Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

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Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:10 pm

Or is there always more work, and partners/seniors want you to put in facetime?

Outside of the obvious such as client meetings/data room/etc., what does it matter to them if someone's derriere is actually planted in a seat?

I mean apparently some people must care; otherwise everyone would be teleworking remotely from Hawaii, but what's the difference between being in the office from 8am-6pm vs 10am-8pm if you bill the same number of hours either way?

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:15 pm

Yes, people care. Face time requirements vary from firm to firm, practice group to practice group, and attorney to attorney. As you get more senior, these expectations relax.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Bluem_11 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:16 pm

When I started at my first firm they cared. They didn't as I got more experience. They didn't monitor when I clocked in/out, but if a partner wanted to go over your work as a first year and walked by your office and it was dark you were in shit. It was even worse for me b/c the two partners I worked with most got in at like 630-7 and insisted I get in around their time, but left at like 4-430 and others insisted I stay later.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby lolwat » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:28 pm

Yeah, in general day to day it might or might not seem like it matters, but the one time a partner comes to your office to look for you at 9am or 6pm and you aren't there because you get in a 10am or leave at 5pm or something, you're going to be in shit. Every once in a while that happens here -- someone isn't here when a partner looks for them at 9:30am and then we hear the rampant bitching about it later and it gets reiterated that people need to be here by 9. Or whatever. Other than the usual stuff (lunch, breaks, appointments, emergencies), I make sure I'm here from 9pm to 5pm 99.99% of the time because that's our "official" office hours. Earlier or later than that you'll have to figure out what informal expectations are.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:39 pm

In my first 12 months or so at my firm I tried to get in by 9:30 and had a reputation for staying very late. I think that helped, particularly staying late. Now that I am a 4th year, I generally get in between 9 and 10 and leave between 5 and 7, but I work a lot remotely and forward my calls when I'm out of the office.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:44 pm

They care in your first year after that not so much.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby ur_hero » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:45 pm

You should generally always be there during normal business hours and particularly busy times for your particular group or primary partners. No matter how you spin it, I think it's difficult to ignore a first-year not showing up regularly without first developing a good reputation and relationships (especially if it's really busy). So long as it's not noticeably frequent, and the timing makes sense, just give a brief notice to the appropriate persons that you'll be working from out of the office - no need to even explain why unless it's at a bad time.

Beyond that, get a feel for your firm environment and use good judgment and common sense. I'd recommend not even paying to much attention to the technical "firm policy"....What matters is what actually happens where you are. (e.g., I wouldn't insist to a Partner "but it says I get to telecommute once a week"!!!).

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby TLSModBot » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:01 pm

Daytime is for getting your dumb junior associate face known with bullshit meetings, evening/weekend is for actually finishing the work you wish you just could have gotten done during the day

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby jrf12886 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:21 pm

I think it varies more than previous posters have let on. At least in big firms in NYC, generally no one will call you before 10. And more generally, parters email rather than call or stop by your office. I don't think a partner came to my office once my first year. Now senior associates are a different story. If you're working on something with a senior associate and they're there late while you left at 6, I could see some getting angry. But then again, if you are responding to their emails, many will not care at all that you're not physically in the office.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:30 pm

It really varies. But my view is, why work so hard to get to this position where you're about to make a lot of money, and then mess it up by being lazy? Just come in during regular hours, whether or not anyone "cares." As others have said, the more senior you get, the less it matters. That being said - I lateraled as a mid-level to my current firm, and the partner here cares a lot about me being in the office from 8 am to 9 pm every day (basically the hours he is there). At my previous firm, people cared much less, even when I was a junior. So it varies.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:31 pm

My NYC biglaw firm doesn't give a shit at all. On of my favorite things about working at a huge office, tbh.

ETA: I usually get there between 1030 and 1115 with some days completely working from home. Nobody cares. And I'm a first year.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:48 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My NYC biglaw firm doesn't give a shit at all. On of my favorite things about working at a huge office, tbh.

ETA: I usually get there between 1030 and 1115 with some days completely working from home. Nobody cares. And I'm a first year.


