Article type: Work-Life Balance and Self-Reflection for Attorneys
Question: I am a second-year litigation associate at a top New York City firm. I graduated in the top 3 percent of my class from a second-tier law school and I clerked for a federal district judge right after law school. I have been at the firm for six months and I am miserable.
Although I knew I would have to work many hours, it has been much more onerous than I expected. I am married and I have two small children that I want to spend more time with. Apart from the hours, I enjoy my job and the people that I work with.
I know from reading your previous columns that, particularly as a litigator, it is too soon for me to move in-house. Is there anything else I can do without shooting my career in the foot? READ MORE >
Practicing law is hard work. The hours are unpredictable, the clients can be demanding, and the push to partnership can be exhausting and stressful. Not surprisingly, lots of attorneys take some time off over the course of their career and do so for a multitude of reasons, whether to relocate, travel, have a child, care for an ailing loved one, or to earn an additional degree. READ MORE >
Question: Is work-life balance a realistic goal at “biglaw” firms? I just became a parent and I’m having a hard time managing work and family. My firm has a reputation for being one of the top firms to work for – what gives? READ MORE >
I have worked very hard the last four years to get top grades at a top tier school, work on Law Review, and get an offer from my favorite, prestigious, top-ranked firm. I have worked here ten months, love the firm, love the practice group I am in, and I'm getting good reviews. My fiance feels that this is the time for me to move to his city so we can get serious about our commitment, marry and settle down. Of course, I'm committed to my fiance but I realize that big firms value longevity, and a serious focus on career. What is this move going to do to my professional opportunities? READ MORE >
I am a first-year litigation associate at what many consider to be a top (and difficult) firm. I am stuck working closely with two very difficult partners that always criticize my work and rarely give me any positive feedback. I know that my work quality is not that horrible because other partners have told me that they heard my work product is very good and that these two partners are notoriously difficult to work with. I went to a great law school and graduated at the top of my class, but I am starting to doubt my intelligence and feel pretty miserable. I have started getting anxiety each time I have to hand in an assignment or answer questions, and I feel like my anxiety is starting to impact my performance. I am reluctant to tell my colleagues how bad my situation truly is for fear of being seen as a complainer or a failure. Is this what many big-firm associates deal with? Will I have to just suck it up? Please don't print my name or city. (If you can't tell, I am just slightly paranoid!) READ MORE >
Several years ago, Malcolm Gladwell, the author of The Tipping Point, penned a second wildly popular book entitled, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. To be frank, I purchased this book several months before I actually read it - picking it up and putting it down repeatedly until, one day, it literally dawned on me that now seemed the right moment to read Blink. I don't quite know what I was waiting for or whether I was just uninspired. I simply knew that until that fateful day arrived, I simply was not in the right frame of mind to sit down and digest its contents and, thereafter, put its lessons to good use. READ MORE >
I've never liked speed bumps. Growing up in a family of car lovers and auto racers, I like to think that I was born for speed. I realize that is a very romantic, some would say arrogant, statement, but it's true. READ MORE >
Most of us remember that famous Yogi Berra quote: ''If you come to a fork in the road, take it!'' Earlier this week, I spoke with a non-equity partner at an AmLaw 100 firm who realized he had come to a fork in the road. He had been a service partner for over 20 years and was recently let go. His words were painful to hear, but insightful: ''No one cares what law school I went to. No one cares about the quality of the work I have done. No one cares that I have been working hard at the top of my game servicing clients for over 20 years.'' With the recent economic downturn, more and more non-equity partners who do not have business of their own are being forced out of firms. Having serviced other equity partners' clients for so long, many non-equity partners have had little or no time to build their own books of business and now find themselves at a fork in the road. If you are a non-equity partner who is at your ''fork in the road,'' Yogi's unique insights might prove helpful. READ MORE >