In our latest blog, Legal Studio reflect on lawyers, working conditions and chickens…
Is your lawyer happy?
There have been numerous reports popping up in the legal news recently regarding the unspoken issue of anxiety, depression and stress within the legal industry.
This is down to a number of factors, including:
• The expectation of long working hours. Many lawyers feel that they have to stay in the office just to be seen by superiors, at the expense of their family or social life;
• Additional responsibilities outside of the day job. There are always pressures and deadlines to be managed, but the additional management meetings, projects and constant need for existence justifying spreadsheets get in the way of meeting them without a last-minute panic;
• Constant, ever-increasing, targets. These are often outside the individual’s control, but any failure to meet them is attributed to them; and
• Lack of appreciation. Doing all of the above but receiving no thanks for any of it.
Free Range Lawyers: Good for Clients
Why should our clients care if we are happy? We are, after all, paid for the advice we give and documents we produce. Our happiness is of no concern to our clients…or is it?
Here at Legal Studio, a parallel has been made with battery hens. They both see little natural light, are often overworked and have had their freedom restricted. In short, just like the battery hens, many lawyers are unhappy.
There is a large backlash against battery hens in today’s food market, with consumers paying slightly more to know that their products have come from happy hens. This is where the parallels shift…by engaging a happy lawyer with more freedom, you are likely to pay less and the end quality of work is likely to be improved.
It is impossible to focus properly for hours on end, and everyone works better in different ways and at different times of day. When forced to sit at a desk from 7am until 7pm, a lawyer is not generating their best work and they are likely to be inefficient.
At Legal Studio, our lawyers all work freelance. Yes, we have an office. Yes, we are contactable between 9 – 5 Monday to Friday (and beyond). But no, we don’t sit at our desks trying to look busy or force our brains to complete a document when, in reality, we are struggling to focus any longer. There is a lot to be said for the ability to leave the desk to take a proper lunch, catch up with a contact, or go to the gym. Not only doesn’t it have a huge impact on our personal wellbeing, it also has a big impact on our ability to focus and reflect on our work.
Each of us has the ability to choose which cases we accept. It is not dictated to us. This means that the work we do is through choice, and our clients have a new level of importance to us. Of course, if we are busy we will work long hours, but this won’t be imposed upon us for no recognition.
So, the answer to the question of whether you should care if your lawyer is happy is yes. It will impact on your relationship with them, their work ethic, and their productivity. By being able to work efficiently, we are able to work cost-effectively.
Free-range lawyers – it’s a novel concept but it works on both sides. If you are interested in either joining us, or in finding out how we are able to assist you, please get in touch via our website.