From the land of BigLaw comes the news that some large-ish firms are offering unlimited vacation, which, at first blush, sounds pretty amazing. Except…how does that work, really? Do you just tell your high-priced clients that you will be peace-ing out for a few months? Also, in order to get this sort of perk, you work at GinormoFirm, which means you are, for several years, at the whim of partners and senior associates. Can you really see telling them that you are going to climb Everest this April and will be back in a month or maybe never? Honestly, you know full well if you are trying to leave the office for longer than a few days, you are taking your work with you.

Worse still, perhaps, is that, as Above The Law notes, “unlimited vacation” really means “we no longer actually pay out vacation when you leave.”

One tipster put it this way:

“Attorneys will be able to take an unlimited amount of vacation time, but no one will be paid out for accrued but unused vacation time when they leave the firm. Pitched by management as “take all the time you need” — but no one needed more vacation time when we can’t even use what we have. Pretty clear the firm just wants to stop paying out for accrued vacation time. Not sitting well with associates.”

Now, as solo and solosmall attorneys, you already have unlimited vacation time. You just don’t get paid for it. At least you don’t have to fight with a senior partner about the whole thing. Small blessings.

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