Health Issues in Big Law

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Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:58 pm

Before I started my current Big Law job (I lateraled from another firm) I suffered from a physical injury/condition relating to my spine.

I have been working to overcome the issue, but has gotten worse over the last several months. Working long hours in front of a computer (albeit often using a standing desk) has certainly not been helping. According to my doctor, it has made the issue worse or, at the very least, interfered with the healing process.

I am conflicted with how to handle this at work. People know about it and have been generally very accommodating in terms of my doctor's appointments, but Big Law is Big Law and there's no getting around late nights and long, stressful hours.

My doctor has told me he thinks I should be taking it easier at work and would write me a letter attesting to that recommendation, but I am not sure if that's a smart career move.

Does anyone have any experience with these sorts of issues at a firm? I am beginning to worry about my long term health but I also don't want to be viewed as unreliable/slacking etc.

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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:53 pm

Your health is more important than your job and you have federal (and likely state) protections that entitle you to take care of yourself. Stop worrying and do what you need to do for your health.

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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:24 pm

If work is cutting into sleep, definitely start declining some work where you can.

But just to better understand - has your doctor recommended you actually take like bed rest at home? Or what does "taking it easy" mean? And was the issue the same at your old firm, or what about this new one has changed to exacerbate your condition? The longer hours?

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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If work is cutting into sleep, definitely start declining some work where you can.

But just to better understand - has your doctor recommended you actually take like bed rest at home? Or what does "taking it easy" mean? And was the issue the same at your old firm, or what about this new one has changed to exacerbate your condition? The longer hours?


The issue was not as bad at my old firm. It is likely just due to the condition getting worse - I am working roughly the same amount at my new firm.

My doctor hasn't prescribed bed rest, although that may be necessary if surgery occurs, but when he I told him the hours I am working he said something along the lines of making things impossible to heal under that much sitting/working/stress.

Anonymous User
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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:12 pm

Can you work out a flex-time arrangement or a leave of absence with the firm? If there’s a doctor’s note, that gives your request some weight. A formal leave might be easier.

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sublime

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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby sublime » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:41 pm

How much do you work now vs how much do you need to work per the dr? Big difference between only being able to work 8 hours a day vs not being able to do 16+ and all nighters.

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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:40 pm

sublime wrote:How much do you work now vs how much do you need to work per the dr? Big difference between only being able to work 8 hours a day vs not being able to do 16+ and all nighters.


I can work 8 hour days. It's the consistent 14+ hour days that are tough.

I just don't know how to come to that sort of arrangement in Big Law. Not like we can predict what clients want, when they want it etc.

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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Apple Tree » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:00 am

People at my firm (usually junior/mid level associates) have taken medical related leave. Can you apply for short term disability, or at the very least, take unpaid medical leave (if you can afford it) until you are more healed? And then come back as reduced pace?

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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:57 am

Apple Tree wrote:People at my firm (usually junior/mid level associates) have taken medical related leave. Can you apply for short term disability, or at the very least, take unpaid medical leave (if you can afford it) until you are more healed? And then come back as reduced pace?


Do firms pay you on medical leave? I wouldn’t want to miss out on income for month+

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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Apple Tree wrote:People at my firm (usually junior/mid level associates) have taken medical related leave. Can you apply for short term disability, or at the very least, take unpaid medical leave (if you can afford it) until you are more healed? And then come back as reduced pace?


Do firms pay you on medical leave? I wouldn’t want to miss out on income for month+


Does anyone have any experience with the quoted?

Anonymous User
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Re: Health Issues in Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Apple Tree wrote:People at my firm (usually junior/mid level associates) have taken medical related leave. Can you apply for short term disability, or at the very least, take unpaid medical leave (if you can afford it) until you are more healed? And then come back as reduced pace?


Do firms pay you on medical leave? I wouldn’t want to miss out on income for month+


Does anyone have any experience with the quoted?


My firm has disability insurance for us that it pays for. You should investigate your benefits to see if that exists. If it does, you would keep all or a substantial chunk of your pay while you're on leave.



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