Pregnancy and Biglaw

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:29 pm

I start as a junior associate at a V60 firm in the beginning of September. My wife is pregnant, and the baby is due toward the end of September.

I would feel absolutely awful taking off time as a new junior associate because of the baby...But at the same time, I want to be a supportive father and husband. The firm has a reputation for being open to telecommunting, but I also understand that first impressions and face time are very important when starting a new job.

I would very much appreciate any advice on how to handle this. Obviously, the timing seems awful, but we are grateful for the blessing and will just deal with the consequences in the best way we can.

What is customary in this sort of situation as far as balancing work and family obligations?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I start as a junior associate at a V60 firm in the beginning of September. My wife is pregnant, and the baby is due toward the end of September.

I would feel absolutely awful taking off time as a new junior associate because of the baby...But at the same time, I want to be a supportive father and husband. The firm has a reputation for being open to telecommunting, but I also understand that first impressions and face time are very important when starting a new job.

I would very much appreciate any advice on how to handle this. Obviously, the timing seems awful, but we are grateful for the blessing and will just deal with the consequences in the best way we can.

What is customary in this sort of situation as far as balancing work and family obligations?


Difficult question, but I am sure firms have had such issues every year. I would talk to them.
Can you also apply to clerkships? It will mean that you will have more time to be with your wife and child next year, and maybe the firm would appreciate the extra distinction.

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I start as a junior associate at a V60 firm in the beginning of September. My wife is pregnant, and the baby is due toward the end of September.

I would feel absolutely awful taking off time as a new junior associate because of the baby...But at the same time, I want to be a supportive father and husband. The firm has a reputation for being open to telecommunting, but I also understand that first impressions and face time are very important when starting a new job.

I would very much appreciate any advice on how to handle this. Obviously, the timing seems awful, but we are grateful for the blessing and will just deal with the consequences in the best way we can.

What is customary in this sort of situation as far as balancing work and family obligations?


Difficult question, but I am sure firms have had such issues every year. I would talk to them.
Can you also apply to clerkships? It will mean that you will have more time to be with your wife and child next year, and maybe the firm would appreciate the extra distinction.


The vast majority of federal clerkships are filled. (I know one federal judge who hires in February for that same year, but he seems to be a rarity.) I don't have much advice to give on the actual topic since I'm just a 3L.

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:48 pm

Is this your first kid? Will family be there to help? For how long? How much time off from work do you want to take?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:06 pm

Are you sure you're starting at the beginning of September? Most firms don't start people until late September at the earliest, often with options of starting in mid-October or mid-November. If you have an option to take a later start date, look into that; mid-November sounds like it would be perfect for you, and even mid-October would be better.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:40 pm

Doable at a V60, but not at a V50. Good thing you took the less PREFTIGOUS offer.

User avatar
suralin
better than you
Posts: 15017
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby suralin » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:56 pm

rad lulz wrote:Doable at a V60, but not at a V50. Good thing you took the less PREFTIGOUS offer.


:lol:

Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:06 pm

nouseforaname123 wrote:Is this your first kid? Will family be there to help? For how long? How much time off from work do you want to take?


It is our first child. Both sets of parents are in the city and would be more than happy to come watch him/her any time, I'm sure. They will be very excited.

I'm not sure how much time to take off. That is my biggest issue. I would feel awful taking off more than a few days, but as I said, I want to be with my wife as much as possible to take care of her and support her (and the baby obviously).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are you sure you're starting at the beginning of September? Most firms don't start people until late September at the earliest, often with options of starting in mid-October or mid-November. If you have an option to take a later start date, look into that; mid-November sounds like it would be perfect for you, and even mid-October would be better.

Yes, unfortunately my start date is in early September. I just confirmed it this past week. I don't think starting late is an option. There is a pretty intense orientation from what I've heard that lasts a few days if not the whole first week.

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
nouseforaname123 wrote:Is this your first kid? Will family be there to help? For how long? How much time off from work do you want to take?


It is our first child. Both sets of parents are in the city and would be more than happy to come watch him/her any time, I'm sure. They will be very excited.

I'm not sure how much time to take off. That is my biggest issue. I would feel awful taking off more than a few days, but as I said, I want to be with my wife as much as possible to take care of her and support her (and the baby obviously).


Still in school, just my $.02 (after having kids):

You're not really going to be able to do much with the new baby other than holding/calming. The newborn will mostly sleep and eat (and if you're wife is breastfeeding, you won't help much until she starts pumping and storing milk a few weeks after birth). Your wife is the one who will need the help.

