Migraines and SA

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Migraines and SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 6:57 pm

I know this might sound dumb - but I suffer from chronic migraines. I think my biggest worry going into my SA position is having a migraine by the end of the work day and not wanting to attend a planned event. Can I skip some of the events if I don't feel well? I'm a social person and I'm excited for the summer, but I am anxious about the possibility of not being able to go home after work if I don't feel well without looking like I'm trying to avoid socializing.

I'm still working on getting my migraines under better control and get this will be a bigger issue as an associate who has twelve hour work days, but short term: how big an issue might this be? Is there a rough estimate on number of events you can skip before you look like an anti-social weirdo?

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SmokeytheBear

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon May 08, 2017 7:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know this might sound dumb - but I suffer from chronic migraines. I think my biggest worry going into my SA position is having a migraine by the end of the work day and not wanting to attend a planned event. Can I skip some of the events if I don't feel well? I'm a social person and I'm excited for the summer, but I am anxious about the possibility of not being able to go home after work if I don't feel well without looking like I'm trying to avoid socializing.

I'm still working on getting my migraines under better control and get this will be a bigger issue as an associate who has twelve hour work days, but short term: how big an issue might this be? Is there a rough estimate on number of events you can skip before you look like an anti-social weirdo?


Keep your pills with you at work at all time.

Let recruitment coordinator (the staff person, not the partner) know. This person is always incredibly kind, so you can tell them.

I'd also let your associate mentor know, as they are kind of your liaison to the rest of the firm. They usually take you to lunch on the first or second day, or at the very least have a schedule coffee session with you, where they ask you if you have any questions bla bla bla. You can candidly tell them this and they will help make sure you are fine.

It's not going to be a problem.

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Npret » Mon May 08, 2017 7:12 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know this might sound dumb - but I suffer from chronic migraines. I think my biggest worry going into my SA position is having a migraine by the end of the work day and not wanting to attend a planned event. Can I skip some of the events if I don't feel well? I'm a social person and I'm excited for the summer, but I am anxious about the possibility of not being able to go home after work if I don't feel well without looking like I'm trying to avoid socializing.

I'm still working on getting my migraines under better control and get this will be a bigger issue as an associate who has twelve hour work days, but short term: how big an issue might this be? Is there a rough estimate on number of events you can skip before you look like an anti-social weirdo?


Keep your pills with you at work at all time.

Let recruitment coordinator (the staff person, not the partner) know. This person is always incredibly kind, so you can tell them.

I'd also let your associate mentor know, as they are kind of your liaison to the rest of the firm. They usually take you to lunch on the first or second day, or at the very least have a schedule coffee session with you, where they ask you if you have any questions bla bla bla. You can candidly tell them this and they will help make sure you are fine.

It's not going to be a problem.


I wouldn't bring it up until it's an issue. You don't want to start off your SA talking about being sick, having migraines and missing events. You don't know these people. You want to start off with enthusiasm, don't put a damper on it or give associates doubt about working with you in advance.

Deal with it if you get a migraine. If it becomes an issue then I would talk to some staff person about it.

How often does this happen? You have to be concerned about showing your ability to do the work as well as being social. I don't know if biglaw is realistic for someone with chronic migraines depending on how debilitating it is. You won't be able to go home as needed because of a headache.

Sorry if that sounds harsh but I'm trying to be realistic as to your health.

Edit to add: See what I mean? You only mentioned a question about missing events and I'm questioning your ability to do the job. Your firm will have people like me even if they won't tell you directly. Dont bring it up until it's an issue.

ballouttacontrol

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby ballouttacontrol » Mon May 08, 2017 7:52 pm

wouldn't getting drunk help your migraine?

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jkpolk

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby jkpolk » Mon May 08, 2017 8:01 pm

Yeah I wouldn't bring it up. No big deal if you miss a social event now and then, especially if your class is big and you generally go to stuff.

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cookiejar1

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby cookiejar1 » Mon May 08, 2017 8:37 pm

Migraines are no joke. If you haven't had an extensive discussion about this with your doctor, I encourage you to do so. I used to only use OTC meds but my QoL has gone up tremendously after talking with a specialist.

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Mickfromgm

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Mickfromgm » Mon May 08, 2017 8:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know this might sound dumb - but I suffer from chronic migraines. I think my biggest worry going into my SA position is having a migraine by the end of the work day and not wanting to attend a planned event. Can I skip some of the events if I don't feel well? I'm a social person and I'm excited for the summer, but I am anxious about the possibility of not being able to go home after work if I don't feel well without looking like I'm trying to avoid socializing.

