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The Vacation Question

December 7, 2007

At the end of the year, we young lawyers at firms often have a conundrum: taking vacation time during and in between the holidays or working as much as possible.  The latter offers us the opportunity to make a big push for “hours.”  Many would say that this time of year is the best time to work because so many people are out of the office that there are less distractions and more can get done.  On the other hand, taking time off allows us to get some much needed rest after a long hard year, as well as time with family.Obviously, there’s no one definite answer that fits everyone.  Personally, I fall in the first camp.  I take my time off a few days at other times during the year and try to only take the work holidays off.   I feel my productivity goes up significantly when there are less phone calls coming in, less people stopping by and even less e-mails to answer.  My aim is not necessarily to put up a certain yearly billable hour number as much as it is to just get work done.   Another friend of mine often takes one to two weeks off at the end of the year, as she has already made her hours and values the time off instead. In any event, no matter where you work, every young lawyer needs some time off and should take at least one to two weeks off every year.  The question then is when that you take that time off: slowly during the year or in a big chunk at the end of the year.   

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