Come back whenever you want, whenever the money runs out, and get a new job. The NYT says it's a trend.
I remember this sort of thing in the 1970s. People would work to pile up enough money to go "bum around Europe" for an indefinite period. The whole idea of working was to get to the point where you could stop working and go on without work. Not retirement, you square. Time off, as much as you could squeeze out, when you're young.
Get out there and live... Out where?... Any old where!
The experiences out there will be sharper if you go places when you're young, you'll have more years to enjoy them as memories, and the money will go much further, because you can put up with much less cushy accommodations.
Or do you worry about how it will look on your resume or your law school application. Just use some of that free time to concoct a slick way to characterize the material. Aren't you so much better than that drudge who stayed at that desk for years and accepted a two-week vacation?
(But don't come crying to me in five years if it doesn't work out. You're on your own. I'm just talking off of the top of my head.)