If you read this over the “Thanksgiving holidays,” I hope it is not while you are working. It used to be that Thanksgiving was a day. It has turned into a four-day weekend for many. In fact, a lawyer recently shared with me that someone had asked them “if you’re working next week,” referring to the week of Thanksgiving. The lawyer was aghast.
Work hours and work ethic are frequent topics among lawyers. There are many different perspectives.
Some differences are attributable to generations. The “younger” generations seem to appreciate their lives more fully. Perhaps they grew up experiencing their workaholic parents’ absences and have chosen to approach their careers differently. Or maybe they are more focused on the quality of their life as measured by experiences instead of material things. Other differences are attributable to our profession itself. We function within a host of time constraints, some imposed by courts, others imposed by clients, and still others that we impose on ourselves (it’s our personality type).
Technology and the pandemic have made things simultaneously better and worse.
With technology, most can do 90% of their jobs without being in the office. This also means that office hours have essentially become 24 hours per day. The reality for many lawyers is that technology has not really changed how much they work but simply where they work. For those struggling with a healthy work-life balance, the challenges have compounded.
Our recent discussion of the recent Clio Legal Trends report generated some feedback, particularly about the statistics shared regarding work hours.
Eighty-six percent of lawyers reported working outside of typical working hours and 73% reported working outside of regular business days, yet 56% prefer to work during typical office hours. Regardless of their preference, the reality is that they do not.
So, it’s probably fair to assume that you are reading this while you are likely working when others are not and that you’d rather not be working (or perhaps reading this). Given the demands on your time, marketing yourself and your practice is probably way down on your list of priorities. We get it. That’s why we do what we do – so you don’t have to spend any more time on marketing than is necessary.