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A Pre-Thanksgiving To-Do List for General Counsel

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 12, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it's time to wrap up loose ends at work so you can take a few days off from being general counsel and spend time with your family.

Obviously deadlines come first, especially if you're currently involved in litigation. But when those tasks are taken care of, there are still some things that need your attention before you set up your out-of-office reply and head home.

For in-house attorneys, that includes some specific issues that other lawyers may not think about. Here are just a few:

  • Think about seasonal workers. Often companies take on a lot of extra business during the holidays, and your client may be hiring temp workers to fill the gap. If that's the case, look over any hiring policies that might be relevant.

  • Consider holiday vacation. Another issue that comes up around the holidays is time off. Now is a good time to do an annual update of any vacation policies so that employees know what to expect. It can also head off any confusion about the rules.

  • Set up your out-of-office notices. If you're going to be away from your desk, your client needs to know about it. Of course you scheduled your vacation ahead of time, but just in case, set up an outgoing email message and maybe put a note on your office door or desk to let people know.

  • Write a holiday newsletter. There have surely been updates regarding pertinent laws recently, or at least some new interpretations. Bundle them into a holiday newsletter and send them out to employees and executives so they know you're on top of things.

  • Make a checklist. There's nothing worse than waking up the day your vacation starts and realizing you forgot to do something important. A few days before you clock out, jot down a list of all the things you need to accomplish. That way when you're ready to leave, you can go check your list twice and make sure you didn't miss anything.

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