By: Amber McVittie-Quinn
It is no secret that the legal profession is a demanding one. Although it is glamourized in the media, it is well known that the practice puts a large amount of pressure on both men and women to maintain taxing schedules. This inevitably leads to them feeling overworked and rundown.The articles and blogs discuss an immense difficulty experienced by legal professionals to balance a successful career and a fulfilling home life. One of the main issues that continued to present itself throughout the literature was that the lawyers do not receive much, if any, support from the law firms for which they work. Based on the competitive nature of the practice, if there is a case that you cannot take or something else inhibits your participation, there will always be someone else eager to prove their competence and demonstrate their financial value to the firm.
Some say there is a choice that must be made and it isn’t necessarily an easy one. They suggest that the idea of balance may be appealing, but generally remains unattainable without making sacrifices. This means that many legal professionals are faced with the decision of either choosing to work an excess amount of hours and earn a comfortable living, or choose to have more time for the things life has to offer but sacrifice your salary.
It seems almost tragic that this existing struggle to balance the joys of life and the responsibilities of life is still a problem, and not just in the legal profession. Too many individuals sacrifice time to do the things that bring them enjoyment because they have an obligation to ensure that they can support the lifestyle they want. Ironically so many men and women don’t even get to enjoy the things they are working so hard to get.“The legacy of work-life balance”
As a second semester paralegal student I have only seen a glimpse of what this profession has to offer. I am not naïve to the fact that there is a potential for the job to become all-consuming, but I am optimistic that there is a way to have an accomplished career and a fulfilling personal life. Bentsi-Enchill’s article “Cases and Choas: Work-Life Balance Strategies for Busy Lawyers” proposes that finding a balance is a process. It does not occur overnight but it there is potential for an individual to find success in their pursuit for work-life balance. To me, it seems that balance truly is attainable as long as there is some preparation and hard work involved.
It is insinuated that there is a correlation between having a fulfilling work life and a fulfilling personal life. I believe that if you are happy at home, then you are much more likely to be more productive in all aspects of life, work included. For that reason alone I think balance is worth striving for. With that being said, I think that everyone has a different definition of balance, which is why it is important to figure out what works for you, in order to guarantee a good healthy life.“The Tyranny of Performance”