By Harkirat Singh Kang
Today in the fast paced world it’s difficult to maintain a proper work balance. At one hand one has his own personal life encompassing family life and on the other hand the professional or working life. When the professional life involves a profession like law the things become more difficult.
One needs to compromise a lot to maintain a proper balance in life if one is into legal profession and for the same reason only 29% of full practice lawyers are women. Those women who work in private practice face difficult times. A private practice demands a lot. One has to be efficient in different spheres. A private practice involves:
- Dealing with multiple client matters.
- Helping people when they are facing their worst times.
- Updating oneself with changing law.
- Managing the staff, practice and marketing etc.
- Pro bono, volunteering etc.
The work balance also depends on the personal choices you make. The earning in legal profession depends on the time you put into it. One may choose to work in a traditional big law firm and end up working more. Some may decide to work in smaller firms which allow flexibility. The free time can be used to pursue one’s own preferences or hobbies. Some may end up doing PhD and other may spend time in travelling. Lawyers may find time for parenting. The government departments and in house provides more flexibility and time and one may leave the profession entirely. The financial consequences will be heavy but it’s also a matter of individual choices.
The pressure on traditional law firm model is increasing. Younger people are less interested in committing to hourly targets. Also the clients want to provide training to their in house associates and they are reluctant to pay high fees. The firms are coming up with more innovative models to attract clients.
The work life balance debate will eventually go. The firms in order to stay competitive have to retain talent and they will be providing their talent, i.e. the people with more choices. It all depends on one’s own personal choices and what one wants in life and the changing times will provide more flexibility to lawyers.
*This article is written in response to the article; Jones, Nicole Garton, The myth of work life balance in law, online; http://www.slaw.ca/2009/11/10/the-myth-of-work-life-balance-in-law/.