Big law associate, considering asking for some sort of leave of absence for mental health reasons. I’m not sure if it’s burnout or just depression, but it’s bad. I have a therapist, I’m sure they’d write a note or something if necessary. I’m just concerned about how this would look / backlash…

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You don’t have to tell them why you’re taking leave. Go take care of yourself. Also, at the end of the day. it’s just a job. Typo

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Two of the associates on my team did it last year. No backlash. Go to HR, explain the issue, and they will tell you if you need to do anything else. Leave will be approved and your team will be told only that you’re on leave from when to when. It’s all good. Take care of yourself.

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Can’t you go on vacation? Even if a staycation.

I’ve always wondered about this and I’ve always thought if you’re more of a cog (working for multiple partners on discrete tasks related to a matter rather than working for one partner and running point on your matters) then it’s much easier to pull off.

I appreciate all of the thoughtful comments. Not sure what’s next for me, but it’s heartening to know y’all exist.

OP, if you think you might need a leave, you definitely need a leave. The last year has been brutal on everyone. Everyone has had to find their own path but we all are scarred. A few years ago I was done done done done. I took a 6 month sabbatical during which I spent most of my time alone in the back country and traveling with my family. It was more restorative than anything I have ever done. Please take the leave and then follow your doc’s guidance about how to spend the leave.

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