3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

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lawandordersvu
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3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby lawandordersvu » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:26 am

Yes, I've read the threads about dogs and BigLaw, but most of the responses are from people who don't have dogs or aren't yet working at a law firm (i.e., from people like me). I'd like to hear from dog owners working at major law firms.
I realize that I'll have to get a dog walker, and that will run about $500 a month. I figure that I can walk the dog in the morning and evening for twenty minutes and spend another twenty to thirty minutes with it in the evening at home. I grew up with dogs and would love to have one. The reason to get one now is that I actually have about five months to train it. Some people have told me to start working at a firm and see how much time I'll have for a dog, but it takes a lot of time to train a dog, and I won't have that as an associate. I'm willing to spend the money on a dog walker.
Big Law associates (particularly those in New York) who have dogs, is it doable? Any advice?
Thank you.

TheOnePercent
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby TheOnePercent » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:35 am

Small apartment + no lawn + 18 hour days + dependant animal. What could go wrong?

lawschoolftw
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby lawschoolftw » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:34 am

TheOnePercent wrote:Small apartment + no lawn + 18 hour days + dependant animal. What could go wrong?

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MarkfromWI
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby MarkfromWI » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:59 am

Keeping a dog locked up in your apartment alone all day save for the maybe one hour total you and the dog walker take it out is literally the equivalent of sending it to prison and keeping it in solitary confinement. Just don't do it. Getting a dog just so you can have companionship for "20 to 30 minutes in the evening" is incredibly selfish and cruel. Dogs aren't meant to live alone, and they're not meant to be penned up all day in an apartment.

For the dog's sake, please don't do this.

lawschoolftw
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby lawschoolftw » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:23 am

MarkfromWI wrote:Keeping a dog locked up in your apartment alone all day save for the maybe one hour total you and the dog walker take it out is literally the equivalent of sending it to prison and keeping it in solitary confinement. Just don't do it. Getting a dog just so you can have companionship for "20 to 30 minutes in the evening" is incredibly selfish and cruel. Dogs aren't meant to live alone, and they're not meant to be penned up all day in an apartment.

For the dog's sake, please don't do this.


While I think it's still a bad idea, if you are going to do it, look into doggy day care instead of just a dog walker. At least that way the dog will be active and socialized all day, rather than just for half an hour with a dog walker.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:04 pm

I am a BigLaw senior associate. I want a dog but don't have time. I strongly discourage you from doing this unless you have a significant other who can be the primary caretaker of your dog. Otherwise, it's the height of selfishness and incredibly naive. There are going to be nights when you are at the office almost all night and make it home for a couple hours before going straight back. You are categorically not going to have the consistent ~ hour a day with the dog that you predict, on top of commuting, personal hygiene, sleep, etc. Many days you will, some days you won't. And as others have pointed out, even if you have an hour a day, it's selfish to the dog.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:43 pm

I know people who do it though I don't myself. They are all either in the camp of "have a SO who can help" or "had this dog long before law school so have to make the best of it." I agree it's probably not the best idea to go out of your way to get a dog now. That said -- if you're dead set on it, I don't think it's the WORST thing in the world. There are plenty of pups in shelters who would be much better off being adopted even if it only gives them a couple hours a day of human contact during the week. I know a couple of biglaw dogs that seem to be doing fine.

TheOnePercent
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby TheOnePercent » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Otherwise, it's the height of selfishness and incredibly naive.

My thoughts exactly.

Think of the animals bro.

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rinkrat19
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:45 pm

What kind of terrible human being thinks getting a dog and spending 40-50 minutes with it per day is ok?

If you want a pet you can ignore, get a hamster or something.

KM2016
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby KM2016 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:55 pm

I adopted a dog during my 0L summer and obviously wasn't going to get rid of it once I started Biglaw. Everyone on TLS told me I was a moron for adopting a dog before law school, but having the little guy made law school 1000 times more bearable. I understand what some people have said about how your schedule is unpredictable as a Biglaw associate and that you won't have a ton of time for the dog, etc.