If everything is okay with the baby, mother and baby will go home about 48 hours after birth. Every woman is different, but your wife probably won't be able to be on her feet for more than a few minutes at a time for the first 3-5 days, at least. After that she'll probably start getting comfortable with taking a walk around the block or some very light movement. Depending on the shape your spouse is in and how badly she needs to move around, some semblance of normal movement comes back around two weeks after delivery.

Talk to your wife about inducing labor. If she's okay with it, have her talk to her OB. Most OBs are comfortable with inducing within a week of the due date. You could try to schedule it for a Wed. and miss work through the weekend and then try to be back at the office on Monday provided you have family that can and is willing to be with your wife for the following week. If you don't have that type of support, you should probably plan to be out of the office for at least a week. We induced two days before her due date (twice) due to some bad schedule conflicts and my wife really liked it. We checked in early in the morning and by lunchtime we were celebrating the birth of a new child.

You probably won't be able to get much continuous work done from home if you're the one taking care of your wife. You'll be responsible for coordinating household logistics, moving the baby from the crib to mom and back, changing diapers and that sort of stuff.

At the very least, talk to your HR. Make sure that orientation isn't a schedule conflict or out of town.

User avatar
Wholigan
Posts: 763
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Wholigan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:10 am

I would talk to HR. Let them know you'd be willing to explore whatever option works best for the firm and your family. Such as deferring your start date until November if that's something they can accommodate, maybe with attendance at the orientation thing earlier if necessary. Although if your firm starts every new associate in September, I can see where that could put you behind the curve as compared to the rest of your class.

The standard practice for the non-birthing spouse seems to be to take two weeks out of the office. If you prepare HR for it, I really don't think you would lose face for it. Realistically, it's better for the firm for you to take two weeks off a month after you start than if you have a baby a year after you start. Now, it's before you are staffed on anything important and/or really useful to the firm in any way. No partners are even going to know who you are or that you're missing. In a year or two, if you take two weeks while you're staffed on something, there is an off-chance you might actually risk angering some jerk partner who missed the birth of all three of his kids while he was slaving away in the office closing deals back in the 80's.

kryptix
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:40 pm

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby kryptix » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:59 am

It's paternity leave, they can't stop you from taking it, and it looks really bad if they try so just talk to HR, notify them about the situation, and they will understand. I was in a similar situation as my wife delivered during OCI and I had to reschedule some callbacks but everyone was really nice and professional about it.

As long as you don't spring it last minute it should be fine. One thing to note, you need to plan to have up to two weeks because there's always the chance your wife will need a c section and in that case she won't really be able to get up for a week or be self sufficient for two. Take care of her and enjoy the baby. They're why your doing this in the first place.

I also work full time in IB but I had enough seniority there that taking the time was expected.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:19 pm

That's ridiculous. Of course you should be allowed. I see it at Top law firms. Some give paternity leave up to 3 weeks. You can always make up for your work absence, can't make up for the father absence ;)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:09 pm

dude at my v15 took 4 weeks paid paternity leave the second week on the job. don't think it was a real issue. firm understands, people have kids. esp as a junior, ur pretty fungible, no one will care.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Renzo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:46 am

Get in touch with the recruiters early and let them know. It won't be a huge deal;people take parental leave all the time, but you don't want to have them count on you being there to staff a matter if you won't be. There may be trainings when you first start that it will be easier for everyone (you included) if you attend, so ask about that, and plan to be there for those; otherwise, take some time and support your fam.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Pregnancy and Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:35 pm

As a 3L woman who just gave birth:

A previous poster suggested inducing. I would highly recommend NOT doing this for your own convenience. Sometimes it works out great, but inducing birth when the baby isn't ready to come often leads to more medical interventions and complications. Induced births are at a higher risk for c-sections and then your wife will really be out of commission for 4-6 weeks. Vaginal birth recovery is closer to 3-7 days. Yes, it's inconvenient to not know when the baby will come but you're having a child...the inconveniences are just beginning. :)

After birth, if your wife is breastfeeding, it's hard and exhausting. It doesn't always come easily and she'll need someone on hand to get things for her, help keep her awake, provide moral support, etc. My husband was home for two weeks full time and that was about right. I also went back to school two weeks after the birth. I think some people will need more time but most people won't do less. Enlisting family will help too.

Your first month at the firm will not make or break your entire career and the most you'll get out of not taking leave is arrogant bragging rights ("I am so committed I only took 2 days off when my wife gave birth"...etc.). You don't sound like that type of person anyways, so I echo what everyone else is saying. Take the time.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.