The Atlanta Lawyer June/July 2019 - Page 30

Wellness Check: Are You Really on Vacation? Suggestions for establishing a balanced line between work and relaxation I ’d really like to know if the inventor of e-mail took vacations. Was it really so long ago that a modern law practice featured simply voicemail for telephone calls after hours? For those in practice just a few years, that word “fax” represents the intermediate generation of written correspondence, faster than U.S. Mail or overnight delivery, but still only sent to your office, not popping up on an electronic device that is constantly with you, 30 June/July 2019 STEVE KIRSON Kessler & Solomiany, LLC Wellness Committee Member with the expectation of an instant response. When I was asked for suggestions on how to unplug during vacation, several thoughts immediately came to mind. Ironically, I was on a cruise ship docked at Civitavecchia, Italy, near Rome, so yes I needed to research and write an article on how to “unplug.” At least now I know that I’m not alone. Too many, if not all of us, have had email, text, and cell phone communication with partners, support staff, opposing counsel and courts while on vacation. We used to dread the enormous stacks of messages and mail waiting for us upon our return, but, at least before we were plugged in 24/7, we returned refreshed and rested. Today’s challenge is how to navigate the modern technology and expectations but still allow ourselves to have down time, family time, and maintain personal connections that make us the successful professionals our clients choose to hire and trust. A s a family law practitioner, my clients are always going through the toughest time in their lives, and everything is urgent. Labor and employment lawyers have clients whose companies may operate 24/7, and issues can arise at any time. Attorneys keeping track of billable hours stress that an hour of vacation is a missed opportunity to work toward personal or firm goals. In a competitive legal marketplace, an unanswered message could mean the loss of a client. In my own experience, observations of successful colleagues I admire, and through just a bit of research I have found