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Above the Law Blog Finds Majority of Lawyers Would Choose to Work Fewer Hours for Less Pay if Given the Option

Read the results of a poll recently conducted by David Lat at the AbovetheLaw blog reporting that 51% of responding lawyers would be willing to work fewer hours for less pay if given the choice.

When asked what they considered a reasonable "work less for less pay" arrangement, attorneys suggested a reduced workload of either 1600 or 1800 billable hours, a nine-to-five job on weekdays without regard to billable hours, or three-day or four-day weeks.

Lat reported that "respondents were willing to cut their salaries dramatically to achieve work-life balance:

  • At the 1600-hour level, most respondents would be willing to accept a salary of $100,000 to $120,000, with a few outliers seeking $160,000 or more.
  • About half of respondents seeking an 1800-hour year were willing to accept a salary of $120,000 to $140,000, with the other half suggesting a range between $140,000 and $180,000.
  • Associates hoping to work nine-to-five without a billable hour requirement suggested salaries ranging from $100,000 to $160,000, with about three-fifths in the $100,000 to $120,000 range."

The results of Lat's survey are consistent with the results of an ABA survey we blogged about last July reporting a willingess on the part of associates to take pay cuts in exchange for reduced hours.

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Work life balance is what we specialize in and can be especially beneficial for all lawyers who are required to produce a certain number of billable hours.

Outsourcing routine responsibilities to our company creates an environment where they are more focused and less stressed.

Working in a law firm can get you all the money in the world, but no time to spend it.

Every time I see news reports like this, I am so happy I never did any time at Big Law. I will gladly suffer the slings and arrows of solo practice over zillions of hours so someone else can earn 20 times as much as I do. I still work hard, but I don't have to deal with the other hassles.

A primary demand on an attorney's time also flows from business development tasks. One such task is writing and contributing articles to publications in an effort to build a profile with prospects.

A smart way to accomplish this is to hire a legal ghostwriter, who can do the heavy lifting on a written piece.

Attorneys can then spend the time they save with those who matter more than their practice.

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