As a profession, a career in law is one of the most demanding ones out there. There is a popular opinion that those practicing law have difficulties. In maintaining a healthy balance between a personal and professional life as the latter often overshadows the former in terms of time and effort.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to maintain a healthy work-life balance when you’re pursuing a career in law. If you’re intent on pursuing a career in law but are being put off by the fact that your professional life might overlap and take over your personal life, here’s everything you need to know to maintain a healthy work-life balance by prioritizing both.
The Demands of a Law Career
Before learning the tips and tricks to live a balanced life with a career in law, you should understand what pain points make law such a demanding career.
It isn’t uncommon to hear that lawyers don’t have enough time to give to their families, but the reasons for this are rarely discussed, leading to some common misconceptions about lawyers. Some of the most common reasons as to why lawyers and other law professionals seem to stay preoccupied all the time include:
The first and most obvious reason why a career in law is so demanding is working long hours. Preparing for important cases requires a lot of research and analysis, which can often go on for days at a time. This is due to the fact that it’s almost impossible to remember all the small details of a seemingly endless number of cases.
Successful law professionals are often not confined to a limited pool of clients once their practice gets bigger. Unfortunately, this also means managing clients with differing schedules, which can make a regular home life routine very difficult as you can end up having lunch and dinner appointments throughout the week.
Working Extra From Home
Many lawyers opt to bring their work home instead of staying down in their chambers for long hours. While the intent behind this habit might be good, it ultimately frustrates your family members as they’re still being ignored by you even if you’re physically present at home.
Working on Multiple Cases
Another common reason why lawyers spend so much time at work is preparing for multiple trials. Working on one case is hard enough, but when you have multiple depositions on the same day, things start to get hectic.
Managing Law Work and a Life
The good news is that maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life is not too difficult. If you keep the following tips and tricks in mind, you’ll find that a career in law can be very satisfying without detriment to your personal life.
1. Plan a Flexible and Personalized Schedule
The first thing you need to work on if you want a healthy balance between personal and professional life is to work on a flexible and personalized schedule. Try to keep at least one part of the day completely free for family, preferably the morning as chances of important meeting happening early in the day is very low.
2. Talk to Family
Don’t forget to have a discussion with your family members about emergency meetings or trial appointments that might get scheduled in your family time, and try to make up for it another day by giving them more time.
3. Use Technology To Organize Paperwork
With technology at hand, it’s a wonder why so many people still organize their paperwork the old-fashioned way when documentation processes can be sped up significantly with technology. You can manage your bills, payments received, case files, and more using different apps and software specialized for these purposes.
4. Delegate more
A common mistake made even by many seasoned lawyers is trying to get everything done by themselves. Delegating specific tasks like transcription, research, etc., to an assistant or intern can greatly relieve a lot of pressure in this career path. So make sure to delegate as many secondary tasks to others as you can and focus on the primary task of building the case and evidence.
Be Honest About Life and Work Goals
Last but not least, be honest with yourself. Not everyone has the same goals and aspirations in life, so find out exactly what you want. Your life will turn out exactly how you want; it’s just a matter of deciding what you want to prioritize more, your personal life or career. If you want a good balance, don’t prioritize your career too much unless you have more than one kid to put through college.
If you’re not a full-fledged lawyer yet but feeling the pressure of studies, then investing in affordable LSAT prep courses can help you a lot to streamline your study efforts.
Choose Your Priority
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance boils down to what you choose to prioritize – work or family. This is true for not only law but any high-pressure career. Ultimately, how your life will turn out depends entirely upon you; just keep the tips mentioned above in mind.