“About 23 percent of businesses in this country offer paid or unpaid sabbaticals, according to a 2005 report from the Society for Human Resources Management,” according to the NY Times, April 22, 2006, at C6. Of that quarter, 17 percent offer unpaid sabbaticals, 6 percent paid (See my post of April 1, 2005 raising the idea of sabbaticals.).
Several companies listed in the article have substantial law departments – McDonald’s, Nike, Goldman Sachs, Silicon Graphics, Intel – but I have never heard of one of their in-house lawyers who has taken such a leave. At Intel, after seven years the lawyer is given eight weeks of paid leave, in addition to vacation. At McDonald’s, the same offer is available, but after ten years of work.
Some law department lawyers who work for companies that support sabbaticals, such as Timberland, would have to work with a nonprofit group of their choice with whom they have had a prior relationship. At other companies, the lawyer can do whatever the lawyer chooses to do.