4 essentials to help you master work/life balance
The days of young associates anchored to their desks, consumed at all hours with work, are fading into the past. If you want to appeal to the up-and-coming attorney demographic, providing a work/life balance will need to be your firm’s new modus operandi.
A study from the Thomson Reuters Legal Department 2025 Series found that 50 percent of Millennial attorneys would change jobs for more work/life balance. That should be a wake-up call to all firms who haven’t yet taken into consideration the expectations of the Millennial attorney. To lure top talent among the digital generation you will need to improve efficiency, and the best place to start is by investing in technology. But where does a firm begin? Below are some essential tips that will help bring your firm into the 21st century.
#1 Embrace legal Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) no longer resides on the science fiction shelf; it has now become a powerful and life-changing reality, especially for attorneys. Hours once spent on legal research, litigation strategy and more can be reduced by using AI platforms such a Westlaw Edge.
AI-powered technology frees up valuable time by getting you to the answers faster with greater accuracy and efficiency, so you have time for more important matters. This state-of-the-art technology has become a game changer for attorneys and the legal industry at large. If you want to improve the work/life balance at your firm, this is a great place to start.
#2 Implement online chat and legal call centers
Online chat and legal call centers provide a way for you to be connected to the office even when you or your associates aren’t there in person. They allow you to step away without missing that urgent call. And here’s food for thought: without around-the-clock availability, that big case could go to the firm down the street.
With that said, legal call centers also make it possible to unplug for a while each day by giving you the confidence that no call will go unanswered. The result is peace of mind and the freedom to be fully present in your downtime.
#3 Invest in the cloud
Imagine being able to manage your practice from anywhere. With cloud-based practice management software, the possibilities are endless. You and your associates no longer need to reside at the office to track and invoice billable hours, manage matters, or build firm documents. Those tasks can now be accomplished from the bleachers on game day.
There are numerous web-based options available but not all are created equal so exercise due diligence. Make sure the features are compatible with your specific needs and the size of your firm. The right software will reduce the time spent on administrative tasks, allowing your young associates the flexibility to focus on practicing law and billable activities.
#4 Pay attention to your health and wellbeing
Now that we’ve covered technology, there are other simple changes you can make to improve work/life balance that should be noted.
- Block off time from your calendar each day and use it to take a jog at the park or indulge in your favorite hobby. The key is to treat those blocks of time as appointments so that you aren’t tempted to dismiss them as insignificant.
- Learn to say no. This suggestion doesn't mean you need to pass on a lucrative case. Instead, it’s about setting realistic boundaries and protecting your time so that you are positioned to do your best work.
- Finally, be healthy. Set a sleep schedule for yourself and stick to it. Exercise and maintain your nutrition. Carve out time for a social life and nurture your relationships.
Creating a firm that places a premium on work/life balance doesn’t need to be difficult. With just a few adjustments your firm can be a step ahead of the rest and a much more attractive destination for the next generation of associates.
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