Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Thoughts on 2 week vacation?

Debating whether I should take two full weeks this upcoming jd4hire01/23/17
When you get older and hopefully don't have your family fall mtobeinf01/24/17
Take the vacation. Life is short and it sounds like the ris e36m301/23/17
I work in firm of similar size (different practice area),wit bucwild01/23/17
"...huge vacation taboo in America." Is this a thing? pauperesq01/23/17
Maybe it's in my head. I've been extremely lucky with trave jd4hire01/23/17
one of the most respected business people I know has always dingbat01/23/17
If your vacation time doesn't count towards your billable qu flharfh01/23/17
If there is adequate coverage and you are OK on hours, why i trollfeeder01/23/17
Take the vacation. Two weeks feels MUCH longer than you wou ruralattorney01/23/17
The optics may run some older partners the wrong way. There' garfieldfan01/23/17
Go for it man, you wont regret it. And props for planning a mtbislife01/23/17
This is why I'm glad I work in government. No stressing over specv31301/24/17
1000% yes. I did a two week vacation this week and I can't f therover01/24/17
"I did a two week vacation this week and I can't figure out inho2solo02/06/17
Especially at your seniority level, I think you are more tha notiers01/24/17
My 2 cents... ask co-workers what they've seen. Some plac qdllc01/25/17
Take the vacation!!! What will you and your wife remember t3success01/25/17
Ha! I've quoted you multiple times to friends. Nonetheless jd4hire08/28/17
Been practicing 10+ years here. There has not been a "vacat justdoingok01/25/17
Booked it! Two weeks in September. Now to start emailing p jd4hire02/06/17
Well, this is my last Monday until September 18th! Headed o jd4hire08/28/17
Off the grid? Will your badge have retained elevator acce sanka08/28/17

jd4hire (Jan 23, 2017 - 9:44 am)

Debating whether I should take two full weeks this upcoming August/ September. Do med-mal defense for what is a large firm in my state, but by no means "big law." Firm provides 20 vacation days, but does not track at all. During my review in November I brought up taking a big vacation and not rocking boats. They reiterated that all they care about is that I meet my quota (1800). The firm definitely has a good work/life balance and encourages people to take time off. On a regular basis in the summer my boss and named partner will say "it's too nice of a day to be here versus the beach." (If I listened to him every time he said that I would work 2-3 day weeks during the summer).

Quick facts - I'm less than one year in at the firm and in my sixth year of practice. My last review went very well I have mentioned the idea of a trip to two partners in my review, the managing partner, and the partner I work the most with (also the hiring partner). All have been very encouraging, but never once have I explicitly said "I want to take two back to back weeks off."

As to why I want two weeks, my wife and I are planning on heading to Vietnam. Travel time to/from is right at 30 hours. We've been married less than 3 years and are trying to have one more big trip before thinking about starting a family. Last year when I was hired, I had a pre-planned trip to China. China trip was a Thursday through Sunday and no one cared in the least.

My fear is largely rooted in how my father raised me and the huge vacation taboo in America.

Figured I would post here and get some other thoughts/ perspectives. Largest fear is getting canned or having it bite me in the butt bigly for next year's review/ raise/ bonus. Thoughts?

P.S. - Was the site down for anyone else all day yesterday?

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mtobeinf (Jan 24, 2017 - 9:16 am)

When you get older and hopefully don't have your family fall apart(as law is ought to do) you will regret all the days you did not take a vacation. Or when the economy collapse and we degenerate into Mad Max style escapades, a similar regret will be present.

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e36m3 (Jan 23, 2017 - 9:53 am)

Take the vacation. Life is short and it sounds like the risk to your job is minimal. Plus, it's extremely unlikely that you'll be taking any 2 week international vacations when you have kids, especially when they're young.

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bucwild (Jan 23, 2017 - 10:12 am)

I work in firm of similar size (different practice area),with what sounds like a similar vacation policy, billable requirements, etc. I took approximately six weeks off last year, including a 2 week stint for vacation. They did not care I billed over requirement. Go have fun.

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pauperesq (Jan 23, 2017 - 10:49 am)

"...huge vacation taboo in America."


Is this a thing? I've never heard of it.

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jd4hire (Jan 23, 2017 - 10:58 am)

Maybe it's in my head. I've been extremely lucky with travel thus far in my life and have visited around 35 countries (almost all prior to being an attorney). When studying abroad in Brussels and when spending a decent chunk of time with Aussies, the constant takeaway is that Americans do not take near the amount of time or the same type of vacation. Half of Europe shuts down in August. Good luck finding stores during the Spanish siesta time period. Things are different. More apt, I don't know one attorney personally who has taken a full two weeks back to back.

