When to leave the office

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Anonymous User
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When to leave the office

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:23 pm

I'm an SA at a midsized firm in a major market that has an offer rate of about 50%. I'm keeping myself pretty busy, but sometimes I'm just done with everything I need to do by 530 or 6pm. People generally leave at around 6-730. Is it a huge deal to be seen leaving at like 630 a couple of times a week? I'm not sure if people will think I'm lazy, think its totally acceptable because I'm an SA and wont have as much work as a regular associate, or just not think about it at all.

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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:35 pm

observe people's habit and partners' reaction. At my summer firm, partner is really chill about leaving early if people have finished their work. The expectation is that if you have work to do, stay until you finish it. I saw the whole office was empty by 6pm during one week when a lot of people were on vacation and there were not a lot of work to do.

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bk1
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby bk1 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:36 pm

When you say "people" do you mean associates or other SAs? Generally associates stay later than SAs at most firms (to my knowledge). What associates do probably isn't the best guide. You're in a tough situation since you have to fight for an offer. You don't want to look like you're slacking but you also don't want to come off as a gunner weirdo. I'd say 5:30-6 is probably fine but I don't know your firm. The best person to judge whether 5:30-6 is appropriate is you since you know the firm better than anyone here.

Lateral2013
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Lateral2013 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:22 pm

What if an associate who is still there comes to look for you at 6:45 to ask you to do some work for him or her? In a normal SA situation, I'd say leave whenever your work is done. If the offer rate is 50% I'd leave at 7:00, and only then after checking in with the people I'm working with to see if they have anything for me to do.

To me, getting out early isn't worth it. What if you are one of the 50% no offered. Then you'll spend months/years wondering if its because you left early. You get one shot at your 2L SA. Leave nothing on the field.

09042014
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:30 pm

Lateral2013 wrote:What if an associate who is still there comes to look for you at 6:45 to ask you to do some work for him or her? In a normal SA situation, I'd say leave whenever your work is done. If the offer rate is 50% I'd leave at 7:00, and only then after checking in with the people I'm working with to see if they have anything for me to do.

To me, getting out early isn't worth it. What if you are one of the 50% no offered. Then you'll spend months/years wondering if its because you left early. You get one shot at your 2L SA. Leave nothing on the field.


So you get a 20 hour assignment and then don't leave until it's done? This is shit advice. It often doesn't look good to be staying really late if you don't have a ton of work. You look inefficient and gunnerish. I know someone who was told she was freaking out other summers because she was working too late.

OP, different firms and regions have different ideas of what time people start leaving. This is a case by case thing. But I think a good rule of thumb would be 9 hours after you got there, with an hour lunch. So 9-6. 9:30-6:30.

You can also ask the HR lady what the firms business hours are.

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Georgia Avenue
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Georgia Avenue » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:38 pm

Lateral2013 wrote:What if an associate who is still there comes to look for you at 6:45 to ask you to do some work for him or her? In a normal SA situation, I'd say leave whenever your work is done. If the offer rate is 50% I'd leave at 7:00, and only then after checking in with the people I'm working with to see if they have anything for me to do.

To me, getting out early isn't worth it. What if you are one of the 50% no offered. Then you'll spend months/years wondering if its because you left early. You get one shot at your 2L SA. Leave nothing on the field.


What if he comes to look for you at 9:45? Are you just supposed to stay there until the lights go off each night?

Come on, there's no need for this kind of neurosis. DF is right, 9 hours total is enough to let people know you're taking the gig seriously.

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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:45 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Lateral2013 wrote:What if an associate who is still there comes to look for you at 6:45 to ask you to do some work for him or her? In a normal SA situation, I'd say leave whenever your work is done. If the offer rate is 50% I'd leave at 7:00, and only then after checking in with the people I'm working with to see if they have anything for me to do.

To me, getting out early isn't worth it. What if you are one of the 50% no offered. Then you'll spend months/years wondering if its because you left early. You get one shot at your 2L SA. Leave nothing on the field.


So you get a 20 hour assignment and then don't leave until it's done? This is shit advice. It often doesn't look good to be staying really late if you don't have a ton of work. You look inefficient and gunnerish. I know someone who was told she was freaking out other summers because she was working too late.

OP, different firms and regions have different ideas of what time people start leaving. This is a case by case thing. But I think a good rule of thumb would be 9 hours after you got there, with an hour lunch. So 9-6. 9:30-6:30.

