional work (legit M&A) is anything but. It’s true that there aren’t court deadlines but agreed-upon transactional timelines are just about as bad and keep you at work just as late. “Always be Closing” is very real.

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pisces213 (Apr 13, 2018 - 12:30 am)

Depends on what stresses you out. Sometimes people will stress you out even if you like the work. Not getting paid enough or not having a steady income can be stressful. Responsibilities can be stressful. Not having a title that gets recognition can be stressful. Recognizing what stresses you out most is probably the first step you have to take in order to find that least stressful job.

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hous (Apr 14, 2018 - 2:22 am)

I've done construction litigation for the past two years. I don't like work in general but I like this area as the work is always interesting. Hearings are rare and trials are even rarer. From what I can tell, about 2-3 cases a year will be set for trial and most of them will settle right before (after you spend a lot of weekends preparing!) Other than that its pretty chill and the other attorneys tend to be pretty smart and cool. Work-life and money are nicely balanced as well.

Out of law school I worked in contested foreclosure. Pay was pretty good out of law school (close to 70k) but I absolutely hated it. I took a big paycut initially to get out of it because I knew there was a lower ceiling in foreclosure and I was desperate to actually grow. Took over a year to get an opportunity to take a paycut to get out. Once out, you have people knocking on your door trying to poach you. Good jobs too.

I found foreclosure litigation stressful because I was always in court for the same thing over and over, defense attorneys were systematically unresponsive to everything, always prepared for trials just to settle minutes before hand, defense attorneys would showboat for their clients while waiting for trial when us attorneys already knew exactly how the trial would go (all the cases hinged on the same three things --- standing, conditions precedent and business records exception to pay records) and constant travel for pointless hearings.

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isthisit (Apr 14, 2018 - 12:55 pm)

A friend of mine did construction law right out of law school at a small firm. He hated it because it was soo boring and there were mountains of paperwork to dig through.

Dude hated it and wanted to get out. If you're looking for boring and low stress, this might be the thing for you.

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isthisit (Apr 14, 2018 - 12:52 pm)

Petition based immigration is low stress assuming you don't get too invested in your clients.

You file applications/petitions, respond to RFEs, and go with them to the interview (you can't say much at the interview anyway).

Just stay away from deportation defense. And write retainers that limit your representation to just filing paperwork and answering letters from USCIS.

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