I was told that schools can accept you based on your current LSAT if they think it is good enough (even if you have indicated writing a future one). I know Ottawa told me this! However, I'm not sure what Osgoodes, Queens and Westerns policies are.
Huge difference between demands inherent to the job, demands inherent to realistic but difficult (for many) demands of the firm, and demands inherent to unrealistic demands of the firm.
Especially when employer demands worsen the service delivered to the client, either or both in terms of quality or fees charged.
Let me ask this: if a client is paying for e.g. litigation counsel for a 2-week trial, should they reasonably expect that the lawyer is dealing with that trial solely, getting enough sleep, not distracted by other work matters, for instance, and that the firm should support that? Or should the lawyer be expected to, on evenings and weekends and during lunch, instead of recharging and preparing for the next part of the trial, be working on other matters?
A Toronto boutique example albeit from years ago, a senior lawyer at my firm had a weeklong trial adjourned at the last minute (opposing counsel had a sudden health issue or something). He was able to take a sudden weeklong vacation, because the trial had been the sole thing he was preparing for that week.
Now, that's litigation, not more solicitor-sided work, and not NYC. But paying large amounts for tired lawyers working more slowly than they would if well-rested may be good for the employer, but it's not good for the lawyers or the client.
Everyone has times when they have to work long hours without rest, be it an emergency motion or deal or whatever. But that should be when necessary due to the demands of the situation, not the demands of the employer.
Of course, my views on this may relate to why I'm not practising law FT anymore...
EDIT: and to try to relate to the topic of this thread, let's say a woman lawyer is being very ethical and is saying, hey, I have a trial going on now, I need to focus on this. Will she be more likely to be considered a less-hard-working prima donna, as compared to a man, who's going to be seen as focusing on the job? Or will they both be seen as slackers?