ph5354a wrote:Thanks to all of the associates contributing here. The conversations here have definitely made me think twice about what my other options will be if big law doesn't work out, and how I will be able to handle my loan payments if i have to use one of those other options. I apologize if any of these have been addressed already:
1) When people say they work 10 or 12 hour days 7 days a week, does that mean on average in a week, or that they have to be in the office 7 days/week regardless? i.e. if I wanted to work 12-14 hour days Monday-Saturday in order to have Sunday off, would that fly as long as nothing new came up?
Depends on how well you set boundaries.
A co-worker of mine was in the office for ~65 of 72 hours during a 3 day period. During his first month.
If you have to work on Sunday, you have to work on Sunday. If you billed 14 hours Monday-Saturday, but something comes up on Sunday, you're SOL.
2) Trivial matter: what do you feed yourself during these 14 hour marathon sessions? I'm assuming all eating takes place at your desk. Does anyone actually have their shit together enough to bring in food from home or are you surviving exclusively on take out?
You can probably bring food from home easily enough if you make it before bed, or get a crockpot and throw a bunch in before you leave for work.
3) OP mentioned trying to observe the interactions among associates/partners as much as possible during SA. Any other advice for how to use SA to determine if the firm is a good fit and/or how miserable you're going to be? I've heard that the workload during SA is sort of a joke.
Visit the office at about 8 or 9 PM on random nights throughout the summer and see how many people are there.
Check how many associates have rings on their finger or pictures of a family on their desk.
4) How brutal is the holiday schedule? Should I expect to get emails on Christmas, New Year's Eve at 11:58, etc.? Similarly, how do people handle the occasional doctor's appointment, sick day, etc.?
You gotta work when you gotta work. Remember, clients will try and get their end done before holidays so they can go on vacation, and then it's your turn to start working. I knew quite a few people who worked over both Thanksgiving and Christmas this past year.