You can also ask the HR lady what the firms business hours are.


if you have a 20 hour assignment and you do it by staying for 20 hour straight, you are stupid. The key is to manage your time well. Try finish it in 2 days and stay later than usual to finish them. That is understandable and efficient. But if you already finished your work that you have decided to do for the day, why stay late for sake of staying late? My summer partner explicitly told us that he looks down on people who stay late for nothing.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an SA at a midsized firm in a major market that has an offer rate of about 50%. I'm keeping myself pretty busy, but sometimes I'm just done with everything I need to do by 530 or 6pm. People generally leave at around 6-730. Is it a huge deal to be seen leaving at like 630 a couple of times a week? I'm not sure if people will think I'm lazy, think its totally acceptable because I'm an SA and wont have as much work as a regular associate, or just not think about it at all.

Totally depends on your firm. Is there anyone you trust to ask about this?

Something to consider would be, if you anticipate being slow at the end of the day, drop in on one or two associates in the mid-afternoon and ask if they have anything for you. Can't hurt to look proactive, as long as you're not weird and pushy about it.

mr.hands
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby mr.hands » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:14 pm

Agreed with above. 9 hours sounds solid. What time are you getting to the office?

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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:20 pm

If you finished all your work, then go to the partner and associates and say "I finished that task, is there anything else you need from me today?" If yes, stay and look good... If no, go home w/ peace of mind.

Make sure you are in the office "late" like once or twice per week (be noticed).

Get offer.

Profit.


Edit: be the guy who asks partners and associates to grab lunch together ...this way they get to know you better
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:21 pm

OP here... 9am sharp.

rad lulz
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:35 pm

Ask someone at the firm you trust what the expectation is

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Bronte
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Bronte » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:06 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Lateral2013 wrote:What if an associate who is still there comes to look for you at 6:45 to ask you to do some work for him or her? In a normal SA situation, I'd say leave whenever your work is done. If the offer rate is 50% I'd leave at 7:00, and only then after checking in with the people I'm working with to see if they have anything for me to do.

To me, getting out early isn't worth it. What if you are one of the 50% no offered. Then you'll spend months/years wondering if its because you left early. You get one shot at your 2L SA. Leave nothing on the field.


So you get a 20 hour assignment and then don't leave until it's done? This is shit advice. It often doesn't look good to be staying really late if you don't have a ton of work. You look inefficient and gunnerish. I know someone who was told she was freaking out other summers because she was working too late.

OP, different firms and regions have different ideas of what time people start leaving. This is a case by case thing. But I think a good rule of thumb would be 9 hours after you got there, with an hour lunch. So 9-6. 9:30-6:30.

You can also ask the HR lady what the firms business hours are.


Lateral2013 is a senior associate that's given solid advice in another thread, so I wouldn't be so quick to discount her advice. While I agree that perfunctorily staying until 7:00 every evening might be excessive for a summer associate, this is a firm that is no-offering 50% of the class, so the typical summer associate advice doesn't apply.

Given that it's still early in the summer, I would err on the side of leaving later until you get a feel for things. But like others said, I would focus on good communication, checking in and so forth. Do you have a firm Blackberry? If so, be responsive to emails after hours, and be prepared to come back to work if necessary.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:55 am

I'm all for staying later just because. Even if it's just because you don't want to appear to be leaving too early - the summer isn't that long, partners will like seeing you there as they are leaving, and if that is the only impression you make (because you might not otherwise work for them), that's a good impression to leave.

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Re: When to leave the office

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:59 am

Bronte wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Lateral2013 wrote:What if an associate who is still there comes to look for you at 6:45 to ask you to do some work for him or her? In a normal SA situation, I'd say leave whenever your work is done. If the offer rate is 50% I'd leave at 7:00, and only then after checking in with the people I'm working with to see if they have anything for me to do.

To me, getting out early isn't worth it. What if you are one of the 50% no offered. Then you'll spend months/years wondering if its because you left early. You get one shot at your 2L SA. Leave nothing on the field.


So you get a 20 hour assignment and then don't leave until it's done? This is shit advice. It often doesn't look good to be staying really late if you don't have a ton of work. You look inefficient and gunnerish. I know someone who was told she was freaking out other summers because she was working too late.

OP, different firms and regions have different ideas of what time people start leaving. This is a case by case thing. But I think a good rule of thumb would be 9 hours after you got there, with an hour lunch. So 9-6. 9:30-6:30.

You can also ask the HR lady what the firms business hours are.


Lateral2013 is a senior associate that's given solid advice in another thread, so I wouldn't be so quick to discount her advice. While I agree that perfunctorily staying until 7:00 every evening might be excessive for a summer associate, this is a firm that is no-offering 50% of the class, so the typical summer associate advice doesn't apply.

