How much vacation time in big law???

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Abbie Doobie

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Abbie Doobie » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:52 am

on quite the necro-ing binge, yeah?

also lol at the idea of firms giving "paid vacation days". law firm vacation days are probably one of the biggest flames ever created. vacation days in biglaw don't mean shit unless i get 8 hours contributed toward my billable hour requirement when i take 8 hours of vacation time, which of course is not a real thing anywhere. the reality is that there is no vacation: if you take 8 hours off, you are making up that 8 hours at some point in the future (by working late or weekends).

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twiix

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby twiix » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:17 am

kellyfrost wrote:Vacation in big law? Does such a thing exist?


You're trolling posts that have been dead for literally 7 years. This is what your life has come to?

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kellyfrost

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby kellyfrost » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:12 am

TWiiX wrote:
kellyfrost wrote:Vacation in big law? Does such a thing exist?


You're trolling posts that have been dead for literally 7 years. This is what your life has come to?


Turns out I am just bored, maybe you could offer me some reading recommendations?
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:31 am

My nyc firm allows us to take 20 days and people use all of it. Everyone works pretty hard though.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:50 am

When I was at a NYC V10, everyone got 20 vacation days and everyone used them (though sometimes vacations had to be cancelled because of deals or filings). In fact as a first year, with the 5 carryover days we got, I used all 25 vacation days and had good reviews. Also, the partners were keen on people NOT working on vacation (had enough bodies to cover). At the V100 i'm at now, you get 4 weeks, but I know people that work a lot on vacation and partners routinely call and email you work even if on vacation....i'm trying to leave as fast as possible.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:When I was at a NYC V10, everyone got 20 vacation days and everyone used them (though sometimes vacations had to be cancelled because of deals or filings). In fact as a first year, with the 5 carryover days we got, I used all 25 vacation days and had good reviews. Also, the partners were keen on people NOT working on vacation (had enough bodies to cover). At the V100 i'm at now, you get 4 weeks, but I know people that work a lot on vacation and partners routinely call and email you work even if on vacation....i'm trying to leave as fast as possible.


I think it's actually harder to take vacation days at V100 firms rather than V10 firms. Teams are often staffed leaner and there are not as many junior associates. Also, we have a lot of clients at my firm who won't let you add a new associate to the bill so you really can't get coverage on some matters even though theoretically you should be able to have someone cover for you. I'd actually say that vacations are more of a thing at V10 firms, but this is of course just a generalization.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When I was at a NYC V10, everyone got 20 vacation days and everyone used them (though sometimes vacations had to be cancelled because of deals or filings). In fact as a first year, with the 5 carryover days we got, I used all 25 vacation days and had good reviews. Also, the partners were keen on people NOT working on vacation (had enough bodies to cover). At the V100 i'm at now, you get 4 weeks, but I know people that work a lot on vacation and partners routinely call and email you work even if on vacation....i'm trying to leave as fast as possible.


I think it's actually harder to take vacation days at V100 firms rather than V10 firms. Teams are often staffed leaner and there are not as many junior associates. Also, we have a lot of clients at my firm who won't let you add a new associate to the bill so you really can't get coverage on some matters even though theoretically you should be able to have someone cover for you. I'd actually say that vacations are more of a thing at V10 firms, but this is of course just a generalization.


I know, I left the V10 because it was so intense when you were busy, and at the V100 it is just less intense, but still intense and on top of it you need to worry about you vacations. I'm trying to leave NYC for a smaller city (non-major market) and a smaller firm and just hope that doing so will ease up the stress

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:32 pm

I tried taking a "vacation" for a week from my NY firm - went to CA. Most miserable vacation of my life, got woken up by my phone exploding with work emails that I had to respond to multiple times given the time difference. I also had an emergency erupt when I was out of cell service and couldn't send an attachment I was responsible for to the group, so I had to drive to a coffee shop, which also had horrible wifi and it took another 30 minutes to send (meanwhile the partner/associates were emailing and calling me asking wtf was going on). I probably got 2 days that were actually 'free and clear' out of the week.

worst...time off...ever

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:02 pm

If you go on vacation, I recommend ones where cell service is terrible (or at least lying to people and telling them the service will be bad). This way the expectations that you'll respond are far lower. Also, don't respond right away to emails. Wait a few hours and make it seem like service is spotty and you just received the email. This might make people more hesitant to bother you.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:15 pm

I work at a biglaw firm doing corporate in a west coast office, so I can only speak to that. People definitely take vacations here. It is a bitch to plan, though, and some are more aggressive about protecting their vacation than others. A lot of people here also try to bank their vacation days and don't take many. I probably take like 10 days a year on average. We get 15 days, not including holidays, as juniors and then 20 as midlevels.

I generally try to take days off around weekends and 3 day weekends because I'm generally not trying to go to Europe or Asia for vacation anyways. We recently were told that some partners are annoyed by this.