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dingbat (Jan 23, 2017 - 12:00 pm)

one of the most respected business people I know has always insisted that everyone who works in the company take a solid 2 weeks off.
1) If you can't take 2 weeks off, your department can't function without you, and that's a problem
2) If you're up to shenanigans, you can probably cover things up for a week - you can do a few days in advance, and let a few days' work accrue, but two weeks is too much to sit out.

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flharfh (Jan 23, 2017 - 12:18 pm)

If your vacation time doesn't count towards your billable quota, you don't actually have vacation time. It's just a matter of making the time you're missing up elsewhere. If you do that no one should care.

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trollfeeder (Jan 23, 2017 - 1:02 pm)

If there is adequate coverage and you are OK on hours, why is there a worry? If you are going overseas, it is kind of expected that it be a longer trip to make up for how far you are going.

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ruralattorney (Jan 23, 2017 - 1:36 pm)

Take the vacation. Two weeks feels MUCH longer than you would think. With a one week vacation, by the time you start really relaxing it is time to head home.

As long as you bill enough hours to keep them happy, I doubt that anyone will care.

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garfieldfan (Jan 23, 2017 - 7:48 pm)

The optics may run some older partners the wrong way. There's no way around that.

That said, my wife is at a similar firm and I think it would actually be easier for her to take 2 consecutive weeks one time during the year than taking off two separate ones. But again, it's really about people. The company line is obviously just that they want you to get your hours, but you know the people involved and should be able to tell if that's actually true.

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mtbislife (Jan 23, 2017 - 9:39 pm)

Go for it man, you wont regret it. And props for planning a real vacation and not going on a cruise or some all inclusive bs.

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specv313 (Jan 24, 2017 - 10:00 am)

This is why I'm glad I work in government. No stressing over the possibility of losing a job for taking a 2-week vacation. And OP - the way you've describe your firm, those in charge seem fine with a 2-week vacation. Are you seriously thinking you could be "canned" for it? Just seems kind of crazy that a 1 week vacay = perfectly fine, but a 2 week vacay (an extra 5 work days) = maybe I get canned.

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therover (Jan 24, 2017 - 1:22 pm)

1000% yes. I did a two week vacation this week and I can't figure out what took me so long. It was unbelievably relaxing and I came back refreshed. Entirely worth it.

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inho2solo (Feb 6, 2017 - 1:50 pm)

"I did a two week vacation this week and I can't figure out what took me so long. "

Sounds like a soma holiday.

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notiers (Jan 24, 2017 - 4:19 pm)

Especially at your seniority level, I think you are more than entitled to take the vacation. Just "ask" your bosses several months in advance. They will appreciate that. I always "ask" to take off if it's a longer period of time - and my boss, without fail, tells me to have a great time. Unless you work for a prick, if you do good work and make your hours, taking a nice vacation is totally fine.

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qdllc (Jan 25, 2017 - 6:28 am)

My 2 cents... ask co-workers what they've seen.

Some places will honor your right to use the time off they say you get as part of your benefit package. Some will hold it against you. If other lawyers and staff are afraid to take too much time off at one time, that tells you more than the higher-ups saying it's okay with them.

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t3success (Jan 25, 2017 - 7:28 am)

Take the vacation!!!

What will you and your wife remember in 30 years, that awesome vacation you took overseas or the 2 weeks you spent doing initial case reports toiling away in insurance defense?! Life is too short man!

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jd4hire (Aug 28, 2017 - 8:46 am)

Ha! I've quoted you multiple times to friends. Nonetheless, I have two stupid initial case reports to get out this week.

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justdoingok (Jan 25, 2017 - 7:40 am)

Been practicing 10+ years here. There has not been a "vacation" where I have been able to completely get away with doing zero work. As long as you assure the partners you will be checking emails regularly and responsive to urgent issues, it should be ok. Sending out a few emails strategically copying partners to prove you are still on top of your cases wouldn't hurt either. It also gives u an excuse to ask the firm for an international data plan on your phone, for better or worse.

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jd4hire (Feb 6, 2017 - 10:57 am)

Booked it! Two weeks in September. Now to start emailing partners I work with on cases to get their blessing and then get court excusals out.

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jd4hire (Aug 28, 2017 - 8:45 am)

Well, this is my last Monday until September 18th! Headed out Saturday morning. Really just posting as I'm super excited and glad I asked here. The firm is totally supportive, but I just have to stay on top of my hours. Our calendar year ends 10/31. I'm in decent shape, but I have a monster to-do list for work/ home.

Probably have the largest arguments of my short little career this Wednesday. Doubt the judge will render a ruling while I'm away, but it will be a nice note to take a vacation on.

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sanka (Aug 28, 2017 - 10:27 am)

Off the grid?

Will your badge have retained elevator access upon return?

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