Given that it's still early in the summer, I would err on the side of leaving later until you get a feel for things. But like others said, I would focus on good communication, checking in and so forth. Do you have a firm Blackberry? If so, be responsive to emails after hours, and be prepared to come back to work if necessary.


Being gunnerish without being a douche is a fine line, but when walked can work out well. Staying late even if not busy is still a good idea because they are paying you tons of money for work they are probably writing off, so staying late is the least you can do to say "thanks for the opportunity, I'm not wasting it." And lastly, who knows how busy you are? Sometimes the appearance of being busy is as good as actually being busy, since during a summer, it's those brief impressions that really matter.

They aren't totaling up your end of summer word count to see who typed the most.

Peyton
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Peyton » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an SA at a midsized firm in a major market that has an offer rate of about 50%. I'm keeping myself pretty busy, but sometimes I'm just done with everything I need to do by 530 or 6pm. People generally leave at around 6-730. Is it a huge deal to be seen leaving at like 630 a couple of times a week? I'm not sure if people will think I'm lazy, think its totally acceptable because I'm an SA and wont have as much work as a regular associate, or just not think about it at all.

If the best SA you could score was at a 50:50 offer firm my guess is that your grades are median or below. With that in mind, come in early and stay till 7 (if for any other reason than to triple check your work). The most important aspect is that your work is stellar. As you well know, being no offered with median grades and having to face the dreaded 3L job hunt is not a door you want to open. Forget about being perceived as gunnerish.

Have you sought advice from associates who were once SAs at this firm? I hear that some firms offer a 5 week review, does yours?

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Lexaholik
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Lexaholik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an SA at a midsized firm in a major market that has an offer rate of about 50%. I'm keeping myself pretty busy, but sometimes I'm just done with everything I need to do by 530 or 6pm. People generally leave at around 6-730. Is it a huge deal to be seen leaving at like 630 a couple of times a week? I'm not sure if people will think I'm lazy, think its totally acceptable because I'm an SA and wont have as much work as a regular associate, or just not think about it at all.


not a huge deal but i would err on the side of caution and stay til 730. you can probably get away with leaving earlier if you get your work done, but lawyers are judgmental and for some reason fetishize working long hours so with that offer rate i say play it safe if you want an offer.

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Jsa725
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Jsa725 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:39 pm

.
Last edited by Jsa725 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When to leave the office

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:25 am

Figure this is better anon...

I've left as early as 5:30 and as late as 12 am as a summer, gotten in as early as 5:30 and as late as 9:45. Commute etc. and emergency projects make a big difference in schedule.

Go with the flow, no need to stand out as the one or two people truly gunning in the summer, that freaks your fellow summers out. Its rumored we have one person pushing the 300 hour month end special gift card bonus level of billing as a summer. All of the associates talking about it are entering the "freaked out" zone as well, so that is definitely not the expectation.

I'm personally going with the shoot for a 9 hour day and 7 hours billed (what recruiting recommends as the upper end as a summer) and deliver the best work product I can based on the deadlines I have type of a strategy. Then again I'm at a firm that has offered everyone except 1/3 the class of 2009 so take that with a grain of salt.

NYstate
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Re: When to leave the office

Postby NYstate » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:06 am

The advice to check in with people before you leave is solid. You don't want people to look for and you are gone without telling them.

Second, I feel that being one of the first people in the office is better than staying late for no purpose. Everyone stays late hardly anyone gets in a little early.

But both early and late don't matter if no one sees you. I happen to like to get in early and have some time to plan my day, organize stuff. I often ran into a partner or two just in the hallway or getting coffee or in the elevator. If they asked me what I was working in, I would answer and mention that I liked to be early just to be organized, which was true.

I'm talking 20 minutes or so early -not an hour.

Third, don't gun. Don't bill 300 hours unless you are on an amazing project that requires that level of work. Working crazy hours is not always rewarded in the way you expect. If you have to bill so many hours just to get work done as a summer, what will happen to you when you have real work as an associate. The firm doesn't want to have to worry about managing your life for you. Don't set yourself up to burn out.

Also, the quality of your work must be as high as you can possibly make it. Don't think putting in lots of hours is going to make up for bad work. The firm probably can't bill the clients for your time anyway- so what does lots of hours earn you? High hours on their own dont get you anywhere.

Gunning as an SA can also have a desperate, neurotic vibe about it. Be confident in yourself and your work. Or at least act confident even if you aren't.




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