I'm still working on getting my migraines under better control and get this will be a bigger issue as an associate who has twelve hour work days, but short term: how big an issue might this be? Is there a rough estimate on number of events you can skip before you look like an anti-social weirdo?


Let me start by telling you that 19 out of every 20 biglaw summer associates get an offer (of course, some are "cold offers") - statistics from NALP bear this out every year. You REALLY have to do something horrible to get non-offered, as they say. Being perceived as anti-social, in itself, would not normally be enough. . . if you are friendly with others when you are not suffering from the migraines, you won't be non-offered for this.

I mean, what's the point of forcing yourself to go to the firm events when you have the migraines? If you are like most migrant sufferers, you are not going to be very social to say the least when your head's pounding. You might even look like you are sporting a world class "resting bi--ch face" (regardless of your gender, whatever it might be). Isn't it better to be anti-social than being perceived as a jerk? :)

Another approach is to be upfront. I doubt that anyone would hold the chronic migraines against you . . . though some firms are better than others in this respect I am sure.

**** Following is not a legal advice -- please go consult a real employment lawyer ****** </butt covering>

I am not sure if chronic migraines constitutes a "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but to the extent that it is, your firm must not discriminate against you in firing and hiring (which I imagine extends to an offer of employment after graduation), and must make reasonable accommodation for you. I wonder if there are any exceptions for "seasonal employees" type of situation (Obamacare has that type of provision for those who work fewer than 120 days).

I am thinking that if you don't tell the firm, they might simply think you can't hack it if you can't deliver a good work product on time. I tend to think that they would be understanding if you make it clear that you are seeking treatment. Good luck.

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 08, 2017 8:46 pm

Npret wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know this might sound dumb - but I suffer from chronic migraines. I think my biggest worry going into my SA position is having a migraine by the end of the work day and not wanting to attend a planned event. Can I skip some of the events if I don't feel well? I'm a social person and I'm excited for the summer, but I am anxious about the possibility of not being able to go home after work if I don't feel well without looking like I'm trying to avoid socializing.

I'm still working on getting my migraines under better control and get this will be a bigger issue as an associate who has twelve hour work days, but short term: how big an issue might this be? Is there a rough estimate on number of events you can skip before you look like an anti-social weirdo?


Keep your pills with you at work at all time.

Let recruitment coordinator (the staff person, not the partner) know. This person is always incredibly kind, so you can tell them.

I'd also let your associate mentor know, as they are kind of your liaison to the rest of the firm. They usually take you to lunch on the first or second day, or at the very least have a schedule coffee session with you, where they ask you if you have any questions bla bla bla. You can candidly tell them this and they will help make sure you are fine.

It's not going to be a problem.


How often does this happen? You have to be concerned about showing your ability to do the work as well as being social. I don't know if biglaw is realistic for someone with chronic migraines depending on how debilitating it is. You won't be able to go home as needed because of a headache.

Sorry if that sounds harsh but I'm trying to be realistic as to your health.

Edit to add: See what I mean? You only mentioned a question about missing events and I'm questioning your ability to do the job. Your firm will have people like me even if they won't tell you directly. Dont bring it up until it's an issue.


OP here. Your point about already questioning my ability to do my job is specifically why I don't want to bring it up if I don't have to. Valid point.

I'm less worried about my ability to work in biglaw. My career before law school was similar hours and physically demanding which sucked for my headaches, but I did it. I can work through them when I have to - but if I can skip a social event to lie down if I have a bad one I'd rather do that.

I see a neuro and I'm on meds. Just generally seeking advice from others who might have been in this situation.

Thanks for the tips guys.

Npret

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Npret » Mon May 08, 2017 8:53 pm

If you are talking about missing events here and there, I wouldn't worry. You can also leave events early.

I think you will be fine.

LoganCouture

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby LoganCouture » Mon May 08, 2017 8:55 pm

Hi. Also a migraine sufferer and I would deal with it by not bringing it up until it becomes an issue. Generally skipping an event or two isn't a big deal in a large summer program. If your migraines are such that you can power through work, it might also be an option to go to a social event for a short while, have a conversation with some folks and then make an early exit.

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Mickfromgm

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Mickfromgm » Mon May 08, 2017 9:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Npret wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know this might sound dumb - but I suffer from chronic migraines. I think my biggest worry going into my SA position is having a migraine by the end of the work day and not wanting to attend a planned event. Can I skip some of the events if I don't feel well? I'm a social person and I'm excited for the summer, but I am anxious about the possibility of not being able to go home after work if I don't feel well without looking like I'm trying to avoid socializing.

I'm still working on getting my migraines under better control and get this will be a bigger issue as an associate who has twelve hour work days, but short term: how big an issue might this be? Is there a rough estimate on number of events you can skip before you look like an anti-social weirdo?


