How Do Lawyers Have Family Time?
When a lawyer works a grueling work schedule, he or she is inevitably experiencing Stockholm syndrome, strained relationships, and burnout. Not to mention, this type of workload leads to lower career satisfaction and less life overall. If this sounds like your life, then it’s time to reevaluate your work-life balance. Lawyers are among the most time-consuming professions, so how can you make the most of your family time while maintaining your career?
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Work/life balance perks
Lawyers often boast of the work/life balance benefits they enjoy but fail to implement them. Developing a hobby helps establish structure and helps balance your life. Practicing a new activity can also promote better mental health. It also helps keep you active during downtime. It can be a good idea to take breaks to visit family and friends or engage in an outdoor activity. For those lawyers who cannot leave their desks, there are many virtual networking opportunities available.
As a new attorney, you may find it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. While young associates may be eager to make a good impression and meet deadlines, they should also keep in mind their obligations. If you fail to set boundaries with your supervisor, it may lead to burnout. In such a scenario, it would be better if your supervisors set the boundaries for you.
Long working hours
The traditional argument that lawyers have long working hours and little family time is not entirely accurate. While lawyers must work full time, they can choose when and where they work, and their hours are often highly flexible. According to the survey, approximately 75% of attorneys working in midsized firms report that they enjoy a good work-life balance. While many attorneys would prefer a full-time schedule, part-time lawyers often prefer a shorter work week.
The common belief amongst law students and new lawyers is that lawyers must work forty-eight hours a week to make a living. This expectation is based on the fact that many attorneys work outside of regular business hours, and that working during these hours is negatively impacting their family life. The number of hours a lawyer works during the week depends on the practice area, firm size, and location.
It is no secret that working parents need more family time. While most attorneys agree that work-life balance is critical, some may feel the pressure to finish all their work at the office. Over 80 percent of attorneys agree that they need more time with their children. Fortunately, many firms are accepting of this trend, and many even allow working parents to take advantage of a day off during the day. Working parents can also work from home if the office is open until late.
Although there are many benefits to working mothers, many have the opposite experience. Although Big Law can seem like a great career for new mothers, many disadvantages may outweigh the benefits. According to Pamela Stone, a Hunter College sociology professor, the transition from working attorney to full-time caregiver can be difficult. Many women do not wish to leave the workforce, but the lack of family-friendly workplace culture can be a big part of why new mothers are not happy with their jobs.
Working from home
Working from home may seem appealing at first. But it’s important to remember that lawyers have to set boundaries to stay in control of their family and personal lives. Posting business hours and limiting work calls to emergencies will ensure that you’re not interrupted by your family. Make sure to share your schedule with your spouse or partner and avoid personal conversations during work hours. If possible, try to find a law firm where you can work from home.
Many lawyers never thought they’d work from home. Since they don’t have their own office, they don’t have a dedicated space for work. The workspace and living room often overlap. If you have children and a spouse, this can be especially difficult. But there are ways to manage it. Whether you work from home or in an office, you need to find the right balance between your time and your family.