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dragonflower

Vacation: when to take?

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I got called in June of this year so I don't really know how vacations at law firms work. 

How far do you plan for your vacation? I usually start planning about half a year before and buy my plane tickets then, but how do possible court dates come into play? What happens if you bought and planned everything, but a motion pops up and is scheduled to happen during your vacation? Also is it feasible for younger associates to take off like 2 weeks in a row? My understanding is that files are quite slow during the summer months in this area of law. I obviously will be checking and responding to work emails during my vacation, but I just don't know how much in advance I'm supposed to let seniors know and how much flexibility I have. 

I'm the only really junior one in my office, so I'm a little hesitant in asking these questions... at least for now when I only started a few months ago. Thank you in advance. 

Edited by dragonflower

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Really depends on the firm, but I will say that a junior at my firm took three weeks off and it was no problem. 

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You kind of have to ask your firm the question because every firm is different. If you book far enough in advance and let the right people know, there shouldn't be issues because nobody is caught unaware, unless you work for unreasonable people. If your firm has reasonable lawyers, you can set it up so someone is there to take over your workload for those two weeks in case something significant comes up.

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There really is only one way to get the answer you need and that is to ask at your firm. I would not plan anything or make any reservations without clearing it with the other lawyers. You will likely have to work around their vacation schedules and they can certainly advise you as to how to plan around hearings, etc. 

I can't see two weeks in a row being an issue, in most circumstances. Three weeks in a row likely would be. I actually don't know anyone who takes three weeks in a row, but then maybe the people I know prefer to spread out their weeks throughout the year. I have had 5 weeks ever since I started as an associate and have never taken more than two in a row.

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1 hour ago, dragonflower said:

I got called in June of this year so I don't really know how vacations at law firms work. 

How far do you plan for your vacation? I usually start planning about half a year before and buy my plane tickets then, but how do possible court dates come into play? What happens if you bought and planned everything, but a motion pops up and is scheduled to happen during your vacation? Also is it feasible for younger associates to take off like 2 weeks in a row? My understanding is that files are quite slow during the summer months in this area of law. I obviously will be checking and responding to work emails during my vacation, but I just don't know how much in advance I'm supposed to let seniors know and how much flexibility I have. 

I'm the only really junior one in my office, so I'm a little hesitant in asking these questions... at least for now when I only started a few months ago. Thank you in advance. 

When you're the only junior in the office (I am too), then it becomes a little more tricky to plan that far in advance, in large part because your schedule is inextricably tied to the schedules of more senior lawyers and you have nobody to delegate down, or sideways, to. 

I can look at my calendar and my files and guestimate where I may have an opening maybe 2-3 months down the line, but that's as far as I can go. By "opening" I mean that I expect major files to be relatively quiet, other lawyers are not on vacation (and so I don't have to babysit their files while they're away), it's not too close to a court date, and I expect people to be in the office and available to babysit my own files. Of course, it's very much dependent on the firm culture. Now you may be saying to yourself: 'that doesn't leave much room for a vacation', and you're right. I was able to squeeze in 5 days last year, but that was it. 

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15 hours ago, Newfoundland said:

is vacation still 10 days after article?

No. It really depends firm to firm. Some have a set amount of time you get but some let you take as much as you want as long as you hit your target.

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