{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Does anyone else feel like having kids is the only acceptable reason to not be in the office 24/7? If I choose not to have children, do I not have any valid reason to have a life outside work?", "post_id": "5ddc6e92d78b8b00283cbe88", "reply_count": 11, "vote_count": 8, "bowl_id": "5dd73abc232d3e001a6b4b31", "bowl_name": "Mental Health and the Legal Profession", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Does anyone else feel like having kids is the only acceptable reason to not be in the office 24/7? If I choose not to have children, do I not have any valid reason to have a life outside work?

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At my previous firm, nothing would annoy me when I was legit asked to pick up slack between (1) 5 and 7 and (2) on weekends because the other associates needed to be with the baby. Not my problem they chose to have kids.

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I know where you are coming from - no kids and I live in walking distance to the office. Most other attorneys’ commutes are 40+ minutes.m and they all have families. The only ways I feel like no one cares if I’m not around are if I have a networking event or an appointment. It’s strange to feel at a slight disadvantage because I don’t have a family, especially when it is typically the other way around.

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You don’t need an excuse to be out of the office. Do great work, hit or exceed your hours target, and show your face during normal work hours. The rest of your time is yours and you should work just as hard at building a life during those hours as you do at being a lawyer during your work time.

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At about that point in my career I started pushing back hard on moronic firm conventions. I had already grown a ponytail (I’m a guy) but over time I stopped wearing suits except for court, stopped observing office hours for the sake of face time, and otherwise made a point to be who I am. All of these things happened gradually as I tested the waters without repercussions. But I continued to exceed hours targets and produce the best work I could. Over time it became clear that that’s all the people at my firm cared about. I obviously don’t know what firm you work at or in what city, but if your partners are really big enough a-holes to keep score for unnecessary face time by a respected, productive, skilled senior associate, the. you are definitely at the wrong firm. Think about it this way: is that who you want to become, if that is indeed how partners treat their associates?

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It must depend on the firm. I'm at a small firm, and I do not feel like I was asked to work more nights/weekends before having a kid. My work hours stayed about the same, or even increased a little.

100%, just another reason I want to start a family!

Chill, I want kids and I am just saying that OP’s sentiment is correct and it will be nice to know I can’t take a step back from work when I do have kids based on how it is with my colleagues that are kids

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