It is doable if you do it right. My advice would be to get a very lazy, small, apartment-friendly dog. For example, I have a pug. Pugs sleep 18 hours a day and they are incredibly lazy. This works well because he sleeps all day while I'm out and then when I get home in the evening I have him sitting on my lap with or on the couch with me. They also don't require a yard/lawn or long walks; they're perfect for city living. Also, adopt a middle-aged dog. Puppies inherently need more attention. Get a dog that is middle-aged, has lower energy, and is more independent. I also say to adopt because there are thousands of dogs who would rather have free reign in your luxury apartment and snooze all day than be caged in a 4x4x4 pen for their entire lives. They would much prefer to have your companionship on evenings and weekends as opposed to having no owner at all.

Finally, to echo what people said, you will need a dog walker or daycare. Personally, because my dog is so lazy (literally the perfect breed for someone who works a lot; give pugs some thought), I have a company that comes every day around 2:00 in the afternoon to take him on a 20 minute walk. If your'e familiar with pugs at all, a 20 minute walk is incredibly tiring for them, so he's thrilled to come back and snooze for the rest of the day. This company also gives him a treat everyday and sends me a picture (I didn't ask for it, but it's nice/comforting). My girlfriend also lives about 20 minutes away, so if there was a rare weekend where I'm working and can't get home to take him out (usually if I work on weekends I work from home, so it has only happened twice), I have her either take him out or take him for the day.

TL;DR - Adopt a lazy dog, small, middle-aged dog that would much prefer to live with you than in a shelter.

jd20132013
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:32 pm

Oh please

If you want the dog and will feed it, provide it with shelter, and make sure it gets taken care of medically, get one. The worship of dogs gets out of hand sometimes. They're not children.

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encore1101
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby encore1101 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:41 pm

jd20132013 wrote:Oh please

If you want the dog and will feed it, provide it with shelter, and make sure it gets taken care of medically, get one. The worship of dogs gets out of hand sometimes. They're not children.


if this is your intention, just get a cat

xcountryjunkie
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby xcountryjunkie » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:53 am

With a good dog-walker, owning a dog is doable. I'm a junior associate in NYC biglaw. I have a small dog (20lbs) in an average-sized 1BR apartment. I got my dog while studying for the bar, which was a great stress relief for studying and also gave me enough time to train him before starting my job a couple of months later. I walk him in the morning and evening and have a dog-walker who comes by in the early afternoon for another 30min walk. When I know I'm going to have a late night, I text the walker and have him change it to a 60min walk. The bill is typically $400/mo, rather than the $500 you quoted. I work long hours (2200+ last year), but it's doable if you actually try. I don't tend to go out after work during the week so that I can go home and take care of him. I work from home a lot during the evenings, which lets me get home earlier. I play with him a lot at night and a ton over the weekend. If you only plan to actually give the dog 20-30 minutes of attention at night, don't do it. If you're going to give it the amount of attention it deserves, then absolutely get one, but be sensible about it. Don't get a big dog that needs a lot of exercise, and don't stay at the office until 10pm every day.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:29 am

Junior associate in non-NYC biglaw with a dog here. I adopted the dog as a first year associate, and at the time I got the dog I was literally the only person in my group without a child or a dog. My dog happens to have a lot of energy (and issues...oh the issues) so I usually take him on a morning run, then his dog walker comes mid-day for an hour walk ($20/day), and then I'm usually home by 7, 7:30 to take him for another walk (usually 30-45 minutes). It's time consuming, and sometimes it might be nice to just come home and do nothing, but the dog does force me to be less lazy. The dog is kind of demanding, but sleeps all day when I'm gone and, if necessary, can go 8 or 9 hours without a walk. He will probably transition to doggy daycare at some point, but it's way more expensive here than a dog walker so we're waiting until that isn't working any more (due to the dog's...um...unique personality problems).

My advice:

1. Get a dog if you really want a dog, but realize that now the dog is tying you down. You can't just go away for the weekend without making plans for your dog (boarding/daycare, staying with a friend, going with you if the dog is chill). You can't go out after work and come home at like, midnight, without having made arrangements for someone else to come hang out with the dog.

2. Adopt a dog from a dog rescue that has a foster system, and get ALL the details on the dog. Find out how long it's normally left alone, if it likes strangers, etc. etc. etc. Find out how long the dog has been at the rescue - 6 months screams major problems (probably bites kids) but if they've only had the dog for a few days they frankly don't know anything about the dog. Don't rely on them to match you with the perfect dog - be proactive and ask questions about EVERYTHING. Don't be afraid to turn down dogs and be picky - you need to get a dog that will be happy living your lifestyle and not chew up your couch when you're gone or attack dog walkers who aren't blonde female college students or howl all day.

