By Valery Turyshev
In my essay I have summarized the points of view of three lawyers who wrote about a work-balance problem. I agree with their position relating to the issue of how to balance work and home. The answer is up to the individual.
By Jordan Furlong “work-life balance” is a lawyer’s personal choice and responsibility. If money and “prestige” are that important to you, you’ll sign up to work 3,000 hours a year at a law firm, and you can reap the rewards and suffer the personal consequences accordingly. When we talk about “balance” in lawyers’ lives, we’re really talking about the tradeoff everyone has to make between compensation and lifestyle. If WLB stood for anything, it was for the fact that we all have the right and the obligation to make that tradeoff on the terms we want.
According to Nicole Garton-Jones, it will be up individual lawyers themselves to decide what balance means to them and then make it happen. She supports the position of the pervious writer.
Additionally their colleague Stephen Mabey a law firm should explain to its associates what the economic fallout will be from choices they make to balance what is meaningful to them and their paycheque. But they should not tell an associate what the proper balance is. This is a decision best left up to the individual.
Nicole Garton-Jones and Furlong state that talented lawyers have a good chance of solving this problem because “firms change their working conditions as the talent market dictates” (Furlong). Nicole Garton-Jones adds “more flexible arrangements will be offered to retain scarce and valuable talent. Instead of the lawyers advocating for it, law firm employers will be leading the charge to attract and retain their most valuable asset: their people”.
It is interesting to note that both articles were written by Nicole Garton-Jones and Furlong in 2009. Stephen Mabey wrote his article in 2013. Work-life balance, says Peter Block in Answer to How is Yes: Acting on What Matters, is “about more balance between engaging in what has meaning to the individual and doing things that are useful and practical, or in a sense, instrumental.”
I think this is a great solution to the discussed problem because a lawyer has an option to make a decision based on what has meaning to the individual. This is a practical and useful approach. I think first it is necessary to set a goal as to what is important for a person in a particular period of his or her life; whether to make a career or spend more time outside the work. After that an individual can divide his time between work and home and consequently, to balance his targets in life and time devoted to them. So, a person will avoid a conflict with himself and other people who are not satisfied with his or her life style.