Some people do leave for 1-2 weeks at a time but you have to be somewhat aggressive, give heads up, seek out staffing, etc.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:21 pm

Firms that adopt the "unlimited vacation" policy usually do so they don't have to cut people fat checks for unused vacation time when the person laterals/is stealthed.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When I was at a NYC V10, everyone got 20 vacation days and everyone used them (though sometimes vacations had to be cancelled because of deals or filings). In fact as a first year, with the 5 carryover days we got, I used all 25 vacation days and had good reviews. Also, the partners were keen on people NOT working on vacation (had enough bodies to cover). At the V100 i'm at now, you get 4 weeks, but I know people that work a lot on vacation and partners routinely call and email you work even if on vacation....i'm trying to leave as fast as possible.


I think it's actually harder to take vacation days at V100 firms rather than V10 firms. Teams are often staffed leaner and there are not as many junior associates. Also, we have a lot of clients at my firm who won't let you add a new associate to the bill so you really can't get coverage on some matters even though theoretically you should be able to have someone cover for you. I'd actually say that vacations are more of a thing at V10 firms, but this is of course just a generalization.


I know, I left the V10 because it was so intense when you were busy, and at the V100 it is just less intense, but still intense and on top of it you need to worry about you vacations. I'm trying to leave NYC for a smaller city (non-major market) and a smaller firm and just hope that doing so will ease up the stress


I'm in another market. And the OP from above. I think you need to think about midsized firms. Regional biglaw won't cut it if you want vacations. Most likely.

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rpupkin

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know this may be atypical, but I have been doing research primarily into sunshine state big-law (What...omfg it exists?) and the two or three firms I have really looked into offered 15-20 days paid vacation during your first 4 years, after 4 years it increased to 20-25.

In my experience, there's no real correlation between a firm's paid vacation policy (e.g., "4 weeks a year") and the number of vacation days that you will actually get to take.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When I was at a NYC V10, everyone got 20 vacation days and everyone used them (though sometimes vacations had to be cancelled because of deals or filings). In fact as a first year, with the 5 carryover days we got, I used all 25 vacation days and had good reviews. Also, the partners were keen on people NOT working on vacation (had enough bodies to cover). At the V100 i'm at now, you get 4 weeks, but I know people that work a lot on vacation and partners routinely call and email you work even if on vacation....i'm trying to leave as fast as possible.


I think it's actually harder to take vacation days at V100 firms rather than V10 firms. Teams are often staffed leaner and there are not as many junior associates. Also, we have a lot of clients at my firm who won't let you add a new associate to the bill so you really can't get coverage on some matters even though theoretically you should be able to have someone cover for you. I'd actually say that vacations are more of a thing at V10 firms, but this is of course just a generalization.


I know, I left the V10 because it was so intense when you were busy, and at the V100 it is just less intense, but still intense and on top of it you need to worry about you vacations. I'm trying to leave NYC for a smaller city (non-major market) and a smaller firm and just hope that doing so will ease up the stress


I'm in another market. And the OP from above. I think you need to think about midsized firms. Regional biglaw won't cut it if you want vacations. Most likely.


Yea when I say smaller firms, i'm talking 100 person firm in New England. No more big-law or non-HQ big-law offices.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When I was at a NYC V10, everyone got 20 vacation days and everyone used them (though sometimes vacations had to be cancelled because of deals or filings). In fact as a first year, with the 5 carryover days we got, I used all 25 vacation days and had good reviews. Also, the partners were keen on people NOT working on vacation (had enough bodies to cover). At the V100 i'm at now, you get 4 weeks, but I know people that work a lot on vacation and partners routinely call and email you work even if on vacation....i'm trying to leave as fast as possible.


I think it's actually harder to take vacation days at V100 firms rather than V10 firms. Teams are often staffed leaner and there are not as many junior associates. Also, we have a lot of clients at my firm who won't let you add a new associate to the bill so you really can't get coverage on some matters even though theoretically you should be able to have someone cover for you. I'd actually say that vacations are more of a thing at V10 firms, but this is of course just a generalization.


I know, I left the V10 because it was so intense when you were busy, and at the V100 it is just less intense, but still intense and on top of it you need to worry about you vacations. I'm trying to leave NYC for a smaller city (non-major market) and a smaller firm and just hope that doing so will ease up the stress


I'm in another market. And the OP from above. I think you need to think about midsized firms. Regional biglaw won't cut it if you want vacations. Most likely.


Yea when I say smaller firms, i'm talking 100 person firm in New England. No more big-law or non-HQ big-law offices.


Yeah definitely do that. I'm finding out more and more that Biglaw is Biglaw.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:51 am

I notice a lot of people talking about formal vacation allotments. Sure, firms might give you 2-3 weeks of vacation, but the real question is how much of that are you "allowed" to take. If you take 2 weeks as a first or second-year associate, wouldn't that seem like you're slacking compared to the associate who takes a day or two at most? It's like maternity leave. Great, you have a policy. But let me see you get pregnant, take time off, and keep your job or same career trajectory. Didn't think so.