3. You can always wait until you start working and get the dog once you know what your hours will be etc. Once I started working and found out that everyone had a dog, that people openly admitted to leaving work at X time to go get their dog from daycare, or to take it for a walk, I knew that I was in a "dog-friendly" group that wouldn't freak out if I said I needed to leave at 7 to walk the dog.

4. Look at the cost of having a dog and see if you feel any resentment. If you do, don't get the dog. It'll only get worse when the dog requires therapy for his behavioral problems or needs an expensive medical procedure.

5. If you're the type of person who just goes home and maybe watches tv/reads a book/plays video games, then yeah, you can probably handle a dog. But if you are wanting to go out several nights a week, spend your weekends out of town (or working...) then no, a dog is not for you.


I'm super glad I have a dog, but it is NOT for everyone and my advice to everyone to is thinking about getting a dog is "don't get a dog" (and then if they can otherwise convince me they're ready, then I change my mind :))

edit: anon because username + my comments about my dog make me super identifiable to basically everyone I know.

BeenDidThat
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby BeenDidThat » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:12 am

rinkrat19 wrote:What kind of terrible human being thinks getting a dog and spending 40-50 minutes with it per day is ok?

If you want a pet you can ignore, get a hamster or something.


If you've met enough associates, you know full well the answer to your first question.

acg
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby acg » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:54 pm

First year NYC litigation associate and dog owner here. I adopted a relatively older (7-8 year old) chihuahua/ mini pinscher mix during 3L and think it's totally do-able if you commit to it and have help. My dog spends most of her day sleeping even when I'm home and is trained to use the wee-wee pads just in case she has to go while I'm at work. If I know I am going to have a long day or have to work a weekend (like today), I drop her off at my parents house. On my days off I make sure to take her to the dog park and let her run around.

There are definitely times I feel guilty for leaving her home alone as much as I do. But, her old owners were going to put her down because she didn't get along with their cat so I figure whatever life I give her it's better than that option.

TheOnePercent
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby TheOnePercent » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:37 pm

acg wrote:it's totally do-able if you commit to it and have help

Lulz: "it's totally doable if you [have others do it for you]."

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sd5289
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby sd5289 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:21 am

I have a friend in NYC Biglaw who just got a puppy.

...the basically stay-at-home boyfriend (he's an "actor") takes care of it all day.

ithacais
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby ithacais » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:15 pm

I am a first year and I have a dog. I don't think it's that hard. I strongly echo the advice to get a small, lazy dog.

I take him for about a 35 min walk in the morning that really wears him out. He is typically asleep before I even get out the door. I have a walker that does a ~20 min walk. I pay $12 a walk, so way under your estimate, and she is very reliable. I leave work around 7 (sometimes get some looks, don't really care) and work from home for the rest of the night, taking him out again for another 20-30 minutes and taking breaks to play w/ him. We go on trips to the dog park on the weekend. He's very lazy (as in, I have to clip his leash to him while he's still in bed and nudge him out of bed sometimes) and seems pretty content.

A few times I have gotten stuck at the office and have felt horribly guilty about it, but that is rare. People generally don't care about face time here as long as I'm getting the work done. I actually really think that wanting to get home to him helps me to be more focused and productive at work. That said, I also think it depends on your group. It seems like the corp people get stuck waiting around all night. Maybe wait and see the dynamics of your particular group?

It would be great to be in a situation where I could spend more time with him, but I think he's pretty happy. And, to be honest, there are way too many dogs that need homes and very few families who can be home w/ them during the day. My dog was sitting in a shelter for a month with 0 exercise before I got him . . . some things are worse than biglaw (did I really just say that?). You make it work.

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MistakenGenius
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Cobretti
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby Cobretti » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:56 pm

TheOnePercent wrote:
acg wrote:it's totally do-able if you commit to it and have help

Lulz: "it's totally doable if you [have others do it for you]."

like babies!

Nomo
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Re: 3L Considering Getting A Dog Now Before BigLaw

Postby Nomo » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:22 pm

Try to get a well-trained dog that's at least 2 or 3 years old. Its best if its a breed that's known for being independent and not needing as much exercise. You'll need a dog walker. Its best if you have a roommate who also likes dogs. That way your roommate will give the dog some attention if you're working super late or working a lot during a weekend.




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