Keep your pills with you at work at all time.

Let recruitment coordinator (the staff person, not the partner) know. This person is always incredibly kind, so you can tell them.

I'd also let your associate mentor know, as they are kind of your liaison to the rest of the firm. They usually take you to lunch on the first or second day, or at the very least have a schedule coffee session with you, where they ask you if you have any questions bla bla bla. You can candidly tell them this and they will help make sure you are fine.

It's not going to be a problem.


How often does this happen? You have to be concerned about showing your ability to do the work as well as being social. I don't know if biglaw is realistic for someone with chronic migraines depending on how debilitating it is. You won't be able to go home as needed because of a headache.

Sorry if that sounds harsh but I'm trying to be realistic as to your health.

Edit to add: See what I mean? You only mentioned a question about missing events and I'm questioning your ability to do the job. Your firm will have people like me even if they won't tell you directly. Dont bring it up until it's an issue.


OP here. Your point about already questioning my ability to do my job is specifically why I don't want to bring it up if I don't have to. Valid point.

I'm less worried about my ability to work in biglaw. My career before law school was similar hours and physically demanding which sucked for my headaches, but I did it. I can work through them when I have to - but if I can skip a social event to lie down if I have a bad one I'd rather do that.

I see a neuro and I'm on meds. Just generally seeking advice from others who might have been in this situation.

Thanks for the tips guys.


Also, it is usually fine to leave early, depending on the event, if you have legitimate sounding reasons -- bonus: "I'd better go work on my assignment that's due tomorrow". If you are in a big SA class, you can show your face for a bit and take off, and no one important will likely notice and the other folks would remember seeing your face earlier so they'd be like, "Where's Jane? Well, she is here -- I saw her earlier."

B90

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby B90 » Mon May 08, 2017 9:16 pm

ballouttacontrol wrote:wouldn't getting drunk help your migraine?

Yes. It could kill him/her.

ZVBXRPL

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby ZVBXRPL » Mon May 08, 2017 9:19 pm

Mickfromgm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know this might sound dumb - but I suffer from chronic migraines. I think my biggest worry going into my SA position is having a migraine by the end of the work day and not wanting to attend a planned event. Can I skip some of the events if I don't feel well? I'm a social person and I'm excited for the summer, but I am anxious about the possibility of not being able to go home after work if I don't feel well without looking like I'm trying to avoid socializing.

I'm still working on getting my migraines under better control and get this will be a bigger issue as an associate who has twelve hour work days, but short term: how big an issue might this be? Is there a rough estimate on number of events you can skip before you look like an anti-social weirdo?


Let me start by telling you that 19 out of every 20 biglaw summer associates get an offer (of course, some are "cold offers") - statistics from NALP bear this out every year. You REALLY have to do something horrible to get non-offered, as they say. Being perceived as anti-social, in itself, would not normally be enough. . . if you are friendly with others when you are not suffering from the migraines, you won't be non-offered for this.

I mean, what's the point of forcing yourself to go to the firm events when you have the migraines? If you are like most migrant sufferers, you are not going to be very social to say the least when your head's pounding. You might even look like you are sporting a world class "resting bi--ch face" (regardless of your gender, whatever it might be). Isn't it better to be anti-social than being perceived as a jerk? :)

Another approach is to be upfront. I doubt that anyone would hold the chronic migraines against you . . . though some firms are better than others in this respect I am sure.

**** Following is not a legal advice -- please go consult a real employment lawyer ****** </butt covering>

I am not sure if chronic migraines constitutes a "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but to the extent that it is, your firm must not discriminate against you in firing and hiring (which I imagine extends to an offer of employment after graduation), and must make reasonable accommodation for you. I wonder if there are any exceptions for "seasonal employees" type of situation (Obamacare has that type of provision for those who work fewer than 120 days).

I am thinking that if you don't tell the firm, they might simply think you can't hack it if you can't deliver a good work product on time. I tend to think that they would be understanding if you make it clear that you are seeking treatment. Good luck.

Migraines are a physical impairment and disability, so yes they ARE covered under the ADA.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue May 09, 2017 7:36 am

I love how folks are so quick to jump to ADA... I'm sure OP is going to jump at the opportunity to tank his or her career by filing a lawsuit against the firm. Also not sure if simply Not being hired is an adverse employment action... they aren't getting fired for it, and the firm could certainly drum up another legit reason.

That said, I don't think the firm will ever know or care. Go to events and dip out early if needed. Bring it up with recruiting coordinator/SA coordinator. They'll be cool about it.

