January 2 Is Going To Be One Of The Busiest Days Of The Year

The legal industry, like many other things in life, follows cycles — busy, then slow, then back to busy. The holiday season is usually one of the slowest times of the year; people are off for vacations, and courts rarely schedule matters around Christmas and New Year’s Day. However, right after New Year’s Day is usually one of the busiest seasons for lawyers, with January 2 usually one of the busiest days of the year for attorneys. In certain instances, attorneys and staff can employ certain strategies to make this time less hectic for everyone involved.

Hold Off

Lawyers and staff typically have long-term projects that can be completed on an indeterminate schedule. It is usually wise not to complete such assignments during busy periods like the week immediately following New Year’s Day. Moreover, sometimes attorneys need to check in with other attorneys or stakeholders periodically throughout the year. It might be best to hold off on such checks until a reasonable amount of time after New Year’s Day since communications can be lost in the shuffle if they are conveyed shortly into the new year.

Wait Until The Afternoon

Each year, I am surprised at the volume of calls I receive on the morning of January 2. It’s as if people have thought about reaching out to me throughout the holiday season, and once 9 a.m. on January 2 rolls around, the calls flood in. The problem is that it can be difficult to return such a volume of calls, especially around this time. Things can get lost in the shuffle if lawyers are overburdened during a particularly hectic time of the year.

Waiting to call sometime even until later in the day on January 2 can have benefits. In addition to avoiding situations where a request or communication is lost in the shuffle of a lawyer trying to do to much, it can help ensure people are not overburdened with tasks when things return to normal after the holiday season and enable them to meaningfully respond to work matters.

Respect Vacations

Many people may wish to take January 2 off even though it is the first business day of the new year. Since people will have New Year’s Day off (a Monday this time), taking the Tuesday off as well will allow people to enjoy a four-day weekend. In addition, some people who are traveling for vacation may not want to return in time to be able to perform work tasks for January 2. This could be due to the elevated travel costs (in time and sanity, not just the monetary hit) associated with the season or family plans that just make it easier to return to work at a later time.

Workplaces can embrace people taking January 2 off if this is convenient for employees. Having fewer people performing work right as the new year begins can result in fewer tasks for people in the office. Such a tactic also shows the type of leniency that employees appreciate when they evaluate their employers and can go a long way toward boosting morale around the office.

All told, people should brace for the increase in business everyone will need to confront when the holiday season is over and most people go back to work on January 2. However, if employers and staff follow some strategies, they can make it easier for everyone to handle the busy days and weeks that usually occur in the new year.

Rothman Larger HeadshotJordan Rothman is a partner of The Rothman Law Firm, a full-service New York and New Jersey law firm. He is also the founder of Student Debt Diaries, a website discussing how he paid off his student loans. You can reach Jordan through email at [email protected].

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