Monday, December 06, 2004

There's an associate I work with who's on vacation this week. Something has already come up this morning that I've needed her for. She'll probably end up billing enough hours that it won't count as a vacation day. Sometimes people like that, because even if they're on vacation, they can spare four or five hours in the middle of the day, and then it's like they get credit for being in the office. I've often made the argument, though, that if we give people credit for doing work when they're on vacation, we should subtract a vacation day for every time they're in the office and don't bill a certain number of hours. It would save us a great deal of money in the end. I've had trouble getting much support though.

It could actually be less stressful for attorneys who worry about hitting their billables to apply vacation days to days they are in the office.

Out of curiosity, what do you think that daily minimum should be?
This is boring. How many more "I want to screw the associates out of their paychecks so I can keep more for me" posts can you possibly do? Yes, yes, you are selfish, you hate them and want them to slave for you and you don't want to pay them anything. Good for you, move on, or at least be more funny about it.
Actually, that makes a lot of sense, and it is a position I've suggested to several professional firms. Always meet with resistance. Not sure if I would do it to a 1st year associate, but after a year if you can't meet billables then it makes sense to dock vacation time for the balance. Honestly, if you are required to bill 190 a month and only hit 170, how can one argue that isn't the same as using 20 hours of vacation?
11:33 - don't want to pay them for it? Jesus christ, how much better should first year associates be paid? What other job starts in the six figures after a mere three years of grad school? For the wages first years make, AL should be able to be as tightfisted as he wants.
wow. another riveting post. keep up the good work AL!
Vacation? What's a vacation?
AL, you've got some new competition.
He's (she's?) good:
Too much competition too many other places --
Couldn't this eventually lead to something akin to flex time? Or, at least to unannounced vacations? If I were an associate, or even a partner, couldn't I work, say, 130 hours one week, unannounced for what ever reason, get docked 30 hours for vacation, and everything equal out? (assuming of course, a 40 hour work week, I'm sure no one working's that few).

Its not actually a bad idea. Some cities offer tax breaks to businesses who offer flex time, in a bid to get people off the roads during rush hour. And this would make your firm seem more family friendly, which it looks like you strive for. As long as you use fear to keep everyone in line, and blackberries to keep them tethered, it could work out. But, probably not.
My firm pretty much does that. If we don't account for our minimum daily hours, we are expected to use the vacation charge number. If you don't, you get flagged in the accounting system as a non-biller. For a lot of associates, this really sucks.
This might be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard and I'm not surprised given that it comes from a partner who is, by definition, stupid. You do realize don't you that associates often have downtime because you partners are slow -- on those days, penalizing the associate by taking his vacation time is the same as blaming an associate for your own shortcomings, which partners do all the time.
this one's worth checking out as well: new, but has some promise.
Well, we now know that AL's practice isn't employment law... "billing enough hours that it won't count as a vacation day" lmao ... you mean 1 second?
Hey 4:09. Your firm might be violating the Fair Labor Standards Act because you cannot dock a professional for working too few hours. If you do, the professional is treated like any old wage worker. Thus, you would be entitled to to overtime (i.e. take your salary divide it by the number of hours you actually worked and give you time and a half for every hour over 40 you worked each week, which at a firm salary will equal some big money). Of course, I have no clue if some exception would apply. But if you really feel like burning down your firm, this is an area you might want to look into.
Anonymous Lawyer is a success because none of us can help but read these posts and wonder...are they fact or fiction? Is this for real? We love to wonder, "Who is this guy?"

I suspect that those who read Anonymous Lawyer want it to be real. As lawyers, most of us probably feel some tension between what remains of our naive ideals and what actually confronts us in practice. Anonymous lawyer embodies that tension. In one post or another, we hate Anonymous Lawyer. In the next, we sympathize with him and understand his plight.

Who cares whether Anonymous Lawyer is a real hiring partner? It's a good read. It's great stuff. The posts are well thought out and actually tend to entertain and provoke thought. Anonymous Lawyer's posts have a beginning, middle and end. In other words, they have a point. This is something some of those who comment might want to make note of.

For those who feel the need to comment, please don't dilute the greatness by providing links to hacks like anonymous law professor. I barely have time to read Anonymous Lawyer, let alone some drivel passed off as blawging on these other mindless web sites. There really is no competition for Anonymous Lawyer, whether it's the real deal or smoke and mirrors.

This site is as stale as some of my older farts still hanging in the air above my computer.
My experience with lawyers is that very, very few of them ever think in terms of the law applying to them. Fee splitting with non-lawyers? Fair labor act? EEOC issues? Disclosing hidden profits to those with whom one has a fiduciary relationship?

The issues with docking professionals, turning them into hourly workers, etc. are interesting, as are those that go to the amount of productive time you can get from an associate. Hours vs. net productive work is a fun topic, yet one that rarely gets addressed other than in IP litigation cost audits (having defended a partner in one of those).

I don't think things will change, but it was fun to see someone spotting the issues.
Hey jackass--post another one about associates greedily eating food. Those are classic!

Seriously, this blog went wayyyy down hill after all of the summer program / recruiting stuff dried up.
Everyone's a critic here. Or a pundit. Anonymous Law Professor is another, and his website is pretty funny too (so far):
This blog is written by a very bright paralegal/legal assistant. I'm sure a million others have reached this conclusion.
Fot those that have not bothered investigating yet, the anonymous solo and ex-associate blogs are decent reads. Associate seems very tangible and is quite refreshing. Solo bears a lot of similarities to AL but is not (or, at least, does not claim to be) fictional.

In case it wasn't blindingly obvious by the blatant self-promotion, Anonymous Law Prof *blows*. AL is mysterious enough to keep people guessing whether AL is a female or not, and whether AL is in fact a paralegal or not. In comparison, ALP is probably a 2L or 3L at some middle-tier (or lower) school that went to law school fresh out of undergrad.
Forget the FLSA and the rest of those pussy ass Federal Employment laws. Does anyone enforce those?

If this jackass is really in California, he has some real fucking Rambo government to deal with, the FEHA. And the firm is going to get its balls smelted by the first associate that lets the labor commissioner know they get their vacation charged on any day they do so much as read an email.

Hey, anyone here a plaintiff's lawyer? If this fuck is real, you could sue this guy. Out him. That would be classic. I can't wait to read about it.

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