• In the law practice, it is important for an associate to show his or her superiors that their job is more than just a job.
  • It instead is almost a lifestyle.
  • This is why attorneys who want to prove their capability, as well as that their work is more than just a job, work on weekends and holidays.

To be clear, this article is going to deal with, and encourage, some rather inhumane truths about practicing law in law firms. I cannot tell you how many associate careers I have seen ruined by the wrong attitude when it comes to working weekends and holidays. While you may consider working in a law firm ''just a job,'' if you telegraph that message to your superiors, you will be in trouble quite quickly. In order to really thrive in a law firm, your work must be far, far more than just a job. There is no better way to let your superiors know that your work is more than just a job than working on the weekend and working during the holidays. To get ahead, you must do this. You certainly do not need to work every weekend and holiday. Nevertheless, working on Saturdays and Sundays should not be something you make a major effort to avoid.

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.