Evening the Scales: Work-Life Balance in Law

JUN 03, 2019 | PRACTUS LLP

Evening the Scales: Work-Life Balance in Law

Authored by John H. Lively

Life as a lawyer can take a toll on your personal time, which is why many attorneys are yearning for a work-life balance in law that allows them to do the things they love most while also doing what they are most passionate about.

Remember when you first learned about Lady Justice and the meaning of the scale she held in her hand? The balance of an equal administration of the law is a principle that is part of your passion for the law and drove your successful legal career over the years.  But you’ve come to realize what a lot of other lawyers have — the other important scale in your life, between work and personal, has been out of balance for a while, turning your life into a daily grind that looks something like this:

  • After going to bed late, and getting up early, you rush through your morning ritual of grooming and dressing in your lawyer business attire to then rush out the door while barely catching your kids to say goodbye.
  • You run out the door for your long commute — fighting traffic, and dreaming about where you could be and what you could be doing instead of getting stuck in an endless line of cars.


  • You arrive at work for a long day and night ahead of you that’s more about hitting your billable hour targets, and less about legal work that really matters to you and your clients.
  • Your law office hours at the firm are weighed down with layers of bureaucracy, mountains of red tape, and distracting politics that take up too much of your time, and too much control of your life, in and out of the office.
  • You face the same long, frustrating commute back home, with the same thoughts of how you could be spending this time doing what you want, when you want.
  • You get back home late at night, after your children are asleep, to sit down to a warmed-up dinner and to fall back into bed before you do it all again tomorrow. And as you lay there, frustrated and unhappy, you wonder about that question that’s been troubling you for a long time, “How do I get some balance back in my life?”.

How Do You Define Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance describes the compatibility of your time and energy between work and other important aspects of your life. In finding this right balance, you’re getting fulfillment in your professional responsibilities and enjoyment in the things you care about most. Work-life balance is not intended to be a 50/50 even split between work and life either. The right work-life balance in law is on an individual level; one that fits your personal circumstances and priorities.  

For many attorneys, achieving work-life balance in law is a challenge each day as it is difficult to make time for loved ones, self-care, and other personal activities, not to mention,  the demands of the legal services you offer. Because most of your hours throughout the week are associated with work, it’s often the place where we can start to cut back certain inefficiencies in the day to day to get our life back. Common work inefficiencies law firms face include too much time on administrative tasks, client acquisition time, hourly billing requirements, and lack of internal efficiency.

So, How Can You Have a More Even Work-Life Balance as a Lawyer?

The answer to your question is simpler than you might think.  

Today’s world of cloud-based technological support gives you the tools you need to address workplace inefficiencies for that work-life balance you’ve been striving for. Through video conferencing, voice recognition software, online document collaboration tools, and good old-fashioned email and instant messaging communications, along with mobility through portable laptops, pads, and watches, you can work where you want, when you want, and how you want. 

With other industries, including many of your clients, successfully adapting to a remote workforce, the legal profession is also coming around to this new way of working, becoming pioneers in this cultural shift of more freedom and control.

It’s the kind of freedom and control that allows you to work from your home, from your child’s school or athletic event, even from outside the country while you’re enjoying a vacation.  You have the flexibility of your office being all around you, wherever, and whenever, you need that office to be. And that provides your clients with the immediate support they sometimes require, without missing the connections and moments with the people you care about in your personal life.

Working where it is most convenient to you also allows you to explore your interests beyond the law, whether that’s a more active lifestyle, additional educational opportunities, pursuing an entrepreneurial dream, or whatever passion you want to pursue.

While the idea of working remotely might suggest more of a distance from clients and their legal needs, the exact opposite is true. Studies have shown that people who work remotely are more productive and efficient with their time, by avoiding the distractions of a traditional office environment and allows you even greater focus, flexibility and contact with your clients.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, it provides a big sigh of relief:  Your daily commute to your “office” is literally a minute, not hours, away. And you can dress as casually as you’d like, in whatever way is best suited for the day you have planned, not based upon what others have planned.  Think of the time, and the focus, you can then put towards both your clients and your personal interests.

Cloud-based technology that allows you to work on your terms can help you re-balance your work-life scale, and there’s a law firm that’s at the forefront of making that happen. Practus, LLP is specifically structured to provide the innovative technologies that support their attorneys’ passions for work and their lives outside of work. At Practus, we embrace the idea that there is a better, smarter, more efficient way to work, and have seen it pay for both clients and our attorneys.  

“We have experienced, hard-working, successful lawyers,” says John Lively, Managing Partner. “And we believe that giving them the freedom and control they need to practice law the way they want, and to live the life they want, is a win-win for our lawyers and our clients.  Our clients receive responsive, smart, efficient legal counsel, and our lawyers lead happy, fulfilling lives. It’s a balance that’s reflected in our name. The “us” is a purposeful reminder of the relationship between our lawyers and clients, and between our lawyers and their life outside their legal work.”

Find out how Practus can help you re-balance your work-life scale.  Is this the type of work culture you’re looking for? Contact us at info@practus.com to learn more about the Practus business model.

The Authors
John H. Lively
Read Full Bio

Practus, LLP provides this information as a service to clients and others for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking advice from professional advisers.

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