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Vacation days granted to and taken by in-house counsel

A piece in Business Week, May 21, 2007 at 88, bemoans the penchant for many hard-working Americans to forego chunks of their vacation days. The article cites statistics about what percentage of executives bank more and more vacation days – or lose them – as they pride themselves on being irreplaceable.

My assumption, supported I regret by no metrics, is that most in-house attorneys are entitled to three to four weeks of vacation a year, plus the usual assortment of personal days and holidays. How many of those vacation days (called holidays in Europe) they take is to my knowledge an empirical void. It’s still probably true that, with some regularity, the most senior lawyers take less than their allotted days.

Even when someone takes a vacation, the article notes, the person is probably tethered to the office by laptop, blackberry, cell phones, and express mail packages. Vacations not taken or vacations marred by electronic leeches cannot effectively relieve stress (See my posts of April 16, 2006 on stress and solo in-house lawyers; Aug. 2, 2006 on Scottish stress management; June 5, 2006 and June 12, 2005 on stress among in-house lawyers; Feb. 8, 2006 on litigation stress; Dec. 12, 2006 on “extreme jobs”; and May 2, 2007 on stress after promotion).

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