Blog Network

  • An Affiliate of the Network

    From the Newswire

    Sign up to receive Legal Blog Watch by email
    View a Sample

« Gravett & Gravett: Divorce Attorneys Who Help Couples Save Their Marriages | Main | Sumpter & Gonzalez Practices Criminal Defense by Treating the Client as a Whole Person »

Losing Lawyers to Lack of Work-life Balance

What happens when lawyers cannot achieve a healthy work-life balance at their firms?  Individual lawyers will find varying solutions to the problem, but some of them will leave.  So reports the London Times about new research presented by Baroness Scotland of Asthal, the Attorney-General of the United Kingdom, that indicates some law firms remain "suspicious of [their lawyers working at home] and of employees who want a healthy 'work-life balance'."

The study identified several barriers to more flexible work arrangements, including these:

  • a prevalent "long-hours" culture;
  • the need for lawyers to be seen working in the office;
  • billable-hour quotas of 1,800 hours per year or more;
  • 50- to 60-hour work weeks;
  • a suspicion that working from home is a "soft" option that involves shorter work hours;
  • an erroneous belief that clients expect their lawyers to be available 24x7; and
  • the current economic climate that will likely cause firms to be even more resistant to having associates and partners work from home or part-time.

To deal with these challenges, the study recommends several strategies:

  • communicating with clients to ensure realistic, attainable deadlines;
  • measuring attorney "output" (work produced) rather than "input" (hours billed);
  • de-emphasizing the need to be present in the office; and
  • using more teamwork instead of centralizing projects around a partner.

Hopefully, the proposed solutions will solve some of the problems of implementing flexible and part-time working arrangements.  If not, individual law firms and the legal profession may lose some of their most valuable assets: the lawyers themselves.

By Steve Imparl, guest blogger

Submit Comments to This Post


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Losing Lawyers to Lack of Work-life Balance:


The comments to this entry are closed.

Search This Blog



ABA Top 100 Blawg

Subscribe By Email

  • Join the over 30,000 attorneys who receive either daily or bimonthly email updates of the latest posts added to the JD Bliss blog. You can unsubscribe at any time and your information will be kept strictly confidential

    Option #1: Daily Updates

    Enter your email address:

    Option #2: Bimonthly Updates

    Enter you email Address:

Questions? Get Answers!