Maintaining a work-life balance in your legal career

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The legal profession can be a rewarding one, but can present challenges in maintaining a work-life balance, with most lawyers working extremely long hours, mitigating conflict every day and engaging in highly strenuous mental activity.

The following considerations are important to help you meet the expectations of your role while keeping healthy balance outside the office. 


Choose your place of work carefully

Before accepting any new position, research the firm well and carefully consider all that comes with the position. The legal world can be a small one, so ask around to find out what the organisational culture is like.

A specialist recruiter will also often have a very good understanding of the different cultures across firms and can be a helpful source of guidance when choosing a firm that is right for you.

A specialist recruiter will also often have a very good understanding of the different cultures across firms and can be a helpful source of guidance when choosing a firm that is right for you.

Remember what's important to you

Accepting a role with long hours is not going to be sustainable in the long term if your aim is to work no more than 40 hours a week. The reality is that with high salaries come sometimes extremely long hours.

Often small to medium-sized firms and in-house roles can provide more flexibility as well as a more relaxed culture. 

Be organised

It goes without saying that the more organised you are, the more you will get done in a day. Make sure to take a moment to critically assess your day-to-day processes, understanding where you can potentially lose time and where you are not being most efficient. 

Set yourself boundaries

Those who cannot say ‘no’ often find themselves under far greater stress in the legal profession. In order to cope effectively, remember to set yourself boundaries when managing tasks. Wherever possible, ensure that you can delegate certain tasks to your juniors - allowing more time to focus on the key deliverables at hand.

Let it go

Becoming ‘too involved’ is a common compliant amongst lawyers. Learning to let go of emotionally-intensive situations is important. Mentors can also be a great sounding board to help put things into perspective.

Set aside time

Throughout your day, make sure you set aside adequate time to engage in leisure activities or ‘switch-off’ completely. Simply taking a break or a 5-minute walk outside may provide you with just the amount of respite you need to minimise your stress at work. Allocate these into your work schedule as you would other tasks and you may find this makes a big impact on not only your stress levels but your work-life balance and overall productivity.

For more information, on the Legal recruitment market, please contact:

Kamran Habib, Manager - Legal Recruitment
kamran.habib@robertwalters.com
+971 4 8180 101

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