{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I have a family visit coming up next week that is looking likely to conflict with a major client deadline. I’ve canceled my fair share of vacations for this job, but after a year+ of pandemic isolation, loss and nonstop work, this one is a big deal — I need to be present for my family for just these couple of days.\nAny ideas for how to frame this to the client? In house lawyers, is there an acceptable way your outside counsel could handle this situation? I am feeling so sad and stressed.", "post_id": "6078350c90b5690024ee63cb", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

I have a family visit coming up next week that is looking likely to conflict with a major client deadline. I’ve canceled my fair share of vacations for this job, but after a year+ of pandemic isolation, loss and nonstop work, this one is a big deal — I need to be present for my family for just these couple of days. Any ideas for how to frame this to the client? In house lawyers, is there an acceptable way your outside counsel could handle this situation? I am feeling so sad and stressed.

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What tasks can you delegate to someone else while you’re out? I would let the client know that the docs are expected Friday, but because you’ll be out, you’ve assigned John Smith to do xyz task over the weekend, and you anticipate being able to start doing xyz task first thing Monday morning. If there’s no one to delegate tasks to, I would just let the client know (whenever you get the docs) that you anticipate being able to discuss on [date]. With no other explanation about your family visiting and needing time off.

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Thanks, this is great advice. Unfortunately it’s going to be a “we need to jump on the phone immediately to discuss” type of situation with an expectation that we’re working through the weekend to get it done as soon as possible. I think the delegation answer is probably my best/only option. We do have a junior that can incorporate the partner’s comments and get it done (which I’ve suggested as a backup), but means I am dropping the ball since the expectation is that I would be leading the draft. Honestly though, after the past year I need to take a moment and prioritize family over “career opportunities” or whatever. I nearly killed myself for this job at the end of the year given how intense it’s been and I’ve been totally burned out since. I don’t want to be overly dramatic or make this seem like “the final straw” but it kind of is...

To be more specific, we are trying to close a deal on a very tight timeline. It’s looking like the other party is going to drop initial drafts of the docs on us next Friday, right when my family arrives, and I expect the client will immediately want to be on long calls reviewing and turning the documents back over the weekend (during the 72 hours I have to spend with family members from out of state — we are all finally vaccinated and it’s been over a year since we’ve seen each other). I think the partner will have my back on this (I’ve had the time off planned for months... it’s quite literally only 2 days off plus a weekend) but I am the lead attorney on this transaction and feel like we might be best served by being upfront with the client. Can I be honest and appeal to their humanity here? Is anyone else experiencing similar situations right now? It is, unfortunately, a new client we are trying hard to impress. As soon as I am back in the office I will be putting in 200% and working 16-18 hour days until this is done.

Unfortunately, if the docs come on Friday it will already be a result of our client hounding them to get us drafts “as soon as possible.” My greatest hope right now is that they drop the ball and it takes them through Monday...

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