Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

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Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:42 pm

Would love to hear any stories from ladies who had kids early in their Biglaw career.

I am concerned about telling the Principals I work for that I'm having a kid, so quickly after starting with the firm.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:22 am

I suggest you find a good, reliable and trustworthy nanny or live-in care as soon as possible. Or if you have family that can help then that works, also. Also look for and sign up for back-up care (such as Bright Horizons) or see if your firm offers any type of back-up child care for when your baby can't go to daycare or the nanny is not available. Back-up care provides for certified people to come to your home to watch your kid or there are drop off back up care centers. In regards to telling your firm - tell them sooner rather than later if you are having health related issues that require you to take a step back but other than that I wouldn't feel the need to tell anyone until it is beyond obvious that you are pregnant. No one will blatantly ask if you are pregnant early on because they will worry about offending you in case you had an extra big lunch. I never told my firm that I was a mother (and single mother at that) until after I got hired and started working. Most people will say that they are understanding of working moms, but their expectations don't really change. In my experience, they just want the work done and don't care if you are spending 12+ hours doing the work and only seeing your kid for brief moments every day. Of course, this is just my experience and hopefully your firm will be understanding. Remember, your job is just a job, take care of your health and your baby's health during your pregnancy. Work should not come before the health of you or your baby. Also, don't worry about what the principals will think about you getting pregnant early on in your career. My understanding of this whole motherhood thing is that you, and only you, get to decide when you are going to have a baby and there is no rule whatsoever that says females can only have a baby after X amount of years at the firm.

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:46 pm

I would say try to work with as many people as you can before going on leave (this might not be possible depending on your situation), so that you have more people to ask work from when you come back.

The way I thought about it was people are gonna think however they are gonna think. Nothing you do/say will change that, so I wouldn't worry too much about what your supervisors think (although I know it's hard) and would only tell them when you are comfortable doing that. I worked as hard as I could, to the extent of not putting my or my baby's health at risk. After I told some female associates I was pregnant, I was surprised by the number of people telling me either they or someone they know had miscarriages because of the stress/amount of work at biglaw. I was fully prepared (still am) to have to look for another job if things didn't work out, and I pushed back on work when I was having terrible nausea (I did have a scare of early delivery near the end when I had a crazy deal going on, but my supervisor was very understanding that she found a cover for me so I could go home and rest on that day). Luckily things worked out before I went on leave, but I'm still trying to see how it's going to be now that I'm back.

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:05 pm

I had a baby when I was still a junior lit associate at in NYC biglaw firm. It was totally fine and I would actually argue that it's easier to have a baby when you're more junior -- because you are less "ingrained" on cases and less people rely on you, the transition back can be smoother.

I will say I wish I waited a while longer to inform partners about my pregnancy because they started phasing me off cases early and I was left looking for work. I will also say I got a few non-PC comments from old guard -level male partners ("are you going to even come back after leave?" and "what are you going to do with all that time?"). Just keep a thick skin on.

Also important: there will never be a convenient time to have a baby, in big law or anywhere else, and the partnership will never think "wow, this is a convenient year for X associate to have a baby, she chose wisely." You will make it work and it will be fine.

If you're in NYC and specifically brooklyn, I would join park slope parents now as a support network -- specifically the working moms' sub group. If not, find the forum for your 'hood or in your city. Tons of lawyers in there and it will give you a network of moms so you can do a nanny share. I know two big law associates who live on the same street, so they did a nanny share and have the nanny from 8am-7pm (if needed). This was all possible due to meeting each other on these forums, so definitely tap into your local community forum.

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I will also say I got a few non-PC comments from old guard -level male partners ("are you going to even come back after leave?" and "what are you going to do with all that time?"). Just keep a thick skin on.


Holy crap.

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DELG
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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby DELG » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:18 pm

having a kid is a terrible idea as is becoming a biglaw midlevel but you're gonna do both anyway so

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Toni V
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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Toni V » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:46 pm

This might be good to know if you’re planning on having children and are heading to BL. Many BL firms offer child care in their building. One nicety is that during work hours (7A/7P) you can drop in and visit your child. As I recall, programs include infants to kindergarten (and perhaps beyond).

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:10 pm

OP here - thanks to those who have provided helpful responses.

My department is very small and I do regularly take assignments from all the principals and some principals in an office in another state.

