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Had an interview at a firm where they have an unlimited vacation policy that’s just “speak with your deal teams in advance to get time off”. Anyone actually know in practice how many days is a normal amount to request in a @year? My current firm gives you 20 days and very much pushes you to take those days, so just wondering if anyone at a firm with a similar policy takes around 20 without issue.

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I work in one and I took about 40 days in 2019. Now keep in mind, a lot that wasn’t completely off line vacation. But I’m at a nice firm where if you can manage your work load and build out blocks of time well in advance and plan for those, you can really take advantage of the policy.

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A4 yeah, that seems common. This firm I’m at now is pretty good about leaving you be during vacation, which is nice. But you definitely have to give notice in advance if you’ll truly be completely unavailable. I guess I’ll follow up about this policy with some associates and see what they think.

Does it really matter? How much time can you realistically take off and still meet hours? Take that. Don’t worry so much about what other people are doing and what partners are thinking. Do good work when you’re working, plan vacations far in advance, ramp down in deals and ramp back up after. Once you’re going to be out for any extended amount of time (e.g., a week) it makes little difference to the firm if you take 2 week vs 1 week, at least in a short timeframe transactional practice. It’s your life. Of course the partners will always want you to work more. Chances are, any step up bonuses are not worth the extra hours of your life lost so target is always billable target +1 hour for me. Seems like 20BDs is “normal” policy at most firms. Not that I’ve ever taken this or think most associates do, but that’s more because I don’t think I’d make hours if I took that whole time. I’d say normal for me is like 1 week 1-2 times a year and a handful of long weekends.

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Yeah so let me explain by way of example — I am getting engaged this weekend. I billed 2400 hours to the firm in a pandemic last year with no time off (not even thanksgiving or Christmas). I gave my team weeks of lead time that I was going away, why I was going away, and that I wouldn’t be available. From about 11pm last night to today I have been hounded for work. So I just replied no can’t, and turned off my email notifications. There is no such thing as a vacation with an unlimited vacation policy. No one will respect your time unless you put up hard boundaries — sure there is a risk you might piss off some absolute freak of a partner — but also who cares they’re miserable regardless.

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A10 bout to come back next week as a Legal Recruiter.

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No, in practice unlimited vacation is very much limited. It’s more of do your work and then take vacation but If you’re drowning in work, it’s hard to take vacation.

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Not just hard to take vacation if you’re drowning in work, but also hard if you’ve been slow! Using vacation in biglaw is tough (especially at unlimited vacation firms) unless you’re kind of at a Goldilocks pace/practice that lets you build up enough of an hours buffer that vacation won’t kill you, but also not so busy that you’re constantly needed on essential projects.

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I work in an “unlimited vacation” firm. There is a soft understanding that 15-20 days is the max acceptable per year, but it’s partner dependent. I’ve never taken eve 15 days in any of the years I’ve worked here, and the partner I work for is still unhappy when I take any amount of time off.

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This is what I’m afraid of. A week each quarter is 20 days, and I think that’s basically necessary depending on the practice group. But, it’s the little things in between that idk how will pan out. Weddings, birthdays, etc.

Do any firms actually give you billable credit for taking vacation time for the day? That’s how this should work.

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A7, never heard of this, but too right. To me the stated vacation policy is mostly pointless. It’s all about whether I can make my hours. No point in there being a month of vacation if I can’t make my hours without working 50-51 weeks.

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I work at an “unlimited” vacation firm. Couldn’t take a single day off in 2020 and was told I was not allowed to take time off at Thanksgiving and Christmas because partners have families and I would have to cover for them. Your current firm sounds great on that front. Don’t expect anything like that at an unlimited (aka no) vacation firm!

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This exact thing happened to me, and then when I tried to take vacation in January to visit my parents across the country they made it like it was the biggest favor to me, then I billed 90 hours while on “vacation”

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I work in one and have never get comfortable taking more than 5 days a year (and I’ve worked each of those days, so query whether they even count). I’m not an anomaly - this is standard for associates.

I don’t blame you though. It’s hard to set boundaries. I think the job attracts people that are very averse to worrying about what their colleagues think of them, especially superiors.

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I work at an ‘unlimited’ vacation law firm and I usually take one week off and one long weekend (two days off) a year, in addition to a couple of Fridays partially off if traveling to a wedding or something. Even with that amount of time off, I’m on the upper end of people taking vacation. I think my firm is particularly bad about being accepting of vacation though.

My unlimited vacation firm in practice meant 4-5 days off a year as an associate.

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Posting from the top side.

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