How best to handle this situation?

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Anonymous User
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How best to handle this situation?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:40 am

First year here, so I know I don't have much leverage, but I figured someone else has been in this situation and would know how to best handle it.

I'm currently staffed on a project in the midst of litigation. I'm only somewhat involved on the outskirts (doc review, memos, nothing really substantive). My family, who live 3000 miles away, are visiting for the weekend. This trip has been planned for months. Work informed me that I might be needed for the weekend, but nothing definitive yet, nor do I have any idea what I would be needed for. How do I make BOTH SIDES happy?

edit: I have no idea why BOTH SIDES is capitalized, but I can't fix it

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Lacepiece23
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:First year here, so I know I don't have much leverage, but I figured someone else has been in this situation and would know how to best handle it.

I'm currently staffed on a project in the midst of litigation. I'm only somewhat involved on the outskirts (doc review, memos, nothing really substantive). My family, who live 3000 miles away, are visiting for the weekend. This trip has been planned for months. Work informed me that I might be needed for the weekend, but nothing definitive yet, nor do I have any idea what I would be needed for. How do I make BOTH SIDES happy?

edit: I have no idea why BOTH SIDES is capitalized, but I can't fix it


I'd just let your immediate superior (Most likely the mid-level) know the situation, tell them you can be available remotely, and ask whether this will be a problem. Most likely, the mid level will just suck it up and do the work (if he/she is nice) or you will have to be up at odd hours getting the work done while not with family.

PorscheFanatic
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:28 pm

Also a first year, so I can commiserate, as my best man was in town a few weeks ago for the weekend (lives ~2500 miles away, along with most of my other family and friends).
I got lucky that weekend and was not busy, but was prepared to go into the office if needed, for as long as the work took.

For me, I care about this job, want to learn to be really good at it, so far I'm having fun (I know it hasn't been long), and *think* I'd like to make partner someday (again, I know it's too early to make this decision). All that to say, take what I'm saying with a grain of salt if this isn't you.

I've made it very clear to all of my family and friends that I'm the newest/lowest guy on the totem pole at a new very highly demanding job that requires lots of hours, and not just on weekdays. My schedule can change at any moment, even after they've already flown out to visit. If this happens, they know they get full access to my car and apartment, and can use it as a vacation, with the chance that they won't see much of me. With that stage set, friends and family have all been super supportive and still come to visit me, and expectations are set for everyone.

Also, FWIW, I live in southern CA and my wife works normal hours, so the town I live in lends itself to "vacationing" even if my east coast friends/family can't see me, and my wife is pretty much always available when people visit.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:49 pm

PorscheFanatic wrote:Also a first year, so I can commiserate, as my best man was in town a few weeks ago for the weekend (lives ~2500 miles away, along with most of my other family and friends).
I got lucky that weekend and was not busy, but was prepared to go into the office if needed, for as long as the work took.

For me, I care about this job, want to learn to be really good at it, so far I'm having fun (I know it hasn't been long), and *think* I'd like to make partner someday (again, I know it's too early to make this decision). All that to say, take what I'm saying with a grain of salt if this isn't you.

I've made it very clear to all of my family and friends that I'm the newest/lowest guy on the totem pole at a new very highly demanding job that requires lots of hours, and not just on weekdays. My schedule can change at any moment, even after they've already flown out to visit. If this happens, they know they get full access to my car and apartment, and can use it as a vacation, with the chance that they won't see much of me. With that stage set, friends and family have all been super supportive and still come to visit me, and expectations are set for everyone.

Also, FWIW, I live in southern CA and my wife works normal hours, so the town I live in lends itself to "vacationing" even if my east coast friends/family can't see me, and my wife is pretty much always available when people visit.


This is an approach, but I wouldn't recommend it. I would have probably taken a similar approach as a first year, but I don't think it's necessary. In your first year, you are really interchangeable with another associate, especially for something like this. Granted, true emergencies do exist where you have to be on call and should be prepared to cancel plans. This doesn't seem like such a situation. I'd take advantage, and, rather than rearrange everything first just communicate with your superiors. It takes a minute to pick up the phone, call, and let them know what is going on. And no one will remember that you weren't available for one weekend on a non-fire drill type thing. I've learned this lesson the hard way.

tyroneslothrop1
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:51 pm

PorscheFanatic wrote:Also a first year, so I can commiserate, as my best man was in town a few weeks ago for the weekend (lives ~2500 miles away, along with most of my other family and friends).
I got lucky that weekend and was not busy, but was prepared to go into the office if needed, for as long as the work took.

For me, I care about this job, want to learn to be really good at it, so far I'm having fun (I know it hasn't been long), and *think* I'd like to make partner someday (again, I know it's too early to make this decision). All that to say, take what I'm saying with a grain of salt if this isn't you.

