Law Firms

New BigLaw trend is unlimited vacation for associates; is there a catch?

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Another large firm is offering its associates unlimited vacation.

Hogan Lovells confirmed the policy change in a statement to Above the Law. “The firm has joined a number of its Am Law 100 peers in moving to an open vacation leave model which will allow attorneys to take unlimited vacation time as needed throughout the year,” the statement says.

Above the Law says unlimited vacation is “a new trend sweeping BigLaw.” Such policies aid flexibility and give associates the freedom to take an adventure vacation while young, the blog says.

But there is also a downside, according to Above the Law. Such policies often eliminate payments for unused vacation time that are made when lawyers leave their law firms.

“There’s the rub,” according to Above the Law. “In an industry based on billable time, bonus-eligibility targets, and an almost constant stream of work on multiple matters with completely independent schedules, taking 10 vacation days a year is almost impossible already. Firms may not like paying out for unused vacation, but it’s the premium associates get for keeping their noses to the grindstone.”

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