What is the daily schedule for an associate?

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Re: What is the daily schedule for an associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:33 pm

Wow, thanks for all that. One thing you mentioned, that I never heard before, is flexibility setting your hours (point 5). Is this unique to your firm, or something that happens at most firms?
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Very few firms these days have strict face-time requirements. However, certain partners do hold certain expectations.

This is true in theory, but not usually in practice. You have to be socially smart and aware to understand the culture of the firm. These things can come down to the particular partner you're working for or even the location of your office within the overall firm.

Within my firm, there is no strict requirement, but there is–I feel–an informal requirement that one be in the office during normal hours. My grasp of that is that I should be in my office from 10-10:30 to 6-6:30. I think many, many firms have this informal requirement.

My office isn't close to the partners for whom I work, so it's not like they directly have a view as to when I'm in. But coworkers who are nearby, both partners and associates, notice these things. You acquire a reputation very early in your firm, and that reputation will spread.

However, I won't sit in my office for business hours that are longer than normal simply for show. In that sense, most firms don't have such a face time requirement. Again, many firms have that informal requirement.

If you're at a busy firm or in a busy practice group, this won't really be a problem. You'll have more than enough work to keep you in the office late.

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Re: What is the daily schedule for an associate?

Postby NewHere » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:38 pm

nosaj123 wrote:NewHere, I am guessing you are NYC Big-Law? Do you mind telling me how your schedule compares to the one I described in the opening post?

As I said I've only been there for two months, so I'm not sure how typical my time has been so far. So far there have been some busy weeks and some slow weeks. I generally try to come in early (8 or 8.30). At night, it really depends. I have had weeks where I could leave at 7 every night (or on rare occasions even 6, if I had nothing at all to do and there was no indication that more work would be coming). Other weeks might look like 8 pm Monday, 11 pm Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 pm Thursday, 7 pm Friday. I don't go out for lunch, but I do generally take a short break, unless I'm extremely busy.

What's hard, I think, is not so much the number of hours but the unpredictability. If you knew in advance when you'd be working, you could plan your errands and social activities around the work. But what can happen is that in a week where you're not busy at all (Monday-Thursday 9-7), on Friday night you suddenly have to work until midnight, even though you had planned to go out to dinner. These things happen. Was it a busy week? Not really, 9-7 is quite manageable. But it will still feel busy, because your Friday plans were dashed.

I'm not complaining, though. So far I love my job.


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Re: What is the daily schedule for an associate?

Postby nosaj123 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:26 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

To people with experience at mid-sized firms or non-NYC markets, do you have a similar schedule to those described by the other people in this thread?

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