Edit: sorry. Read the first page of comments only. People did start discussing how much vacay you actually get to take on the second page. Lol. Carry on.

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Toni V

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Toni V » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:12 am

Take your vacation(s) during slower billing periods….vacations are fun, but bonuses are better. Looking into Cuba as a vacation destination… deficient cell service (or at least that is the perception) should free up plenty of time for fun.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Abbie Doobie » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:07 pm

Toni V wrote:vacations are fun, but bonuses are better.


maybe for your wallet but definitely not for your mental health

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:04 pm

My firm does not have "paid days off." Theoretically you could take as many days off as you wanted and it would not impact your pay. You just have to make sure it fits with your work demands, your team's needs, and your trial schedule.

In practice, associates usually take two actual "vacations" per year where they go abroad and its well known that they will have limited email access and won't be completing tasks during that time. I'm talking 7-10 day though, not five weeks off the grid. Then people will take long weekends or do a little work from home instead of coming in, ect. Basically the lack of facetime overlaps with the flexible vacation policy. It works sometimes, other times it fucks people over because their unlimited vacation winds up being none.

I think its wrong to say vacation does not exist in biglaw. People take vacations, and the firms I've worked at try, at least, to respect them. But the overwhelming majority of the time you will be working.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby lolwat » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My firm does not have "paid days off." Theoretically you could take as many days off as you wanted and it would not impact your pay. You just have to make sure it fits with your work demands, your team's needs, and your trial schedule.


I'm not at biglaw but this is pretty much how it is for me at a lit boutique. Yes, obviously, I have to plan my vacation days around deadlines (or be ready to work during the vacation), I have to plan them around trial, I have to make sure my total billables for the year is still acceptable (let's say, 2k+), and I have to be relatively accessible in case an emergency comes up on a case I'm staffed on. Like if some asshole notices and files a motion such that the opposition is due right around Christmas-time. But, other than that, I think I've taken anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks off in any given year with minimal disruption.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:00 pm

lolwat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My firm does not have "paid days off." Theoretically you could take as many days off as you wanted and it would not impact your pay. You just have to make sure it fits with your work demands, your team's needs, and your trial schedule.


I'm not at biglaw but this is pretty much how it is for me at a lit boutique. Yes, obviously, I have to plan my vacation days around deadlines (or be ready to work during the vacation), I have to plan them around trial, I have to make sure my total billables for the year is still acceptable (let's say, 2k+), and I have to be relatively accessible in case an emergency comes up on a case I'm staffed on. Like if some asshole notices and files a motion such that the opposition is due right around Christmas-time. But, other than that, I think I've taken anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks off in any given year with minimal disruption.

This basically describes my experience as well. My sense is that it's easier to take vacation time in lit compared to corp/trans.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby smokeylarue » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:01 pm

How much vacation time is really dependent on you. There's some people that either have to take care of infant kids or are just straight up lame/have no friends or family to travel with that I never see take a vacation day.

Then there's people that will take their two weeks always, and then there's everything in between.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:10 pm

smokeylarue wrote:How much vacation time is really dependent on you.

I can't quite agree with that. There are often circumstances beyond your control that make it impossible to take vacation time. Even in a firm/office that is better-than-average about caring about the QOL of associates, it's possible to hit a 6-12 month stretch where you can't take a vacation even if you really want to.

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby hlsperson1111 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:15 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I notice a lot of people talking about formal vacation allotments. Sure, firms might give you 2-3 weeks of vacation, but the real question is how much of that are you "allowed" to take. If you take 2 weeks as a first or second-year associate, wouldn't that seem like you're slacking compared to the associate who takes a day or two at most? It's like maternity leave. Great, you have a policy. But let me see you get pregnant, take time off, and keep your job or same career trajectory. Didn't think so.

Edit: sorry. Read the first page of comments only. People did start discussing how much vacay you actually get to take on the second page. Lol. Carry on.


For whatever it's worth, this has not been my experience at my V100 firm - particularly with respect to maternity leave.

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rpupkin

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Re: How much vacation time in big law???

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:25 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I notice a lot of people talking about formal vacation allotments. Sure, firms might give you 2-3 weeks of vacation, but the real question is how much of that are you "allowed" to take. If you take 2 weeks as a first or second-year associate, wouldn't that seem like you're slacking compared to the associate who takes a day or two at most? It's like maternity leave. Great, you have a policy. But let me see you get pregnant, take time off, and keep your job or same career trajectory. Didn't think so.

Edit: sorry. Read the first page of comments only. People did start discussing how much vacay you actually get to take on the second page. Lol. Carry on.


For whatever it's worth, this has not been my experience at my V100 firm - particularly with respect to maternity leave.

Maternity leave is in a different basket. My firm is extremely protective of maternity leave. (My firm is decent about vacation too, but you may have to reschedule or cancel a vacation because something unexpected came up. No one is going to ask you to reschedule the birth of your baby, of course. And, even after you have a baby and could theoretically come back to work, no one pressures you to do so.)



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