Law

PARTNERS: two questions —1. If you see an associate has really low hours for the month, do you imagine them chillen on a beach somewhere or do you consider they probably spent most of their days sitting in front of the computer being “available”? 2. If you send an associate a random e-mail on a weekend like “Can you pull X and send to Y”, would you get annoyed if they responded saying they weren’t by a comp or would you consider it reasonable that they wouldn’t be by a comp on a weekend?

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1. It depends on what the associate’s hours look like big picture over the course of the year. If they just finished a big project and had a breather month but are otherwise doing well, then fine. If they habitually have low hours, then I’d wonder what was going on. Are they not getting assigned work? If so, why? Are they refusing work they should be taking? 2. It’s fine to say “I would be happy to. The soonest I can get to my computer is X time.”

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likehelpfulsmart
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Work/life balance is missing from this thread. I’ve been practicing 36 years. I hate to think of my young colleagues glued to their computers all weekend. You’re a better lawyer with rest and perspective and other interests.

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Re: 1, I imagine at the beach but I know that probably isn’t true. My hope and expectation is that the associate is available. Maybe not necessarily sitting and waiting in front of a computer but having their phone for email and having access to a computer relatively quickly if needed. Re: 2, you get a bit more leeway on a weekend but unless you have cleared it with your team in advance, being out of pocket with no computer all weekend is absolutely not acceptable. Being the weekend you get a few hours (and still should be able to take a call asap if an emergency), but not a whole day or two.

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Different expectations in different practice areas then as I have no idea what "weekend firedrill" even means or entails. I can only speak from my practice area and all I know is if I get a call for an emergency response collision/pollution matter on a weekend or in the middle of the night, and I am not able to attend to it for one reason or another, my partner flies out to cover it and vice versa - without any need to report on weekend plans.

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