I've made it very clear to all of my family and friends that I'm the newest/lowest guy on the totem pole at a new very highly demanding job that requires lots of hours, and not just on weekdays. My schedule can change at any moment, even after they've already flown out to visit. If this happens, they know they get full access to my car and apartment, and can use it as a vacation, with the chance that they won't see much of me. With that stage set, friends and family have all been super supportive and still come to visit me, and expectations are set for everyone.

Also, FWIW, I live in southern CA and my wife works normal hours, so the town I live in lends itself to "vacationing" even if my east coast friends/family can't see me, and my wife is pretty much always available when people visit.


Probably you will debase yourself in this manner and then not even make partner (even assuming you are a talented lawyer). The most likely outcome is that you dedicate your life to this firm and after 8 years they say thanks but please move on.

PorscheFanatic
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:01 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:
PorscheFanatic wrote:Also a first year, so I can commiserate, as my best man was in town a few weeks ago for the weekend (lives ~2500 miles away, along with most of my other family and friends).
I got lucky that weekend and was not busy, but was prepared to go into the office if needed, for as long as the work took.

For me, I care about this job, want to learn to be really good at it, so far I'm having fun (I know it hasn't been long), and *think* I'd like to make partner someday (again, I know it's too early to make this decision). All that to say, take what I'm saying with a grain of salt if this isn't you.

I've made it very clear to all of my family and friends that I'm the newest/lowest guy on the totem pole at a new very highly demanding job that requires lots of hours, and not just on weekdays. My schedule can change at any moment, even after they've already flown out to visit. If this happens, they know they get full access to my car and apartment, and can use it as a vacation, with the chance that they won't see much of me. With that stage set, friends and family have all been super supportive and still come to visit me, and expectations are set for everyone.

Also, FWIW, I live in southern CA and my wife works normal hours, so the town I live in lends itself to "vacationing" even if my east coast friends/family can't see me, and my wife is pretty much always available when people visit.


Probably you will debase yourself in this manner and then not even make partner (even assuming you are a talented lawyer). The most likely outcome is that you dedicate your life to this firm and after 8 years they say thanks but please move on.


My situation is a bit unique in that I'm a bit less interchangeable since I'm the only junior associate doing corporate in my satellite office. We get pretty heavy deal flow, and everything is just very leanly staffed because of our office size, and partners are pretty hands on here.

umichman
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby umichman » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:01 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:
PorscheFanatic wrote:Also a first year, so I can commiserate, as my best man was in town a few weeks ago for the weekend (lives ~2500 miles away, along with most of my other family and friends).
I got lucky that weekend and was not busy, but was prepared to go into the office if needed, for as long as the work took.

For me, I care about this job, want to learn to be really good at it, so far I'm having fun (I know it hasn't been long), and *think* I'd like to make partner someday (again, I know it's too early to make this decision). All that to say, take what I'm saying with a grain of salt if this isn't you.

I've made it very clear to all of my family and friends that I'm the newest/lowest guy on the totem pole at a new very highly demanding job that requires lots of hours, and not just on weekdays. My schedule can change at any moment, even after they've already flown out to visit. If this happens, they know they get full access to my car and apartment, and can use it as a vacation, with the chance that they won't see much of me. With that stage set, friends and family have all been super supportive and still come to visit me, and expectations are set for everyone.

Also, FWIW, I live in southern CA and my wife works normal hours, so the town I live in lends itself to "vacationing" even if my east coast friends/family can't see me, and my wife is pretty much always available when people visit.


Probably you will debase yourself in this manner and then not even make partner (even assuming you are a talented lawyer). The most likely outcome is that you dedicate your life to this firm and after 8 years they say thanks but please move on.


Ive been taking an inbetween approach. Setting low expectations for visitors while also letting people know that I would appreciate not working that weekend unless necessary. Its worked out alright.

PorscheFanatic
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:06 pm

I'm the first year above that wrote the long post about setting expectations low...

I should mention that I don't go into the office just to do so, I try to let the senior associate above me know when people are coming to town casually in conversation so that he knows, and he pretty much always works remotely on weekends anyway. I just tell them I'm available should an ACTUAL emergency come up and it's all hands on deck, and then try to put in a little extra face time in the couple days leading up to/after out of town visitors.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:47 pm

PorscheFanatic wrote:I'm the first year above that wrote the long post about setting expectations low...

I should mention that I don't go into the office just to do so, I try to let the senior associate above me know when people are coming to town casually in conversation so that he knows, and he pretty much always works remotely on weekends anyway. I just tell them I'm available should an ACTUAL emergency come up and it's all hands on deck, and then try to put in a little extra face time in the couple days leading up to/after out of town visitors.


Yeah, this is the right approach.

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Nebby
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby Nebby » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:58 pm

BOTH SIDES

Anonymous User
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:50 pm

Thanks for all the responses. The only thing is, similar to the OP above, it is a smaller firm (i.e. midlaw) - I'm working directly with the partners (and one other associate) on the matter.

NUDad
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Re: How best to handle this situation?

Postby NUDad » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:18 pm

Unless it's a wedding, funeral or birth of a baby, work takes priority here. Sorry, that's the life you've chosen.




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