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Career Center: Vacation and Face Time

Welcome to the next in our series on the results of the 2010 ATL/Career Center Associate Satisfaction survey.  We’ve used the survey results to revamp the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, with completely updated profiles and each week, we are highlighting insider information that Members shared about their firms in the eight key areas of associate satisfaction covered by the Career Center.

Today, getting away from it all (or not): face time and vacation policy.

  • Face time at this firm, “one of the best names to have on your resume, bar none," varies by partner and practice group, but in general, Members report that the firm puts no particular emphasis on face time.
  • This firm, a Beltway insider, offers a Reduced Workload Policy, which allows attorneys to work  reduced schedules to fulfill family care responsibilities as well as activities designed to enhance professional development or stature in the legal community.
  • This firm’s extensive overseas office network may contribute to its "generally good" attitude about respecting vacations and the fact that most associates are generally "able to use all of [their] vacation time."
  • This Chicago-based "powerhouse" recently made the switch to an unlimited vacation policy, allowing attorneys to take vacation days at their discretion; Members say most attorneys use the policy judiciously and average between two and three weeks of vacation.

Who else is getting more vacation than you are? Additional highlights, after the jump.

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  • About 10% of attorneys at this firm with Southern roots take advantage of its part-time and flexible work.
  • This New York-based firm, known for its "high-level and front-page work," provides first- through fifth-year associates four weeks of annual vacation and five weeks to more senior associates, and Members report that they usually try to
    take all of their allotted vacation time.
  • With just 300 attorneys in three offices, this Wall Street firm has no formal face time requirement but Members report that "corporate associates [recently] got spoken to about being in the office from 9:30 to 5:30." 
  • This London-based firm’s European mentality probably explains why vacation is "pretty much sacrosanct": the firm even went so far as to advise its associates to leave their BlackBerrys at home during vacations. 
  • Though known for its "informal" and "[non-]hierarchical" atmosphere, this California-based firm recently issued a directive to associates indicating that they should be in the office by 9:30 a.m. at the latest and preferably earlier
  • This Los Angeles-based firm, known for its high-profile presence in the U.S. Supreme Court, does not set a formal vacation allowance, and associates are free to take as much vacation time as they want, subject to meeting the billable hours target and clients’ needs.

For more on face time, vacation policies and everything else you wanted to know about Big Law firms, visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link.