If you are fortunate enough to have a busy legal practice, it may be hard to force yourself to take a vacation. But you should consider it; a little time off can head off burnout.
Since we're in the middle of the summer, it seems like an appropriate time to discuss how to prepare to leave your office behind for a break. Here are five attorney vacation tips to help prevent your trip from causing you trouble:
- Check Your Calendar. Technically, you should make sure you don't have a court appearance scheduled for your planned vacation time before you book flights and hotels. If you failed on that front, at least check your schedule before you leave for the airport. If you accidentally booked a trip that overlaps with your trial, you can try filing for a continuance.
- Beat the Filing Deadlines. If the deadline to file a lawsuit, motion, or appeal will fall during your vacation, you need to file before you leave. You don't want to be on the receiving end of attorney sanctions and malpractice lawsuits.
- Brief Your Clients. Some clients are high-maintenance, others are easy-going. Either way, let clients with pending matters know that you'll be gone, and let them know where their matters stand before you leave.
- Messages. Whether you rely on email or voicemail, you need to let your courts, clients, and counsel know exactly how accessible, (or inaccessible), you'll be during vacation, and when you'll return. Update your voicemail message and set an out-of-office reply on your email. If you have an assistant or associate who is managing emergencies in your cases during your absence, include that person's name and contact information.
- Double Duty. If you can't force yourself to quit for a week, then you can always schedule a trip that allows you to work while your family can play. Consider planning a trip for a CLE in a fun location, or snagging a spot at a swanky judicial conference.
- A Vacation Doesn't Mean Putting Legal Marketing on Hold (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Vacation Haiku (Above the Law)
- A First Time for Everything: Supreme Court Summer Reading List (FindLaw's Supreme Court Blog)