Desert Fox wrote:@Kidstuddi - There is a reason why firms have vacation policies for attorneys and don't have one for SA's. Fulltime longterm employees are expected to take time off. Nobody is going to give an associate shit for taking a day off. An SA just can't take a day off for shits and giggles. So clearly there is some difference here. Associates can take a whole week off, SA's can't. How different will the firm treat it, I don't really know. But saying, hey associates take off for anime conventions, don't a pussy, is bad advice. If the OP was an associate this wouldn't be a question. It's also a bachelor party, not a wedding.
Fulltime workers don't need a reason to take a day off. IMO, SA's do. I'm sure my firm would have asked why I needed a day off.
I understand the difference between an SA and a full-time position, having held within the last three years. This is precisely why I continue to advocate that OP approach the firm early and make it clear that he intends to shift the work he would be expected to do either by staying late or coming in early as needed to make up for the time he will be unavailable.
If you're taking a personal day in a full-time position, you don't overwork to offset for your absence. That, in fact, would defeat the purpose of taking paid time off. The privilege you earn as a full-time employee accruing PTO is that you're not expected to make up the time you miss. It's completely different from this situation where OP is merely asking for flexibility in his schedule and is willing and able to offset it.
If you want to draw a more apt analogy to employment in other contexts, this is closer to asking to switch shifts. It's not ideal, and there might not be a formal policy endorsing it, and it's not something you should make a habit out of doing "just because," but so long as you're not abusing the privilege, it's nothing significant or out of the ordinary to expect some flexibility. Especially for salaried employees.
Absenteeism is usually problematic when people do it chronically or irresponsibly (like the guy who left early on his birthday without letting the people expecting his presence know and being proactive about it). Under those circumstances, a mitigating "why" might be expected and necessary, and if that why is unconvincing for the frequency / suddenness of your absence, yeah you might be in trouble. But this idea that you're going to be grilled and judged about your reasons for needing flexibility on one day when you ask months ahead of time is silly. It's not an extraordinary request.