How to Balance Your Hardworking Job as a New Lawyer While Keeping Your Health and Well-Being Intact

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Three Ways to Make the Best of Long Hours as a New Lawyer

If you were raised in front of the TV like I was, you’ll know no one works longer or harder hours than lawyers and healthcare professionals—especially the newly-hatched ones.

Hollywood has made countless fortunes mining the soap-operatic depths of these poor saps working day and night, night and day, before occasionally popping home to see their families for 15 minutes. And if memory serves, most of those “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV” characters ended up drunk, divorced, or disbarred.

While that kind of cinematic drama continues to entertain us on the screen, watching it play out in real life is a different story. So for those of you actually experiencing the endless hours of new lawyerdom, I offer you three pieces of advice to keep you from any one of the bad D disasters.

1. Take your physical health seriously.
We all know that exercise is good for us, so I’m not going to cite any new and groundbreaking studies. Just consider this a gentle reminder that you will be a better lawyer if you move your body a little more each day. Chase an ambulance if you have to!

2. Take your mental wellness seriously
I wrote about this more in depth here, but I can’t stress it enough, so I’m not going to stop talking about the fact that more than half of us are suffering from depression and anxiety. Take this seriously! Check in on each other. See a professional. Don’t ignore signs of overstress in yourself or others.

3. Keep at least one hobby unrelated to work
I’m not talking about golf with clients or work-night karaoke with coworkers. I’m talking about something you do regularly that has nothing to do with work or advancing your career. If you’re spending all your time with people with whom you work, you’re doing it wrong!

Long hours and crazy billables are a rite of passage into the rewarding career path we have chosen, so while we’re at this stage in our journey, let’s make the best of it and try to get through with as much of our sanity intact as possible!

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