Why Law Firms Lawyers Must Work Weekends and Holidays: Law Firms Own Your Time and You Do Not
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

Paradoxically, it is generally the youngest and most promising associates on paper whose careers take a hit due to their work ethic, in part because they have an unwillingness to work on weekends. Presumably, they think that they are immune from having to work hard because they can coast on the merits of what they did in the past. The purpose of this essay is to discuss the necessity of working on weekends and holidays. I understand that this message may seem overly harsh, and for a young associate, it does sound harsh. Nevertheless, unless you are working weekends and holidays as an attorney, your career with most serious law firms will be short-lived.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, you should be working weekends and holidays as an associate because (a) it is a privilege to have work, (b) there is only one way your firm makes money, (c) clients do not care about your weekend, (d) there are only a certain number of admission tickets to the partnership, and (e) you will not always be expected to work weekends and holidays.