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When it comes to planning vacations and holiday events and marketing, it is never too early to start. If you really want to do something spectacular for yourself or your office this year, you need to get your act in gear. Sure, there's still plenty of time now, but that'll change in the blink of an eye.
Before you know it, you'll be procrastinating those holiday tasks because, frankly, compared to most legal work, they're very excusably neglectable. Even if you calendar time for them, something is bound to come up and squash that time, at least the first three times you even attempt to plan out something nice.
Below are a few tips on which holiday tasks you should get on your to-do list ASAP.
1. Notice of Unavailability
Do you already have two tickets to paradise? Or just some plane tickets to a warm, sunny destination for the winter holiday? Or maybe just plans that you are absolutely banking on? Then you may want to make sure you have a "notice of unavailability" filed (if allowed) in all your active litigation matters. While not fully (or actually) binding, these can often prevent matters from being scheduled while you are away and are an effective way to communicate to opposing counsel and the court when they should not schedule anything.
2. Holiday Cards
While September is definitely too early to send "season's greetings" cards, it isn't too early to be ordering your law firm holiday cards, and it's definitely not too early to start getting the plans together for it, and comparing vendors. Additionally, ordering before the season starts might actually help you get a better deal. If you plan on taking a firm photo, you'll want to coordinate to give everyone a chance to look their best while also being in the office at the same time. Given some schedules and some firms, that can be a real challenge.
3. Vacation Coordination and Coverage
Unless you're a solo, or planning on taking a working vacation, you'll need to ensure that someone at the firm will be around to put out any potential fires that require a real, live, in-person lawyer (or at least a dependable receptionist/secretary/paralegal) to handle. Or if you plan to close for a week or two, staff and clients may need some notice so that they may be prepared, but someone needs to be able to monitor what's going on to ensure there are no court clerks calling with emergencies, nor other client fires. ProTip: Services like Ruby Receptionists are perfect for holiday shutdowns, but be sure to coordinate early.
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