{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I am an associate at an AM200 firm and was (IMO) very clear prior to accepting this role that I value work-life balance and wanted to try to keep work at night on the weekends to a minimal, but since February, it seems like it’s always something that requires my time as needed disregarding “business hours” or my personal schedule. Thoughts on whether to bring this up or continue to be a team player until I burn out and pay off my student loans?", "post_id": "60ca9a933dd4750020d9252a", "reply_count": 30, "vote_count": 12, "bowl_id": "5dba147dd2d8ac00223b11d9", "bowl_name": "Litigation & Arbitration" }

I am an associate at an AM200 firm and was (IMO) very clear prior to accepting this role that I value work-life balance and wanted to try to keep work at night on the weekends to a minimal, but since February, it seems like it’s always something that requires my time as needed disregarding “business hours” or my personal schedule. Thoughts on whether to bring this up or continue to be a team player until I burn out and pay off my student loans?

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I’m surprised by these responses. I work at an AM200 firm and generally have a healthy work life balance. When I work late, it’s usually because I didn’t get my 8 hours in earlier. Of course, there are some longer days here and there, but it’s not an every day thing. I also have many of my weekends to myself. Don’t listen to everyone on here. It is possible to work at an AM200 firm and have a balance. I’m not sure what to do in your situation though because I’ve only ever been at my current firm. If I were you, and you’re really unhappy, maybe shop around?

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Associate 6, please share firm

Bring it up, especially if you like or love the law. If you wait until you burn out you may find yourself wanting to quit the legal profession entirely I am 51 and many partners at firms around the US are around my age or older. We didn’t even know what “work- life balance” was when we started practicing law. We have had to learn it and it doesn’t come naturally to us. However, if you bring it up and tactfully remind your partner about the commitment made to you when you were hired, you might be pleasantly surprised by the response you get. Maybe tell him or her that you like the firm and don’t want to burn out, which is why you are raising it now before it’s too late. Our partners have had to change our mindset so that our younger talent doesn’t burn out. It takes so long to hire and train new associates that if your firm is smart, the partners will not want to lose a talented associate due to overwork. Good luck!

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Lmao, the delusion …. You went to an AM200 law firm and expect “business hours”? Cmon now…

likefunnysmarthelpful

Take comfort knowing that many people at smaller firms work just as hard and get paid much less. You’re one of the fortunate ones

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A3 - I do not regret the change at all. I make a lower base salary, but I have an opportunity to make more because I get paid a % of cases the we win/settle in addition to my base salary. At the end of the day, I have more autonomy, client interaction and have built up my confidence a ton. My boss allows me to make mistakes but I have freedom to thrive. Leaving big law was the best decision I have ever made.

Stop framing an unreasonable schedule as being a “team player.” Associates don’t need to be available 24/7 to “justify” their salary. Work overtime when you absolutely need to and set firm boundaries when you don’t. If it doesn’t work for your firm, it’s not the right firm for you.

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Amen. I’ve set boundaries from the day it became clear no one was going to set them/ look out for me

likesmart

Yeah that seems kind of silly on your part, you know what hours you work by the salary you receive. You don’t get to dictate the terms of your work life balance, the work load does

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To expand - AM200 based in the Midwest and has grown rather significantly since I joined last year. I do not make market salary or close to the new scale. About $60k less in a major market. The hours aren’t outrageous (~180 per month) it’s more the times at which I’m expected to work… after 8 pm, weekends… because that’s when partners are working. The firm truly did sell me on reasonable hours and many associates in the Midwest report business hours or close with some exception for emergency or filings. Seems to be a disconnect from markets which I’d expect, but not as prominent as it is.

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Wow sounds like some MAJORLY childless partners who work during non-business hours and expect you to work weekends. I cast the stink eye on such people.

if you made your expectations clear AND they make assurances about your work life balance, then I think you’re justified in saying that they aren’t following through on their representations. I also agree you could explore going part time, but that would mean a pay reduction.

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Have you considered going “part time” - lots of firms offer an 80% option (that they may or may not publicize) that would help manage your workload and minimize how often you’ll need to work outside business hours.

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How many hours a month are you billing?

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I was hired on a similar promise. Left after a year because 6 months in, that promise went out the window. Took a 20% paycut though

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