Hurricane Sandy Closes Law Firms, But Attorneys Still Working

By Andrew Lu on October 31, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Hurricane Sandy knocks out many law firms, but attorneys keep working.

Manhattan is surrounded by water and many of the biggest law firms pay ridiculous amounts of rent for the low-lying real estate.

But every once in a while when a hurricane hits, the city shuts down. Expecting the worst, many Manhattan firms prepared for Hurricane Sandy by shuttering its offices. But instead of getting a vacation (remember, snow days?), attorneys were told to keep on working via BlackBerry's and computer, reports Reuters.

In fact, many workers were still told to come in to man skeletal crews in the offices. And some firms rented office space on safe grounds for the attorneys who came to work. As they say, the world keeps turning.

The reality of an associate attorney at these big firms is that you have to meet billable requirements as well as the expectations of your clients. So even if your client is temporarily offline due to the storm, you’re still expected to keep billing and to keep working.

And if you do take the day off due to weather emergency, it’s likely that your billable requirement won’t be adjusted downwards. Instead, be prepared to work your weekends to make up the lost time.

A lawyer at White & Case said Hurricane Sandy isn’t the first major storm to hit the city, and as in the past, “if something had to get done, and people had to be in the office to get the work done, they always found a way,” reports Reuters. The lawyer added that he expected it to be no different this time.

Being a lawyer at one of these firms can be tough. But it does make it easier to deal with callousness by your employer, when your average starting salary is $145,000.

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