Tag Archives: Law Firm Life

A Softer Side: The End?

Work/life balance. It used to be a topic that filled this blog, but I’ve barely written about in the past few months. Of course we all know the reason why, however, the question now becomes: what will happen to the debate. Jordan Furlong has written a great post on his blog, Law21, concerning the legacy of work/life balance and his concerns over the current status.

One paragraph that really caught my eye:

There are two institutional flaws in our system that hurt our newest colleagues. First, there’s the unspoken symbiosis between law schools and law firms — the former charge students huge amounts of money and provide little practical lawyer training, allowing the latter to hire low-skilled and heavily indebted graduates to fill virtually the only positions lucrative enough to pay off their loans. And secondly, billable-hour targets for associates at more than a few firms simply can’t be achieved without damage to one’s health or ethics, or both. These problems are neither natural nor inevitable — they result from our neglect of the system, and they annually damage our profession’s standards and morale. (my emphasis)

As Mr. Furlong so succinctly states, the problems of work/life balance are institutionalized and are damaging to the profession as a whole, not a few. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the profession as a whole to continue to work to make positive changes.

Maybe we have seen the death of the work/life balance debate…maybe it will continue when the economy recovers, who can really say.


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Yoga and the Practice of Law

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a post about the work/life balance at law firms (except about the removal of said perks), but a firm in Memphis is bucking the trend. Burch Porter & Johnson offer on-site yoga every Wednesday during the lunch hour. Other exercise classes are offered on Mondays and Fridays. The cost for attending: a mere $4 for yoga and $3 for the other classes. What a great way to support your employees!

For the full article, click here.

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LexisNexis Technology Gap Survey: How Does it Affect Your Firm?

LexisNexis surveyed 700 legal and white collar professionals in the United States to determine the extent of a generation gap in terms of technology in the workplace. Three generations took the survey, which included Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. While it is no surprise that Boomers appear notably more concerned about information overload than Gen X, you will find some surprising responses regarding workplace productivity, etiquette, and the impact on confidentiality.

For a full look into the generation gap, click here to view the entire survey.

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What Two Things Go Great Together?

Attorney and Bookbinder? Jobrated.com recently released their Top 200 jobs list.

At number 82: attorney.

At number 83: bookbinder.

Hat tip to ATL.

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Generation “Watch Out”

I found a link to this intriguing article from Ad Week on the (non)billable hour blog. Although the article is focusing on graduates in the marketing field, the author’s observations apply to 20-somethings generally. We’ve been hearing about this generation for the past few years, but have law firms adapted? Are we ready for this generation and the next?  As Matt Homann points out on his blog…”love ’em or hate ’em, they’re not just your children, they’re your future clients, employees and partners.”

Here are some interesting quotes from the article:

How they live has everything to do with how they work. They time shift. Favorite shows happen online on-demand. News is 24/7. There’s not much use for e-mail. Instead, they’re YouTubing, Stumbling, Digging, Twittering, blogging, updating. They’re Loopted and LinkedIn. Caffeine drives the day and night. In this world, wristwatches and alarm clocks are as necessary as rabbit ears. They grew up IMing, and the cell phone rules. Area-code identity is mobile but long lasting — a virtual network.

All this makes them, at their best, unbelievably creative and productive. On the other hand, they also think they have all the answers. Morley Safer wrote recently of this generation’s entitlement issues: They’ve grown up with everyone as winners, with inspired birthday parties and planned events, with middle-class privilege and opportunities at every camp, academy and take-your-kid-to-work experience. They expect careers, not jobs.

Buckle up. This group does not look or work the same as generations past.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

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Update 4: A Softer Side?

The ability to work anywhere at any time does have some perks, and firms are catching on according to this article from law.com. Law Firm Perk of the Moment: Flextime.

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Update 3: A Softer Side?

From our friends at Above the Law, a report on a new service aimed at the “sandwich generation” at Goodwin Proctor: “Free, round-the-clock access to a telephone support center that provides information on services for the elderly, the disabled, and the family members who care for them.”

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