Big Law vacation days

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273598
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Big Law vacation days

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:38 pm

Is there a standard for how much vacation time big firms offer to new associates? Does it vary significantly between firms, practice areas, and locations?

Do most big firm associates even take most of their vacation days?

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is there a standard for how much vacation time big firms offer to new associates? Does it vary significantly between firms, practice areas, and locations?

Do most big firm associates even take most of their vacation days?


My firm said they don't have a set number of days. They said they give new associates a minimum hour requirement, a bonus requirement, and a performance review. As long as you hit your min hours, are happy with your bonus, and don't piss off the partner doing the performance review by being unreachable, your vacation time is your own business.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:50 pm

For firms that actually do have a set number of vacation days, it's usually 15 or 20 (i.e., 3-4 weeks).

Whether you actually take them is a whole other matter. I've heard of some firms where associates actually take most of their vacation. At others, associates (especially juniors) take relatively little. It's also partially dependent on your caseload. If you get staffed on two trials back to back over the course of a year, you're probably not taking any vacation that year, regardless of whether your firm supports associates taking their full allotment.

TLDR: 15-20, but whether you can take it varies.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273598
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:01 pm

The standard seems to be 15-20. Some firms give you unlimited vacation days. The former is better, because you will never use more than 20 days, and some firms, mine included, pay out the number of vacation days you have left when you leave the firm.

User avatar
jessuf
Posts: 12586
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:27 pm

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby jessuf » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:49 pm

The firms I interviewed with offered 20 days. One of the associates said she does them in the form of 3 day weekends instead of big chunks of vacation at once because of her workload. Do vacation days roll over at most firms if you don't use all 20 days?

ruski
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby ruski » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:55 pm

Jessuf wrote:The firms I interviewed with offered 20 days. One of the associates said she does them in the form of 3 day weekends instead of big chunks of vacation at once because of her workload. Do vacation days roll over at most firms if you don't use all 20 days?


interesting. i've been told by several corporate associates (in more than one firm) that taking three day weekends is pretty much impossible and heavily frowned upon. firms prefer you to take large chunks at once (like say 2 weeks) - you can't exactly take a day off in the middle of a live deal, and even if you try to there's a good chance you'll end up working on it anyways. it's better to take a whole week or two at once, and then the staffing lawyer just won't assign you to any deals.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273598
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:26 pm

ruski wrote:
Jessuf wrote:The firms I interviewed with offered 20 days. One of the associates said she does them in the form of 3 day weekends instead of big chunks of vacation at once because of her workload. Do vacation days roll over at most firms if you don't use all 20 days?


interesting. i've been told by several corporate associates (in more than one firm) that taking three day weekends is pretty much impossible and heavily frowned upon. firms prefer you to take large chunks at once (like say 2 weeks) - you can't exactly take a day off in the middle of a live deal, and even if you try to there's a good chance you'll end up working on it anyways. it's better to take a whole week or two at once, and then the staffing lawyer just won't assign you to any deals.


It depends on the firm and the department within the firm. My firm gives associates 20 days. In my department, we can take our days whenever we want. In another department, people are expected to take their time in increments of one week, and with at least 2 months between vacations. (I.e., ideally one week per quarter.) A friend of mine at a different firm can take her time (also 20 days) whenever she likes, but her firm strongly encourages associates to take at least 2 weeks at a time (i.e., ideally two weeks twice per year). Two other friends of mine works at one of the 'unlimited leave' firms. One of them loves it, because it means that so long as your hours are OK you never have to worry about staying away for an extra day or two. The other hates it, because he feels like there's so much pressure to keep working that the fact that there isn't an entitlement to 20 days means that it is very hard to actually take 20 days.

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6400
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby 5ky » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:27 pm

ruski wrote:
Jessuf wrote:The firms I interviewed with offered 20 days. One of the associates said she does them in the form of 3 day weekends instead of big chunks of vacation at once because of her workload. Do vacation days roll over at most firms if you don't use all 20 days?


interesting. i've been told by several corporate associates (in more than one firm) that taking three day weekends is pretty much impossible and heavily frowned upon. firms prefer you to take large chunks at once (like say 2 weeks) - you can't exactly take a day off in the middle of a live deal, and even if you try to there's a good chance you'll end up working on it anyways. it's better to take a whole week or two at once, and then the staffing lawyer just won't assign you to any deals.


+1, i have been told this as well at my firm.

AP-375
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby AP-375 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:53 pm

Does this time include personal time, i.e. sick time, medical appointments, etc?

User avatar
Loose Seal
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:43 pm

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby Loose Seal » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:38 am

AP-375 wrote:Does this time include personal time, i.e. sick time, medical appointments, etc?


Sick days are different. I think most firms also have an "out of office" code that you can use for running errands or whatnot.

We get four weeks of vacation a year, but I think I've only managed to use a week of mine (I'm a first-year. ETA: I started in mid-September). It's more a question of being busy than vacation being frowned upon. I think our vacation time rolls over for one year and then we lose it.

I agree with one of the previous posters that it's almost easier to take a long vacation than a short one. I think it's easy for people to ignore the fact that you're on vacation on a Monday (not necessarily intentionally --- it's just that nobody remembers when yo usay you're taking vacation). If they get an out-of-office autoreply that you'll be gone for another week and a half, it's much easier to actually enjoy your vacation.

dolia
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Big Law vacation days

Postby dolia » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:07 pm

At my firm it varied significantly by practice group. If you were in corporate, you had your heavy season (roughly 4-6 months of the year) where you couldn't dream of taking a day off, but there were about 3 months a year where things were slow and if you scheduled it during that time and your partner approved it you were okay. Friends in litigation rarely got to take their vacation days. And everything had to be approved by practice group leader and nothing carried over to the next year.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.