This has been my experience. First year, working insane hours (bankruptcy), partners are never here and no one really gives a shit if I'm in the office or not. I get into the office around 10 and go home around 6 or 7 most days.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My NYC biglaw firm doesn't give a shit at all. On of my favorite things about working at a huge office, tbh.

ETA: I usually get there between 1030 and 1115 with some days completely working from home. Nobody cares. And I'm a first year.


Same for me and I'm in Chicago. I give many fewer fucks about arriving near 9:00am the later I stay the night before. Its sometimes easier to work at the office when you're busy but I work from home all the time and nobody notices or cares if I'm late arriving or working from home for days.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Rahviveh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:52 pm

lolwat wrote:Yeah, in general day to day it might or might not seem like it matters, but the one time a partner comes to your office to look for you at 9am or 6pm and you aren't there because you get in a 10am or leave at 5pm or something, you're going to be in shit. Every once in a while that happens here -- someone isn't here when a partner looks for them at 9:30am and then we hear the rampant bitching about it later and it gets reiterated that people need to be here by 9. Or whatever. Other than the usual stuff (lunch, breaks, appointments, emergencies), I make sure I'm here from 9pm to 5pm 99.99% of the time because that's our "official" office hours. Earlier or later than that you'll have to figure out what informal expectations are.


ive literally never had a partner physically come visit my office, and neither has any of the colleafgues in my group. you work for insane people

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My NYC biglaw firm doesn't give a shit at all. On of my favorite things about working at a huge office, tbh.

ETA: I usually get there between 1030 and 1115 with some days completely working from home. Nobody cares. And I'm a first year.

Yeah, no one cares until a partner wants to talk to you about an "emergency" at 10 a.m. and you're not in your office yet. The point that many are making is that a "be in the office when you feel like it" strategy generally works great until it doesn't. When you're junior, it's risky to get too relaxed about showing up late or leaving early.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:54 pm

Rahviveh wrote:
lolwat wrote:Yeah, in general day to day it might or might not seem like it matters, but the one time a partner comes to your office to look for you at 9am or 6pm and you aren't there because you get in a 10am or leave at 5pm or something, you're going to be in shit. Every once in a while that happens here -- someone isn't here when a partner looks for them at 9:30am and then we hear the rampant bitching about it later and it gets reiterated that people need to be here by 9. Or whatever. Other than the usual stuff (lunch, breaks, appointments, emergencies), I make sure I'm here from 9pm to 5pm 99.99% of the time because that's our "official" office hours. Earlier or later than that you'll have to figure out what informal expectations are.


ive literally never had a partner physically come visit my office, and neither has any of the colleafgues in my group. you work for insane people

Mmmmm....are you sure it's not you who has the unusual situation? The bolded is pretty weird.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Rahviveh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:56 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:
lolwat wrote:Yeah, in general day to day it might or might not seem like it matters, but the one time a partner comes to your office to look for you at 9am or 6pm and you aren't there because you get in a 10am or leave at 5pm or something, you're going to be in shit. Every once in a while that happens here -- someone isn't here when a partner looks for them at 9:30am and then we hear the rampant bitching about it later and it gets reiterated that people need to be here by 9. Or whatever. Other than the usual stuff (lunch, breaks, appointments, emergencies), I make sure I'm here from 9pm to 5pm 99.99% of the time because that's our "official" office hours. Earlier or later than that you'll have to figure out what informal expectations are.


ive literally never had a partner physically come visit my office, and neither has any of the colleafgues in my group. you work for insane people

Mmmmm....are you sure it's not you who has the unusual situation? The bolded is pretty weird.

why would a partner waste their time to physically come to your office? they would call you and tell you to come up. its on the associate to go to the partners office.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Npret » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:57 pm

Partners work on the same floors as associates so they stop in.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby TLSModBot » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:59 pm

