Associate Life

Andrew Stauber

A Day in the Life of a WilmerHale Associate

September 21, 2012 9:15 AM | Permalink | Print

Below is a running diary of my day on Friday, September 07, 2012:

6:57 a.m.: Woke up to the sound of my 9.5 month old daughter, Kelsey, stirring in her crib. She’s not exactly cooing, definitely not fussing, just making a sufficient amount of noise so that I will hear her through the baby monitor and come in and play with her. She succeeded. We played for about a half-an-hour, highlighted by some epic peek-a-boo. I never knew a human being could enjoy peek-a-boo this much.

7:40 a.m.: Commence morning get-ready ritual. I’m out the door by 8:05 a.m. and en route to the Green Line T-stop. Today, the Green Line takes mercy on me, arriving in just a couple of minutes and not refusing me entry because of over-capacity.

8:40 a.m.: Arrive at work. Walk around and say hello to the other attorneys in my group. Laura, a partner in my group, talks about plans for her husband’s big birthday (one that rhymes with nifty). Stephanie talks about plans with her kids—potentially a Red Sox game on the horizon for Sunday. I fill up my water bottle, start up my computer, and survey a buffet of internet sites to review what’s going on in the world of labor and employment law, New England, the world, University of Virginia sports, and pop culture (not necessarily in that order).

8:53 a.m.: My daily web surfing is cut 2-3 minutes short by a phone call from a managing director of a tech. company in Germany, who is calling to discuss some employment-related issues for a US subsidiary. His English is amazing. Reflecting back on our conversation, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to explain the nuances of US employment law to someone who has no familiarity with the subject. This client and I had two more conversations over the course of the day. I consulted Stephanie for help with some of the issues that came up from these conversations.

10:00 a.m.: Do some quick research for Laura on an employer’s personnel records obligations under California law.

11:15 a.m.: Dive into the wonderful world of labor law. Research a concept that was fairly foreign to me until this morning: who is considered a confidential employee under the National Labor Relations Act. In prep for my 2:15 p.m. call with our nonprofit organization client, I feel proficient on the subject.

12:01 p.m.: LUNCH! If it weren’t for my self-imposed rule that I can’t eat until noon each day, I would wind up eating my sandwich, chips, and banana (I usually bring) by 10:15 a.m. After lunch, I return to researching labor law and I check in with Ariella from my group to discuss the fruits of my research (a combination of 40% internet searching, 40% treatise reviewing, 20% WestLaw).

2:15 p.m.: Call with non-profit regarding labor law. This is the first time I talked with this pro bono client. The director is very personable and knowledgeable.

3:00 p.m.: Draft an attachment to an employment agreement in connection with a transaction that our corporate group is undertaking. Later on in the afternoon, I had a call with Jordan, a first year in the corporate practice group, to walk through the document and discuss how we can modify it to mesh with the quirks for this particular deal.

4:00 p.m.: Research legal and practical issues concerning compensatory time off for exempt employees here in Massachusetts. After about 50 minutes of researching, I have a call with Joanne from our Washington DC office to talk about my findings and to brainstorm our recommendation to the client.

5:15 p.m.: CAMS! Our weekly Friday afternoon happy hour in the cafeteria on 27. I make a quick appearance, say hello to a few friends, grab a mini hot-dog, and take off early to head home to see Kelsey and my wife before Kelsey’s bedtime and pack for a weekend wedding in Vermont.