I got numb to billable hours after a while. And that is where the danger lies -- essentially giving up. Fortunately or not, the last three years of my life involved working on one major case where it was no problem whatsoever to meet billable "guidelines." But it was this experience also that drove me over the edge to burnout and, ultimately, a major career change. I decided fairly early on that I did not want to be a partner as I did not have it in me. Of course, when I entered law, I thought otherwise. But a few years of the grind changed my view. I suppose I could have changed firms or transitioned to a different kind of law, but after a certain time, one tends to get locked in to a certain area. At the end of the day, if one wanted to do restructurings, my old firm was one of the top three places to be. We won the complex cases. And I genuinely enjoyed working there and my colleagues were, for the most part, very smart, hard-working people. Back to point: billable hours can kill one's spirit in so many ways. His personal life; his professional ambitions; his interest in the practice of law. We do seem to have an unhealthy work ethic in this country, and perhaps more so in law. Andrebaron makes an interesting observation: apart from personal satisfcation, what use is there in dressing well when the only people who see you are a) your poorly dressed colleagues who may or may not appreciate your clothes; b) librarians, paralegals and others on the overnight shifts, or; c) car service drivers? Aside: RJ--are you in Freedom on a long-term secondment, or is this solely related to one client? How long will you be there? I'm just curious, as I believe an assignment such as that would have been interesting.