CYCLIST BY YANLEV / DREAMSTIME.COM, MAIL BY MEXRIX / DREAMSTIME.COM
Working vacation is no break at all
While lawyers may be taking their allot-
ted vacation time each year, it’s the manner
in which they are taking it that may not be
providing the best benefits, say lawyers
who’ve worked on the issue.
Lawyers, accountants and paralegals
all work long hours under high stress,
and in a difficult economy the strain
grows heavier. Some love it and seem to
thrive on it. But what to do when all that
adds up to a crash?
Lawyers caught up in their practices
often don’t recognize that they need time
to get away to recharge their batteries so
they can perform at optimum levels to
meet clients’ needs.
“I think one of the biggest stresses for
lawyers is their inability to leave work at
work,” says Derek Lacroix of The Lawyers
Assistance Program of British Columbia.
“A lot are almost collapsing by the time
they go [on vacation]. By then, it’s getting
a little late.”
Those who are breaking down become
inefficient and procrastinate, which
damages their practice, Lacroix adds.
That can lead to people being compul-
sively at work — although not much may
be getting done.
of American adults
check work email
such as Thanksgiving
says lawyer coach and consultant Linda
“BlackBerrys penetrate your vacation,”
adds Sas. “As soon as you plug into the
BlackBerry, you’re back [at work].”
Sas says staff can decide what are real
emergencies, and contact the vacationing
lawyer if needed. Robertson says the
BlackBerry can be dealt with if lawyers are
already managing client expectations well.
And, she says, lawyers should restrict
the time they look at their BlackBerrys or
other tech tools. Set the time and then put
it away, she advises.
Make sure clients know you’re on holi-
day, Sas says. “Put a message on your
phone that you are on holiday and will
respond when you get back. Most clients
will respect that.”
Moreover, she says, if you’re on holi-
day with children, what message is the
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say they receive
emails from clients
frustrated or resentful
after receiving work-