It’s no secret that a career in the legal world is often times a stressful one. The career, albeit rewarding, comes with its many challenges. One of the biggest challenges legal professionals face, is managing their time. Lawyers are required to bill a number of ‘billable’ hours per month, but these hours do not necessarily mean that is all they worked in a given month. Most times, these hours do not account for the administrative time spent on tasks that cannot be billed to clients. Administrative tasks or non-billable hours can be anything from consultations, team meetings, data entering, scanning and printing, or non-billed client calls. Because of the complexity of billed time, many lawyers struggle finding a balance between personal life and work life. Mental health experts have stressed the challenges of the work-life balance for legal professionals. In an article from The Davenee Foundation, they site that 20-40% of lawyers suffer from a psychological dysfunction.
Managing Time & Stress
Managing your work life balance is a key to staying healthy. Many legal professionals struggle to maintain a social life as well as a full time job as an attorney. When the scale is tipped too steeply on the work side, lawyers begin to experience side effects such as anxiety, stress, loss of sleep, and depression. In a study from North Carolina, they saw that 37% of North Carolina Lawyers suffer from depression. Lawyers who also have to balance a family life struggle greatly with finding the right balance for themselves. Although everyone says “family comes first”, they may often have to put work hours, endless jury trials, or long hearing days in front of it. This is where the biggest discrepancies in finding the right balance lie. So how do we balance it all? The long work days, the extra hours, social lives, and family lives?
Finding Your Balance
Finding your balance is unique to each individual. Some lawyers find that maintaining strict working hours is one of the first steps to having boundaries between your work and life. The key to this approach is to not work outside of your designated work hours. Scheduling vacations is also a big de-stressor. Taking time away from work and being able to relax for a few days can have physical and psychological benefits such as reduced stress and increased motivation.
While all of those approaches help legal prfessionals find a work-life balance, most of them are hard to accomplish daily. Vacations may be once a year for only one week. Furthermore, not working outside of your deisgnated work hours may be complicated when clients need to reach you after hours for important matters. Most legal professionals have taken up legal tech to help them reduce their work hours. Many softwares offered for the legal profession provide ways to lessen their administrative tasks and free up more time. With automated tasks and data migration made easy, lawyers save countless hours every day. Whether you chose our software or another, softwares have helped shape the legal world tremendously. There are countless legal softwares that help simplify your workload and save you time.
A career in the legal world and a healthy social/family life will come with it’s many sacrifices, sometimes one for the other. But legal jobs should not come at a cost to our mental health. Finding a balanced lifestyle is crucial to staying happy, healthy, and stress-free. Now more than ever, there are multitudes of legal softwares and tools that help lawyers in arrays of ways which in turn will save money and time, and allow for more time, effort, and attention to the other things in life we love.