Npret

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Npret » Tue May 09, 2017 8:57 am

RaceJudicata wrote:I love how folks are so quick to jump to ADA... I'm sure OP is going to jump at the opportunity to tank his or her career by filing a lawsuit against the firm. Also not sure if simply Not being hired is an adverse employment action... they aren't getting fired for it, and the firm could certainly drum up another legit reason.

That said, I don't think the firm will ever know or care. Go to events and dip out early if needed. Bring it up with recruiting coordinator/SA coordinator. They'll be cool about it.

I didn't understand that either. OP is just talking about missing a few events. It escalated maybe because I was asking how difficult the migraines were to manage which is not something OP asked.

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Mickfromgm

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Mickfromgm » Tue May 09, 2017 9:37 am

OP said she gets bad migraines by the end of the work day. I don't know what she means by "work day" in this context, but if OP is talking about it in conjunction with going to SA events then the migraines probably start pretty early, like 5 or 6 p.m.

Guess what, even when you are just a SA, from time to time (or frequently in many cases), you would have to research the law, meet with attorneys, write memos, so on, well after 5 or 6. Or 8. I imagine you can't perform up to par with such intense pain once it starts; I know I wouldn't. If the attorneys don't know that OP suffers from chronic migraines, what do you think they would think about her abilities and personality? Do you think s/he would get an offer if the firm forms an unfair opinion of OP due to undisclosed migraines? Who knows, but to say s/he should absolutely not let the firm know about the condition (which in turn implicates ADA) is doing him/her disservice in my humble opinion. It's definitely something to keep in mind even if you don't ultimately pull the trigger. Besides, BigLaw is not as heartless as you think, even without ADA consideration, I can assure you.

But that's just my opinion, and I could be wrong.

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Mickfromgm

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Mickfromgm » Tue May 09, 2017 9:41 am

ZVBXRPL wrote:Migraines are a physical impairment and disability, so yes they ARE covered under the ADA.


Not correct, it's never automatic. An employee with an "impairment" (which I presume chronic migraines is) is not automatically "disabled" under ADA. It's a fact-intensive inquiry based on what the employee can and cannot do at work. I know that at least one Federal appeals court (9th or 10th Circuit - can't remember) expressly said migraines are not automatically considered a disability under ADA. I referenced disability in my post, not impairment.

If OP can work fine until 5 or 6 p.m., it's really kind of murky. Again, I am not a labor lawyer so the standard disclaimers apply.
Last edited by Mickfromgm on Tue May 09, 2017 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Npret

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Npret » Tue May 09, 2017 9:42 am

Mickfromgm wrote:OP said she gets bad migraines by the end of the work day. I don't know what she means by "work day" in this context, but if OP is talking about it in conjunction with going to SA events then the migraines probably start pretty early, like 5 or 6 p.m.

Guess what, even when you are just a SA, from time to time (or frequently in many cases), you would have to research the law, meet with attorneys, write memos, so on, well after 5 or 6. Or 8. I imagine you can't perform up to par with such intense pain once it starts; I know I wouldn't. If the attorneys don't know that OP suffers from chronic migraines, what do you think they would think about her abilities and personality? Do you think s/he would get an offer if the firm forms an unfair opinion of OP due to undisclosed migraines? Who knows, but to say s/he should absolutely not let the firm know about the condition (which in turn implicates ADA) is doing him/her disservice in my humble opinion. It's definitely something to keep in mind even if you don't ultimately pull the trigger. Besides, BigLaw is not as heartless as you think, even without ADA consideration, I can assure you.

But that's just my opinion, and I could be wrong.

OP said they had similar hours and did the work. You are presuming a disability that OP says doesn't exist. That is up to OP, not strangers in the internet. OP has no reason to explain the migraines to an associate mentor or the coordinator the first few days on the job as was suggested. I said wait and see if it's a problem

Also I've been an SA and worked in biglaw for 5 1/2years so I know what the job entails. That's why I asked OP about doing the job.

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 11:14 am

I also have health issues that are debilitating (symptoms include migraines), and this is somewhat of a concern for me as well. Typically, I will attend events for just long enough that I can say I was there, and duck out early if I'm feeling ill.

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 1:49 pm

OP here. Ducking out early is a good solution. Practically, how do people handle a doctor's appointment during an SA? My school is in a small area, so I'm trying to see a better neuro while I am in a bigger city. But it seems like DRs hours would conflict with work hours pretty directly.

Npret

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Re: Migraines and SA

Postby Npret » Thu May 11, 2017 1:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Ducking out early is a good solution. Practically, how do people handle a doctor's appointment during an SA? My school is in a small area, so I'm trying to see a better neuro while I am in a bigger city. But it seems like DRs hours would conflict with work hours pretty directly.

You can just say you have a doctors appointment and go. It's not a big deal.



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