Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Monday, December 11, 2006

Lawyers Work Life Balance

07.12.06 - Work Life Balance
It becomes particularly acute once the candidate gets to about 3 years PQE, and realise that there is life beyond work, and other issues such as rearing a family, paying a mortgage and buying a house come into play. The legal profession as a whole suffers from a poor attitude towards the work life balance, as it results in a lot of despondent lawyers wondering what on earth is going on. I think it may be to do with the traditional approach to law that still survives in a lot of towns. This leads me onto another rant that is a particular bug bear, but one not relevant to this article about the quality of the frontage and state of offices of law firms, but that is for another day!
What should lawyers be doing and how many hours is healthy?
Firms need to be aware that solicitors are human beings, not robots. If you have a solicitor doing 60 hours per week at your offices, chances are he or she is doing it a) because you are not paying them enough to cover a mortgage application etc.. b) they have serious family or home issues c) they really enjoy their work and cannot bear to go home or d) they do not have a very good balance in their lives of work and play etc..
Have a look round and see what your lawyers are doing. If they are working the long hours because of a), it is likely that they will also be looking for a new post. If b) you need to keep a close eye on them, as this can affect their work, if c) not much you can do and good news for the firm if not the lawyer! and d) the solicitor needs to adjust this balance to make sure that their life does not suddenly disappear in front of them at the office.
As former solicitors and now legal recruitment consultants, we realise how hard it is at times to stop work at 5pm or 5.30pm and go home!

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