That first year of working after law school, we look so forward to our vacation.  A real vacation from work.  Remember that feeling of excitement and anticipation thinking of going on vacation.  The problem is sometimes you start to think crazy thoughts like, will I look better to my boss if I don’t use all my vacation time.  

This is all too common a theme among attorneys.  I hate to admit it, but I thought all those crazy thoughts many times.  I thought I’d look indispensable.  I thought I’d look dedicated.  I thought I’d look hardworking.  Wrong.  

It’s time to change those thoughts.  Going on vacation cannot be optional; it must be mandatory, especially for attorneys who spend their days and nights at work.  Vacations are as important as eating healthy foods, exercise, and sleep.  


Here are seven reasons why vacations are important for attorneys:

  1. Vacations help by providing Stress Relief – Taking a break from work and the day-to-day routine helps attorneys release their stress. It provides attorneys time to clear their minds from the constant work pressures.  There is a requirement that you leave your work behind to obtain the benefit of stress relief while on vacation.  Do not check messages or call into the office daily; if you have to look at your e-mail before going back to work, set aside ½ a day at your house before you go back to work.  You can update yourself on the office that lasts ½ day before returning to work.  Ensure you provide yourself the remainder of that day to rest and relax, feeling comfortable being at home.
  1. Vacations provide you time to look at your goals and life plans. – With our busy schedules, we all tend to forget what our goals & dreams are.  When on vacation, attorneys get the time to look at their plans and find out where they are or do the plans need revision.
  1. Vacations help prevent illness. – Some chronic diseases are caused by stress, and by relaxing on vacation, attorneys can lower the risk of stress-related illnesses. 
  1. Vacations improve focus. – After taking a break from work, attorneys are more focused, and their concentration at work improves.  Vacations result in improved work focus upon your return.  
  1. Attorneys who take vacations are happier. – Chronic stress tends to lead to depression and anxiety. Attorneys who take regular vacations are happier and feel a sense of well-being.
  1. Vacations improve productivity. – Working constantly for long periods of time without any time off causes irritation, poor decision making, and poor communication.  Research has shown that people who take periodic vacations are more productive. 
  1. They get the time to reconnect with their family. – With a stressful & exhausting working environment, attorneys come home from work feeling tired which often impacts their quality of life at home. Vacation is the perfect time to reconnect with family and spend some quality time with them.

Vacations should never be optional.  Do not start thinking you’re so important you can’t leave and don’t think you’ll look better to your bosses if you don’t use all your vacation.   No, don’t fall into those traps.  I had weeks of vacation left when I left the company.  It was foolish to think my boss checked whether I took my vacation.  None of them did.  They did not care if I did or not as long as I got my work done. What is sad is that I denied myself the opportunity of many enjoyable vacations.  A vacation provides the weary lawyer many benefits.  Plan your vacation time now!