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Taking Time Off for the 4th? 3 Things to Do First

By Betty Wang, JD on July 01, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Vacation time? For many lawyers it is, because, yes, even attorneys deserve a vacation. With the weather getting undeniably warmer and the days much longer, vacation time is imminent for many.

If you're one of many attorneys who are looking into getting away for the upcoming July 4th to celebrate our beloved America, keep in mind that the more you plan out your time away and map out how the firm will survive without you (because, don't fret, they will), the more relaxed your vacation will be.

With that said, what are the 3 things you should do first, if you're taking time off for the upcoming holiday?

1. Make sure all your clients are taken care of. In the time that you'll be gone, try to estimate what you'll anticipate for each and every single one of your clients. If you're a solo practitioner, it may be best to work out an arrangement with another lawyer in the sector to see if he or she can be a back-up for you, if needed. A financial and temporary referral plan, with the client's consent, should also be a part of this plan. If you work in a small firm, or there are paralegals and legal assistants who can man your posts for you (within limits), make sure you properly delegate tasks to them and that they're all caught up to speed on the case.

2. Make sure your information is up-to-date. There's absolutely no rule stating that you need to even touch any tech or let alone even think about work while you are away. So, if you want to turn off all your devices and just be unplugged while on your remote island, go for it. Before, that, though, make sure that in the name of professionalism and courtesy to your clients and prospective clients that all this information is updated accordingly. This goes for your email auto-message, your voicemail, all social media outlets, your website, and so forth. You should also make sure that you designate an emergency point of contact, however, just in case.

3. Plan to relax, but don't lose sight of your responsibilities when you return. It may be disorienting to come back from an incredibly decompressing, relaxing getaway in paradise to the regular hustle and bustle of firm life. A good way to take a vacation from your vacation (because, let's face it -- that's a real need), is to schedule an extra day to adjust. Tell all your other associates, paralegals, secretaries, and the rest of the staff that you'll be back a day later than you really are. This way, you can fully recover, adjust to being back in society, and just mentally prepare for the usual day-to-day work life at your firm.

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