Rahviveh wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:
lolwat wrote:Yeah, in general day to day it might or might not seem like it matters, but the one time a partner comes to your office to look for you at 9am or 6pm and you aren't there because you get in a 10am or leave at 5pm or something, you're going to be in shit. Every once in a while that happens here -- someone isn't here when a partner looks for them at 9:30am and then we hear the rampant bitching about it later and it gets reiterated that people need to be here by 9. Or whatever. Other than the usual stuff (lunch, breaks, appointments, emergencies), I make sure I'm here from 9pm to 5pm 99.99% of the time because that's our "official" office hours. Earlier or later than that you'll have to figure out what informal expectations are.


ive literally never had a partner physically come visit my office, and neither has any of the colleafgues in my group. you work for insane people

Mmmmm....are you sure it's not you who has the unusual situation? The bolded is pretty weird.

why would a partner waste their time to physically come to your office? they would call you and tell you to come up. its on the associate to go to the partners office.

This is usually the case, but I def had a senior partner who loved to just stroll by and chat about a case we were on.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby TLSModBot » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:01 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My NYC biglaw firm doesn't give a shit at all. On of my favorite things about working at a huge office, tbh.

ETA: I usually get there between 1030 and 1115 with some days completely working from home. Nobody cares. And I'm a first year.

Yeah, no one cares until a partner wants to talk to you about an "emergency" at 10 a.m. and you're not in your office yet. The point that many are making is that a "be in the office when you feel like it" strategy generally works great until it doesn't. When you're junior, it's risky to get too relaxed about showing up late or leaving early.

This this this. I see a bunch of my colleagues getting real loose with showing up and I just don't get it. My main partner starts calling my office at like 8:30 so I make damn sure my ass is there to catch those calls.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:01 pm

Rahviveh wrote:why would a partner waste their time to physically come to your office? they would call you and tell you to come up. its on the associate to go to the partners office.

That's generally how it works at my firm too, but I'd say at least once a week a partner stops by to say hi or something. That a partner has literally never visited your office is pretty fucking weird.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Rahviveh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:03 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:why would a partner waste their time to physically come to your office? they would call you and tell you to come up. its on the associate to go to the partners office.

That's generally how it works at my firm too, but I'd say at least once a week a partner stops by to say hi or something. That a partner has literally never visited your office is pretty fucking weird.


you must work at a shitty firm where partners dont have enough work to do

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:04 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:
lolwat wrote:Yeah, in general day to day it might or might not seem like it matters, but the one time a partner comes to your office to look for you at 9am or 6pm and you aren't there because you get in a 10am or leave at 5pm or something, you're going to be in shit. Every once in a while that happens here -- someone isn't here when a partner looks for them at 9:30am and then we hear the rampant bitching about it later and it gets reiterated that people need to be here by 9. Or whatever. Other than the usual stuff (lunch, breaks, appointments, emergencies), I make sure I'm here from 9pm to 5pm 99.99% of the time because that's our "official" office hours. Earlier or later than that you'll have to figure out what informal expectations are.


ive literally never had a partner physically come visit my office, and neither has any of the colleafgues in my group. you work for insane people

Mmmmm....are you sure it's not you who has the unusual situation? The bolded is pretty weird.

why would a partner waste their time to physically come to your office? they would call you and tell you to come up. its on the associate to go to the partners office.

This is usually the case, but I def had a senior partner who loved to just stroll by and chat about a case we were on.


YMMV but I have a firm phone in my apartment that is connected with my office phone. If anyone needs me they call or email, nobody ever stops by my office unless they're looking to shoot the shit.

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Re: Does biglaw really care how early you arrive/leave as long as the work gets done?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:06 pm

Rahviveh wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Rahviveh wrote:why would a partner waste their time to physically come to your office? they would call you and tell you to come up. its on the associate to go to the partners office.

That's generally how it works at my firm too, but I'd say at least once a week a partner stops by to say hi or something. That a partner has literally never visited your office is pretty fucking weird.


you must work at a shitty firm where partners dont have enough work to do

Yes, I'm sure that's it. Another possible explanation is that you’re so unlikable that no one wants to talk to you, but you’re so charming on TLS that I just can’t believe that’s true.



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