The biggest concern I have is one male principal in particular who has - on more than one occasion - made comments such as "you're not planning on having kids on us anytime soon," and "its great for you to establish your career before having kids." On one occasion a very respected female of counsel was there when a comment was made and she quickly stood up for me to let the principal know it was not an appropriate remark. To make the situation worse, this principal is the leader of the department and can be a real moody a**hole, and will no doubt work to make my work life miserable once I've let him know I'm pregnant.

I'm planning (to the extent of my control over the situation) to stay in big law for just a couple more years. So long term I don't at all care how this would affect my status at the firm - just hoping to make the next few years the lowest stress possible.

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DELG
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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby DELG » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here - thanks to those who have provided helpful responses.

My department is very small and I do regularly take assignments from all the principals and some principals in an office in another state.

The biggest concern I have is one male principal in particular who has - on more than one occasion - made comments such as "you're not planning on having kids on us anytime soon," and "its great for you to establish your career before having kids." On one occasion a very respected female of counsel was there when a comment was made and she quickly stood up for me to let the principal know it was not an appropriate remark. To make the situation worse, this principal is the leader of the department and can be a real moody a**hole, and will no doubt work to make my work life miserable once I've let him know I'm pregnant.

I'm planning (to the extent of my control over the situation) to stay in big law for just a couple more years. So long term I don't at all care how this would affect my status at the firm - just hoping to make the next few years the lowest stress possible.

Jesus what a prick

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:53 pm

In the same boat and having a bad first trimester. I have taken three sick days in the past 3 weeks or so. For the most part, sick days= billing 10+ hours from home. When do you recommend telling your team that you are pregnant?

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:55 pm

Sorry, accidental double post.

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:57 pm

DELG wrote:having a kid is a terrible idea as is becoming a biglaw midlevel but you're gonna do both anyway so


+1

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:In the same boat and having a bad first trimester. I have taken three sick days in the past 3 weeks or so. For the most part, sick days= billing 10+ hours from home. When do you recommend telling your team that you are pregnant?


Try acupuncture if it's morning sickness - it was a total life saver for me.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:In the same boat and having a bad first trimester. I have taken three sick days in the past 3 weeks or so. For the most part, sick days= billing 10+ hours from home. When do you recommend telling your team that you are pregnant?

No kids but I've watched close co-workers go through this. The "rule" is after the first trimester because the rate of miscarriage is lower at that point (and you will start showing soonish). However, the conclusion my co-workers came to was that this rule is designed more for the comfort of others. Ultimately I think the decision should be more personal. If I get pregnant and have serious morning sickness, I plan on telling people, because I'm the type of person that will be stupidly paranoid that people will think I'm just slacking otherwise, and I can live with people knowing I had a miscarriage (if that happens). One of my co-workers also pointed out that women who would view a miscarriage as a death-in-the-family type deal might also benefit from telling people early, if they're so inclined, because if that does happen, and that's what it means to you, maybe your co-workers should know that you're freaking bereaved, like why should you have to sit on that and act like everything is normal? However, women who really would rather a miscarriage stay private may have something to gain from following the "rule".

Basically the first trimester rule seems to stem from an assumption that there is no point in telling people if things might not pan out, but I just don't think that's universally the case. In theory, maybe you could also be worried about being phased off cases early, but anecdotally, lol not a risk.

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Re: Pregnant 2nd Year Associate in Biglaw

Postby patentlitigatrix » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here - thanks to those who have provided helpful responses.

My department is very small and I do regularly take assignments from all the principals and some principals in an office in another state.

The biggest concern I have is one male principal in particular who has - on more than one occasion - made comments such as "you're not planning on having kids on us anytime soon," and "its great for you to establish your career before having kids." On one occasion a very respected female of counsel was there when a comment was made and she quickly stood up for me to let the principal know it was not an appropriate remark. To make the situation worse, this principal is the leader of the department and can be a real moody a**hole, and will no doubt work to make my work life miserable once I've let him know I'm pregnant.

I'm planning (to the extent of my control over the situation) to stay in big law for just a couple more years. So long term I don't at all care how this would affect my status at the firm - just hoping to make the next few years the lowest stress possible.


The problem isn't that you are pregnant. The problem is assholes like this. I would look for a different job if I worked for a partner like that (or simply avoid working for him), but that is me and I can't and won't tolerate shit like that.




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